A Step In The Right Direction in Northridge, CA

Call (818) 436-6794 to Contact A Step In The Right Direction

Overall Rating

(2.7 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
9535 Reseda Boulevard Suite 300
Northridge CA 91324

A Step In The Right Direction Philosophy

A Step in the Right Direction provide substance abuse disorder treatment programs for co-ed, mixed age groups. Treatment options include assessment, intervention, individualized care plans, outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, chemical dependency treatment, life and coping skills, addiction education, anger management, individual and group therapy, 12-Step meetings and luxury transitional living.

Areas of Specialization

  • Holistic Therapy
    Facilities that offer “holistic therapy” see and treat patients in the context of their entire lives and health status. They treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.

  • Intensive Outpatient
    Patients who undergo intensive outpatient treatment continue to live at home and sometimes go to school or work while participating in a highly structured treatment protocol that is focused on ending substance abuse. Programs vary in terms of how much treatment patients receive, how often and for how long. Some facilities design individualized intensive outpatient treatment programs.

Facility Highlights


Bipolar Disorder


Meet the Staff

Linda Ruzich

Executive Director

Photo of Linda Ruzich

Ms. Ruzich is the Founder and Executive Director of A Step In The Right Direction and has been working in the recovery field for over 30 years. She has assembled a distinguished team of experts made up of doctors – psychologists, psychiatrists, master’s level therapists and highly educated professionals with wide-ranging experience in treating cases of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.

Dr. Jennifer Mather

Psy. D.

Photo of Dr. Jennifer Mather

Dr. Mather started her educational career at the London University in London, England. After completing her undergraduate requirements, she returned home to the United States to complete her Bachelors of Psychology with an emphasis in Law and Criminal Behavior at California Lutheran University.Dr. Mather then continued on to earn her Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology. During her doctoral training Dr. Mather completed an extensive internship at Aurora Vista Del Mar private psychiatric hospital. This training allowed Dr. Mather to treat many different types of clients with different issues ranging from substance abuse issues, schizophrenia, mood disorders, abuse, and trauma. She received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, a nationally accredited professional school. Dr. Mather’s treatment approach includes cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems, and motivational interviewing. Her focus is on irrational thoughts or distortions that drive or “fuel” impulsive behavior. “Understanding what purpose the behavior serves, even as unhealthy it may be, is a big part of the process. Changing distorted thoughts, thought stopping, and reframing, are just some of the interventions implemented in her treatment.

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors


Located in the suburban San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, A Step In The Right Direction is a private facility treating men and woman struggling with addiction or a dual diagnosis, including treatment for PTSD and eating disorders. Services consist of outpatient-based detox (which is offered at just 15.1 percent of facilities in California), plus a range of outpatient programs and gender-separate, sober living facilities.


Treatment at A Step In The Right Direction uses both evidence-based practices and 12-step principles. Clients who need to detox will follow a tailored medical program, and will also be encouraged to enroll into an outpatient program to increase the likelihood that they stay sober.

The partial hospitalization program (PHP) offers the most intensive level of outpatient treatment, at 25 to 30 hours a week of programming, while the intensive outpatient program (IOP) meets three to five times per week. A less intensive, once per week outpatient program is designed as a step-down from the IOP.

Programs consist of individual and group therapy (including evidence-based techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT), addiction education, life skills workshops, and 12-step meetings. Families and friends are invited to treatment and encouraged to join self-help groups and 12-step meetings.

Other services offered include education and job planning assistance, interaction with a sober coach, and transportation to meetings and other recovery-oriented activities.


At A Step In The Right Direction, the staff-to-client ratio is 1:2, and the treatment team includes psychologists, psychiatrists, and master’s-level therapists. The single alum polled by Rehabs.com to date on the staff's level of training and experience gave this aspect of the facility five out of five stars.


There are two sober living houses — one for women and one for men — which offer 30 beds in total. Both facilities are spacious family homes that offer either private or shared bedrooms and the option to bring a pet. The women’s house boasts an outdoor pool, and both facilities have outdoor space, TVs, and WiFi. Both homes encourage fellowship and peer-based community activities through weekly dinners, morning meditations, regular house meetings, and recreational activities.


Of the eight reviews submitted to Rehabs.com to date, three were positive and five were negative. Two of the three positive reviewers wrote that they had lived in the homes for extended periods — up to 16 months, in fact, remaining sober the entire time. All three of the program's reviewers praised the hardworking, attentive staff and the program's efficacy, and two praised the homes themselves. "Very well maintained and beautifully furnished... The staff is very gracious and concerned," Ted wrote in a representative comment.

But among the negative reviewers, there were repeated complaints of unprofessional behavior as well as strong language such as "horrible" and "the worst." Specific complaints include the owner's children living at the sober living facility, a lack of communication with clients, and minimal services. Alum J.P. even went so far as to say the facility was run by "scam artists."

A Step in the Right Direction has mixed reviews on secondary sites, with average ratings of 4.4 stars based on eight reviews on Facebook (where the center can manage its own page), 3.7 stars based on six reviews on Google, and 3.9 stars based on 16 reviews (including "not recommended" reviews) on Yelp.[1] [2] [3]

Several negative reviewers described the center as money hungry or similar, and more than one reported difficulties with the manager, echoing the complaint of a reviewer polled by Rehabs.com. But others praised the nurturing staff and described their stay as a life-changing experience. "I owe my life to this intensive outpatient program," Camren wrote in a representative comment on Facebook.


Like just over 53 percent of rehabs in the State of California, A Step in the Right Direction accepts numerous private insurance plans. The precise cost of treatment isn't currently available, but the single alum polled by Rehabs.com to date on the center's affordability gave it four out of five stars.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/pg/addictiontreatmentandsoberliving/reviews/?ref=page_internal
[2] GoogleReviews
[3] https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-step-in-the-right-direction-luxury-sober-living-for-women-northridge?osq=A+Step+In+The+Right+Direction

Published on July 2018

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • Meals & Nutrition
Horrible experience here. Stayed for 3 months. Owner had her kids living in the same facility as the clients. When I finally decided to leave the owner told me i'd never make it because she was mad I was leaving. Again - one of the worst sober living/treatment facility.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Very luxurious and very clean. The house manager was extremely attentive to the patients every need and was always available 24 hours a day. Hard to find a weakness with this exceptionally well maintained and professionally run facility. From the point of intake the staff and director were very kind and showed a high level of concern and expertise. Very well maintained and beautifully furnished gender specific sober living homes for men and women. The homes are pet friendly, which makes a real feeling of being in your own home. The staff is very gracious and concerned, and take the extra time and effort to make the environment feel so comfortable and safe. Really very well run facilities, with just the right amount of structure and compassion.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This is a HORRIBLE program. The services are minimal at best, the staff are unprofessional.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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I see a lot of negative comments on here but each individual's journey is different especially since we are addicts and alcoholics. I've stayed at A Step in the Right Direction twice, once back in 2009 after a 30 day rehab at PRC and this is before ASITRD had an outpatient facility. After rehab I stayed at the house for 5 months and continued to be sober after I left for 5 years. I believe ASITRD gives you a solid foundation to continue building your sobriety but if your not working a program also of some sort, then it doesn't really matter where you go for treatment or which sober living you stay at. The current house manager, is the best house manager I've ever had the privilege to live with and I've been at a lot of sober livings from LA to SF, she really takes the time to get to know you individually and help you in any way possible that she can, also she's an amazing cook!!! As I mentioned, I had 5 years of sobriety previously after I left the house and I relapsed; so I decided to move from SF to LA to stay at ASITRD since I had such success before but this time they now had the outpatient center not to far from the house and provide transportation to and from the center. I wasn't financially able to admit myself in an inpatient program, so this was my first time trying an outpatient program. I ended up attending their outpatient program for 9 months, now not everyone stays that long but I chose to cause that's how much help I needed to get sober, everyone's story is different. Right now, I am currently at the house; been here 14 months and have been sober 14 months. Before I came here I had lost everything and was staying at a bug bed infested motel 6 on sepulveda with my dying dog Mila. It was horrific and I still can't believe I made it out the other end; the light at the end of the tunnel, it is possible. And ASITRD had a huge role in helping me accomplish this. Now, I just got hired at an amazing job, I'm eligible to get my restricted license (those of us with DUI's), my family and friends have let me back into their lives and most of all I just got engaged! I never thought a year ago this would be my fairytale ending. Things still aren't perfect and I don't have much still, far as material items or a car but I'm the happiest I've ever been! Thank you to two staff members in particular for being apart of this journey, I couldn't be more grateful! xoxo

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Lived here for 16 months. Love the manager and a clean home!!!!

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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This treatment center is terrible and one of the worst experiences. My advice would be to go to any other treatment center but this one.

Do not go here scam artists

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
The management is unethical, there is a lack of communication between all of the staff as well as to the clients, and the clinic is very unorganized.


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