Teen Recovery Center

The UPAC Teen Recovery Center works with children between the ages of 12-17 who are experiencing difficulty coping in school, at home, or in the community due to struggles with substance abuse.  Our mission is to provide innovative and effective substance abuse treatment recovery services to increase problem-solving, provide adaptive coping skills and empower youth to reach their full potential and improve their quality of life. Treatment options include individual, family and group therapies, parent support, and medication management.

Outpatient Program

The UPAC Teen Recovery Center provides group and individual focused; non-residential program for substance abusing youth ages 12-17.  Our treatment services are provided at four schools located in central San Diego as well as our UPAC San Diego location.  Treatment typically lasts six weeks, but varies with individual needs and participation. Continuing care includes weekly meetings.

Groups meet two to three days a week. Each participant may attend at least one additional individual or family session each week.

Each individual must remain substance free of all non-prescription drugs including alcohol and commit to consistent program attendance and assignments.

UPAC Treatment Philosophy

  • Substance abuse is a problem and dependency is a treatable disease
  • Change occurs through development of a therapeutic relationship that respects and builds on the client’s life goals and free choice
  • Principles of self-help groups such as the 12-Step Model of recovery are included in treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral Modification, Healthy Relationships, Sober Living Skills and Motivational Enhancement approaches are most effective
  • Family participation in therapy is strongly encouraged

Participants can expect to accomplish

  • Understanding the disease of addiction and the knowledge and skills necessary to make lifestyle change
  • Learn to alter negative or self-defeating thoughts and behaviors through anger management
  • Improve coping skills, behavioral modification through feelings identification, and expression and control
  • Recognize triggers and develop plans to avoid relapse


  • Substance-abusing (drugs & alcohol) or chemically dependent youth (12-17) and some (18-21) depending on circumstances, who have a chemical dependency evaluation

 Substance Abuse Warning Signs

  • Changes in mood, including anger and irritability;
  • Academic and/or behavioral problems in school
  • Rebelliousness
  • Changing groups of friends
  • Low energy level
  • Loss of interest in activities and/or care in appearance
  • Finding alcohol or drug paraphernalia among a young person’s things
  • Smelling alcohol on a young person’s breath
  • Problems concentrating and/or remembering
  • Slurred speech
  • Coordination problems
Learn more, please check out our brochure by clicking below:
Adolescent Brochure 2016

Service Locations

Monday through Friday:  10:00AM – 6:30PM
Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC)
3288 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite 13
San Diego, CA  92104

Hoover High School
4474 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA  92115

San Diego High School
1405 Park Avenue
San Diego, CA  92101

ALBA Community Schools
4041 Oregon Street
San Diego, CA  92104

Contact Information:
Treatment & Recovery Director:  Sunnyo Pak, MFT, CCGC-II, NCGC-II 
Phone#:  (619) 521-5720
Fax#:  (619) 521-5728