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TLC Recovery Services


Mesa ArizonaThe Basics

Founded in 1991 in Mesa, Arizona, by John Schwary, TLC Recovery Services offers inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment, as well as gender-specific sober living and transitional care for LGBT clients. Schwary was inspired to start TLC when he was just out of detox and had only 73 cents in his pocket. Today, the TLC organization includes the rehab program in Mesa, as well as seven halfway houses throughout Arizona. TLC Recovery Services focuses on helping financially challenged clients who need help for chemical dependency.

Accommodations and Food

The TLC residential treatment program has a 60-bed capacity, and accommodates 40 men and 20 women. The men are lodged in apartments, while female clients reside in single-family houses several blocks away. Residents are accommodated in dorm-style furnished rooms. Two cooks prepare meals, and residents are served three hot meals Mondays through Fridays, and brunch and dinner on the weekends.

The sober living program accommodates 700 clients in multiple locations. There are two spacious houses that cater to LGBT clients, who are paired in double-occupancy furnished rooms. The 30-day sober living cost is $440, and includes three daily meals, employment assistance and peer counseling. Financially challenged clients are often accepted, regardless of their initial ability to pay. They are given credit and after they start working, they can pay back their debt.

Treatment and Staff

Prior to residential treatment admission, clients must have completed detox and be emotionally and medically stable. Clients requiring Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) receive Suboxone and Vivitrol to ease withdrawal symptoms. Medication management is available for those with co-occurring disorders.

Treatment length varies per client, but is typically 90 days. Weekly treatment consists of 30 hours of group and individual therapy, psychoeducation and attendance at 12-step meetings. Group topics include relapse prevention, trauma, self-esteem and anger management and coping skills. Gender-specific groups are provided. At TLC Recovery Services, several evidence-based modalities, including the Matrix model, CBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI) are incorporated during treatment. There are 12 staff members including a medical director, nurses, CADCs, Master’s-level counselors and a behavioral health therapist.

The halfway house program is separate from residential treatment. Clients undergo four levels of care. The entry-level stage includes a two-week blackout period where a senior resident chaperones clients to the store or to 12-step meetings. During this time, they must acquire a sponsor. Clients must attend 90 meetings in 90 days, as well as participate in a 16-week relapse prevention program, and an eight-week Big Book Study class. Other requirements include attendance at peer group counseling sessions, which are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each group contains between four and six clients. Residents are bumped up to the next level, after accomplishing previous requirements. By the fourth level, they are working, have created a discharge plan and adhere to a midnight curfew Sundays through Thursdays, and a 3 am curfew on Fridays and Saturdays.


TLC Recovery Services offers many alternative treatments and perks including art therapy, yoga, massages and facials, as well as recreational outings to a local waterpark.

In Summary

For financially challenged clients who desperately want to turn their lives around and can’t afford a drug rehab, TLC Recovery Services offers comprehensive services at an affordable cost. While they are open to helping many clients in need, they will not accept convicted sex offenders, violent felons or other predators.

TLC Recovery Services

Mailing address
PO Box 1586
Mesa, AZ 85211

Rehab Address
32 S. Macdonald Street
Mesa, AZ 85210

TLC Recovery Services Cost: $4,500 (30 days). Reach TLC Recovery Services by phone at (866) 646-2138, (480) 969-1471, or (480) 833-0143 (halfway house).

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