Welcome to MELA Counseling Services Center, Inc.

MELA Counseling Services Center is a 501©(3) non-profit organization providing services since 1993.  

About Us

MELA... Changing Lives...Everyday

MELA is a Christian Faith Based Organization. 

All are welcome to participate with us.   We provide Drug Testing and Counseling in East Los Angeles and surrounding cities.

MELA provides counseling services starting from age 12 years old and up.  MELA is located in Los Angeles and serves the surrounding cities.  MELA is funded by Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (S.A.P.C.) and provides services for the Department of Children and Family Services, (D.C.F.S.), CalWorks, General Relief, the Probation and Parole offices, the Court System and private clients. MELA funding is provided by Medi-Cal, General Relief, CalWorks, and used a sliding scale fee for those who are in need of financial support.

The need to help and the opporunity to take a stand

MELA Counseling Services Center is a 501©(3) non-profit organization providing services since 1993.  MELA was founded by Kathy Salazar, R.N., a former Mayor of the City of Montebello, CA. Kathy saw a need in the community for a substance abuse counseling service and took up the challenge to work with those who needed help.  

Everyone deserves a chance at the pursuit off happiness

We are located at the heart of East Los Angeles and Montebello area convenient and ready to help those in need by offering services much need in our community.

Services Offered

Substance Abuse Disorder Maintenance and Prevention

Through MELA's counseling programs, both women and men who lost their children to the court systems because of substance use disorders or domestic violence, have had their children returned to them by working with our counselors to strengthen their own efforts.   Clients learn how they can control their need to use drugs and/or alcohol which includes our teaching self-esteem, life skills, health education, social activities, business skills, parenting, anger management skills and MELA   generally has a pot luck luncheon with all our programs upon a clients completion.

Breakthrough Parenting

Parents are usually sent to MELA to help them learn how to best handle their children in all situations.  It is not easy to be a parent and each child is unique and therefore must be cared for differently then their other children.  Through this program, parents will learn the best approaches to take care of their child's needs.

Reconciliation Through Anger Management

There are times when anger becomes out of control and private patients will often come to MELA to learn how they can learn ways to control their anger.  Their are clients sent from the court system to MELA so we may help provide ways they can learn to maintain control of their anger and give them alternatives behaviors.

Servicio en Español

Mantenimiento y Prevención de Trastornos por Abuso de Sustancias

través de los programas de asesoramiento de MELA, tanto las mujeres como los hombres que perdieron a sus hijos ante los sistemas judiciales debido a trastornos por abuso de sustancias o violencia doméstica, les han devuelto a sus hijos trabajando con nuestros consejeros para fortalecer sus propios esfuerzos. Los clientes aprenden cómo pueden controlar su necesidad de usar drogas y / o alcohol, que incluye nuestra autoestima de enseñanza, habilidades para la vida, educación para la salud, actividades sociales, habilidades empresariales, crianza de los hijos, habilidades de manejo de la ira y MELA generalmente tiene un almuerzo de suerte con todos Nuestros programas a la terminación de los clientes.

Site Content

Coming Soon


MELA is happy to announce that soon Mental Health Services to the community and for our clients will be available in the near future.  This program has become very successful as there is a shortage of mental health facilities in the area.  Our program is a definite help for those who are in need of these services.

Coming events

Coming soon: Ask your counselor or staff for information.

Real testimonials


My name is Iris and I am a 33 year old mother of three children, Rose 14, Jesse 13, and Angel 9 months old.  In 2009, I went into a 6 month Christian based in patient program.  If you ask me now, I would say it was one of the best things I could have done with my life.  There I build a foundation and a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I did good for a couple of years but because I still held on to the things of this world, I started becoming distant with God and Church.  In May 2013, it was official.  I was pregnant with my baby girl which at the time, I didn't have a clue about what I was going to do.  If I was going to keep her or not.     Months went by and as I started getting bigger and bigger, I didn't have the heart to have an abortion so I started using drugs.  Now I know the reason why I started using again was because I was self medicating myself.  I didn't want to face my problems.  During my whole pregnancy, I would cry out to God Jesus and would ask Him to help me to take this desire for drugs out of my life.  I didn't want to live my life like that anymore.  Little did I know that God had His plan for me.  He answered my prayers to have Him never leave my side.  The whole time He had been there with me.    On February 23, 2014, I gave birth to my baby girl Angel.  Unfortunately, she was not able to come home with me.  She was put into foster care because during the last three months of my pregnancy, I started using drugs due to depression and other problems I was going through at the time.  Due to my drug use during the time I gave birth to my baby, I now have an open case with D.C.F.S. (Department of Children and Family Services).  I was asked to do a six month drug program with individual and group counseling, random drug testing and some parenting classes.   So that's why I enrolled into MELA Counseling Services Center.  Due to MELA, I learned a lot of life time skills in how to live a normal, healthy life.  I made new friends and most of all, I learned all the tools that I use now in my every day life.  Thanks to this program, I was able to get back custody of my baby and in six months from now, I should be going back to court to have my case closed.  I thank my dear God for his Love and Mercy and I know it is because of Him I did everything I needed to do get my baby back.  I know I want to serve the Lord.

Testing Support

Drug testing is performed at our facility, for assistance make sure to call the hotlines available to assist you. 

DCFS testing information 


For random press #1 

For weekly press #2  

For any questions immediately call your worker 

Social workers call 1(877)688-6942  

For color random testing  call 

1(323)721-6855 ext. -24  

Or front desk for questions at our office number

MELA Counseling Services Is Expanding

MELA counseling services  Is expanding and working together with other agencies to help our community, together we can guarantee successful recovery and transition out the woes that damage and hurt our community.

MELA is glad to partner with:  


What is drug addiction?  

Drug addiction is the most severe form of a substance use disorder (SUD). An SUD develops when a person’s continued use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant issues, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. An SUD can range from mild to severe.    Addiction is a complex, chronic brain disease characterized by drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of devastating life consequences. Addiction results largely from brain changes that stem from prolonged drug use—changes that involve multiple brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors. Drug addiction is treatable, often with medications (for some addictions) combined with behavioral therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, but rather should prompt treatment re-engagement or modification.

Private Drug Testing Provided

MELA provides random drug and alcohol testing for employers and private individuals.

Walk-ins welcomed between testing hours. 

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) can have a major impact on many businesses so random testing of employees is a tool employers can use to help increase work performance and protect their business.  

The Business Connection at MELA is not a medical facility and it provides drug testing for employers.  There are no long waiting times.  Tests are done in a timely manner so the employees can return to work as soon as possible.  

Our Collectors are caring and sensitive to the needs of our customers and their employees.  Random specimen collections are not observed unless requested by the employer.  Observed collections can be required by the employer due to suspicious circumstances.   

All collections are confidential and documents are kept in a secured location and destroyed as required by law.  

All testing is done in a properly prepared setting and collections are sent to the laboratory for timely results.


Maximize your investment in human capital: MELA services help municipalities, corporations and small businesses to protect their large investments in their employees.   

One Stop Shopping: The Business Connection offers a range of services from prevention to intervention to counseling to training, all from a single organization. 

    Convenient:  MELA is located on the east end of Los Angeles County five (5) miles from downtown and is easily accessed by car, bus and near the Gold Line Light Rail train on Atlantic Blvd.  Experienced:  MELA has been doing drug testing for over 23 years. Staff and counselors are trained and certified in appropriate disciplines.    

Confidential:  Clients can be secure in the knowledge that all information given is held in strict confidentiality.  We maintain all records in strict confidence according to the law.       

Employers: MELA’s fees for services provided to your company, can be a tax deductible expense. A 15% tax deduction letter will be sent to employers at the end of each year.

Donations allow us to continue providing service

Your donations will allow us to continue providing service in an accessible, centralized location to clients who are in recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction(s) and are dealing with other issues including: mental health, anger management, and parenting.      Our young adult program provides services for those who chose to experiment with drugs and/or alcohol and are now suffering from the results by poor attendance at work, behavior problems, legal issues as well as low self esteem. Young women who became pregnant, need special attention due to their pregnancy and addiction. Services are offered in a safe drug-free environment.    MELA works with parents, employers, probation, social services and the courts, to help by providing the support and education in how substance use works on the body and mind.  All our interventions include educational classes, group meetings, family meetings, parent meetings, one-on-one counseling, client drug testing, social and recreational activities and follow up services.    Our programs are based on the theory that consistent rewards for positive behaviors produce incremental steps toward personal responsibility and productive lifestyles.  MELA provides services through various payment methods such as L.A. County's Substance Use Disorders programs, Medi-Cal, CalWorks, General Relief, private pay, and MELA has a sliding scale fee for low income clients.  Fundraising is an important part of our program as some clients come to break the chains of addiction with no funds at all.  We do not turn anyone away from potentially changing their lives and become productive members of society because of lack of funds.    MELA has helped clients become reunited with their children and families.  Many completed clients have gone on to complete school and enter college and/or found good paying jobs and have truly become strong members of our communities.  Many have come back to be speakers at MELA to encourage those who are wanting to change their futures.  MELA is proud to have helped clients help themselves for over 23 years in service to the community.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Care within reach

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Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

MELA Counseling Services Center, Inc.

5723 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90022, US

(323) 721-6855


Monday - Friday: 8:00am – 7:00pm

 Saturday: 9:00am to 1:00pm

 Sunday: Closed 

Testing is done from: 8:00 am to 6:45 pm Monday thru Friday 

 Saturday testing hours are from 9:00am to 12:45pm By appointment only