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

LAST UPDATED ON 10/09/2020

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.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services 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

Drug Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Effects

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and possible effects of 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 addiction.

Understanding Addiction

Learn about addiction

Addiction or substance use disorder involves the overuse of both illegal and legal substances. Substance use disorder is classified based on substance, including the following: alcohol, cannabis or marijuana, caffeine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives/hypnotics/anxiolytics, stimulants, tobacco, and unknown substances.

When someone takes any of these substances in large amounts, the brain releases chemicals that cause feelings of happiness and reward. On a cellular level, this reward helps individuals form certain behaviors. While the brain typically releases some of these chemicals, the use of substances produces an excessive amount of them. A large amount of substances will then cause a large amount of chemicals, leading to an overly happy and elated feeling. This is what is known as the “high” that many individuals experience after substance use.

As a result of this good feeling, the brain’s reward system forms a habit, which encourages individuals to continue using the substance. The formation of this habit also causes the brain’s desire for increasing amounts of the substance to produce the same feelings of reward and happiness. This is known as dependence and causes individuals to take more and more of the substance in order to feel the same level of elation.

When an individual does not use a substance that their body is dependent on, they enter a state of withdrawal, which causes changes in mood and vital functions. Substance use disorder develops once an individual becomes dependent on a substance and experiences withdrawal in its absence.


Statistics about substance use and addiction

According to information collected in 2014 by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), addiction is a growing concern. Their data revealed the following:

  • Substance use disorder affected 20.2 million adults in the United States.
  • Of the 20.2 million adults with substance use disorder, 7.9 million were diagnosed with both substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition.
  • Of those 7.9 million adults with substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition, 4.1 million were men.
  • Tobacco addiction is more common in adults with a mental health condition than the rest of the population.
  • About 44% of all tobacco in the United States is purchased and used by individuals with a mental health condition.
Causes and Risk Factors for Addiction

Potential causes of addiction

There are several factors that play a role in an individual developing substance use disorder. Some risk factors for substance use disorder include:

  • A family history of substance use disorder
  • Personality traits such as impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors
  • Currently having a co-occurring mental health condition such as a depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, or psychotic disorder
  • Exposure to any form of abuse
  • Being in an environment with frequent substance use (home, school, or community)
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in early adolescence
  • High stress levels
  • Consuming drugs by the most addictive methods of substance use: smoking, injecting, or intranasally (snorting)
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Symptoms of addiction

Substance use disorder has an impact on many aspects of the body. These symptoms may vary between individuals and also may differ depending on the type of substance an individual is using.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • A large amount of time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from the substance
  • Continual use of the substance, with no efforts or failed efforts to stop substance use
  • Inability to fulfill family, work, educational, social, or other obligations and responsibilities
  • Use of substance during dangerous situations (for example, when driving or operating machinery)

Physical symptoms:

  • Taking larger amounts of the substance over a long period of time
  • A physical need for an increased amount of the substance (for example, too little of the substance has a minimal effect on the body and mind, which forms a tolerance to the substance)

Mental symptoms:

  • Cravings for the substance after a short period of time spent not using
  • Substance is taken to avoid symptoms of withdrawal, which are experienced when the substance is not used
Effects of Addiction

The negative impact of addiction

Substance use disorder has the potential to impact many aspects of a person’s life, especially if this condition exists in an individual with a co-occurring mental health condition. This condition can be difficult to treat, especially since substance use disorder may cause moderate to severe physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms.

If substance use disorder is left untreated, an individual is at risk for experiencing many negative effects, including:

  • Poor work attendance and/or performance, demotion, or loss of employment
  • Homelessness or inability to maintain home environment
  • Legal concerns, such as driving under the influence or public intoxication
  • Behavioral issues such as violence, theft, reckless and risk-taking behaviors, and impulsivity
  • Suicidal thoughts and ideation
  • An increased risk for medical conditions such as electrolyte imbalances, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke
  • Damaged social and familial relationships
  • Increased risk of being unable to control actions and behaviors

While these effects of substance use disorder are serious and have the potential to negatively impact the life of you or a loved one, these outcomes are not guaranteed. If you seek care for an addiction and remain consistent with a substance use disorder program, it’s possible to successfully manage addiction. Individuals who are able to resist urges for substances and maintain a sober lifestyle have the potential to live a happy, healthy life.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Common co-occurring disorders among people who have substance use disorder

The presence of substance use disorder may be accompanied by other mental health conditions due to its effect on chemicals in the brain that impact mood and behaviors. Some co-occurring disorders commonly seen with substance use disorder include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
Effects of Substance Withdrawal and Overdose

Withdrawing from substances and the risk of overdose

Effects of withdrawal: An individual who is experiencing withdrawal from a substance may experience some of the following physical and mental symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors in hand or other body parts
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia)
  • Nausea, stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling sensations that are not real
  • Seizures

Effects of overdose: An individual who has consumed dangerous quantities of a substance is at risk for an overdose. Overdoses are extremely dangerous and may lead to death if an individual does not receive emergency medical care. Any individuals demonstrating the signs or symptoms of an overdose require immediate medical attention. Common symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Slowed breathing, which may cause someone to stop breathing
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Very low levels of oxygen in the blood
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Entering a coma
  • Electrolyte imbalances
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)