Overview of Services
The Alcoholism Center for Women, Inc. (ACW) incorporated as a 501© (3) nonprofit organization in 1974 with a mission to provide a safe and supportive sober environment in which women and youth can repair, restore and reclaim their lives, strengthen families and communities by making new choices for positive futures.
We were the first and only residential program on the West Coast to offer services specifically for women.
Over 38 years later, we remain the only agency providing comprehensive substance abuse programs exclusively for women in Service Provider Area 4. As a recipient of city, county and state contracts since our inception, ACW has a long history of successfully working with County and other public agencies to develop, manage, and evaluate programs.
ACW’s philosophy is that women and youth need gender responsive services in a safe protected environment with programs that address their unique recovery and prevention needs.
This philosophy is grounded in research that finds that women and girls initiate substance use (alcohol, drugs and tobacco) for different reasons than men and boys and that, correspondingly, women recover and sustain their recovery at higher rates when programs recognize these differences. (Christine E. Grella, Ph.D, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women: A Review of Policy Initiatives and Recent Research, November 2007).
ACW offers a continuum of programs with the goal that each woman or youth we serve will maintain abstinence, recognize relapse factors, build self-esteem and a sense of responsibility, and restructure their lifestyle to include recovery support systems.
Specific ACW programs include:
Residential – a 3 to 6 month program that can be extended to 12 months if needed and funding is available. In this program, women receive intensive treatment and therapy designed to stabilize, treat, educate and prepare them to reintegrate into their families and community.
Our Residential program serves women primarily from Los Angeles County. Several women over the past few years have moved to Los Angeles to come to our residential program because they have friends with 20-30 years of sobriety after coming to our facility.
Over the last few years Santa Barbara County Jail has asked us to take some of their women to help these women get a fresh start in a new county. They have been very happy with the success we have had with these women.
The program objectives include following the criteria established by Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Prevention and Control and the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to provide a structured program utilizing an assessment, treatment plan, progress notes and discharge plan.
In addition our goals are to tailor a unique treatment plan that includes assisting women to view their behaviors, build self confidence and plan for the future.
Serenity House – a sober living component that is attached to our Outpatient program, Serenity House provides support to women who might not need the intense full residential substance abuse programming, but whose success is dependent upon sober-living housing support and an outpatient level of substance abuse programming.
Serenity House clients are predominately from Los Angeles County staying at our facility while in Outpatient Services. In addition to the objectives for Outpatient Services, objectives for Serenity House include learning daily living skills such as cooking, and cleaning.
This 6-12 month program offers extensive recovery assistance for women while they pursue education and employment opportunities, develop skills and receive support to assume family obligations.
Outpatient Services clients come predominately from Service Provider Area four and the objectives, similar to Residential Services include following the criteria established by Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Prevention and Control and the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to provide a structured program utilizing an assessment, treatment plan, progress notes and discharge plan.