Authentic Recovery Center (ARC)
Authentic Recovery Center (ARC)
Review of the Los Angeles Drug Rehab, Authentic Recovery Center
The inconspicuous-looking Mediterranean-style home that rests on the corner of Overland and Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles may look like every other house on the block, but inside it's an oasis for the weary and addicted. Established in 2004, the Authentic Recovery Center (ARC) was created to fill a niche in the rehab community that didn’t exist until fairly recently: a program offering patients intimate, individualized treatment experience for a more “affordable” price (which isn’t, of course, synonymous with inexpensive). People who don’t have $50K to throw around for an on-site but wouldn't mind “some warm individual attention” flock to the “beautiful” house with hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, comfy beds and a tiny backyard, 10 miles from Santa Monica Beach. Some would attest, there are minor problems with drug rehab's Los Angeles location—the house sits on the corner of a semi-major intersection, without any campus or sprawling grounds, so it’s not exactly a bastion of serenity. “Being on the corner of a main road was bothersome at first,” admits a former resident. But most clients eventually get used to the din.
While larger rehabs don’t have the time to fully check up on all their clients, the relatively-tiny Authentic Recovery Center does its best to ensure that no one slips through the cracks. The facility houses a maximum of 12 clients, who each receive intensively personalized treatment. The program focuses primarily on the core issues and underlying causes of prolonged substance abuse. Soon after their arrival, clients are given individual treatment plans where their needs and specific goals are carefully assessed; they’re also allowed the option of daily one-on-one therapy. Alumni uniformly praise the small but dedicated staff – most of whom are in recovery themselves—calling them “hard working,” “understanding,” “empathetic,” and caring.” One grad—an amateur photographer—says that ARC’s co-founder “supported me as an artist, which made such a difference to me” by allowing him to take pictures on the beach during various outings.
Even the detox process at Authentic Recovery Center wins raves. “I came to rehab right off a horrible binge of heroin and cocaine,” reports a recent resident. “Though I don’t recall much of my detox—which is probably a good thing—I do know that the doctor was so kind and wanted to make the process as painless as possible.”
Life in detox is pretty lax, but clients are expected to put in many hours of work as soon as they are released in to the general population. A typical day here begins around 7:30 a.m. with a group meditation, followed by a breakfast spread of eggs, bacon, yogurt, cereal and coffee. Lunch typically consists of sandwiches and salads, while dinner is "California fare," like grilled chicken, fish, veggies, and such. Afterwards residents are encouraged but not required to go to the nearby Spectrum gym.
Post-workout, the daily grind of therapy begins. Because ARC offers an intensive outpatient program, up to six non-residential clients are allowed to attend daily groups. Afternoons are filled with individual counseling, educational groups, 12-step-focused work, recovery-oriented activities like art therapy and yoga, and on certain days, outings (such as trips to the movies or beach, all-day Disneyland adventures and hikes in Malibu). Evenings are spent going to AA or NA meetings in the Los Angeles area.
Though Authentic Recovery Center is a 30-day program, they offer extended care in a house two blocks from the main facility. Though they still receive food and transportation, after-care clients learn to become more independent and integrate themselves back into society. “I lived at ARC for nine months,” reports one alum. “My stay there changed my life. They helped me become a happier, more productive person. When I got there, I never thought I could kick my addictions. Now I have almost three years sober.”