Alumni praise the evidence-based treatment, plentiful amenities, and compassionate staff at this Southern California facility that aims to guide clients on a path of physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Tarzana Recovery Center (TRC) is a residential treatment center based in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Tarzana that provides treatment for substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, dual diagnosis, and more. The facility offers an accredited sub-acute detox program certified by Integrated Management Systems. Treatment at Tarzana Recovery Center also features an array of in-residence plans and case management, as well as a partial hospitalization program (PHP) as part of their program aftercare. As their website notes, their inpatient treatment seeks to assist clients in achieving and sustaining long-term sobriety, and to guide clients on “a path of physical, mental, and spiritual health.”
Surveyed alumni gave a number of reasons for choosing TRC for treatment. The most frequently cited factors were the quality of treatment and accommodations, privacy, price, and location, with quality of treatment ranking highest among respondents. One alum noted that the staff and fellow clients “felt like family, [and] I will remain in touch and some will remain lifelong friends, I hope.” Accommodations, which were the second most frequently cited reason, range from shared rooms with roommates to single room options; roommates were “very respectful” and even “awesome.” Clients are expected to keep their rooms clean but are not assigned chores.
Alumni described their fellow residents as a “refreshingly wide range of people.” Clients were a mix of men and women of all ages and ethnicities, and many were described as professional, but there were “college student age people” as well. Alumni considered their fellow clients “regular people looking to address what was holding them back in life.” The average length of stay was 30 days, and the most common issue driving respondents to seek treatment at TRC was substance use disorder. Others sought help for alcoholism or “dual addiction(s),” “gender-identity issues,” “relationship issues,” and “compulsive behaviors.”
The food served at TRC was described as “very gourmet” but also with a “home meal feeling.” Meals were frequently described as “healthy” and clients were allowed to “have choices and input” on the menu selections. Clients with vegan diets were pleased with the range of options available to them, while fresh fish and seafood and Italian food were cited as favorite meals, as was the cookout that is offered as part of TRC’s many activities. Coffee was made several times a day, and snacks were both plentiful and healthy. One alum felt the food was “too healthy,” while another was “grateful to have a meal.”
Alumni described their days at TRC as “busy,” with frequent involvement in a number of different activities. A couple former residents noted that staying busy is “part of the deal at Tarzana,” with an emphasis on “getting and staying involved in your life.” The program was “well-structured” and “with an emphasis on recovery through recreation and learning to have fun sober.” TRC’s treatment includes a “custom treatment plan” developed with the client, as well as one-on-one meetings with a residential treatment case manager – typically, a certified alcohol and drug counselor and a personal therapist. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are also offered, as is meditation, equine therapy, pet therapy, music therapy, yoga, and professional massage therapy.
While TRC’s program does include a 12-step element, alumni viewed it as just one part of their treatment plan. “I think the foundation is somewhat 12-step, but they were really trying to provide me with something I wouldn’t find in meetings alone,” wrote one alum. Others appreciated the fact that the emphasis seemed to be more on “learning to actually live one’s life sober and have fun.” Most cited the groups and interaction with the staff as the most memorable element of their stay at TRC. Staff was regarded as “very caring and engaged” and “very understanding,” but also with an element of tough love, which many considered “out of love and care.”
During non-treatment hours, clients had a number of activities and amenities available to them. The latter includes a pool, gym facilities, and fitness classes, while volleyball, cooking classes, bike riding were among the many activities. Clients could also take advantage of numerous off-site activities, including trips to the beach, surfing, bowling, virtual reality gaming, go-kart racing, and other weekend options, which were “super enjoyable.”
Access to a phone was described by alumni as “liberal” but also restricted while in detox, during group sessions, as well as after 10 p.m. (phones were returned at 10 a.m.). Access to television, Internet, media, and work obligations were “frequent” and the staff was “accommodating” in that regard.
TRC’s treatment includes 24/7 care from a diverse array of medical professionals, from doctors and nurse practitioners to therapists, mental health counselors, and alcohol and drug rehab technicians. The staff was described as “very helpful” and “always on call.” Doctors were even available upon request via Facetime and Zoom, which was “helpful,” while counselors at TRC were described as “exceptional.”
When asked about how they’ve fared since treatment at TRC, all respondents answered that they had been successful in maintaining sobriety for months, with some approaching their first year without substances. Some found it more challenging that others; as one alumni noted, “It is a daily reprieve. However, the tools they provided me have helped me stay clean for nine months now.” Another reported feeling “far better equipped to handle things in my life” and one summed up: “I have never been this proud of myself.”
When asked to summarize their time in treatment at TRC, many alumni expressed gratitude for the center’s staff. “I feel VERY fortunate to have found this treatment center,” wrote one alum. Another noted that the staff made them feel “at home,” and praised the staff for being “here to help me with whatever I needed.” One cited an example of the staff’s willingness to help by noting that transportation was arranged for a homeless client to come to Tarzana and stay for free, adding that the client “turned his life around.”
Another seemed to encompass their fellow alum’s feelings by “highly recommend[ing] it to the next addict.” They added that “the program helped me become the person I am right now, and I can’t thank them enough.”