Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Sierra by the Sea to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Sierra by the Sea.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Movie Review: Pleasure Unwoven

Kevin McCauley is a pioneer in the field of addiction treatment and his full length movie set in the beautiful national parks of Utah has a mission: to change your opinion about the nature of addiction…

“Addiction begins as a disorder of genes and pleasure and ends as a disorder of choice.” – Kevin McCauley

Kevin McCauley has made his mark in the field of addiction treatment by tirelessly educating the world about the Disease Model of Addiction. More recently, he collaborated on the creation of the Applied Recovery model of support offered at the groundbreaking LeMont Michel facility in Sandy, Utah.

Pleasure Unwoven is a Visionary Movie about the Phenomenon of Addiction

In Pleasure Unwoven, Kevin McCauley becomes very creative in his portrayal of Addiction as a Disease. The craggy and beautiful trails of Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park become a metaphor for the primitive midbrain while the plateaus of Zion national Park represent the brain’s frontal cortex. There are colored hoses and liquids to represent the brain chemicals glutamine and dopamine. Even Modernist French writer Marcel Proust’s fascination with the intense pleasure of eating a Madeleine cookie is used to help the viewer understand the progressive nature of addiction.

Why the focus on Addiction as a Disease?

Kevin McCauley devotes almost the entire movie to proving the notion that addiction is a disease and not a choice.  This is such an obsession for Kevin because the distinction should change how society’s perception of an addicted person and more importantly how society reacts to the transgressions of an addicted individual. Namely:

If addiction is a proven to meet the criteria of other treatable medical conditions like diabetes or a broken leg, then instead of putting alcoholics and addicts in jail, we should put them in treatment.

During the film, the viewer is treated to incredible visual imagery and a lush soundscape (provided by Kristin Erickson). Kevin McCauley walks through the beautiful national parks of Utah explaining to his viewer the scientific building blocks of the Addiction as a Disease Model.  The information may be too clinical at times for the average layman, but Kevin does touch on and make clear simple concepts like why genetics increase the likelihood of addiction and why a person who is an addict cannot enjoy simple pleasures like going to Disneyland.

The creativity that Kevin displays in using props and imagery to prove his point to the casual viewer is very clever and turns a very scientific discussion into something palatable.  In the end, the point is driven home that addiction is a disease and addicts deserved to be treated as if they have a treatable medical condition akin to a broken leg.

Yes, Kevin McCauley has organized Intoxicants into their own periodic table. There is a sound logic behind the organization.

What About the Solution?

No one except the most ambitious and well educated doctor with an agenda would dare try and debate Kevin McCauley on the point that addiction is a disease that warrants humane treatment.

The rest of us who don’t want to belabor the issue want to hear the solution. There is one brief monologue near the end of the movie where Kevin McCauley talks about the components of recovery:

  • stop taking drugs
  • learn to cope with craving
  • learn how to manage stress
  • participate in recovery on a daily basis.

The end result is: “the power of choice is restored…and normal pleasures become pleasurable again.”

Paving the road to help people to regain the “power of choice” is what Sierra by the Sea and other treatment centers are in the business of doing.

Kevin McCauley can and should explain what he feels the components of a successful regimen for recovery are.  I am sure he could also explain the detailed inner workings of the brain and how it benefits from each activity.

In Kevin McCauley’s extended lectures, he touches on components that make up a program of recovery with the best likelihood of a long term successful outcomes.  Components of the program of recovery Kevin espouses include these ingredients

  • accountability (i.e. drug testing)
  • a long term commitment to receiving treatment
  • medical oversight and therapeutic support
  • physical activities
  • esteem building activities
  • daily rituals
  • fellowship with others in recovery

With regard to the importance of fellowship, Kevin did not get to discuss the importance of 12-Step support groups in his film Pleasure Unwoven, but if you are familiar with Kevin McCauley’s lecture series then you have heard him explain the benefits of participating in a 12-Step program like AA or NA. This is my favorite part of his lecture because to hear Kevin McCauley explain the benefits of 12-Step fellowship is to be utterly convinced of the value of support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

As an addiction industry professional I get so many phone calls from people who are desperate for “the answer” to their (or a loved one’s) addiction. How often do I give people my take on what “the answer” is and have them tune out when I discuss the spiritual component and the benefits of 12-Step programs?  If I could explain to the medical benefits of each part of the recovery program we offer at out treatment center as well as Kevin McCauley can, then their doubts would be unfounded…

There is still another movie waiting to be made about the treatment of addiction and why the top treatment facilities in the world have arrived at a very similar treatment regimen in this day and age. I think Kevin McCauley is the man to do it.

Recovery is fueled by hope and courage and an exploration of the underlying factors such as trauma. Our treatment driven by compassionate and trauma-informed care provides the foundation of recovery and healing.

– Valerie M. Kading, DNP, MBA, MSN, PMHNP-BC, Chief Executive Officer
Marks of Quality Care
These accreditations are an official recognition of our dedication to providing treatment that exceeds the standards and best practices of quality care.
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)