Youth and Opioids in California

Unintended Consequences of Pain Management

Much of what occurs today related to California opioid use, especially among young people, was the unintended consequence of physician’s and other prescriber’s attempts at pain management. Few could have anticipated the deadly consequences that opioid abuse has taken on nationwide. This extends to the youth of California, who may have been born to opioid-addicted parents or witnessed drug and alcohol abuse among their fellow young people.

It’s important to examine how opioids affect young people, the state of opioid abuse in California, what is being done to help young people, as well as how friends and loved ones can help a person seek treatments.

History of Youth and Opioid Use in the State of California

California opioid use affects people of all ages, including young people and their families.  According to the California Health Report, the agency that manages the Medi-Cal program, approximately 21,000 people, including teenagers ages 16 and older will receive addiction treatment via key grants in the next two years.

Some of the hardest-hit areas for the opioid epidemic are the more rural Northern California counties, including Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Trinity counties. According to an article in The Sacramento Bee residents filled 18,439 prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other opioids in 2015 – and there are only 13,628 residents in the entire county itself.

Overdose Outbreaks

While Americans have been abusing opioids for some time, the real impact of deaths and overdoses related to abuse is thought to have begun in the late 1990s, when prescription drug sales quadrupled up until 2014. At those times, doctors prescribed prescription opioids for conditions that didn’t necessarily warrant higher-dose medications.

Also, opioid pain medications were originally intended as a short-term pain management method. However, they quickly began to be used in long-term pain management, which created greater availability and reliance on pain medications.

Opioids Origins and the Effect on the Body

Doctors also call opioids narcotics. They are a group of pain medications prescribed to relieve pain. Examples of opioid medications include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol

The History of Heroin

Heroin is also an opioid made from the opium poppy plant. People have been using opium poppies and isolating its effects for thousands of years. Doctors isolated morphine from opium in the 1800s and it was given as a painkiller. Historians have documented instances of Civil War veterans addicted to morphine in the late 1800s after being given the medication to recover from injuries.

Before the ill effects of the drug were fully understood, doctors used to prescribe heroin for medical uses ranging from pain relief to suppressing coughs. The Bayer Co. sold heroin commercially in 1898, a fact that is hard to imagine in today’s climate of opioid abuse. The drug didn’t become illegal until 1924 when doctors began to see the adverse effects of heroin use on the general population.

Rise in Drug Trafficking

In the 1970s, drug trafficking for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin had increased. President Gerald Ford started a task force to identify and intercept drug traffickers. During this same decade, the painkillers Percocet and Vicodin were available on the market. While they were initially intended for short-term pain relief, researchers increasingly studied their uses for chronic pain, such as management of cancer pain or after long-term injuries.

Focus on Medical Pain Treatment

In the 1990s, pain started to become more of a priority to treat. Doctors and healthcare agencies started calling pain the “fifth vital sign” and many regulatory agencies added questions such as “Was your pain well-controlled?” to post-hospital and post-surgical surveys that affected medical and hospital reimbursements. In addition to this movement toward better treating pain, the medication OxyContin went on the market in 1996.

The release of this new pain medication, as well as an emphasis on assessing and controlling pain, saw major increases in pain prescriptions. For example, in the early 1990s, an estimated 2 to 3 million prescriptions for pain medication were written each year. This number increased to 8 million by the year 1996, according to CNN.

Soaring Prescription Rates

In 1999 an estimated 11 million opioid prescriptions were written. Even in the early 2000’s, the United States’ medical community had yet to fully recognize the effects of opioid abuse in the United States. For example, in 2001, the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits hospitals and medical centers – accreditations which are tied to a hospital’s reimbursements – created a standard that required pain be assessed in all patients.

They also released an educational book that was a requirement for attending education seminars for doctors that claimed: “there is no evidence that addiction is a significant issue when persons are given opioids for pain control”. In 2009, the Joint Commission would remove this standard following an increase in information that pointed to the contrary.

Today, with an opioid epidemic in full swing, America has what started off as good intentions to manage pain that have ended with a nationwide problem. According to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden of opioids “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently”.

Effects of Opioids on the Body

When a person abuses opioids, they may experience pain relief. However, they also experience other effects that can cause addiction, such as euphoria when taking the drug. The drug also works on receptors in the body that slow breathing, affect concentration, cause drowsiness, and can create a “mental fog“. Taking the drug several times can cause changes in the brain that lead to addiction. This is when a person will continue to use a particular drug and seek it out, even when they know the drug is likely harming them.

Young people are in no way exempt from addiction and may abuse the drug in other ways, such as snorting or injecting the medication. Although they may have younger, healthier bodies than older persons who abuse opioids, they can still experience opioid side effects and overdoses.

What Is the State of Youth and Opioid Use in California?

Across the country, teen opioid abuse is second to marijuana in terms of drug abuse. According to The Sacramento Bee an estimated 20 percent of teens has abused a prescription pain medication at some point in time. While teenage drug use rates are down nationwide, any young person abusing opiates can be one too many due to the risks of overdose and death that come with opiate abuse.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, use of pain relievers for non-medical use among those in California ages 12 to 17 is 5 percent. This percentage is the same as the United States’ overall percentage. However, California comes in slightly higher for adolescents ages 12 to 17 who report they needed treatment for illicit drug use. An estimated 4 percent of young people polled reported they needed help for their drug abuse while the national average was 3 percent.

Easy Access to Opioids

Children and young people don’t always get opioids on the streets or from their friends at school. Instead, they may easily access them in a caretaker or loved one’s medicine cabinet. A quick experiment with opioids can quickly turn into an addiction. Additionally, young people may start with prescriptions for opioids but turn to misuse. According to The Sacramento Bee an estimated 1.7 million opioid prescriptions in 2016 were for people ages 15 to 29. This is a slight decrease from 2015’s numbers, which saw 1.9 million prescriptions written for this age demographic.

Parental Drug Abuse

In addition to concerns over the easy availability of opioids, researchers know that children whose parents are addicted to opioids and/or other drugs are at greater risk for addiction themselves. Children of parents who abuse opiates are also at greater risks for experiencing violence at home and have unstable living environments because their parents may have difficulty maintaining regular employment. According to The Children’s Partnership in California, an estimated 1/3 of children who enter foster care in the state do so partially due to parental drug abuse.

What Are the Short- and Long-Term Implications of Youth Opioid Use?

Short-Term Effects of Youth Opioid Use

The most immediate short-term implications for youth opioid use are the dangers of overdosing. Most young people who overdose from opioids may use them in combination with other medications or alcohol, creating a deadly combination that depresses the central nervous system and stops a person’s breathing . As a result, the person does not receive oxygen to their brain and their body cannot function without oxygen. If a young person does receive fairly prompt treatment, a medical team may be able to revive them. However, they may be subject to brain damage or organ damage as a result of the lack of oxygen.

In addition, addiction can cause a young person to engage in risky behaviors. They may steal or engage in illegal activities as a means to get more prescriptions. They can get in trouble with the law at a young age, which can set them on a harmful path. They also are starting an addiction at a very young age that they will likely struggle with their whole lives.

Long-Term Effects of Youth Opioid Use

Long-term implications for drug use include increased risks for infections, such as respiratory infections due to continued respiratory depression. Opioids also slow the intestinal system. This can lead to medical conditions such as small bowel obstruction and chronic constipation. If a young person injects the opioids in their system, they are at increased risks for injection-related medical conditions, such as endocarditis, a serious and potentially deadly infection of the heart’s tissues. A person may also contract viruses associated with needle-sharing such as hepatitis and HIV.

How Is the State of California Addressing Opioid Use?

Fighting the opioid epidemic in California requires the collaborative efforts of local law enforcement, hospitals, drug rehabilitation facilities, pharmacy boards, the California Department of Public Health, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and many more. In 2014, the Director of the California Department of Public Health launched a workgroup comprised of many prescribers, justice officials, and more to collaborate on ways to slow and ultimately end the opioid epidemic in California. Some of the major areas of focus included:

Boosting the monitoring power and efforts of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

Promoting the release and dissemination of the updated Guidelines for Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain from the Medical Board of California (MBC)

Developing a public education plan that focuses on helping people of all ages understand the dangers of opioid abuse as well as improper storage of opioid medications.

Enhancing access to treatment centers and rehabilitation facilities for those ready to get help for their addiction.

Enhancing naloxone (Narcan) distribution to those struggling with opioid use. This medication is one that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, which has proven potentially life saving to many in California and beyond.

What Is Detox from Opioids Like?

Detox from opioids is not considered potentially deadly, as a detox from alcohol or benzodiazepines can be. However, this does not mean that detox from opioids cannot be dangerous or without side effects. Detoxing from opioids can cause symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Strong cravings for the drugs abused
  • Cold chills
  • Restless legs
  • Aching muscles

Some people describe detoxing from opioids similar to a strong flu. Each person’s experiences can vary based on how long they have used a particular drug, what drug type they used, and their overall health. What doctors do know is that it is very difficult to detox from opioids without professional medical help. This can be especially true for young people, who may not have the education on the effects of opioids and detoxing from them.

What Are Common Struggles for Young People Getting Sober From Opioids?

Breaking free from the cycle of addiction is not easy for people of any age. Addiction truly changes a person’s mind. Even though a person knows they are hurting themselves, their cravings for a drug may be so strong they cannot overcome them through willpower or even wishing they could break free from abuse.

Peer Pressure

A young person may be using these drugs in a social setting, such as at parties with their friends. At a young age, a person’s friends and their opinions are often very important. As a young person struggles to gain independence from their parents and find their own identities, they may associate more with their friends than their families.

As a result, quitting opioid abuse can be very difficult because a person may fear they will lose their friends and status if they stop abusing opioids. They may worry about the stigma that could come with addiction or the need to attend a rehabilitation facility. While today, more and more people are embracing the value of professional medical help to gain sobriety, there is still a stigma within social circles surrounding people who need help for drug addictions. Until this stigma is gone and more education is available, these will remain challenges for young people hoping to overcome their addictions.

Lack of research

One struggle for young people and caregivers alike is that there isn’t a tremendous body of research related to how to help young people overcome their opioid addictions long-term. For example, the medication buprenorphine (Suboxone) is commonly used to help people stop using opioids. This medication blocks some of the pain receptors that can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using opioids but doesn’t give a person the same euphoria they get when taking opioids.

This can be a way to transition a person from abusing opioids illegally to slowly tapering these medications off. However, this medication hasn’t been tested on children under the age of 16. Therefore, any physician that prescribes the medication to help teenagers and young people struggling with addiction will be doing so off-label and insurance monies may not cover the cost.

Preventing Opioid Abuse in Younger Generations

Pain Management Alternatives

In addition to emphasizing treatments and treatment approaches for those in California, state agencies are also emphasizing preventive methods for young people. Preventing an addiction from occurring, especially in high-risk youth who have a family history of opioid abuse, is a long-term strategic solution to ending this crisis. There are several strategies parents and caretakers of young people can use to help their child. One example is communication with physicians and prescribers related to opioid prescriptions. If a young person experiences an injury, and a doctor prescribes opioids, a caregiver could ask:

While it is important that children have their pain managed related to illness or injury, there is a fine line between the appropriate medication to manage pain and the medication that may seem easier for a physician to prescribe. Dr. David Sine, the medical director of hospice and palliative care for Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, California, who was interviewed in the California Health Report said:

“I’ve had patients that go into a clinic with a severe ear pain and leave with a prescription for codeine,” Dr. Sine says. “I’ve never prescribed codeine for a kid with ear pain. Those are the things that happen all the time. I’ve encountered a 14- or 15-year old that’s been taking Vicodin for strep throat. Right there, you have the potential to create an addict.”

Mental Health

In addition to questions about appropriate pain management, it’s important that a caretaker disclose any history of mental health problems, addictions, or abuse in the family. While this isn’t always the case, sometimes a child or teen complaining of pain and discomfort may actually have an underlying mental health issue that could benefit from psychological treatments, not pain medications.

According to Dr. Giovanni Cucchiaro, the director of comfort, pain management, and palliative care program at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles interviewed in the California Health Report: “Many actually have significant psychological issues (such as) depression or more severe forms like bipolar disorder,” Dr. Cucchiaro says. “The common complaint is pain, but the pain is a psychological problem and they’re treated with opioids rather than addressing the background psychological problem.”


Where Can a Young Person Find Help for California Opioid Abuse?

Addiction Treatment

Help is available for those in California who struggle with opioid abuse. One of the most common treatments for opioid addiction is medication-assisted treatment or MAT. This approach involves a combination of medications to help a person stop abusing opioids, counseling, and support from family and other positive influences. These therapies are available at rehabilitation facilities throughout California who can help young people get sober and stay sober. Some areas of the state also have youth-oriented programs that allow a young person to recover and pursue their sobriety among similarly aged people struggling with addiction. This can be helpful in a person realizing that they aren’t alone and hearing more about the struggles others face and how they overcame them.


In addition to initial treatments for addiction, such as medical detox programs that provide a way for a young person to withdraw from opiates with as minimal side effects as possible, it’s important that a young person continues to engage in their sobriety. This can include attending counseling sessions, family therapy, or group therapies, such as Narcotics Anonymous. Because a young person may go to college or the working world where they may again be exposed to drugs, it’s important they continue addiction aftercare programs that help them identify ways to continue to stay sober.

No “cure” for addiction exists. It’s possible a person may always have a thought in the back of their mind about returning to drug abuse. But starting on a drug-free path can be a lifesaving one. If you or a loved one struggles with California opioid abuse, you aren’t alone, and help is available.

Dr. Venice Sanchez


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


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


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


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


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

LMFT Therapist

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



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.

Emily Mayot

LCSW Therapist

Ms. Mayot is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in anxiety, depression, transitions, trauma, grief/loss and substance abuse. She has earned a bachelor in psychology from Cal State University Fullerton, and a master in social work at University of Southern California (USC). Emily has been trained in but not limited to CBT, CPT, Motivational Interviewing, and EMDR. Her experience stems from inpatient treatment centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and outpatient community mental health.

Her style is compassionate, non-judgmental, down-to-earth, flexible and organized. The approach she takes is to meet you where you are at in the present moment and time. This creates more understanding and a strong collaboration in creating/accomplishing goals.

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 her 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’s 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.

Dr. Mitchell Naficy

Medical Doctor

Medical Director

Dr. Naficy is a Board Certified Family Physician with over 25 years of clinical experience. In 1985, he graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Microbiology and French Literature. In 1990, he received his Medical Doctor degree, and in 1991 completed his post graduate training at the University of Southern California Medical Center. In 1998, he completed his residency at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.

Dr. Naficy style of patient care involves caring for the person as a whole, rather than just treating a particular symptom or illness. Dr. Naficy has extensive experience in treating the physiological aspects of addiction detox and is highly respected in the field by both his colleagues and patients.

Sound Bath Therapy

Truvida’s sound bath treatment is a very effective experiential therapy that uplifts one’s body, mind and soul. Our certified Sound Healer plays crystal singing bowls as well as the gongs to stimulate various chakra centers.

For more than 50,000 years, sound has been used to heal, and motivate the human soul.  During a sound bath or sound healing session, one’s brain waves & breathing become regulated and synchronized, producing a deep sense of peace & well being. Bathing in sacred sound allows us to powerfully resonate with frequencies that allow us to balance & heal on all levels.

Sound therapy allows professionals to tackle addiction at a brainwave level, thus making it much easier for patients to achieve a meditative state and come to terms with their problems. Sound Therapy redresses imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and plays a positive and powerful role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.

Substance Abuse can also lead to the development of a co-occurring condition (or vice versa) and cleansing the body of a substance isn’t always enough for a complete and lasting recovery. Patients must also address the physiological and emotional issues that may have led to the destructive behavior in the first place.

Evidence shows that the outcomes of sound therapy are extremely positive and beneficial to patients’ behavior, especially when doctors pair them with other scientific methods, such as individual therapy, behavioral therapy, and so on.

Natural Benefits Of Sound Therapy:

TruVida’s Sound Therapy is performed by Andrew Hubbard who is a certified Sound Bath practitioner and conducted multiple college level studies in Sound Therapy and Music theory.

Robert (Bobby) Nicholl

Admissions and Interventions

Bobby has spent over 15 years in the development and operations of several residential treatment centers in California. He is a Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionist, as well as a Registered Addiction Specialist. Mr. Nicholl is personally involved in Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California. He says, “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.” As Bobby says: “I’ve recently learned what really matters the most in life: God, my relationships, and my integrity. There is nothing more important!”

“If you have a hole in your life and your very inner being (your soul) feels empty and hungry? Then welcome, to Celebrate Hope, you’re at the right place for healing and restoration of mind, body, and spirit; we will provide you with a dignified setting and surround you with loving people. You’re going to get everything you need and even some of your wants while Celebrating Hope. Everywhere you look you’re surrounded by people who believe in you and believe you have what it takes to recover, heal, and be WHOLE. We believe in and love you because He (God) first believed in and loved us.” From day one, Bobby has focused treatment services on “What is in the best interest of the client?” With that in mind, the treatment team develops individualized treatment plans with each client’s specific needs in mind.

Charlie Grooms

Christian Pastor

Pastor Charlie leads our Christ – centered addiction treatment program dealing with men and women who are seeking restoration from drug and alcohol addiction through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our program is based entirely on the Word of God, the Bible, and all counsel originates from it. Our experience has been that with a solid grounding in the Bible and good Christian living skills, numerous men and women have been able to become productive, vital members of their community. Our primary focus is to establish, or strengthen, a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to experience true freedom from the bondage of the sin of addiction

Charlie is originally from Columbus, Ohio where he attended a Christian college and then traveled across the country to California to continue his education at Bethel School of Ministry and graduated in 2015. Charlie has conducted interviews with TBN and other nation wide radio stations.

Michael Rosales

Case Manager – Christian Minister

Bio coming soon!

Dr. Ryan Wright

Psychiatrist, M.D.

Dr. Wright is a Board Certified Psychiatrist and a Board Certified Addiction Medicine Specialist currently practicing in Newport Beach, CA. He provides general psychiatric services for adult patients who are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, or thought disorders. For every new patient, Dr. Wright provides a comprehensive initial psychiatric assessment, and offers subsequent mental health treatment including medication management and individual psychotherapy.

Kim Brassett

LMFT Therapist

Ms. Kim Brassett is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She brings over 7 years of experience to the Truvida Team, and is EMDR Therapist. Her style is warm, supportive & positive and her philosophy is healing happens when the therapeutic relationship is collaborative, honest, compassionate, respectful and caring. She comes from a place of personal experience and a genuine desire to help make a significant improvement in the lives of the people with whom she works with. She provides a unique therapeutic approach to treat a wide variety of conditions including addiction & recovery, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, sexual abuse, trauma, grief and loss, relationship issues and life transitions. Kim works with clients from various cultures and backgrounds as well as all ages, and strives to create a supportive, safe environment where one can share their experiences, emotions, challenges.

Leah Dean

LMFT Therapist

Ms. Leah Dean is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is Certified in Dual Disorders. She brings over ten years of experience to the TruVida Team. Her therapies concentrate on Drug and Alcohol abuse/use, grief and loss, blended families, Dual Diagnosis, divorce recovery, Parent/Child Conflicts, grief and loss, interpersonal relationships, stress management, and Gay & Lesbian issues. Her goal it that each of her clients enrich their personal and relational growth as well as enhance their emotional healing. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and believes that mind, body and spirit are essential components to healing. Her Psychotherapy provides the ceremonial time/space for honoring one’s movement thru important life passages. Leah utilize the 12-Step program/concepts to help deal with the difficult issues of drug and alcohol abuse/use, and incorporates spirituality as well as self actualization, and mindlfullness.