Who We Are

Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse 
(L.A. CADA) is a licensed and certified substance use and behavioral treatment provider by the State of California Department of Health Care Services and the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health – Substance Abuse Prevention and Control.

We treat persons with addiction and behavioral problems by providing client-centered, trauma-informed, recovery-orientated services, offered
by a committed, caring and qualified staff of licensed, certified and registered professionals.

L.A. CADA offers critical services across a wide continuum of care and treatment, including outpatient, intensive outpatient and residential programs. This full continuum of addiction care is available for men and women, ages 18 and over. Services to adolescents, ages 12–17, in an outpatient setting are also available.

In Memoriam: Dr. Ethan Allen 

In Memoriam: Dr. Ethan Allen
Founder of Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
July 6, 1923 – March 21, 2022

Over half a century ago, Dr. Ethan Allen thought something should be done about alcohol and drug abuse and its devastating effect on families. It was the tune-out, turn-on, psychedelic age, and lots of people had the same thought. Dr. Allen did something. He and his wife, Alice Allen, founded the Rio Hondo Area Drug Abuse Coalition in 1971, which evolved into what is now Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA). 



We offer both intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) treatment services for adults with substance use or co-occurring disorders, ages 18 and over, in English and in Spanish, from two locations: Santa Fe Springs and Downtown Los Angeles.


Our counselors are trained to work with teens between the ages of 12 to 18 to address their specific needs related to substance abuse. A treatment plan is developed to meet your teen’s needs, and their goals will be addressed through individual and group counseling sessions.


Assisting high risk and traditionally underserved pregnant and postpartum women and their families by focusing on reunification and community connections to support healthy family functioning.


We offer both intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) treatment services for adults with substance use or co-occurring disorders, ages 18 and over, in English and in Spanish, from two locations: Santa Fe Springs and Downtown Los Angeles.


L.A. CADA’s premier residential treatment program for men and women age 18 and over. A comprehensive and integrated treatment model addresses complex substance use and/or co-occurring disorders.


We offer HIV and AIDS prevention, intervention and testing services, free to the community, designed for individuals with high-risk behaviors, to improve their health and prevent disease transmission.

Diagnosing a Substance Use Disorder

Recently, the criteria for the diagnosis of a substance use disorder were revised by the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, also known as the DSM-V. If you want to know whether you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, check the following criteria, and refer to the scale.

SCALE (in general)

The presence of 2–3 criteria = MILD
The presence of 4–5 criteria = MODERATE
The presence of 6+ criteria = SEVERE

Impaired Control

  • The individual may take the substance in larger amounts over a longer period than was intended.
  • The individual may express a persistent desire to cut down or regulate substance use, or may report unsuccessful efforts to decrease or discontinue use.
  • The individual may spend a great deal of time obtaining the substance, using the substance, or recovering from its effects.
  • Most of the individual’s daily activities revolve around the substance.
  • A craving, manifested by an intense desire or urge for the drug that may occur any time, but is more likely in an environment where the drug was previously used or obtained.

Social Impairment

  • Failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities may be given up or reduced because of substance use, or the individual may withdraw from family activities and hobbies in order to use the substance.
  • The individual may continue substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or worsened by the effects of the substance.

Risky Use

  • Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  • Continued substance use despite knowledge of a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or worsened by the substance.

Pharmacological/Physical Markers

  • Tolerance – signaled by requiring a markedly increased dose of the substance to achieve the desired effect.
  • Withdrawal – a syndrome which occurs when blood or tissue concentrations of a substance decline in an individual who had maintained prolonged heavy use of the substance.
  • After developing the withdrawal symptoms, the individual uses the substance to avoid the effects of the withdrawal syndrome.

Support L.A. CADA

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