Detox & Drug Rehab In Orange County

Active Addiction is a Soul Taking Spell

Story of Hope: Ian

Three times in recovery for three different reasons - getting caught, getting an ultimatum, and finally through his own decision. The following is a story about Ian who almost took his own life before he got clean.

Ian was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio with his younger sister. He remembers being a good kid and was really involved in extracurricular activities in school that included sports and playing the cello. He spent his free time volunteering at the metro-parks and participating in fishing derbies along the Cuyahoga River. Ian never drank in high school as he had seen the effects of alcoholism in his family.

Ian went away to college and tried drugs for the first time. He started using more drugs and selling them to other students. Ian stayed one-semester and moved back home to attend a community college. Ian was doing “ok” until he had a 4-wheeling accident and broke his collarbone. He was prescribed Percocet and remembers that the prescription pills would not relieve his pain, so he turned to heroin. He only used heroin a few times and stopped after he healed from his injuries.

A few months later he was offered heroin again. Ian remembers how easy it was to pick up again since he had done it before.

Ian was sent to detox after his mom walked in on him shooting up. Ian stayed in detox for 6 days and was initially introduced to the 12-step program. All through treatment, Ian remembers thinking he did not have a real problem - he just got caught. After rehab Ian managed to stay clean for a few months. He does not remember the exact details, but he started using again, and again was caught by his dad who found drugs in his room. Ian promised his parents that he would stop on his own. He tried for about a week but could not quit. Ian was given a final ultimatum by his parents - go to treatment or leave the house.

Ian’s second treatment was in Florida and it was not a good experience, but he completed the program and moved a sober-living home. He stayed clean for around 3 months and ended up relapsing with several of his roommates. One of the guys he was with overdosed but was revived. This near overdose really scared Ian so he decided to move back home. Living back home was better for Ian and he was working. A few weeks later, Ian found out that the guy he knew in Florida overdosed again and died. Eventually Ian started using again and was basically ‘hiding out in the basement’ hoping no one would catch him.

Ian fell asleep at a red light and got an OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) and spent the weekend in jail. He received a suspended license, paid a fine, and was required to take a naltrexone shot for 3 months.

After the 3 months on the shot, Ian relapsed again. Ian recalls that the following months were the worst time of his life - no job, no money, a complete decline in his health, and he was isolated from his family and friends. The next two weeks were a breaking point for Ian. He knew he was hurting his mom and did not want her to find him dead one day. Soon his thoughts turned to suicide and he even arranged to get a gun. Ian remembers waking up and changing his mind on the day he planned to kill himself. Ian instead called a friend that he knew who worked in treatment. That same friend helped him get admitted to a 30-day residential program in California. After detox was completed, Ian transferred to Coastline Behavioral Health.

This was the third time Ian was in treatment. For the first time in his life, Ian wanted to get clean and stay clean because he had lost everything and did not want to die.

Ian remembers coming to Coastline and wanting to get his life back - to go back to school, to do things he once enjoyed, to be happy, and to finally accept himself. During his 6 month stay in the program, Ian describes the time as an “awakening” and he really enjoyed experiential therapy, especially surfing and the beach. At the same time, Ian worked diligently with his treatment team, got a sponsor and started working his 12-steps. He also worked on his dream of completing the certification program for his Loctician License so he could open his own business doing dread-locks.

Ian is extremely insightful about his addiction and what it did to his life. For his relapse prevention project, he so eloquently wrote, “Active addiction is a soul taking spell.”

Today, Ian is staying strong in his recovery. He continues to work with his sponsor on the 12-steps, goes to meetings and believes in his higher power. Ian now opens his mouth when something is bothering him. Ian is learning to like and accept himself, and is also repairing the wreckage he caused with his family. When asked about his mother, Ian’s face lights up with a smile and he says, “Yeah, today things are really good with my mom.”

Change Starts from Within

Story of Hope: Ryan

Here is a story about Ryan. He tried everything - religion, sports, hobbies, moving, school, work, self-control, white-knuckling, relationships, sober living, detox and treatment - to get sober. No matter what he tried to change around him, nothing worked until he learned to change within himself.

Ryan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas where his father is a successful real estate attorney and his mother is a retired college professor. He went to private school, lived in a beautiful house on the lake, and was exposed to having faith in God at an early age. Ryan recalls being a happy child and can only remember being bothered by having to take ADD medication after a diagnosis in the fourth grade. Ryan had a large circle of friends, was passionate about cars and racing, and was an avid baseball player. Always a straight-A student, Ryan did not have his first beer until he was 16. In his junior year of high school, he started hanging out with older kids and drinking. He remembers ‘drinking to get drunk’ and weekend parties with blackouts, but always managed to keep his drinking from his parents. Ryan was recruited to play ball for the University of Kansas but ended up quitting sports during his senior year and decided to attend Texas A&M University. The summer before college was spent drinking, smoking weed, boating on the lake and spending time with girls.

This was the time that Ryan tried pot for the first time and recalls ‘loving the feeling of calm he never felt before in his life’.

Away from home for the first time, Ryan lived in the college dorms and continued to drink, smoke and soon experimented with LSD, mushrooms and cocaine. Ryan had blackouts and one major incident with the campus police when we was really high. Ryan says that he rarely went to class and dropped out after one semester. He soon moved back home to live with his parents and enrolled in community college. Things were ‘okay’ and Ryan managed to stay clean for a few months as his parents required him to be tested to ensure he stayed clean. This period was short lived as Ryan started smoking synthetic marijuana, which is much stronger than regular marijuana and at that time, it did not show up on drug tests. During this time, synthetic drugs were a dangerous epidemic affecting the entire Dallas area. The stories in the news scared Ryan, so he switched back to drinking and smoking regular marijuana. Around this time, Ryan was in a serious relationship with a very codependent female. She expressed concern over his drug use, but never insisted that he stop.

The cycle of switching from regular marijuana to synthetics continued and Ryan said he never had any thoughts about quitting.

Various friends came into his life and they were not always the best influence on his using. After a possession charge, Ryan’s father confronted him and suggested a geographical change would help. A fresh start appealed to Ryan and he moved to a small ski resort town in Winter Park, Colorado. He bummed around for the winter season with a few jobs, and found his way to drinking at bars even though he was only 20 and underage. He could be described as ‘adequately functioning’ with daily drinking and blackouts, but managed to show up for work everyday. After the winter season, Ryan moved back to Texas to live at home, where he returned to his using cycle of smoking synthetics, all the while mentally convincing himself that “it must be okay since it is legal”. This is when his health started to take a serious decline with chest pains, chronic heartburn and excessive vomiting. With a weakened immune system, Ryan was taken to a doctor for extreme flu symptoms. Ryan remembers getting out of the car and telling his father for the first time, “I am an addict. I really need some help.” Ryan says this was his first moment of ‘clarity’ that he had a problem and was an addict. Ryan went to a 45 day program in West Texas.

While he felt better physically and gained some happiness, it felt like he was just going through the motions. He did not really accept the fact that staying sober meant complete abstinence. Ryan thought he “could learn how to control his drinking and drug use”.

As part of his discharge plan, Ryan was encouraged to move to Orange County, California to continue his aftercare treatment. He completed three months but was still not doing any of the suggested 12-step work for his recovery. Ryan soon moved to a sober living environment and he recalls it being a good summer while he was working and hanging out with sober friends. His ‘white-knuckle’ approach to sobriety soon led to a relapse on whippets that influenced a negative attitude that eventually got him kicked out of the sober living home.

Ryan soon returned to Texas and managed to get a job at a treatment center in West Texas after lying about having a year of sobriety. This job lasted a few short weeks and Ryan started drinking. Again, thinking that another geographical location change would be the solution, Ryan returned to the Dallas area where he continued with the never ending cycle of new jobs, new sober living homes and new relationships. Ryan managed to stay clean for a few months until a simple stop at a convenience store led him to buying a beer instead of his usual soda for the commute back home. This quickly transitioned to drinking high alcohol content beverages such as Four Lokos as the combination of alcohol and caffeine allowed Ryan to work many hours and drive the long distance to work everyday.

Eventually his father found out about his drinking and offered to send him back to treatment. Ryan remembers thinking that he needed a break and going back would be like a vacation. He completed 30 days of treatment, became involved with a female whom he met in rehab and moved yet again to another sober living home in Austin, Texas. While in sober living, he reconnected with his girlfriend and friends he met at his prior treatment center. Ryan stayed clean for a while, but ended up smoking marijuana and drinking, which eventually led to him smoking heroin for the first time.

Soon after, Ryan moved to El Paso with his girlfriend to care for her sick mother where he continued drinking and heavy drug use. Ryan remembers how quickly his health deteriorated so he tried to quit on his own. He experienced extreme detox symptoms including seizures and hallucinations that were so bad that he decided to return to his previous treatment center.

Feeling so ill and beaten down, Ryan decided to do things differently and got involved with the 12-step program during his stay at treatment.

After completing the in-patient program, Ryan moved to an extended care in Carbondale, Colorado. Even though he had a sponsor and was going to 12-step meetings, he was still doing it ‘his way’ by placing work above his recovery. Ryan continued his same cycle of moving, getting new jobs, relapsing and getting clean again for the next several years. Though his primary drugs of choice were alcohol, marijuana and psychedelics, it was during this time that Ryan started snorting meth – something he told himself that he would never do.

Ryan continued with his ‘self-controlled’ using (alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin) and returned to Texas A&M. After losing a close friend to a heroin overdose in March of 2018, Ryan stopped using heroin but was still drinking. He left school just a few credits shy of graduating to care for his mother whom underwent a heart transplant. After she was well, Ryan decided to return again to Costa Mesa, California for treatment. Ryan remembers that his phone was taken away so he had nothing to do except read the Big Book and this was the first time he ever read the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous. Ryan stayed at this treatment center for about a month and decided to abruptly leave.

With no place to go, Ryan says that this was a pivotal point in his recovery. He was homeless in Orange County, eager to stay sober and actively praying for help.

Ryan walked to a church that he had attended in the past hoping to find someone to help him. When he got to the church, he spoke to a few guys. One of the men that he spoke with told Ryan that he worked at Coastline. He then asked Ryan if he was ready and willing to do anything that was required of him to stay clean.

Within a few hours, Ryan had a pre-admission call with a counselor and was admitted to the men’s treatment program at Coastline that afternoon. Ryan was willing to do anything to maintain sobriety at this point. For him, this included fully participating in the program, meeting with his therapist and case manager, following the rules at the house, getting a sponsor, going to meetings and working the 12 steps. For the first time in his life, Ryan was willing and honest to accept that he was an alcoholic and addict.

Today Ryan has been sober for over 8 months and this is the longest time in his life that he has been clean.

His higher power and recovery are his number one priority from the moment he wakes up to the time he goes to bed at night. Ryan focuses on maintaining spiritual growth and working an active 3rd step daily. He works with other addicts and alcoholics and sponsors men in the program. No longer just going through the motions, he gets his hand up in meetings and participates in his recovery everyday. It has been a long, long road for Ryan. He tried everything - religion, sports, hobbies, moving, school, work, self-control, white-knuckling and relationships to get sober, but no matter what he tried to change around him, he had to change within himself.

A Story of Resilience

Story of Hope: Dee

Some have turned an old adage into a familiar saying, “What does not break me, makes me stronger”. The following is story of Dee and her resilience to overcome the worst of situations to come out on the other side standing with dignity and a love for herself.

Born in a rural part of Maryland, Dee comes from a family that was separated before she turned one year old. At the age of 12, her father surrendered full custody and she went to live with her grandparents. Dee remembers being totally unaware of her father’s decision and her mother said it was the only time she ever saw Dee cry. While the move was unexpected, Dee grew very close to her grandmother and felt love she never felt with her parents. By the time she was in 8th grade, Dee started to drink alcohol, smoke weed and dabble in various other recreational drugs. Looking back, Dee remembers feeling accepted and was no longer bullied by the other kids in school.

At the age of 15, her grandmother passed away after a long illness further fueling Dee’s increase in substance abuse. Her using continued through high school and after she graduated, she was able to get her own apartment. This time of independence was short lived due to financial issues from her using and Dee soon found herself moving in with some old friends. For the next year, she was basically living in a ‘trap house’ that included more and more drugs, gang affiliations and ultimately a raid on the house by a police task force. Dee did not go to jail and instead a friend took the wrap for her crimes. Soon after this, she got sober for a relationship and was able to stay clean for around 3 years. Dee ultimately got married, and she and her wife had a child together. Soon after things turned bad in her marriage and Dee’s wife abruptly left her. Again, emotionally abandoned, Dee turned to the comfort she knew in alcohol and drugs.

Her subsequent relapse is described by Dee as the worst 6-7 month run she ever had using.

Dee was in contact with her mother over the years, but it was through a phone call from her older brother that she agreed to go to treatment. Dee came to California and spent 12 months in a program that included detox, residential, intensive outpatient (IOP) and sober living. Dee managed to stay clean for about a year but her disease once again had its powerful control that resulted in a heroin overdose and suicide attempt. After being discharged from the psychiatric hospital, Dee made a decision to return to treatment. Things were good for a while as Dee was working and was active in her 12 step program. While at her sober living home, Dee was the victim of violent assault that nearly took her life. Dee’s injuries included frontal lobe damage, loss of hearing in one ear and permanent impaired vision. Her attack was so violent that the paramedics were surprised that she was even able to stand.

Dee thinks back to that attack as an experience with her higher power. Even though she may have felt that her higher power left her so many years earlier, she realized it never left here

The day after the assault she received a phone call from her estranged father. The call turned negative very quickly and Dee was again emotionally cut off when her father verbally threatened her in a follow up text message. With 7 staples above her eye and feeling once again abandoned, Dee went on 3 week binge on alcohol and smoking marijuana. Her best friend found out that she was sneaking out to bars to drink and he confronted Dee about her drinking. This friend did not leave her side until Dee agreed to go back to rehab. Dee spent 30 days in detox and was transferred to the aftercare program at Coastline Behavioral Health for Women. When Dee walked through our doors, she was suffering from extreme trauma, dissociation and depersonalization. Dee remembers how the staff was patient, tolerant and supportive through her entire 72 days in our care. She says that if it had not been for the unconditional support and acceptance, she would not have made it and would have never successfully completed the program.

Today, Dee is strong in her sobriety with daily readings, prayers, calls with her sponsor and 12-step meetings. She is working on her steps and says that her work with her sponsor is the most thorough and honest she has ever been in her life. Dee is slowly mending the relationship with her mother. She currently works in the treatment industry and says that she is so blessed to be able to give back what was so freely given to her. The past 7 months have not been easy and even through the devastating loss of her two year old Godson, Dee has stayed sober.

“We can stay sober no matter what. We don’t have to manipulate the things that happen to us in life as an excuse to drink and use. Instead we can turn these experiences into an opportunity to grow.” Dee

A Final Ultimatum to Get Clean

Story of Hope: Caleb

Addiction happens to even the nicest, most polite people. Sometimes creating more of a risk for never getting help because everyone around them thinks everything is ok. Instead of continuing to fly below the radar, read about how one man chose a different route to recovery.

Our story about Caleb is not that different from many others that we have heard. He was born and raised in Sacramento, California with his two sisters. His parents parents were Catholic and he attended private school. Caleb remembers a pretty normal upbringing and he first started drinking around the age of 14. He got caught by his mother for smoking weed and while she was upset, her rule was “just don’t drink/use and drive”. Through the rest of high school, Caleb tried just about everything (alcohol, marijuana, mushrooms, acid, cocaine, oxycontin and Xanax) but never got into any real trouble. Caleb was always polite and felt like he always ‘flew just under the radar’. In fact, he was pulled over one time for a possible DUI, but the police officer let him go because he was nice to the officer and did not talk back.

After high school, Caleb attended the University of Oregon and stayed one year until his grades got so bad that he had to transfer to a community college and move back home. He managed to improve his grades and went back to the university until his junior year. His drinking and using continued, and when his grades declined again he decided to take a break from school. Caleb got a job in construction and made some new friends that liked to drink and smoke weed like him. His using continued to increase, including more and more pills. After only two hours of sleep one night, Caleb rear ended a parked car on his way to work. Before the police arrived, his father was searching through his car and found all of his stashed drugs and pills.

His parents were now fully aware of how bad things had become and got Caleb admitted into a treatment program in Pennsylvania.

Caleb completed the 5 month program but all the while his ultimate plan was to smoke weed as soon as he got home. He held true to his promise, and smoked again and soon started drinking and using cocaine. Caleb remembers that things were cool for a while and he was still flying under the radar with his behavior, until the loss of his sister led him to completely spiral out of control. Trying to numb his feelings, Caleb was using more than ever. He soon moved in with some friends who were actually concerned about his drug use. Caleb hid his drug use for a while until he was eventually kicked out by his roommates.

With a serious decline in his health (weight loss, not eating), Caleb begged his friend to let him stay one last night. It was that evening that his parents were called and they got Caleb admitted into his second treatment program near his home in Sacramento. He completed 3 weeks of residential/detox and 8 weeks of outpatient.

Caleb stayed clean for about a year without ever going to any 12-step meetings. He instead focused on work but ended up smoking weed again.

Caleb was laid off from his construction job so he decided to return to school where his drinking and drug use quickly escalated once again. He was using everyday and was struggling with his heavy class load. Through the years, Caleb had been in on and off contact with various friends and he remembered one guy who went to treatment in Southern California so he reached out to him. His friend invited him to come visit so Caleb flew down to check things out. The plan was for Caleb to finish the school semester and return in a few weeks to admit in the men’s program at Coastline Behavioral Health.

After Caleb returned home, his parents once again found out that Caleb was drinking again (and stealing bottles from a grocery store where is cousin worked), so his parents gave him a final ultimatum, “Go to treatment immediately or you are on your own”.

With nowhere else to turn, Caleb went back to Southern California the next day and was admitted for treatment.

Caleb describes his third stay at treatment as very different. For the first time he got involved in AA, got a sponsor and did everything that was told of him. Instead of flying under the radar, Caleb was participating in his recovery. Today, Caleb is still sober and he has returned to California State Long Beach to complete his final class to receive his BA in Sociology. He is currently resides in a sober living home where he continues to work with his sponsor and attends regular meetings. Caleb works everyday to keep life in balance and when things get rough, he picks up the phone instead of taking a drink or a pill. Today, Caleb is grateful for another chance for a healthy life in sobriety, and for the help of his friends and parents who gave him the final ultimatum to get sober.

Leading a Double Life

Story of Hope: Brian

It is common for people to think that if things look good on the outside, then things must be good on the inside. After years of addiction, Brian finally reached out to a friend from college and asked for help.

Born in San Francisco, California, Brian moved with his family at the age of 4 to Sacramento. His parents both came from families with problems with alcohol so they rarely drank. Brian was raised Catholic and remembers a strict upbringing with very high expectations for good behavior and grades in school. He remembers ‘having to be perfect’ and having to keep up a persona of being a perfect kid. Brian went to a private Catholic school where he made straight-As without really trying and always excelled in sports.

As a result of various sports injuries in his freshman year in high school, Brian was prescribed Norcos by a physician. Brian remembers taking pills was the norm with his peers and says, “All of the football players would pass around pills that they got from their parents or from family doctors”. He continued taking pills because they were easy to get and loved the feeling of being high. Brian did not feel he had a problem as long as he was doing good in school and sports. Towards the end of his Sophomore year, Brian was kicked out of school for various behavioral incidents and was transferred to a public school.

Through the rest of high school, Brian’s continued using and it resulted in various accidents within his group of friends that ranged from traffic tickets, possession charges and DUIs to watching several of his friends die in various alcohol and drug related deaths.

Brian continued to surround himself with dysfunction. He was hanging out with friends who were addicts and it was his friend's mother who introduced him to the smoking meth for the first time. Brian still excelled in sports and his basketball team won the state championship in his Senior year. All during this time, Brian was using alcohol, cocaine, weed and pills at least three to four times a week. Brian remembers self-justification in thinking that as long as he was doing well in school and sports, he did not have a problem.

Brian left home for college to attend San Diego State where he continued even deeper into his addiction. After an overdose death of a fraternity brother, Brian decided to return home for a short visit.

During that time, he witnessed a friend get shot in the face after an altercation at a party. These two deaths happened within two weeks of each other and mark a pivotal point in Brian’s life. Unfortunately he was too deep into his addiction that he did not think about getting help.

After college graduation, Brian moved with his long-term girlfriend to San Francisco where he started his professional career in the tech industry. Brian continued his using and went to a few Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings at the insistence of his girlfriend. His relationship soon ended and Brian continued his life as a ‘high functioning’ addict over the next 5 years. He changed jobs and moved a few times in the hopes that changing things around him would fix his problems.

Brian ended up getting laid off from his job as a result of a large buy-out in the industry so he cashed in his stock and took his severance and moved back home. His parents saw how bad things had gotten for Brian and insisted that he go to rehab. Unfortunately, Brian only stayed a few weeks and abruptly walked out the door one day. He traveled along the coastal states to stay with friends and eventually wore out his welcome everywhere he went.

In less than a year, Brian spent over $85K (his entire savings) and ended up living in his car.

Brian says that he was spiritually, mentally, physically and financially bankrupt. He was done with drinking and using but did not know how to stop. Feeling desperate, he texted a friend from college who was sober and asked for help. It turns out that this friend was Justin Eakin, the founder of Coastline Behavioral Health. With his help, Brian soon admitted to a detox program in Southern California and after two weeks, he transferred to Coastline Behavioral Health.

Brian liked being at Coastline and participating in the experiential program. He thrived in the daily physical attributes of the program (surfing, golfing, rock climbing, working out) as it helped him focus on his health through daily physical exercise. He was learning to have fun and liked the feeling that being sober did not mean the end of life. Things were going well for a month until he relapsed with another client. Brian says that with some addicts there can be a ‘useful relapse’. He was 99% sure he was an addict, but after the relapse, he was now 100% sure. This acceptance was a turning point for Brian. When we returned to Coastline, he was willing to do anything that was needed to stay clean.

Brian had a spiritual awakening in his recovery when he finally accepted that bad things were not happening to him, but he was putting himself in bad situations.

Brian just celebrated one-year of sobriety and continues working with his sponsor, going to meetings, working the 12-steps and sponsoring other men. When asked how he is doing, Brian says that he does not miss the days of using, and instead, embraces each day he can be of service to himself and others. In his own words, “I am stoked to start every day!”

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