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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Addiction Recognized as a Disease

We’ve been saying it for years – addiction is a disorder of the brain and not a matter of personal choice. Modern medicine is fully embracing this reality and we hope it will lead to more humane treatment of the sufferers of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Addiction experts have released a new definition of addiction, describing it as a chronic brain disorder and not just a behavioral problem.  This new definition from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applies to multiple addictions, including gambling, compulsive eating and sex in addition to alcohol and drugs.  It was formulated following a four-year process that involved more than 80 experts.

The new “long definition” of addiction describes it as a primary disease, meaning it is not a symptom or effect of other psychiatric or emotional issues.  Like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the new definition says that addiction is a chronic disorder that must be treated and monitored over an entire lifetime.  The definition also recognizes the role of genetics in determining who will be vulnerable for addiction.

Addictionologist Kevin McCauley told us: “Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not just a behavioral problem.”

The new “long definition” of addiction describes it as a primary disease, meaning it is not a symptom or effect of other psychiatric or emotional issues.  Like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the new definition says that addiction is a chronic disorder that must be treated and monitored over an entire lifetime.  The definition also recognizes the role of genetics in determining who will be vulnerable for addiction.

Dr. Raju Hajela, leader of the ASAM committee that formed the new definition, released a statement saying that although addiction is a disease and not a choice, people who are suffering from addiction do have the power to choose recovery.  When people who are suffering from addiction seek recovery treatment, it is the equivalent of someone with genetic heart disease choosing to exercise and eat a healthy diet in addition to seeking medical and surgical interventions.

Addiction is not a choice but people who are suffering from addiction do have the power to choose recovery.

The new definition is meant to supplant the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of “substance dependence” (instead of “addiction”) in the standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  It was prompted by research into addiction that has taken place over the past two decades.  Researchers have found that addiction is tied to the brain’s reward circuitry so that thinking about previous experiences with an addictive substance or behavior can trigger strong cravings and lead to further addictive behavior.  The areas of the brain that govern impulse control and judgment are modified by addiction, causing affected individuals to purse addictive behavior regardless of the consequences.  Thinking, feeling and perceptions are distorted by addiction.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, welcomes the new definition and hopes it will motivate primary physicians to screen patients for signs of drug addiction.  NIDA statistics show that about 23 million Americans need treatment for substance addiction but only 2 million per year receive help.  Defining addiction as a chronic disease will also help set expectations for relapse, which Dr. Volkow says is often difficult to understand for the families of people who undergo addiction treatment.

Dr. Michael Miller, past ASAM president who worked with the committee that developed the new definition, would like to see the focus on addiction shift from social, moral and criminal issues to the underlying neurological problem.  The definition says that addiction is not about substances or the quantity or frequency of use – it’s about brains.  According to Dr. Miller, it’s time to stop moralizing and blaming people who have the disease of addiction and start creating opportunities for proper treatment.

Learn more about addiction by browsing our site.  Learn what to say to a family member as well, and contact an interventionist with our help.

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)