Assisted by a Stakeholder’s Advisory Group, Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA)
will establish a high-fidelity, field-based Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program in L.A. County.
We will accept up to six admissions a month for a static capacity of 100 participants. A recovery-oriented
package of integrated, individualized, and time-unlimited services will provide consumers with approximately
four face-to-face contacts per week and four family contacts per month, as well as 24/7 crisis intervention.
A diverse multidisciplinary team will deliver ACT services, meeting daily to review consumer progress
and plan the treatment day. Participants will be referred from the L.A. County Department of Mental Health
(DMH),local law enforcement, and L.A. CADA treatment programs.
L.A. CADA will serve adult men and women (age 18+) with severe and persistent primary mental illness (SMI)
and secondary co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD), including veterans. This group has not been
well-served by traditional services and are at highest risk for trauma, relapse, mortality, and morbidity
due to chronic incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness. Our consumers are of very low income and
predominantly persons of color (17% African American; 61% Latino; 8% Other; 14% White). They report being
subject to racial discrimination, as well as cultural fear and family bias regarding mental illness –
barriers that separate them from treatment. Among the ACT “feeder” programs operated by L.A. CADA is our
new 10-30-day DMH-funded Crisis Residential Treatment Program for persons with SMI (opening January 2019 in
Santa Fe Springs, CA). Our service group will also include gay and transgender inmates with SMI released to
Probation from L.A. CADA’s unique treatment program within Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, as well as
consumers with SMI who have been released from our locked state detention treatment facility: the Custody-
to-Community Reentry Treatment Program for women. Our service group is characterized by functional
disability, social isolation, medications non-compliance, health problems (including HIV), and overuse of
emergency services and mental health hospitals. The ACT model has proven effective in helping similar
people with continuous high service needs to reduce hospitalizations, retain housing, and remain connected
to recovery, healthcare, and social services. Moreover, ACT can empower our consumers to achieve their own
recovery and successful community integration.
With 10 million diverse residents (72% persons of color), Los Angeles County is an urban area with few ACT
programs,especially programs designed to competently serve people of color. Here and throughout California,
10-12% of all ER visits are a result of mental health emergencies, often compounded by substance use(the
primary reason for ER visits in L.A. County is prescription drug overdose. Our service area includes 74
critical census tracts designated by HRSA with a shortage of mental health providers. In addition,
California has only 17 psychiatric beds per 100,000 residents when mental health specialists recommend a
minimum of 50 psychiatric beds per 100,000. An estimated 25% of all L.A. County inmates have a mental
illness -- double the number in 2016. And the L.A. County 2017 Homeless Count found that 30% of our
homeless population have a mental illness and 18% have a substance use disorder(with homelessness here up
a staggering 23% in one year over 2016). Clearly, evidence-based ACT programs are needed in L.A. County.