“Dopamine for Dinner,” the long-awaited first Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Cookbook, based on our famous low-glycemic diet, has launched in hardcover format and shortly also as an ebook.Our clients arrive addicted to alcohol, street drugs and prescription pills, often depressed and anxious. Over the last six years we have seen the positive impact of not allowing them to eat sugar or white carbs, drink coffee or caffeinated drinks while in treatment. The diet, combined with a special over-the-counter food supplement called SynaptaGenX, and daily practice of Kurma Yoga, helps clients begin to look good and feel good very quickly. They become mentally very clear, and are able to benefit from working with our stellar clinical teams.“Your low glycemic lunch was out of this world,” said Dr. Kenneth Blum PhD. In 1990 Dr. Blum, an eminent scientist and our advisor on neuroscience co-discovered with Dr. Ernest Noble the link between genetics and addiction. “You have what is really going to turn a person’s life around. That includes, and that is, a life-style change –- and more importantly –- an easy program that an individual can follow for the rest of their life.”
“Dopamine for Dinner” was written for our alumni, and all others in any stage of recovery from addiction, seeking long-term sobriety. Four of our chefs — Yannick Marchand, Licia Jaccard, John Handal and Sergio Galvao – each contributed 7 days of meal plans and altogether over 150 simple but elegant breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. Click Here to preview the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Book 'Dopamine for Dinner'
“I am very impressed at what you have been able to accomplish… This type of Neurotransmitter agonistic therapy you have here at Malibu Beach Recovery Center reaches far beyond just overcoming an addiction; it prepares the individual for the first time to have a chance at living a happy and joyful sober existence for the rest of their lives.”
-Dr. Kenneth Blum. PhD, internationally recognized authority and researcher on neuropsychopharmacology and genetics. In 1990 Dr. Blum, together with Dr. Ernest Noble was the first to discover the link between genetics and addiction.
The Malibu Beach Recovery Center® is a Residential Primary Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program, which includes medically-supervised detoxification, and is licensed and certified by the State of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.
The Malibu Beach Recovery Center® has long used a neuro-biological approach to immediately help restore and balance the chemistry of the brain, and rejuvenate the body's natural reward system. We are one of only a handful of alcohol and drug treatment programs in the U.S. based on neuroscience, totally in sync with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) which last year redefined addiction as a chronic brain disease which impacts the reward centers of the brain. Our treatment system utilizes very specific nutraceutical, Kurma Yoga (designed specifically for relief from addiction, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and other dopaminergic conditions), and the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet™ (a French low-glycemic diet) to begin the recovery process by naturally raising dopamine levels and expediting brain repair. Clients quickly achieve a sense of comfort and well-being which helps them to benefit fully from the daily educational groups, therapy groups, individual therapy and 12-Step work led by a talented clinical team, all of which create a solid foundation for long-term recovery.
Our residential program and detox center is located in a beautiful setting in the hills of Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Mountains. The transitional living program is located in one of the loveliest areas of West Los Angeles..
Malibu Beach Recovery Center® offers and recommends a 90 day program. Residential Treatment is at our primary treatment location in Malibu, with transitional living at one our extended care facility In Brentwood Village or one of several others we work with in Malibu and West Los Angeles. In the transitional living phase clients can continue the healthy life style learned in the primary phase. For clients unable to stay for the full 90 days, we are able to offer other options, including the use of coaches and remote teleconferencing.
The low-glycemic Malibu Beach Recovery Diet™ includes a special track for diabetic addicts and alcoholics that helps maintain normal glucose levels after meals and enhances body sensitivity to insulin.
Using a powerful family systems approach, the Malibu Beach Recovery Center® assists families through education, individual counseling, and a unique two stage reunification process.
Clients attend 12 Step Meetings in the community several times a week in addition to in-house 12 Step Panels and Big Book study.
Recent studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse confirm the importance of a 90 day program which combines residential treatment with transitional living. We offer several choices for the transitional living segment of treatment. Many of our clients elect to live at Brentwood House, an elegant sober living which is located in an exclusive West Los Angeles neighborhood, where clients can continue to adhere to a modified version of our exercise, diet and food supplementation programs. Residents of the Brentwood House are required to work/volunteer/study part time while working with Malibu Beach Recovery Center® staff to strengthen their sober life skills.
Others chose to remain here in Malibu, at one of the transitional living houses we work with. Established professionals, who do not have the luxury of time, often return to their jobs and families accompanied by a Malibu Beach Recovery coach, who helps them adapt their healthy new life style and mood sustaining tools to a non-clinical environment.
Our team is comprised of selected professionals in the fields of addiction, general medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, nutrition, culinary arts and eastern exercises. All staff is certified according to their scope of practice and is chosen for their passion to help others heal. There are also caring and experienced “techs” who are not yet certified but able to profoundly impact the lives of our clients because they are in recovery from their own addictions.
Therapists to clients: 1:3
Day/Evening Counselors to clients: 1:3
Overnight Counselors to clients: 1:6
Number of days per week when program is fully staffed: 7
Professional Staffing: 24/7
We have PhD-level psychologists, Social Workers with Masters of Family Therapy degrees from accredited universities and Certified Addiction Treatment Counselors (CAADAC and CAADE) All staff is chosen for their individual history of excellence in their chosen profession.
If you or a loved one need help in achieving and maintaining long term sobriety – we are here to support you all the way. Please call at any time, and our caring counselors will address your concerns and gently guide you through the admissions process. Call (800) 366-8101.
Garrett O'Connor M.D., former CEO & Medical Director of the Betty Ford Center.
"Malibu Beach Recovery Center is already well recognized as one of the leading addiction treatment centers on the West Coast. Their multi-disciplinary approach to treating the entire person – the mind, body and spirit – is enabling clients from all over the world to overcome addiction and receive the tools needed to sustain their recoveries.”
David Baron, D.O., M.Ed., Professor, the University of Southern California & Director of USC Sports Medicine:
“Malibu Beach Recovery Center’s emphasis on the important of exercise, movement and mindfulness plays a major role in enabling a full recovery. This art of recovery combined with evidence-based science of their chronic disease management framework makes MBRC a national leader in addiction treatment and recovery.”
Dr. Kenneth Blum. PhD, internationally recognized authority and researcher on neuropsychopharmacology and genetics. In 1990 Dr. Blum, together with Dr. Ernest Noble was the first to discover the link between genetics and addiction:
“I am very impressed at what you have been able to accomplish… This type of Neurotransmitter agonistic therapy you have here at Malibu Beach Recovery Center reaches far beyond just overcoming an addiction; it prepares the individual for the first time to have a chance at living a happy and joyful sober existence for the rest of their lives.”
January 17, 2015 Facing Your Addiction and The Path to Recovery Admitting you may have a problem is the first step toward finding sobriety
January 13, 2015 Adderall: Prescription Study Buddy but at What Cost? Many students start abusing Adderall to study, but soon encounter addiction
January 9, 2015 In Memorium: Jesse Dee Beecher: December 12, 1985-December 21, 2014 Addiction is a heartbreaking chronic brain disease that for the lucky can be put into remission. Not everyone is lucky. I was reminded of this when, while vacationing in Thailand, Alumni Casey B. sent me news that Jesse Beecher had passed.
January 9, 2015 Colorado's Neighbors Find Marijuana a Problem, and so do Homeowners' Associations Pot legalization not as smooth as many would have you believe
January 7, 2015 When Wine Wednesday Becomes Wine Every Day Slipping from social drinking into a problem habit is easier than you think
December 31, 2014 Combating Alcoholism with Medication, and Investigating Powdered Alcohol As new treatments for alcohol are developed, a dangerous new trend is rising
December 29, 2014 Welcome to Liz Winchell, Admissions Director New admissions director brings years of experience with addiction and recovery
December 26, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Simple Cooking Take a break from hard work in the kitchen without sacrificing taste
December 23, 2014 "Dopamine for Dinner" Cookbook Sale A special deal on this amazing collection of addiction-friendly recipes
December 19, 2014 Welcome David Deutsch: Malibu Beach Recovery Center's New Clinical Director Committed to Maintaining a “Family Atmosphere” at Corral, Brentwood and Latigo Locations
December 12, 2014 Effects of Marijuana: Second-hand Smoke, the Brain, and the Court System A look at the impact of marijuana
December 03, 2014 Recovery and Nutrition: A Life Makeover An interview with Dr. Elson M. Haas
December 01, 2014 Welcome to Lisa Steele, Executive Director of Malibu Beach Recovery Center Addiction expert brings years of experience to the MBRC team
November 29, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Vegetable Glory Enjoying the flavors of fresh vegetables in creative ways
November 28, 2014 Affordable Care Act and Parity for Addiction in 2014: Praise for Some but Not All News on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for addiction treatment
November 21, 2014 “Breaking Bad” Wins DEA Global Leadership Award Vince Gilligan and the cast and writers of award-winning TV series “Breaking Bad” were honored November 20, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by the DEA Foundation.
November 19, 2014 Drug Deaths: Rock Stars and Electronic Music Festivals At what age are famous musicians at most risk of dying, the dangers of drug use at electronic music festivals?
October 31, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Avoiding Rush Time Chef Licia Jaccard shares three recipes that are prone to no-rush, lingering execution, that are also fail-proof and will allow you to sit comfortably at the table and enjoy.
October 23, 2014 New Research on Cocaine: Side Effects and Smuggling Research shows cocaine use can cause weight gain; U.S. government is fighting cocaine smuggling.
October 20, 2014 Call to Action: Help Us End the Blue Cross "Checks-to-Addicts" Policy Joan Borsten provides an update on MBRC’s efforts to change a misguided Blue Cross policy that is causing relapses, financial losses and tragedy.
October 15, 2014 Prescription Pill Abuse and D.E.A. Changes Statistics on drug use are grim as prescription rules are tightening.
October 08, 2014 Heroin Overdoses: Revival, Death, and the Scary In-Between Naloxone, while a godsend, doesn’t always save lives
September 30, 2014 Two Drugs for Treating Addiction Help with Obesity Naltrexone and Bupropion may have applications in treating obesity as well
September 20, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: An Amazing Three Course Meal Wow friends and family with this incredible meal straight from the MBRC kitchens
September 15, 2014 Addiction Treatment Expanding in the States Officials and treatment centers take action
September 08, 2014 Cocaine Use and Parkinson's Is there a link between heavy cocaine use and Parkinson's disease?
August 21, 2014 E-cigs and Hookahs Creating Risks More e-cigarettes and increased hookah use means more bad news
August 13, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Recipes for the BBQ Chef Licia Jaccard shares with us the history and joys of barbecuing. She also gives us three simple, mouthwatering recipes to try from the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet.
August 07, 2014 Young People and Drinking Pat Olsen discusses the surge in alcohol and energy drinks that are available to our nation’s youth, and how they can be easily acquired on Instagram.
July 31, 2014 Seniors and Prescription Pills Pat Olsen reveals that wisdom and knowledge doesn’t necessarily come with age, especially when dealing with prescription drugs. Read about the explosion of addicted seniors.
July 27, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Three Delicious Summer Recipes Chef Licia Jaccard shows us how to beat the heat this summer with some delicious recipes from the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet.
July 21, 2014 Alcohol Around the World and How Other Countries Treat Addiction Pat Olsen talks of the different approaches to addiction treatment that are practiced in other countries around the world.
July 14, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Center Alumni Speak Out Joan Borsten reports on the many success stories from the Malibu Beach Recovery Center and how a surprising number have bravely volunteered to help others by sharing recorded video testimonials about their journey into long-term sobriety.
July 08, 2014 Addicted Doctors and Nurses Pat Olsen reports on the epidemic of medical professionals addicted to drugs and alcohol who continue to practice while under the influence.
June 30, 2014 Problems with Edible Pot in 2014 Pat Olsen talks of the inconsistencies in the quality and potency of many pot-laced edibles available to the general public in legalized marijuana states. This lack of quality control can have disastrous results.
June 26, 2014 Big Doings in California: Suing the Pharmaceutical Companies and Trouble with Pot Pat Olsen discusses three breaking stories in the state of California; Big Pharmas creation of the nation's prescription drug epidemic, medical marijuana dispensaries giving away discounted and free marijuana to sway voters, and massive water consumption in a drought stricken state by medical pot farms.
June 19, 2014 "Grow Shops" and Taxes on Pot Pat Olsen reports on the birth pains of the burgeoning legalized marijuana industry. What will it mean for future jobs, business, and tax revenue?
June 11, 2014 The Heroin Epidemic and the High Cost of the Naloxone Autoinjector Pat Olsen writes about existing life-saving treatments for heroin users who overdose, but its high cost is preventing its use.
June 07, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Center Alum Casey B: Off to the Races Joan Borsten reports on Casey B. and how his love for racing is helping him in his race for sobriety and a healthy life.
June 05, 2014 Pot -- Where Will We Be in the Future? Pat Olsen shares her thoughts on what the long term effects of legalized marijuana will be on our society, culture, and country.
June 03, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: The Gadget-Driven Kitchen Chef Licia Jaccard divulges her secret passion for kitchen gadgetry and explains how she uses them to make three of Malibu Beach Recovery Diets delicious recipes.
May 31, 2014 Kevin's Mom: Unaware My Son Had an Addiction Problem Joan Borsten reports on a mother’s experiences with her addicted son. She had no idea her son was an addict.
May 27, 2014 Russell Simmons: Yoga Quiets the Noise in My Head Joan Borsten relates the continued success of Malibu Beach Recovery Centers practice of using Kurma Yoga during addiction treatment.
May 25, 2014 Alternatives to Opioids? Pat Olsen describes her introduction to the world of Pain Management Clinics.
May 19, 2014 Greedy Doctors Who Over-Prescribe Drugs Getting Their Due Pat Olsen reports on two doctors busted and prosecuted for over-prescribing pain medication.
May 12, 2014 Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: It's All About the Grains Licia Jaccard talks about the value of whole grains in a healthy diet. Try the three recipes using healthy grains from the MBRC addiction recovery diet.
May 05, 2014 FDA Moves Closer to Regulating E-Cigarettes, and Government Errs on Palcohol Approval Pat Olsen talks about the changes in alcohol and tobacco laws that are making headlines.
April 28, 2014 Deadly Checks: Blue Cross Funds Seven-Day Drinking And Sex Addiction Relapse Joan Borsten writes about Blue Cross’ policy of sending payment for treatment (often for tens of thousands of dollars) directly to the addicts in their first days of recovery, instead of sending payment for addiction treatment to out-of-network rehabs and medical professionals. The results are horrifying.
April 27, 2014: Mother of an Addict: You Can't Ever Give Up Hope Seth Isler interviews Sheila, mother of MBRC Alumna Casie, about Casie’s addiction, how it impacted the family, and how Casie found her way to Malibu Beach Recovery Center and sobriety.
April 26,2014: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Fava Bean Puree, Mixed Berry Salad, Salmon with Cherry Tomatoes Licia shares some healthy spring recipes.
April 8, 2014: Edward S: Two and a Half Years of Sobriety and Livin' the Life Seth Isler interviews Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumnus Edward S, now more than 2-1/2 years sober, a senior at Cal State Northridge, majoring in kinesiology, who plans to get his PhD as a physical therapist.
April 3, 2014: More Things People Do to Get High: Sizzurp, Butane Hash Pat Olsen reports on popular new ways to get high.
March 30, 2014: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: French Chocolate Mousse and Roasted Peaches with Thyme and Mascarpone Mousse More good eats from Licia.
March 29, 2014: Stars of the Addiction World Confer about Dopamine Joan Borsten goes to New York City to see Dr. Kenneth Blum, Malibu Beach Recovery Center’s Advisor on Neuroscience receive a lifetime achievement award and meet NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.
March 25, 2014: Marci H: Anger Management Paved the Road to Sobriety Seth Isler interviews MBRC alumna Marci, an Alaska native, who now has more than four years sober.
March 20, 2014: Kevin M: An Alaskan Finds Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol in Sunny Malibu California Seth Isler interviews MBRC alumna Kevin, who lives in Alaska, about his life and sobriety after MBRC.
March 17,2014: Dr. Mark Gold, MD: Malibu Beach Recovery Center Has A New FanJoan Borsten reports that Dr. Mark Gold, MD, one of this country’s most awarded and respected addiction experts, recently spent three days at Malibu Beach Recovery Center and The Brentwood House on a “listening tour.”
March 16, 2014: Affordable Substance Abuse Treatment Insurance Coverage Available Now Joan Borsten lists the best Affordable Care Act substance abuse coverage available in several states and the insurance brokers who know how to get them.
March 15, 2014: Is Marijuana A Good Financial Investment?
Pat investigates whether over time savvy investors will embrace the“Cannibis” market.
March 12, 2014: Casie W: Stubbornly Determined to Achieve Long-Term Sobriety
Joan introduces the filmed testimonial of Casie, a 26-year old Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumna from Texas who has used her first year of sobriety to begin repairing broken family relationships.
February 28, 2014: Britain and the United Kingdom -- News on Drinking and Other Substance Abuse
Pat looks at current news about alcohol and addiction in the UK.
February 22, 2014: Harriet M: Whitney Houston's Death Was My Wake-Up Call
Joan introduces the filmed testimonial of Harriet, a 50-year old Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumna from Brooklyn NY who left three children to come to California and get into recovery from pills and alcohol.
February 15, 2014: Taking Action in the Battle Against Addiction--Vermont, Funeral Homes, Churches, Companies and Music Festivals
Pat surveys news about the addiction epidemic around the United States.
February 10, 2014: David F: A Midwest Union Member Finds Addiction Recovery in Malibu
Joan introduces the filmed testimonial of David, a Mid-West Union member who found recovery in Malibu, CA.
February 9, 2014: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Whole Grains
Licia shares recipes for Coconut Quinoa with Green Peas, Pearled Farro with Mushrooms, and Farro Parfait with Ricotta
February 5, 2014: Heroin: Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death, Causing Deaths When Mixed with Fentanyl, and Sold in Happy Meals
Pat pays tribute to the late actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died from a heroin overdose after 20 years in recovery.
January 28, 2014: Ian C Follow-Up: 2 Years Sober and Succeeding in Grad School
Joan introduces the filmed testimonial of Ian, a Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumnus whose depression and use of marijuana forced him quit Georgetown law school, and is now back in grad school at USC.
January 23, 2014: Path Foundation New York to Honor MBRC’s Dr. Kenneth Blum
Joan reports that Dr. Kenneth Blum, PhD will receive a life time achievement award on March 21, 2014.
January 18, 2014: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Quinoa and Mango Salad, Salmon Teriyaki with Grapefruit Sauce, Roasted Pear Crumble
Licia shares some delicious new recipes.
January 15, 2014: Kurma Yoga is different
Joan shares a preview of the new Kurma Yoga DVDs lead exercise instructor Oleg Flow is preparing for alumni.
January 9, 2014: Methamphetamine and Breaking Bad
Pat reports on Walter White and the popular Showtime series “Breaking Bad.”
January 5, 2015: Men Giving Back
Pat salutes three men in recovery doing something to inspire others.
December 30, 2013: Update on Controversy over Legalization of Marijuana, Winter 2014
Pat’s latest report on the legalization of marijuana.
December 28, 2013: Drinking in Theaters, in the Workplace and at Dartmouth
Is drinking in vogue again?
December 25, 2013: Dr. Jokichi Takamine III, 1924-2013
Dr. Jokichi (“Joe”) Takamine III died December 18, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. He was 89. Dr. Takamine was widely recognized as the “godfather” of addiction medicine in Los Angeles.
December 24, 2013: Buprenorphine/Suboxone: Boon or Not?
Here’s a drug you may not have heard mentioned in a long time: Buprenorphine (and in a compound, Suboxone).
December 19, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Arugula Salad with Ricotta, Sweet Potato Crusted Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard Horseradish Sauce, Lemon Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries
Some of Licia’s best recipes yet.
December 17, 2013: Yet Another Dangerous Trend: Teens and "Skittles" Parties, and More on Molly
Pat Olsen reports on teenager prescription drug parties and the deadly drug Molly.
December 7, 2013: The News about Kids and Flavored Cigars and e-Cigarettes
Pat Olsen continues to explore dangerous trends.
November 22, 2013: Dangerous Trends: Trippy Sticks, and Teens Smoking Alcohol
In the first of a three part series, Pat Olsen looks at some new trends in drug and alcohol abuse.
November 10, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Tomato Soup with Cheese Tartine, Chicken Chili, Almond and Dried Apricot Tar
Licia Jaccard shares tasty winter recipes.
October 31, 2013: Recovering Alcoholic Running for Office, and a Current Governor's Food Addiction
Pat finds a new trend: Public office holders and public office seekers going public with their addictions.
October 28, 2013: Oreos Addictive?
new clinical study says rats are addicted to oreos.
November 14, 2013: New Pain Pill, Zohydro--Boon or Not?
Now, in a major policy shift, just as the FDA is finally recommending tighter restrictions on painkillers (much to the relief of many people who worked hard to see this happen), it has also approved a new pain medication: Zohydro.
October 20, 2013: Addiction in the Movies, in a Play, and in a Book
The entertainment industry is depending on Addiction for themes and subplots this year.
October 12, 2013: Oleg Vidov, From Moscow to Malibu
Pat Olsen interviews Malibu Beach Recovery Center Chairman of the Board.
October 10, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Asparagus, Cherry Tomato Butter Salsa with Fried Fish, Pumpkin Mousse
Licia’s back in the kitchen.
October 7, 2013: China Kantner Isler on Staying Sober with Yoga and Healthy Eating
When it comes to straight talk, there aren’t many who can match China Isler, daughter of the Jefferson Airplane’s legendary rock ‘n roll singer Grace Slick and guitarist Paul Kantner.
October 04, 2013: Prescription Pain Pill Abuse: Profits, Former President Clinton's Efforts, and the FDA
The Addiction Recovery Blog reports that one person who hopes to tackle the problem of prescription drug abuse -- make a difference – is former President Bill Clinton.
September 20, 2013: Cocaine Research: Cocaine Rapidly Changes the Brain, and Cocaine Addiction Related to the Dark Side of the Brain but May Be Cured by Ritalin
Pat Olsen writes that coke changes the brain within hours “in what could be the first steps of drug addiction.”
September 19. 2013: Suffering from Panic Attacks?
Malibu Beach Recovery Center lead exercise instructor Oleg Flow recommends performing this short yoga exercise when you feel a panic attack coming on. Click here to see the panic attack prevention exercise.
September 14, 2013: Addiction Treatment By Women For Women: The Brentwood House
Joan Borsten announces the official opening of the Brentwood House as one of this country’s only upscale a treatment centers for women.
September 13, 2013: Coming Soon: "Dopamine for Dinner," a Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Cookbook
Joan Borsten announces that “Dopamine for Dinner,” the long-awaited first Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Cookbook, based on our famous low-glycemic diet, will launch as an e-book and later in hardcover format.
September 05, 2013: Ronni G: Now I Have Purpose in My Life
Joan Borsten introduces Ronni G., one of the first clients to go through the Malibu Beach Recovery Treatment System at The Brentwood House -- at 70 the oldest client we had ever admitted, but young at heart and fully committed.
September 4, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Shrimp Cocktail, Zucchini Onion Goat Cheese Tart, Figs with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze over Vanilla Ice Cream
Licia’s Indian summer recipes.
September 1, 2013: Blue Cross Funded My Repeated Heroin Relapses
Joan Borsten is approached by John (not his real name) a heroin addict who suffers from depression, PTSD, and dissociative symptomatology who wants to support the efforts of California State Senator Ted Lieu to stop Blue Cross health plans from sending payments for out-of-network treatment directly to mental health patients and addicts in early recovery. “More congressman and politicians should address this issue,” he said, detailing how cashing the Blue Cross checks meant for providers helped fuel his heroin addiction.
August 22, 2013: Paramedics and EMTs Need Better Addiction Training
Joan Borsten wants paramedics to be better trained about addition. University of Florida considers creating an on-line course.
August 19, 2013: Parent Survey on Pot, Trayvon Martin on Pot, and.Pot Used in a Religion?
Pat wrote awhile ago that it looks like pot is going to be legalized for recreational use. But a survey released in July byThe Partnership at Drugfree.org found that while 40% of adults want to see it legalized, a majority of those want the legal age for use to be 21.
August 8., 2013: Kids Predisposed to Alcohol, Drugs, and a Taste for Sugar
Pat writes that in a study using rats, scientists at Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute found major differences in comparing offspring of rats that ate rodent chow with those that ate a diet high in fat and high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose. The results? “The offspring of rats that had high-fat diets while pregnant drank significantly more alcohol in adulthood than the offspring of rats with the regular chow diet.”
August 5, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Summer Peach Soup, Grilled Shrimp with Peach Salsa, Baked Ricotta with Grilled Peaches
Licia Jaccard offers some peachy recipes.
August 2, 2013: Welcome and Good Luck to the Breathe Life Healing Center
Pat writes that some all-stars in the addiction and recovery field have come together to offer two treatment centers, one in NY and another in L.A. They offer a sober living environment offering spiritual and life skills development, along with a trauma healing track. The New York location is open now, and the one in L.A. will open in September. The centers focuses on a range of clients—those with chemical dependency, anxiety and/or depression, and obesity-related recovery
JULY 30, 2013: State Senator Lieu Tells Anthem: No More Provider Checks to Addicts, Alcoholics
Joan salutes the new hero of Malibu Beach Recovery Center and the Brentwood House: California State Senator Ted Lieu, who represents a district that includes Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach and more. Senator Lieu has officially written to Blue Cross asking the organization to recognize the public safety issue created by their policy of sending money due out-of-network substance abuse providers directly to addicts and alcoholics in their first days and weeks of recovery.
July 28, 2013: The Brentwood House: Upscale Residential Addiction Treatment For Women Only
Pat explains why the women of the Malibu Beach Recovery Center decided to create a treatment center for women only.
July 20, 2013: Equine and Parrot Therapy at Malibu Beach Recovery Center
Pat interviews two Malibu Beach Recovery Center clients about equine therapy at Big Heart Ranch.
July 15, 2013: Drum Therapy Posted by Pat Olsen on July 15, 2013
Pat writes about Michelle Mangione and the Drum Therapy which closes every Family Weekend at The Brentwood House or Malibu Beach Recovery Center.
July 12, 2013: Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Summer Gaspacho, Scallops with Warm Vinagrette, Chocolate Sorbet
Licia offers “cool” recipes for hot days.
Some of the best and brightest minds in the field of addiction were on hand for the Path Foundation’s “Finding Adequate Reward in Life: Dopamine and Brain Health” on March 21, 2014.
Among the speakers were three very familiar faces:
At the dinner following the conference Dr. Gold presented to Dr. Volkow with an award for "Scientist of the Decade", and conference host Dr. Eric Braverman MD presented Dr. Blum with a Lifetime Achievement Award for extensive work in neurobiology, neurogenetics, and addiction medicine.
Joan Borsten presents a copy of the Dopamine for Dinner cookbook to Dr. Volkow and Dr. Stephen Adler, PhD.
Joan Borsten, Nora Volkow, and MBRC blog writer Pat Olsen.
Dr. Kenneth Blum with his Life Time Achievement Award
Dr. Mark Gold with Congressman Patrick Kennedy
Dr. Nora Volkow speaking about the Role of Dopamine in Addictive Behaviors.
On March 21, 2014 the Path Foundation of New York will host a one day conference entitled “Finding Adequate Reward: Dopamine and Brain Health.” Sponsors are the University of Florida College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College.
After opening remarks by former New York Governor David Paterson, five presentations will be made by some very heavy hitters:
At the dinner, after a special presentation by Grammy-winner violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Dr. Blum will be presented with a Scientific Lifetime Achievement. Dr. Blum is Malibu Beach Recovery Center’s advisor on neuroscience. We will be showing up to salute him.
PATH is a non-profit foundation devoted to establishing how the brain functions and developing practical diagnostic and treatment methods that improve well-being and increase longevity. According to the Mission Statement, the PATH Foundation NY believes a multimodal approach to health ensures effective long-term outcomes. The integration of a variety of therapies including nutrients, natural hormones, lifestyle changes, diet, and pharmaceuticals, when appropriate, guarantees a comprehensive method for individuals to participate in their own healing process.
"We are providing the tools for physicians, scientists, and the public to take charge of their health," states the PATH brochure for this conference.
1) Low dopamine function in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: should genotyping signify early diagnosis in children?
Postgrad Med. 2014 Jan;126(1):153-77. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2735.
Gold MS, Blum K, Oscar-Berman M, Braverman ER.
2) Long term Suboxone™ emotional reactivity as measured by automatic detection in speech.
PLoS One. 2013 Jul 9;8(7):e69043. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069043. Print 2013. Hill E, Han D, Dumouchel P, Dehak N, Quatieri T, Moehs C, Oscar-Berman M, Giordano J, Simpatico T,Blum K.
3) Hypothesizing that designer drugs containing cathinones ("bath salts") have profound neuro-inflammatory effects and dangerous neurotoxic response following human consumption.
Med Hypotheses. 2013 Sep;81(3):450-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.06.007. Epub 2013 Jul 8. Blum K, Foster Olive M, Wang KK, Febo M, Borsten J, Giordano J, Hauser M, Gold MS.
5) Common Phenotype in Patients with Both Food and Substance Dependence: Case Reports.
Campbell H, Oscar-Berman M, Giordano J, Beley T, Barh D, Downs B, Blum K. J Genet Syndr Gene Ther. 2013 Feb 6;4(122). pii: 1000122.
6) Genospirituality: Our Beliefs, Our Genomes, and Addictions. Citation: Blum K, Thompson B, Oscar-Berman M, Giordano J, Braverman E, et al. (2013) J Addict Res
Ther 4: 162. doi: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000162
7) Declinol, a Complex Containing Kudzu, Bitter Herbs (Gentian, Tangerine Peel) and Bupleurum,
Significantly Reduced Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) Scores in Moderate to Heavy Drinkers: A Pilot Study.
Kushner S, Han D, Oscar-Berman M, William Downs B, Madigan MA, Giordano J, Beley T, Jones S, Barh D, Simpatico T, Dushaj K, Lohmann R, Braverman ER, Schoenthaler S, Ellison D, Blum K.
J Addict Res Ther. 2013 Apr 23;4(2). doi: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000146.
8) Withdrawal from Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Maintenance with a Natural Dopaminergic Agonist: A Cautionary Note.
Blum K, Oscar-Berman M, Femino J, Waite RL, Benya L, Giordano J, Borsten J, Downs WB, Braverman ER, Loehmann R, Dushaj K, Han D, Simpatico T, Hauser M, Barh D, McLaughlin T.
9) Have We Hatched the Addiction Egg: Reward Deficiency Syndrome Solution System™
Downs B, Oscar-Berman M, Waite R, Madigan M, Giordano J, Beley T, Jones S, Simpatico T, Hauser M, Borsten J, Marcelo F, Braverman E, Lohmann R, Dushaj K, Helman M, Barh D, Schoenthaler S, Han D, Blum K.
J Genet Syndr Gene Ther. 2013 Jun 3;4(136):14318.
10) Neurogenetics and Nutrigenomics of Neuro-Nutrient Therapy for Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Clinical Ramifications as a Function of Molecular Neurobiological Mechanisms.
Blum K, Oscar-Berman M, Stuller E, Miller D, Giordano J, Morse S, McCormick L, Downs WB, Waite RL, Barh D, Neal D, Braverman ER, Lohmann R, Borsten J, Hauser M, Han D, Liu Y, Helman M, Simpatico T.
J Addict Res Ther. 2012 Nov 27;3(5):139.
11) Iatrogenic opioid dependence is endemic and legal: Genetic addiction risk score (GARS) with electrotherapy a paradigm shift in pain treatment programs*
Vol.5, No.11A, 16-34 (2013) Health
Kenneth Blum, David Han, Marlene Oscar-Berman, Gary Reinl, Nicholas DiNubile, Margaret A. Madigan, Anish Bajaj, Bernard William Downs, John Giordano, Wayne Westcott, Leonard Smith, Eric R. Braverman1, Kristina Dushaj, Mary Hauser, Thomas Simpatico, Thomas McLaughlin, Joan Borsten, Debmayla Barh
Malibu Beach Recovery Center is proud to have collaborated with Dr. Kenneth Blum, PhD, and his distinguished colleagues around the country on the following editorials, review articles, and clinical studies about genetics and addiction.
Since Dr. Kenneth Blum PhD became the Malibu Beach Recovery Center Advisor on Neuroscience, he has published many papers about numerous aspects of addiction and contributed chapters to books on addiction. Here are some of the most recent accomplishments.
Very exciting is that together with Dr. Mark Gold, Chairman of the University of Florida Department of Psychiatry, he will act as Editor-in-Chief of the multi-volume "Neuroscience of Addiction: A Reference", covering comprehensively all areas related to the neuroscience aspects of addiction. The book will be published by Springer Science and Business in the spring of 2015.
• Journal of Behavioral Addictions paper to be published in June issue
• Obesity Paper on Pharmacotherapies to be published in JGSGT
• Suboxone and KB220Z to be in JART
• Bath salt paper to be published in Medical Hypotheses
• Chapter in Pharmcogenomics book waiting for book publication
• Molecular Neurobiology of Addiction and 12 steps book to be published in May in Springer NeuroScibriefs
• Radiation paper just published with Braverman team
• PLOSONE paper published with Dr. Barh
• Genomic Case study published in IIOAB journal
• PET paper published in PLOSONE with Braverman
• Commentary with Downs -Have we hatched the "Addiction Egg" accepted for publication in JGSGT
• Food and Addiction paper just published in JGSGT with Dr. Mark Gold
• Reward Deficiency paper with Oscar-Berman to be published in Neurocognition book
• Epigenetics paper in JGSGT just published with Archer, Oscar-Berman and Dr. Mark Gold
Committed to Maintaining a “Family Atmosphere” at Corral, Brentwood and Latigo Locations
A self-described “Valley Boy,” David Deutsch joins the Malibu Beach Recovery Center treatment centers and outpatient program as hired as clinical director. He might have ended up as an MBRC alumnus if he hadn’t already stopped using drugs more than 14 years ago because he is a champion of the most unique elements of the Malibu Beach Recovery Center treatment program from the holistic overlay designed to raise and sustain dopamine levels – the French low glycemic diet, Kurma Yoga, SynaptaGenX – and the family-like atmosphere.
“I believe in a healing environment and staff who are warm and considerate to other people,” he said recently. “And I believe in the Malibu system because recovery is not compartmentalized. It is about more than just not using. It is also about having a healthy lifestyle.” David grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s and 1960s. He experimented with marijuana and LSD and then graduated to cocaine, using Quaaludes and benzodiazepines to take the edge off. By the late 1970s he was living in Northern California. After getting his BA in sociology, his use of Persian Brown heroin “became significant.”
“I got caught up with drug use, especially after my father passed away at an early age,” he recalls. “I began dealing big time using a connection in Columbia that got me cocaine at a good price. I covered my dealing with a legitimate job selling insurance as my cover. I made, and spent, a lot of money. Then on the night of June 20, 2000 I got arrested. The police found so much cocaine and cash in the back of my car that I ended up doing three years in San Quentin. I never used again after the arrest, and I stayed busy in prison tutoring, working as a clerk in the chapel, and leading 12 Step groups.”
After his release from prison, David went back to school and got all the training and degrees that together with his personal understanding of recovery made him top candidate for the position of MBRC clinical director: a CAADE Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor from Oxnard College, an Associate of Social Work from the Board of Behavioral Sciences and then a Masters of Social Work degree from Cal State University Long Beach, as well as a certification to work with persons coming out of the criminal justice system. He hopes to soon pass his final board exam and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
David’s background should inspire many of our Malibu Beach Recovery clients and alumni as well as addicts and alcoholics everywhere for one additional reason.
“I am proof that doors currently shut will open the longer time goes by,” says David who used his studies and his work experience to first get a Certificate of Rehabilitation -- first step in the road to a personal pardon from Governor Jerry Brown, and more recently a Criminal Record Exemption from the State of California,
In this post, we welcome Lisa Steele Executive Director to Malibu Beach Recovery Center. Lisa has been a full time staff member since September.
Q. Lisa, you have a wealth of experience in substance abuse and recovery. Can you tell us a little about your background?
A. I have almost 30 years in the behavioral health field. I moved a lot because I wanted to experience as many settings as possible because I wanted to learn what the best environment is for people to achieve sobriety. I’ve spent a lot of time helping to develop programs that integrate mental health and substance abuse treatment, or co-occurring disorders. One of my last assignments involved working with one treatment organization to develop a mental health acute hospital. I’ve also worked in a forensic substance abuse and mental health program and been an administrator for the largest sub-acute psychiatric hospital in CA.
I have a Ph.D. in Psychology with a certification in substance abuse treatment, and I’m also certified in the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
Q. What drew you to this field?
A. My father died as a result of his addiction to prescription pain pills. I didn’t know about his drug abuse at the time. I took an internship at the Matrix Center, a treatment center in Beverly Hills, and my supervisor asked me why I was interested. When I told her I didn’t know, she said anyone who enters treatment and recovery field has a reason, and I should figure it out.
Two weeks after I started the internship, my father called from detox when I was studying for my doctorate and told me about his addiction. Substance abuse wasn’t a prevalent then as it is now, and I hadn’t recognized the signs growing up. But I knew something was wrong and hearing him say that answered a lot of questions for me.
I realized that my drive to help not only people in recovery but their families was propelled by my own experience. I knew in high school I wanted to help people.
Q. What drew you to MBRC, specifically?
A. The uniqueness of the program. Between the healthful diet and the holistic approach to treatment, it really is different. Every treatment program says it’s different, but MBRC walks the walk. We’re enhancing the program as well. We’re adding treatment for trauma because we’re finding that more clients have PTSD and trauma exposure today; we’re bringing in specialists. We’re also adding box fit, a cross-training program, to complement our yoga to help people who would like that.
We’re also bringing in a movement therapist for people who have body issues. Finally, we started a journal and writing group to tap into all aspects of the brain, to help with holistic health. We have a great program, but these offerings allow us to serve a broader scope of patients, with a myriad of issues.
Our advisor on neuroscience Dr. Kenneth Blum, PhD recently celebrated his 75th birthday by summoning family, friends and colleagues to several days of food and jazz in his favorite city, New Orleans. Addiction industry guests included Rajendra Badgaiyan, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuromodulation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Bill and Kim Downs, Victory Nutrition International. Inc.; John Giordano, former owner of G&G Holistic Treatment Center, and his wife Michele.
Vince Gilligan and the cast and writers of award-winning TV series "Breaking Bad" were honored November 20, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by the DEA Foundation.
So well written and acted, such a novel concept, it is amazing Gilligan ever found a broadcaster willing to take the chance. “Breaking Bad” is the story of a science school teacher who, when diagnosed with cancer, begins “cooking” (manufacturing) methamphetamine of the highest quality to pay his medical bills. The DEA provided expertise to Gilligan and his writers from the get-go.
Although stars Brian Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were not able to attend, much of the cast was on hand including Dean Norris (“Hank”), Betsy Brandt (“Marie”), and Steve Michael Quezada (“Agent Gomez”). Gomez also emceed. The evening highlighted the work of the DEA, including performances by the DEA Youth Dance Program.
Dr. Mark Gold has been a DEA Foundation Member At-Large Member over 30 years.
Dr. Mark Gold and Joan Borsten
Rivermend Health executives & Friends: (left to right)
Frank Severino RiverMend Vice President of Sales; Dr. Mark Gold, Dr. David Baron,
Joan Borsten, Malibu Beach Recovery Center Executive Director Lisa Steele,
Monica Demitor, Rivermend CEO and Patti Baron.
Dr. Gold, Joan Borsten and Breaking Bad Creator Vince Gilligan
Dr. Gold and Dean Norris AKA DEA Agent Hank Shrader
Dr. Gold and Steven Michael Quezada AKA Agent Gomez
Frank Severino and Betsy Brandt AKA Marie Shrader
Michele Leonhart, DEA Administrator
William Alden, CEO, DEA Foundation (far left) with Leonhart,
previous recipient Michael Wong, and the Breaking Bad cast and crew.
At the 2014 American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Annual Medical-Scientific Conference in Orlando, FL, Blum was awarded the Medical-Scientific Program Committee Award for Best Scientific Abstract submitted on the topic of drug testing, medication management, or biomarkers.
Blum's abstract "Clinical Integration of Innovative Genetic Risk/Medical Monitoring in Reward Deficiency Syndrome" was selected for the award by ASAM's Medical-Scientific Program Committee. The award was cosponsored by ASAM and Millennium Laboratories. Also acknowledged for their collaboration were David E. Smith, MD, John Femino, MD, and A. Kennison Roy lll, MD.
The abstract summarized new research related to both individual patient compliance to prescribed treatment medication and abstinence from non-prescribed substances (drugs of abuse) during treatment. Further, it provided insight into the development of innovative molecular tools that can identify and quantify biomarkers to assist in understanding reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) and an individual's genetic addiction risk score (GARS).
For me, Mara always seemed to suffer from what we call “The Good Girl Syndrome.” She was attractive, smart, raised in a high-end Los Angeles suburb by parents, both professionals, who have had an enduring marriage. Her parents and sisters do not have addiction problems. There was nothing, other than the fact that genetics (her grandparents were alcoholics) to explain why Mara started drinking at the age of 10 and quickly graduated to recreational drugs and then pills and hard drugs. “I was really shy,” she told Seth Isler in a recent interview. “I feel like I was born uncomfortable. People would look at me and say how cute I was, and I would just start crying. I was maybe an anxious child. I was just kind of born that way. So drinking and drugs really took the edge off.“ Mara first came to treatment at Malibu Beach Recovery Center in 2008. She stayed five weeks, which I have learned is enough time to stabilize but usually not long enough to learn the tools needed to sustain longterm sobriety. She moved to a sober living, was solidly sober for the next two years and then relapsed over a romance gone sideways. It was another two years before she picked up the phone and asked for help. By then she was so far gone that she crashed a rental car, spent five days in jail, overdosed at a Starbucks. She was one of the first clients admitted to The Brentwood House, and in retrospect, I think that going through treatment in the company of other women was really important for Mara. She worked hard at Brentwood House, this time for 90 days, and committed herself to learning all the wisdom and tools the staff had to impart. She is now living independently, working and has a year of sobriety. She attends 12Step meetings regularly, and occasionally leads panels at the Brentwood House to share her story with new clients. We are all rooting for her.
We are asking the Malibu Beach Recovery Family to wish Casey luck beginning June 9, 2014. In his classic hand-assembled car, with a huge logo of MBRC on the trunk. He is off the races
Casey B. is an alumnus of Malibu Beach Recovery Center. As can be seen by the photographs of Casey’s racecar, we are sponsoring him in the 2014 “Jack In the Box” Summer Shootout. According to Casey these are the 10 biggest races in the Legend car racing. The first will be held June 9, and then each successive Tuesday through July 29, 2014.
Here is Casey's message:
As most of you know 7 months ago I got out of the hospital after being in a coma for 7 days from a opiate overdose. As soon as I got out of the hospital I knew that I needed a major change if I wanted to stay alive and be drug free. I knew how to stay sober and all the AA ways of staying sober, but it just never would last. Or I would get bored with it.
So I decided right then and there that I was going back to North Carolina to go racing again. That's the one thing that I absolutely love to do. Always have since I was in diapers. I love everything about racing from building cars to just hanging out at the track. I packed everything I had up and started driving down.
I started working with my uncles again restoring 68-70 chargers. I saved every penny to build a race car. It seemed like it would take forever to get it done and built, I bought one part at a time and slowly but surely it started to come together. There were days I got discouraged. But the patience test was a huge lesson.
It took me 4 months to finally have the car out on the track. I couldn't explain in words how proud I was to finally go through with something until the end.
So anyways I have been racing hard getting my car tuned in at Concord Speedway spring series to get ready for the “Summer Shootout.” The Shootout is the 10 biggest races in the Legend car racing. They are all televised on Fox Sports 2, and there is always a huge crowd of people that show up to watch.
Sheila thinks that for her youngest daughter, Casie, it all began at age 10 with a sip of a martini. Casie believes she first tried alcohol a few years later. Whichever, according to her dad, Alex, Casie's drinking and drug use "was all pretty unstoppable; everything we tried in her early years seemed to fail.”
For more than a decade being Casie’s parents was pretty much a nightmare. By the time she checked into Malibu Beach Recovery Center at age 25 escorted by a family friend, her mother, father, and younger sister had all cut off contact.
Today Casie has more than 14 months of continuous sobriety, and has begun to build a new life for herself in Southern California. Sheila flies in often from Texas to visit, and Alex, who works in the former Soviet Union, emails back and forth regularly. Casie’s natural charm, and her fierce determination to succeed, have all helped her build a loyal support team. Click here to view the video
Edward S. is livin' the life. He is a senior at Cal State Northridge, majoring in kinesiology. Next year he will apply to grad school, aiming to get his PhD as a physical therapist. Since Addiction Counselor Marty Brenner nudged him into treatment at Malibu Beach Recovery Center in August 2011, he has been the subject of a prize-winning LA Times photo journalism essay about his first month of sobriety, testified before the State Assembly Budget Committee about California's Prescription Drug epidemic, restored relations with his family, gotten serious about his profession, and embarked on a significant relationship.
I first heard from Stacey on February 6, 2013. She emailed me from Wasilla Alaska.
“My son has been on a self-destruct path now for over a year. He has admitted to using the following: Cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana. He also has admitted to drinking. I will tell you that he is currently incarcerated. He fell fast and furious. He stole a car and is serving a 90 sentence. He has asked for help. So therefore I’m writing to you. He knows that when he gets out here in March that he is going to need further help.”
I admit being hesitant about taking Kevin – his story was a little too horrific. I imagined a hard core criminal. But Stacey insisted he was a great kid who lost his way and would benefit from what Malibu Beach Recovery Center had to offer. We began with Stacey the often arduous task of getting approvals from the Departments of Justice in California and Alaska. Improbably Kevin was allowed to leave Alaska under the Interstate Compact and spend 90 days in Malibu supervised by a Los Angeles country probation officer
Click here to see Seth Isler’s interview with Kevin, recorded in Alaska last January, about his journey from jail and despair into a life filled with hope and promise.
Posted by Joan Borsten on March 16, 2014
For those of you who do not yet have insurance or have bad insurance without good substance abuse benefits, the Affordable Care Act requires that all new insurance policies include mental health and substance abuse coverage. And so far most become effective within about 15 days or less of application.
Call a broker in your state. Ask which of the new insurance policies have the best out of network substance abuse benefits. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before choosing between plans and we will try to help you. If you are a resident of the States of California, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, we already have policies to recommend.
Posted by Joan Borsten on March 11, 2014
I first heard from Harriet on the morning of March 13, 2012. The 50 year old Brooklyn housewife with Barbra Streisand’s accent, was at a treatment facility in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. She ended up there after a botched detox at a Lake Arrowhead treatment center.
Harriet told me she had been promised a bed at Malibu Beach Recovery Center. Certainly not me, but I agreed to check her insurance benefits. She asked me to move quickly – the Valley treatment center, she said, was filled with alcoholics and addicts from the greater Los Angeles criminal justice system and she, a sheltered middle class housewife, was just plain scared to death. “You can’t imagine what just walked passed me,” she cried.
Harriet and her late husband Steve had raised three kids, one with special needs. Steve, who worked for the NY subway system, had been a good provider. He helped out at home, and was kind and adoring. One day he went to the hospital for a routine operation and never came back. The grief, coupled with lack of experience with such practical matters as paying the bills, led to excessive drinking coupled with more and more prescription drugs.
When Whitney Houston died after mixing pills and alcohol, Harriet decided to go to treatment. At that point she says, she knew she was also dying. She was filling her Polar Springs water bottle with wine and popping Xanax and “vikes” in her car while waiting for the school bus to arrive with her young son.
Through a twist of fate, she ended up at Malibu Beach Recovery Center, and there she remained for six weeks. She desperately missed her children but she was certain – most of the time – that she had to be in a different environment to recover from her substance abuse addictions.
After treatment Harriet went home, not only sober but with new tools for being a single mother.
Click here for Harriet's interview, filmed as she approached her second year of sobriety.
Posted by Joan Borsten on February 10, 2014
David first called October 1, 2012. On the surface, he seemed an unlikely fit. A soft-spoken, 37-year-old, small-town Indiana union member who had just escaped from a local treatment center. He found Malibu Beach Recovery Center on the internet and improbably picked up the phone. I wondered if someone like David could survive without fast food, and do three hours of yoga each day. But Our brilliant therapist Allen Glass, also from Indiana, assured me David was someone we could help him. As usual, he was right.
From the day he arrived, David was a diligent client, but also a tough case. He had been drinking since 13. Abusing opiates since he had reconstructive knee operation at 23. By the time he called the first time, he was shooting heroin, using meth and had been arrested numerous times.
All in all, with the help of union insurance, David spent almost 200 days in treatment. He spent more than 90 days in Malibu the first time. He graduated, failed to follow his aftercare plan, relapsed and returned for another more than 90 days. As he tells Seth Isler in a recent interview, today he is a different person.
Photo: David at admission in October 3, 2012.
Here is David’s story.
Ian was a law school student at Georgetown when he dropped out and moved into his mother’s basement. He isolated himself from life there for 6 months in deep depression, smoking marijuana non-stop. After an intervention Jonathan Rauch, then a member of Brad Lamm’s excellent team, he agreed to go to a treatment center in Arizona. When they gave up on him, Jonathan brought him to Malibu Beach Recovery Center. Here Ian spent four months in treatment and learned to cope with his depression. After additional time in a sober living, Ian changed his career goals. His willingness to be “of service” to fellow alumni and other addicts in early recovery led to him into a yearlong counseling certification program at UCLA. He had no sooner successfully completed those studies when he entered USC’s prestigious graduate school of Social Work. For Ian’s follow up interview recorded in January 2014 click:
Ian C : A Follow Up: 2 year sober and succeeding in grad school interview recorded in January 2013,
And for his original interview recorded in July 2012 click:
Beating Lifelong Depression and Anxiety
Photos: Ian on a tour of Dreamworks Animation Studio on March 29, 2012, (below) Ian being interviewed in January 2014.
When the Brentwood House had its official opening we asked Ronni G, one of our first graduates, to speak. Here is her story:
On May 29, 2013 two-thirds of the State Senate voted to fund CURES and resurrect California’s nearly moribund online real-time narcotics database. I believe the victory was due in some small part to the efforts of four Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumni: Krissie Bergo, Edward S., Jenna Wilemon, Ronni Grakal.
MBRC Team outside Capitol
Bob Blumenfield and Joan Borsten
Edward,Jenna, Krissie at Bob Blumenfield’s Office
Congratulations to LA Times photographer Liz O. Baylen, a finalist in 2013 competition for the Pulitzer Prize in Photography. The Pulitzer committee commended her for “her intimate essay, shot in shadowy black and white, documenting the shattered lives of people entangled in prescription drug abuse.”
Liz spent days and nights at Malibu Beach Recovery Center documenting client Edward S’s journey off a 10-year addiction to prescription pills for the LA Times investigative series “Dying for Relief.“ Click here to see “Bitter Pills,” her poignant photo essay about Edward.
After 30-40 days of treatment, we encourage clients to volunteer in the community. Some groom dogs. Some work with horses. Recently Counselor Myra Estes accompanied a client volunteering at the Serenity Park Parrot Sanctuary and fell in love with Julian and Bacardi.
In June 2011 we wrote about Krissie Bergo, a workers’ comp claimant who was admitted to Malibu Beach Recovery Center in September 2008. She had carpel tunnel syndrome and, as a result of four botched operations, a syndrome called RSD.
Krissie was addicted to an alarming array of Schedule II narcotics and benzodiazapines, all prescribed by a single Workers’ Comp doctor
After she spent more than 60 days detoxing off the fentanyl patches, actiq, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, flurazepam, and clonazepam (klonopin), a pain management doctor put her on “maintenance” suboxone.
In 2011 Krissie returned to Malibu Beach Recovery Center, not because she had relapsed but because she now wanted off the suboxone.
Before re-admitting she consulted with Malibu Beach Recovery Center advisor on neuroscience and took SynaptaGenX for two months in preparation for what she knew would be another difficult detox.
Here is that story: Click Here or on the image to view the video
After detox from the opioids and benzodiazapines, Krissie found herself at an AA meeting chaired by her Workers’ Comp doctor, who himself was in recovery from alcohol. Krissie never returned to that particular meeting or had anything more to do with Dr. Glass, but she remembered him as someone who helped her when there was no one else to help.
Dr. Glass committed suicide last year, reportedly addicted to prescription drugs.
Watch the video for an excellent explanation of our treatment system, this time in the form of a cooking lesson. This is the first in a series of online cooking classes.
On December 3, 2012 The Brentwood House, Malibu Beach Recovery Center’s long time sober living residence in West Los Angeles transitioned into a licensed and certified alcohol and drug treatment center.
Both the Malibu and Brentwood sites will use the Malibu Beach Recovery System® for treatment of addiction, depression and anxiety.
From Monday-Friday each week Chef Johnnie Handals prepare amazing meals based on the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet®, sometimes swapping locations with Malibu Head Chef Cyril Landrat On the weekends the equally talented Chefs Yannick Marchand and Sergio Galvao will be cooking.
Kurma Yoga will continue to be taught 2-3 times daily at both sites, with five rotating yogis led by lead exercise instructor Oleg Yevseyev. The team includes Alumni Shannon Scott and Ian Cooper.
What is different is the environment. Malibu is a laid-back beach town while Brentwood is in one of West Los Angeles’ tonier residential neighborhoods, populated by actors, producers, doctors, professors, lawyers and other professionals. The Brentwood House is near enough to the Pacific Ocean that Brentwood clients will also do yoga on the beach, but they will be hiking through Will Rogers State Park instead of Solstice Canyon.
The Brentwood House is nearer to the Temple of Self-Realization which probably means more meditation at that beautiful, tranquil setting.
For those long-term clients who are ready to start integrating back into real life, The Brentwood House is close to UCLA and Santa Monica College, shops and restaurants, and many volunteer opportunities. You can read more about Brentwood House in the article Pat Olsen wrote for the Malibu Beach Recovery blog
For more info click here..
RECKLESS PRESCRIBING: LA TIMES publishes the second in a ground-breaking series by reporters Lisa Girion and Scott glover on the California’s prescription Drug Epidemic. Today’s story focuses on the difficulties the State Medical Board faces trying to police over prescribing doctors. In case you missed the first article in the series, please scroll down (bottom right) to watch “Bitter Pills,” Times photojournalist Liz Baylen’s amazing chronicle of how Malibu Beach Recovery Center client Edward S, now 15 months sober, kicked his prescription drug habit.
Los Angeles Times reporters Lisa Girion and Scott Glover first came to talk about the prescription drug epidemic more than two years ago and have worked diligently since then, becoming experts on each of the many aspects of the exploding story: victims, doctors, lawyers. the government, the pharmaceutical industry. The article today is entitled “Legal drugs, deadly outcomes.” It begins with a strong indictment of Dr. Van H. Vu, six of whose patients overdosed on pain pills he prescribed, interviews with three pain management doctors, a family whose son died of a pill overdose, and Malibu Beach Recovery Center alumni Edward S. Edward spent 111 days at MBRC for an addiction to suboxone and benzodiazapines, well-documented by LA Times photojournalist Liz O. Baylen, and recently celebrated his first year of sobriety. Kudos to the LA Times for committing the time and resources necessary for its reporters to do the required research and writing.
Having Panic Attacks?
It’s National Yoga Month, so we asked lead Yoga Instructor Oleg Flow (formerly Yevseyev) to demonstrate a quick exercise to diminish anxiety.Click here to see the video
We asked Alumna Shannon Scott to tell the story of her alcohol and pill addiction, and her many years of self-medicating to cope with anxiety and lack of self-esteem. Now, she says, instead of taking Xanax to stay calm, she teaches yoga at Malibu Beach Recovery Center. Here is her story:
has recorded a compelling testimonial which documents for the first time how the Malibu Beach Recovery System℠ — our French low-glycemic diet coupled with the Kurma Yoga System, dopamine-raising nutraceuticals, great therapy and the principles of the 12 Step program — can positively impact clinical depression. A graduate of George Washington University, Ian began his studies at Georgetown Law School before falling into a depression so deep he did not leave home for six months. He is now enrolled at UCLA Extension and will soon start earning credits toward his certificate in counseling. In the interim has become an active entrepreneur. Here is a link to the blog about how MBRC first started helping those like Ian whose primary diagnosis is depression.
Chills Pills: A Growing EpidemicThe Malibu Beach Recovery Center, a rehab clinic for the rich and famous high, clings like a determined survivor to a picturesque hillside a short drive from the Malibu movie colony. In just the past year alone, street drugs have given way to something just as deadly among the high-end clientele seeking help here.
“The biggest drug dealer around is your parents’ medicine cabinet,” the center’s owner, Joan Borsten, told NBC4.Borsten, a veteran of the movie business, described 60 percent of her new clients as addicts hooked on prescription meds – and not just the anti-anxieties, like Xanax or Klonopin.
More and more of them, she said, are zoned out on heavy-hitters like Fentanyl, often used by cancer patients.
“We had a client who came in here after eating a Fentanyl patch,” Bornsten said.
Fentanyl, a pain killer many times more powerful than morphine, is sometimes applied by skin patch.Borstein said its long term effects may not be well understood since it is designed to deliver fast, short-term relief for the terminally ill.
Joan’s client, a hard-charging actress, overdosed and nearly died.
“She had been on it for three years,” Joan said.
“Her body was shutting down… more
Licia recently posted a very comprehensive report on the malibubeachrecoveryblog (including a great brownie recipe) about what we are now all learning about the health problems that go with overconsumption of sugar. Here is some of the accompanying information, including reommended reading…more
“Sugar is the new cocaine and it’s free. It is time that we, our elected officials, our health practitioners, our school boards, took a stand to protect and inform the general population on how to stand up to a greedy and ever changing enemy: Out from our schools, our restaurants, our prepared products… Out from the drinks we trustingly give our children… Those products have to come with a warning label similar to cigarettes: Beware, this product can and will kill you. It destroys our health, our genes, our immune system and the life expectancy of our children.”
- Chef Jamie Olivier, The New Food Revolution
Laurie Armstrong Kelsoe: Her Story Laurie arrived at Malibu Beach Recovery Center in January 2010 at the urging of her brother, the late Russell Armstrong.
Russell was a venture capitalist, originally from Dallas with plush office in Beverly Hills. On behalf of a wealthy client he had been learning the ins-and- outs of the addiction business. The client hoped to invest in a tony Los Angeles alcohol and drug treatment center. When that investment opportunity did not materialize Russell began looking at other alcohol and drug treatment centers.
On our third or fourth meeting he mentioned that he had a younger sister in Texas. Laurie, he said, “truly a wonderful person” was behaving “not unlike some of your clients.”…more
Rachel’s Intervention episode will be broadcast again on Monday February 20, 2012. The episode co-stars Rachel’s then boyfriend, Joie. He was the villain of the show, the junkie panhandler, abusive boyfriend, drug addicted criminal who tried to stop Candy Finnigan from sending Rachel to rehab at Malibu Beach Recovery Center. After five months in prison for assault, Joie followed Rachel to Los Angeles and eventually decided to get clean (except for methadone and pot). When Rachel relapsed half a year ago it was Joie who stepped in and saved her. Joie, 30, then moved to San Francisco to start a new life and was working as a high rise window washer when he was found stabbed to death. It happened in a run down San Francisco neighborhood at 2:40 a.m. on January 18, 2012, the first San Francisco homicide of the year according the San Francisco Examiner. Rachel, who returned to New Jersey in December, has nor surprisingly been hard hit by Joie’s death. She is wearing his ashes in an urn around her neck.
U.S. health officials say drug abuse is a major cause of death in the United States and that prescription drugs are a big part of the problem. Painkillers and mood-altering medications have left many people addicted, with serious results…more
The most important scientists in the field of addiction all believe addiction, whether the result of genetics or environmental factors, is a brain disease. Expediting brain repair, and giving our clients tools for long term sobriety, is what the Malibu Beach Recovery System is all about. Every day we are asked tough, probing questions about addiction by parents/spouses/families/friends. Some of the best answers can be found in an interview (http://www.hbo.com/addiction/thefilm/supplemental/624_nora_volkow.html) Dr. Nora Volkow, MD gave several years ago to HBO for its special called “Addiction.”…More
Photo by Seth Isler:
Young brother and sister
embrace amid flags flown at
Malibu’s Pepperdine University
in commemoration of 9/11.
For More photos click here
PhD Programs, a non-profit online guide for students considering pursuing their PhD degree online, was created by Tricia Adams, who just posted the article, “Top 96 Blogs for Recovering Alcoholics”( http://www.phdprograms.org/top-96-blogs-for-recovering-alcoholics/ ). Our website came in #23.
Dopamine is sometimes called “the reward chemical” or “pleasure molecule” or the “anti-stress molecule.” It is the primary neurotransmitter found in the brain which is responsible for happiness and other emotions. It is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system. Dopamine provides feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement that motivate a person proactively to “feel good.”
SB 1071 is a bill designed to fund CURES, a real time online data base that will allow doctors and pharmacists in this state to instantly check whether their patients are doctor shopping or pharmacy hopping.
At the Malibu Beach Recovery Center clients eat a healthy alternative to diets heavy on high-glucose processed foods that actually feed destructive addictive behavior. Those who eat according to the MBRC Recovery Diet feel healthy, energetic and do not suffer from mood swings, sugar or insulin spikes. They also feel less addictive cravings while the body purifies itself. This food for recovery is simple to prepare, exciting and delicious.
It is our primary objective at Malibu Beach Recovery Center to deeply instill our recovery experience into each one of our clients. We view every client as a new opportunity. Clients that seek our help are agreeing to completely submerge themselves in new opportunities towards mental, physical and spiritual growth. Our experience has shown that no recovering addict can rely on philosophy alone. We believe recovery to be a process.
It is no secret that with recovery, there is work involved. The disease of addiction calls for close and diligent self examination. Addiction is a serious problem that calls for serious course of action. That said the life of a recovering addict is a joyous one. Questions that will often arise from addicts in early recovery are 1. What will I do with myself now? 2. What will become of my social life? 3. Will I ever have fun again? Your social life in recovery is nothing to get discouraged about.
At Malibu Beach Recovery Center our counselor-client ratio varies between 1 and 3 and 1 and 6. Having 3 to 6 clients and 1 to 2 counselors on site at a time, allows for a great deal of intimacy and personal growth.
Malibu Beach Recovery Center has partnered with a team of legal beagles whose job is to help your lawyer get you into treatment instead of jail. Their unique experience in California and across the United States can convince District Attorneys and Judges that treatment at Malibu Beach Recovery Center will benefit you far more than incarceration.