Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
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

Opioid Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Effects

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and possible effects of opioid addiction can be an important first step on the path toward successful long-term recovery. Sierra by the Sea in Newport Beach, California, is proud to be a source of accurate and relevant information about the impact of opioid addiction.

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Learn about opioid addiction

Opioids are a category of potentially dangerous and highly addictive substances. Examples of opioids include morphine, heroin, oxycodone (the main ingredient in OxyContin), hydrocodone (the main ingredient in Vicodin), and fentanyl.

Many opioids have legitimate medical uses, primarily related to pain management. However, all opioid use can put a person at risk for addiction and overdose.

The clinical term for opioid addiction is opioid use disorder. Opioid addiction is also sometimes referred to as opioid dependence. In addition to a powerful compulsion to use opioids, opioid addiction is also characterized by tolerance and withdrawal.

Tolerance means that a person who has become addicted to an opioid will need to use the drug with increasing frequency or in larger amounts in order to experience the desired effects. Withdrawal means that when a person tries to stop using opioids, they will develop painful physical and psychological symptoms.

It can be extremely difficult to overcome the urge to use opioids. However, when you receive effective personalized care from a reputable provider, you can achieve successful long-term recovery.


Statistics about opioid use and addiction

The following statistics about opioid use and addiction in the United States were reported by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

Causes & Risk Factors for Opioid Addiction

Potential causes of opioid addiction

The likelihood that you or someone you care about may develop opioid use disorder can be influenced by a variety of internal and external factors, including the following:

  • History of addiction or mental illness within the family
  • Previous struggles with another substance use disorder
  • Personal history of mental health concerns
  • Personal history of conduct disorder as a child or adolescent
  • Inherited characteristics such as impulsivity or novelty-seeking
  • Receiving a prescription for opioids to treat pain due to an injury or other medical condition

It is important to understand that no single risk factor or set of circumstances will definitively cause a person to become addicted to opioids. However, individuals who have one or more of the factors listed above may have a heightened risk for opioid addiction.

Signs & Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Symptoms of opioid addiction

As with the causes and risk factors for opioid addiction, the symptoms of opioid addiction can also vary from person to person. In general terms, though, the following are among the more common signs and symptoms that may indicate that a person has become addicted to opioids:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Attempting to borrow, purchase, or steal opioids that were prescribed to someone else
  • Visiting several doctors in an attempt to acquire multiple prescriptions for opioids
  • Using opioids in situations where it is clearly unsafe to do so, such as when drinking alcohol or prior to driving a car
  • Continuing to use opioids even after experiencing negative effects that are directly related to previous use
  • Neglecting personal hygiene and grooming
  • Frequently missing school or work, and otherwise failing to meet personal and professional obligations
  • Lying, being secretive, or being otherwise deceptive regarding your opioid use
  • Withdrawing from friends and family

Physical symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Shifting energy levels
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Itchiness

Mental symptoms:

  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Diminished cognition
  • Mood swings
  • Poor judgment
  • Loss of interest in significant activities
Effects of Opioid Addiction

The negative impact of opioid addiction

It is difficult to overstate the potential negative impact of untreated opioid addiction. When a person becomes addicted to opioids, they put themselves at risk for considerable physical, psychological, and socioeconomic harm. The following are examples of the possible negative effects of opioid addiction:

  • Strained or ruined relationships with family members and friends
  • Unsatisfactory performance in school and at work
  • Academic setbacks, including failure and expulsion
  • Job loss and chronic unemployment
  • Legal problems, including arrest and incarceration
  • Financial difficulties
  • Physical harm due to dangerous or reckless behaviors
  • Damage to heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs
  • Onset or worsening of symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Social withdrawal or ostracization
  • Loss of self-esteem and diminished self-worth
  • Pervasive sense of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

It is important to understand that the effects of opioid addiction can be prevented by seeking effective care at a reputable facility. When you get the right type and level of professional help, you minimize your risk for future harm. The process of getting help for opioid addiction also involves beginning to heal from past damage.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Common co-occurring disorders among people who are addicted to opioids

Many people who become addicted to opioids also struggle with co-occurring mental health challenges. The following are among the more common co-occurring disorders that may impact people who struggle with opioid addiction:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Other substance use disorders

Experiencing opioid addiction does not mean that you will definitely develop a co-occurring mental health challenge. However, your risk may be increased. When you get effective, comprehensive help, the professionals who care for you can identify and, if necessary, address any co-occurring disorders that accompany opioid addiction.

Effects of Opioid Withdrawal & Overdose

Withdrawing from opioids, and the risk of overdose

Effects of withdrawal: When you become addicted to opioids, your body adapts to their presence. When you try to stop using opioids, your body may react with a variety of unpleasant physical and psychological responses. This is known as withdrawal. The following are common effects of opioid withdrawal:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Powerful cravings for opioids

Effects of overdose: When your opioid use overwhelms your body’s ability to process the drug, this experience is known as overdose. Opioid overdose is extremely dangerous. Without effective medical attention, a person who overdoses on one or more opioids can die. The following are common signs of opioid overdose:

  • Extreme confusion or disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bluish coloration near lips and fingertips
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Faint pulse
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizure

It is extremely important to understand the danger of opioid overdose. Every year, thousands of people die as a result of opioid overdose. Anyone who exhibits any of the signs above after using an opioid may have overdosed and should be brought to the immediate attention of a qualified healthcare provider.

We Accept Insurance
The following are some of the providers with whom we work regularly
  • Cigna
  • Optum
  • and many more...

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)