“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 1-800-366-8101.
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
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.
On July 21, 2009 MBRC Counselor Ellery Holesapple waited for Marci outside the Alaska Air baggage claim at LAX. And waited. And waited.
Finally he called to report Marci must have missed the plane. No, we said, her husband had just heard from her.
“She walked right past me waiting for her with a sign that had her name printed on it,” recalls Ellery four and a half years later. “When I reached her by phone she stated she tried to score crack from the guy on the island (where people wait for shuttles) at LAX. It took another 15-20 minutes talking with her on the phone before she would tell me where she was.
“I think I actually walked past her again before she told me where she was exactly. She had been hiding behind all of her luggage (remember she came in with like 5 VERY LARGE suitcases packed to the brim. Once we connected she tried to persuade me to stop on the way to MBRC (just for a few days) and get crack and then we would go to the center after that. I give her credit she was persistent in wanting to get high.”
I asked Ellery if he would have bet on Marci, if he could have guessed that she would still be sober on January 28, 2014. He says he gives everyone a 50:50 chance.
Veteran Addiction Counselor Marty Brenner, who schooled Marci in anger management and parenting skills for two months, said he would not have given her even those odds. “She was angry at the world,” he recalls. He describes the petite young woman who used to operate heavy construction equipment for a living as having “a heart of gold.”
“She wanted to get healthy. And I am so happy she became the woman she always wanted to be. She didn’t think it was possible in 2009.”
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.
I remember trying to coax Casie into treatment. It was February 2013. She described herself, at 25, as a long-term drug addict, who had spent several years of her adolescence in a Utah facility for wayward kids. She was now living somewhere near Dallas, estranged from her parents and only sister. She called many times before she actually got to Malibu on Valentine’s Day -- sometimes from meth dens.
I don’t care what anyone says. It is really hard, virtually impossible, to look at a client entering rehab and say: this person really wants sobriety and is going to achieve it. I never would have bet on Casie.
Luckily for her, sometime before she called Malibu Beach Recovery Center, a guardian angel perched permanently on her right shoulder. As I write this she already has more than a year of sobriety, has repaired relations with both parents, and is hoping that one day soon her sister will also forgive her.Click here to see the interview Casie recorded about her journey.
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.