In 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that over 14 million adults in the US met the criteria for alcohol use disorder. For the team at A Step in the Right Direction, this number indicates two things. First, it says that there is a great need for the type of specialized alcohol addiction treatment we offer; that we need to do our part to ensure our programs are accessible for as many men and women as possible. And second, it tells us that there are 14 million different experiences of alcohol abuse — 14 million people who need someone to hear their unique story and respond with empathy, compassion and personalized care.

At A Step in the Right Direction, we understand that the reasons behind alcohol addiction are never the same for any two people. Alcohol addiction is a complex disease that is influenced by genetics, background, lifestyle, co-occurring mental health disorders and more. While it is the most common type of substance use disorder, there is no universal cause or trigger. Every person who develops an addiction to alcohol has been through their own set of difficult circumstances. We believe that the most effective approach to treatment relies on learning what these circumstances are, so the affected individual can anticipate their triggers and break the cycle of addiction for good. This type of individualized treatment also allows us to incorporate long-term addiction management strategies that fit seamlessly into every person’s lifestyle, boosting our clients’ chances of becoming and staying sober without relapse.

A Step in the Right Direction is among the elite alcohol recovery facilities in Los Angeles with accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This status means we are held to the highest standards of care and quality. Our clients can feel confident that choosing A Step in the Right Direction is the right decision for themselves and their future. We provide top-tier, individualized, flexible outpatient addiction treatment and luxury sober living in the upscale Northridge neighborhood outside of Los Angeles. If you are ready to get the help you need, we are ready to welcome you into our recovery community.


While research continues, few scientists understand the mechanisms behind the addiction-forming process on an individual level. There are so many variables involved that, on a person-to-person basis, answering addiction’s “how” and “why” relies on studying the individual rather than trying to make broader statements. But we can learn about the biology of addiction and do our best to determine how addiction affects the brain and body. In understanding these principles, we can create guidelines for treating the physical disease of addiction in conjunction with personalized psychological care.

We do know that drinking alcohol triggers activity in the brain’s reward centers. Typically, these areas of the brain are activated in response to pleasurable or beneficial activities, like eating enjoyable foods, exercising, hugging a loved one or laughing. When they are active, they produce sensations of happiness, warmth, closeness, excitement or other general good moods. These pathways become strengthened every time they are activated and cause us to associate certain activities with the resulting pleasurable sensations. We tend to choose these activities over other options because they make us feel good.

In the case of substance use, though, the brain associates harmful activities like drinking with these good feelings. In addition, the intensity is much higher because the feelings are artificially induced. In much the same way that you gravitate toward naturally pleasurable activities, you will develop cravings for alcohol. As drinking becomes a regular part of your routine, a tolerance develops, and you will need larger quantities of alcohol to achieve the same effects. However, not everyone who builds an alcohol tolerance will go on to develop an addiction; this is where more personal factors begin to come into play. Some of these factors include:

  • Genetics, as there is evidence supporting the idea that a family history of addiction increases risk of developing a substance use disorder
  • Childhood development, particularly if an individual spent their formative years with an alcoholic or experienced childhood neglect or abuse
  • Emotional and social influences, such as who an alcoholic spends their time around other individuals who drink or use drugs
  • Other psychological and psychiatric factors, such as grief, loss, burnout or trauma

Whether you are at a statistically higher risk of developing an addiction to alcohol or not, there is always a chance that alcoholism may develop, especially if you drink regularly or heavily. If you are concerned that your alcohol consumption or the drinking habits of a loved one might be problematic, there are some signs that an addiction is present or developing, including:

  • Binge drinking
  • Drinking or being drunk in inappropriate settings
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Drinking as a coping mechanism to avoid negative feelings
  • Posing a risk to yourself or others while drunk
  • Losing a job or a relationship due to drinking habits
  • Encountering financial or legal difficulties due to drinking habits
  • Choosing to continue drinking despite clear consequences

If you are questioning your alcohol use, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us or to another healthcare provider who can evaluate you and determine whether your alcohol use requires treatment. It never hurts to reach out and ask for help, and our team is always available when you need us.

Take The First Step

Take The First Step


Many people associate addiction treatment with widely available programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. They may not see the benefits that come with unique care or even know that different kinds of care exist. Understanding why specialized care is necessary can help alcoholics and their families make the right choices when it comes to choosing recovery plans.

At A Step in the Right Direction, we provide individualized treatment plans that take a more intensive approach than AA meetings alone. We incorporate multiple modes of therapy provided by professional counselors and healthcare providers and also have a licensed psychiatrist on staff. Our JCAHO accreditation means that an eminent external body reviews our approach to ensure we deliver a high standard of patient care. We’re patient-focused, and we involve multiple healthcare professionals when treating each person.

But, how does this result in higher success rates than taking a standard approach?

Assessing the severity and cause of a problem is the only sensible route to recovery.

As with any area of medicine, it is essential to perform diagnostic tests before providing treatment. Alcohol addiction treatment is no different. Using the skills of doctors, psychiatrists and therapists who have extensive expertise in addiction medicine, we can determine that addiction is present and also identify the factors that led to the development of the addiction. From there, we can unpack the causes and ensure the patient receives the right kind of care for their situation.

No two individuals are the same.

In all aspects of our lives, we will differ from the person next to us. Our differences become all the more important when it comes to alcohol addiction recovery. For example, if one patient continues with their addiction because the people surrounding them are also addicted to substances, we can focus on removing them from such environments. If another patient struggles with alcohol use because of unresolved traumas, our therapies will hone in on the psychological concerns and work to prevent self-medication.

With a luxury, tailored approach, our JCAHO-accredited alcohol recovery center in Los Angeles ensures that every patient gets the treatment that is exactly right for them — in the same way that a medical doctor would ensure that a patient gets the right antibiotic for a bacterial disease. 

Individualized plans lead to better life and coping skills.

When we understand why one of our patients isn’t able to get through their day without relying on alcohol, we work towards our ultimate goal: enhancing their life-coping strategies so that they no longer need to self-medicate. We act from points of empathy and compassion so that our patients can achieve sobriety, healing and sustainable recovery.

Due to the biological and emotional complexities of alcohol addiction recovery, we take custom-tailored care seriously. In some cases, we also offer substance abuse therapy alongside alcohol rehab in the Los Angeles area, especially if there’s a severe risk of relapse.


A Step in the Right Direction provides exceptional recovery treatment for adult men and women. We are located in the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles, and we welcome patients from the surrounding areas and beyond. We provide flexible yet intensive outpatient care that meets the needs of individuals who require effective treatment but cannot commit to inpatient recovery. Our staff is always ready to take your call, provide you with more information, assist you with the admissions process and help you find out if our programs are right for you. Contact A Step in the Right Direction today at 866-441-2231 to get started.


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9535 Reseda Blvd. Suite 300, Northridge, CA 91324

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