About Us


About New Directions for Women

We are grateful to have a four-decade history supporting women, families, and children in their recovery from addiction. Our clinical motto is “Love, Kindness, and Compassion in All Things,” which is evidence of how our staff interacts with each other as well as the patients. In the last 40+ years, we have grown into a serene, safe sanctuary for healing in Costa Mesa (Southern California). Our rehab center in California is a block from Newport Beach’s Back Bay and Nature Preserve. We offer a full continuum of care from detox to outpatient care so that women can enter treatment at whichever level is appropriate for them.

Our History

Since 1977, over 5,000 women have entered our doors, over 600 children have lived on campus, and 200 babies have been born to mothers completing our program. By providing exceptional gender-specific addiction treatment services that are family-centered, we promote healthy parenting, prevent domestic violence, and assist in family reunification. While we are nationally known for serving women with their children and pregnant women, we truly serve all women, including the more mature population, helping them reunify with their family as a sober grandmother and mother.

New Directions for Women (NDFW) was founded, in part, by Pamela Wilder in 1977, with the support and assistance of the Junior League of Orange County. Pamela stood up in a Junior League meeting, identified herself as a recovering alcoholic, and asked for help and support in establishing a recovery program for women. Two other women, Marion Schoen and Muriel Zink were also instrumental in New Direction’s beginnings, as was Mrs. Betty Ford. Our women’s treatment center was created in response to a shortage of affordable and accessible recovery programs for women suffering from alcoholism, substance use disorder, and other related issues. A brief timeline of our history is available for your convenience.

Women’s Treatment in California

We encourage all women to consider a minimum 30-day commitment to treatment. However, 90 days is recommended for the best chance of enjoying a lifelong recovery journey. Moms coming to New Directions For Women with children usually stay an average of six months in our residential treatment program. Asking for help takes bravery, so we make sure to set up every person who calls for success, even if they don’t come to New Directions. As a nonprofit organization, we are proud to give partial scholarships to assist women and families in staying in treatment for the clinically prescribed length of time. We do not provide 100% scholarships; our philosophy is that women must have some “skin in the game” to have a successful treatment episode.

Women Addiction Treatment Model

We are committed to supporting and treating all women. We are a rehab for women, with a model designed by women. Our directed approach caters to the variables women face in life and in treatment. At New Directions, our women-focused model has proven to be more effective long term than attending a traditional co-ed program. Women and men have different needs, and we believe that treatment modalities should reflect that. 

Both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholics Anonymous support the disease model of addiction, which attributes addiction largely to changes in brain structure and function. These changes make it much harder to control substance use, and health experts recommend professional treatment to achieve complete abstinence. In the preface of “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide,” published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. states: “Because addiction is a disease, most people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Patients typically require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives. Indeed, scientific research and clinical practice demonstrate the value of continuing care in treating addiction, with a variety of approaches having been tested and integrated in residential and community settings.”

What Sets Us Apart?

At New Directions For Women, we serve all women. Our clients come from all walks of life. We offer treatment to women from all backgrounds, ages, and situations. We understand that women are more likely to experience trauma or other social risk factors that affect women disproportionately. An all-women environment allows our clients to address complex issues and open up on a level that promotes long-term recovery. As a women’s addiction treatment center, we have experience and knowledge that puts our clients at an advantage while fighting addiction.


Our California drug rehab center provides countless amenities so our clients can be comfortable at all times. In between treatment, you are free to partake and enjoy each of our amenities, including:

  • Onsite gym
  • Private and shared bedrooms in a single-family home
  • Shared living room, kitchen, and bathroom
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Direct TV
  • Garden area
  • Meditation area
  • High-speed wireless internet access
  • Housekeeping 
  • Designated parking area

Recovery Programs for Women

Our women’s rehab programs provide a full continuum of care. We aim to provide levels of care to cover any and all of our client’s circumstances. Our programs include:

Learn More About New Directions for Women

Contact our caring intake coordinators for more information about our rehab for women in Costa Mesa. We are happy to verify your rehab insurance benefits and answer any questions about treatment.

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