A Guide to Santa Ana Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Drug overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, responsible for more fatalities each year than motor vehicle crashes. Seven in every ten overdose-related deaths in Orange County, the home of Santa Ana, are caused by opioid drugs3. Opioids include prescription painkiller medications such as morphine, OxyContin, Vicodin or Percocet as well as illicit street drugs such as heroin.

Santa Ana Drug Overdose Statistics

A staggering 66.8% of overdose-related deaths in Orange County in 2017 involved opioid drugs4. Of those opioid-related fatalities, more than half were caused by prescription opioid painkiller medications.

A recent report released by the Orange County Health Care Agency5 revealed that the number of drug or alcohol overdose deaths across the county had increased by 82% since 2000. The statistics also showed that alcohol-related deaths increased by 76% in the same time period.

The same report also revealed that drug overdoses or alcohol poisonings resulted in more than 5,500 visits to the emergency department and caused almost 700 deaths in residents every year. The estimated cost of treatment for those accidental overdoses or poisonings each year amounted to around $430 million.

Most Commonly Abused Substances in Santa Ana

Alcohol remains the most commonly abused substance across Santa Ana. However, marijuana is easily the most commonly abused illicit substance in the city.

Despite the alarming overdose statistics involving opioid drugs, Orange County’s third most commonly abused substance is cocaine. Prescription drugs are listed as the fourth most commonly abused substance, followed by heroin6.

What’s Causing the Substance Abuse Epidemic?

There are a number of theories for what might be behind the country’s drug abuse epidemic. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA1) cites research that suggests marijuana could lead to using other substance use.

Studies also show that the incidence of heroin use is 19 times higher in people who reported abusing prescription painkiller medications first2. The same report also indicated that more than 75% of people who entered rehab treatment for heroin addiction began by abusing prescription opioid drugs first.

As dependency on opioid deepens, it’s not uncommon for those struggling with addiction to switch to the cheaper and more readily available heroin.

Combating Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Santa Ana

Administering An Antidote

In 2017 a grant for 6,218 doses of Naloxone (Narcan) were granted to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Narcan is known to be an opioid antidote, helping to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The Orange County Health Improvement Plan

The Orange County Health Improvement Plan 2017-20197 also highlighted specific strategies to improve education about drug abuse and improve safe prescribing practices. The report also aims to help combat the epidemic by promoting the use of best practices for treating substance abuse and caring for substance users.

Why Seek Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Santa Ana?

If you or someone you know in Santa Ana is caught in a cycle of drug or alcohol addiction, the first step in recovery is to reach out and seek help. Drug and alcohol treatment centers can provide specialized treatment and therapy designed to improve likely outcomes during recovery.

The biggest issue many people struggling with addiction face is denial. Others shy away from professional rehab treatment, believing they can detox at home on their own. There is a persisting misconception that after a few uncomfortable days during detox they will somehow be miraculously ‘cured’ of their addiction.

In reality, addiction is a chronic disease of the brain characterized by occasional relapses. Detox is the first step on the road to recovery and serves to rid the body of the drug’s effects. On its own, detox does absolutely nothing to address the underlying psychological triggers behind addictive behaviors.

There is also the very real risk that withdrawing from some addictive substances can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, symptoms of withdrawal can be potentially life threatening and may require emergency medical assistance.

In order to begin the journey to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important to seek specialized addiction treatment. Professional addiction rehab programs use a carefully tailored combination of medications, treatments and therapies designed to help each person discover their own unique path to recovery.

Finding Drug and Alcohol Treatment in the Santa Ana Area

There are many different drug and alcohol addiction rehab treatment programs available across Santa Ana. However, not all treatment programs are the same.

Factors to Consider

It’s important to consider the type of treatment needed to suit each individual person’s needs. The actual types of therapy and treatment required will differ for each person, depending on a range of factors. These include:

  • The type of substance being taken
  • The severity of the addiction
  • The length and frequency of use
  • The dose being taken
  • Whether the person is at risk of developing dangerous withdrawal symptoms
  • Whether the person is taking more than one substance at a time (polydrug abuse)
  • Whether there is a co- occurring mental health disorder that needs to be treated simultaneously (dual diagnosis)
After these factors have been considered, the correct combination of medications, therapies and treatments are tailored for each person’s unique needs. The easiest way to determine the correct type of treatment needed is to discuss your specific needs with an addiction specialist.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Some people believe they might prefer to be treated at an outpatient rehab facility. Intensive outpatient rehab requires the recovering person to check in for treatment or therapy sessions each day. After therapy is complete, the person can return home to independent living.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

By comparison, some people may be better suited to being admitted into a residential inpatient rehab program, where the recovering person lives at the facility for the duration of treatment. Inpatient rehab provides around-the-clock monitoring and medical supervision, which can be crucial for those at risk of developing dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Types of Treatments

No matter whether the person requires inpatient or outpatient addiction rehab treatment, all highly structured programs offer the person in recovery the best possible chance of remaining abstinent after leaving rehab. High-quality programs integrate a range of different treatments and therapies that may include:

  • Individual counseling and cognitive behavioral therapies to begin working on the underlying psychological side of addictive behaviors.
  • Psychopharmacology to help treat any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be present.
  • Group support therapy sessions to provide peer support and motivation to remain abstinent.
  • Mindfulness meditation sessions and yoga therapy to help promote a sense of relaxation and to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Creative therapies to provide nonverbal forms of expression such as art, drawing, dance, writing, or journaling.
  • Equine assisted therapy or working with other animals to learn about the non-verbal cues and the empowerment the comes with caring for another.
  • Nutritional therapy to highlight the importance of good nutrition as part of the recovery process.
  • Relapse prevention planning to help each person build their own individual strategy to help reduce the risk of relapsing back into former patterns of behavior

By the time a person leaves rehab treatment, he or she should have all the skills, resources and support necessary to begin the journey to recovery from addiction with confidence. The key to a successful recovery begins with reaching out and asking for help.

Sober Activities in Santa Ana

Daytime Sober Activities

Santa Ana’s warm semi-arid climate makes it an appealing place to begin the recovery process. The relatively warm winters and hot summers make it much easier to get out and enjoy outdoor leisure and recreational activities most of the year.

Parks And Gardens

Despite being one of North America’s most densely populated cities, there are also numerous public parks and gardens to explore, featuring some lovely fountains, playgrounds and relaxing walking paths. The parks are also a refreshing place to get away from the bustle of daily life in the city, whether just to sit and enjoy some quiet reflection or join in with other recreational activities.

River Trail and Beaches

The Santa Ana River Trail runs alongside the Santa Ana River and stretches for 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach to the Orange/Riverside county line. The 12-foot wide asphalt path is ideal for cycling, jogging or enjoying a leisurely stroll along the riverside.

Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are located a short drive away from Santa Ana and offer plenty of coastal shopping, dining, and water activities, including swimming, sailing or surfing.

Downtown

The downtown Santa Ana historic districts are a combination of districts distinctly characterized by its meticulously restored historic buildings. Orange County’s first Courthouse now houses a museum and the county’s first theater now stands where the county’s first movie house once stood. Two old movie houses still remain in the district.

Downtown Santa Ana is also the home of the Santa Ana Artist’s Village, which was specifically designed to attract artists to live and work in the area.

Amusement Parks

Disneyland’s famous amusement park is situated northwest of Santa Ana and the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park is also nearby. The city is also home to the Santa Ana Zoo, which is known for housing a large assortment of monkeys as well as exhibits from Central and South America, with more than 350 different animals to see.

Higher Education

The Santa Ana College is also a part of the Rancho Santiago Community College District and provides excellent opportunities to enroll in study programs or job skills training courses.

Night-time Sober Activities

Perhaps one of the most difficult times for many people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is night. Throughout the day there are often plenty of interesting and time-consuming sober activities to explore.

However, at night many people in recovery find themselves at a loss for things to do. It’s at this time that the risk of relapse is increased, so it’s important to find productive sober activities you can enjoy or immerse yourself in after dark.

Sober Groups

One of the most popular – and most easily accessible – nighttime sober activity is attending a group support meeting. Santa Ana hosts numerous group support meetings at various locations around the city, including traditional 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), as well as non-traditional support meetings such as SMART Recovery. Some support groups also offer online meetings for those who require additional support at times of the night when physical meetings aren’t available.

If you’re concerned about finding something else to do after the meeting ends, why not ask a few other attendees whether they want to go out for a coffee and a chat afterward?

Meetup groups can also be extremely helpful for providing nighttime sober activities for people in recovery. The website www.meetup.com is filled with activities, events and other interests posted by people in recovery seeking others to enjoy sobriety-related time with new friends.

History of Santa Ana

Back in 1769, the Santa Ana Valley was originally named the Vallejo de Santa Ana, although it’s more commonly known as Orange County today. The Valley was originally maintained under Spanish rule. However, it wasn’t until the Mexican-American war ended in 1848 that the state of California became a part of the United States. It was after this time that American settlers moved into the area.

In 1886 Santa Ana was incorporated as a city, although it didn’t become the seat of Orange County until 1889. In the decades that followed, Santa Ana grew to encompass several distinct districts.

Modern Day Santa Ana

The heart of the city is its downtown area, which features an eclectic combination of historic and modern buildings that host retail stores, theaters, and housing. The Historic South Main Business District still features lots of older retail stores and small businesses that are a pleasure to explore. There are also multiple major shopping districts surrounding the city, complete with malls and plazas, as well as museums, office towers, and the Santa Ana Zoo.

Dr. Venice Sanchez

Ph.D., LMFT

Clinical Outreach Specialist, Europe Division

Dr. Sanchez works closely with Truvida Recovery patients regarding substance abuse and related mental illnesses and creates a supportive, cooperative and informed therapeutic environment. Her areas of expertise include Substance Dependence, Dual Diagnosis, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic Disorder, Bereavement, Acute stress disorder, and more. Ms Sanchez has extensive training with experts in the field of Substance Abuse, and mood and thought disorders underlying the substance use. She received a Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and Medical Degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She continues training at the UC Irvine Psychiatry Residency Program and has been recognized with the Outstanding Resident of the Year Award.

Jaime Askew

LMFT, LPCC

Clinical Director

Ms. Askew is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who has been working in the field treating substance abuse and mental health issues for over twenty years.  She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling from Pepperdine University and was among the first to obtain the LPCC license in the state of California.  She has been providing clinical supervision and training to interns, conducting workshops, and is a certified Trauma therapy trainer.  Her areas of expertise include working with legal issues, court ordered treatment, family preservation, trauma therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, family systems, social skills training, play therapy, and career/ vocational counseling.  Her passion is in advocating for at risk populations, holistic healing, and treating the underlying, core issues to help individuals achieve their maximum potential and happiness.  Jaime’s extensive experience and passionate leadership is of extreme importance to the overall TruVida clinical program, and her hands-on guidance of our clinical team insures that each patient is receiving optimal therapeutic treatment and care.

John Biroc

Consulting Psychologist

Dr. Biroc has a broad base of mental health and addiction recovery training and experience. He has supervised and taught therapists in various methodologies of effectively working with groups and individuals during therapy. He created and set up new group structures and trained staff in understanding the challenges of addiction recovery. He also helped develop curricula in Sociodrama and Psychodrama. Dr. Biroc is devoted to breaking paradigms that prevent progress in the path to lasting recovery. He is a member of the Nat’l Association of Marriage and Family therapists, and has a Ph.D. degree in Psychology, and a M.S. degree in Counseling from USC.

Dr. Nader Siahdohoni

Consulting Psychologist

Ph.D.

Dr. Nader is one our esteemed consulting Psychologists who provides our Clients with various breakthrough therapy’s that focus the functional systems including neurons, neurotransmitters, and certain brain waves that enable the way we think, behave, move, feel, and maintain homeostasis. Such therapy’s include NeuroMax neurofeedback, the state of art integrated technology in Neurofeedback, combinations of wireless Electroencephalogram (EEG), real time brain mapping and a unique and exceptional neuropathway therapy called “Visual Concentration Attention Therapy (VCAT)”. Dr Nader graduated from Walden University.

Tiffany Agra

Therapist

LMFT #103693

Ms. Agra is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, who has been working with individuals, couples, families, and groups for the past seven years. Her other therapeutic approaches include Narrative Therapy, Family Systems Theory, Psychodynamic dream interpretation, and Gestalt Psychology. She has also been a Guest Speaker at other organizations. This unique background has made her effective at helping clients overcome the grip of substance addiction. Tiffany obtained two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Davis, and her Master’s degree from the California State University, Long Beach. She has worked for both the county of Orange and Riverside, helping those who struggle with addiction and mental illness. In addition to providing evidenced-based approaches to the clinical program at Truvida Recovery, she brings her compassion as a fellow addict in recovery; living proof that we do get better!

Deborah Wieland

Therapist

MS, LMFT #96864

Ms. Wieland is an Eclectic EMDR Therapist, using R-TEP and G-TEP, and specializes in several modalities in treating Substance Use issues, Dual Diagnosis, Complex Trauma, and Severe Mental illness. Deborah also provides several types of therapy such as Psychodynamic, Rogerian, CBT, DBT, IFS, PICT, MI, Grief Recovery, Sand Tray, and Attachment Theory to help her patients achieve mental wellness and a sober lifestyle.

She has worked with Psychiatric Hospitals providing crisis interventions and psychotherapy to those struggling with substance abuse issues, mental health issues, and domestic violence. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Vanguard University of Southern California. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. She is currently completing her Doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Cal Southern University. Deborah is an active member of EMDRIA, California Association Marriage Family Therapist (CAMFT), American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), and Psi Chi International Honors Society of Psychology.

Ashley McLaughlin

Therapist

LMFT

Ms. McLaughlin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in EMDR therapy. She brings over ten years of experience working in the field of addiction to the Truvida Team. She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University and has two Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Economics from University of California, San Diego. Ms. McLaughlin was trained in EMDR in 2013 and since has been helping individuals process through past traumatic experiences that have contributed to current struggles with substance abuse and mental health symptoms. Her extensive experience and passion for this field has helped guide individuals through the process of recovery in order to experience freedom from their past and a hope for their future.

Travis Taylor

Therapist

LMFT

Mr. Taylor is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in  Drug Abuse & Addiction,  PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality, Codependency, Coping Skills, Depression, Dual Diagnosis. Taylor uses an integrative approach geared towards understanding self, specifically what drives one’s thoughts and behaviors. He excels in helping patients identify automatic thoughts that lead to specific feelings and undesired actions. Another useful approach stems from understanding how thoughts and behaviors are fueled by former messages that have been consistently reinforced. Travis has over 6 years of therapeutic practice and obtained a Master’s degree at Vanguard University.

Kat Johnson

AOD Counselor, Group Facilitator

With almost 10 years experience working at treatment centers, Kat Johnson shares her wisdom and passion for balanced living, creative writing, and meditation and how each plays a role in early recovery and beyond. Certified as a CADC II, and supported by a bachelors in psychology, Kat’s infectious energy brings her groups to life. She is grateful for every opportunity to spread health and wellness.

Paige A. Chastain

AOD Counselor, Case Manager

Ms. Chastain has dedicated her life to helping the suffering addict/alcoholic, bringing personal experience to both individual substance abuse and group counseling settings. She has worked in the field of addiction for several years, currently working as an addiction counselor and case manager.  Paige too, is a collaborative member of the multi-disciplinary team providing excellence in addiction services, working with clients from detox to intensive outpatient levels of care. She holds a strong skill-set in Psychoeducation, Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.  She also has extensive experience with 12-step recovery programs. Paige is passionate about treating the client with empathy, compassion and respect throughout the client’s journey.  Paige holds an AA from Saddleback College, a BA from the University of California of Irvine and is a certified CADC-I holding memberships with CCAPP and NAADAC.

Lesley Richards

AOD Counselor, Interventionist

Ms. Richards began in this field of healthcare as a volunteer for substance abuse treatment centers and worked her way up from there. Lesley has dedicated her life to helping the suffering addict. it is here strong belief that everyone deserves to have the opportunity to have a safe and sober life.  She is very compassionate about her work as an addiction counselor, and has a strong commitment in helping patients struggling with addiction in developing healthy coping mechanisms, and developing new positive behavioral habits.  Her Group counseling sessions are highly sought after within the TruVida program.  Lesley is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), National Certified Intervention Professional (NCIP), Nationally Certified Recovery Coach (NCRC), and is a member of the California Consortium of Addiction programs (CCAP), as well as the International Association of Addiction Professionals.

Christine Green

Treatment Facilitator

Christine Green is a certified personal trainer, and yoga instructor. Ms. Green is dedicated to helping patients struggling with substance abuse transform their lives through a consciousness-based approach to body-in-motion fitness.

Christine passionately shares her 18 years experience with our clients by sharing her specialized Yoga & Energy Healing Program, which she has developed over the past 8 years of working directly with addicts and alcoholics. Her Yoga program facilitates integration of all the layers of life – environmental, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual with the primary initial goal of overcoming withdrawal symptoms and cravings from drug and alcohol dependency. TruVida is fortunate to have her as part of the team.

Allison Goode

Art in Recovery Counselor

Allison Goode is a lifelong resident of Laguna Beach and professional artist for over 15 years, and has developed a very successful and trans-formative Art in Recovery program in treatment facilities through out California. Her passion for the fine arts and helping others recover from substance abuse addiction is contagious. Allison has a unique ability to connect with clients through the creative process helping clients set positive goals for their recovery. Ms. Goode has studied Fine Art and Graphic Design at Laguna College of Art and Design, is a certified RADT1 technician, and is currently completing her CCAPP certification program.

Thomas Mladinich

Admissions Manager

Mr. Mladinich hard work ethic and dedication make him a key part of the TruVida team. Tom’s ability to connect and relate with others have allowed him to excel as admissions manager. His personal experience has allowed him to proudly serve those in need of recovery from addiction. Tom is eager to work with our clients and provide the experience, strength and hope that they need to find success in recovery.

Willie Sanchez

Operations Manager

Mr. Sanchez is a self-motivated professional with a positive attitude. He is actively involved in a 12 step fellowship. He effectively contributes to each Patient with their struggles with addiction. Willie is RADT1 certified counselor and has been educated at Long Beach City College.

Jose Flores

Program Manager

Mr. Flores is a highly motivated and hardworking team member with TruVida. He has several years of experience working in treatment helping individuals get back on track, achieving a lot of great results. He brings problem solving skills and experience to use everyday, and is proud and passionate about his profession as a RADT-I program manager.