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

Prescription Painkiller Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Effects

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

Understanding Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Learn about prescription painkiller addiction

Prescription painkiller addiction is a substance use disorder characterized by a misuse of medications that are prescribed by a doctor for pain associated with injuries, illnesses, post-surgery, or other medical conditions.

Prescription painkillers are generally safe to take when a doctor prescribes them and a person takes them as directed. But people can become addicted to prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet, when they misuse these medications by taking more than their doctor prescribes or by taking them for longer than their doctor prescribes.

People who suffer from prescription painkiller addiction experience powerful cravings for these drugs and struggle to stop taking them, even if their behaviors damage their closest relationships or their jobs or get them in trouble with the law.

An addiction to prescription painkillers can have serious negative effects on an individual’s life if left untreated. But if you or your loved one seeks care at the first signs of an addiction to prescription painkillers, you can lower your risk of experiencing any long-term damage.


Statistics about prescription painkiller use and addiction

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Safety Council, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have reported the following statistics about prescription painkiller addiction in the United States:

Causes & Risk Factors for Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Potential causes of prescription painkiller addiction

You cannot pinpoint a single determining factor for why a person may develop an addiction to prescription painkillers. Many influences can contribute to a person’s risk for developing a substance use disorder. These are just some of the most common causes and risk factors associated with prescription painkiller addiction:

  • Having a family member who has struggled with a substance use disorder
  • Access to prescription painkillers
  • Having friends who misuse prescription painkillers or prescription drugs
  • Having a propensity for impulsive behavior
Signs & Symptoms of Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Symptoms of prescription painkiller addiction

When an individual is battling an addiction to prescription painkillers, the effects can make it challenging to function in their daily life if they don’t seek help. Without proper support, these are just some of the signs and symptoms that someone who is coping with a prescription painkiller addiction may exhibit:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Engages in risky behaviors
  • Inability to stop taking prescription painkillers
  • Sudden financial difficulties
  • Stops fulfilling obligations at home or work

Physical symptoms:

  • Dry nose and mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Slurred speech
  • Lowered sex drive

Mental symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Elation or euphoria
  • Disinterest in social or recreational activities
  • Lack of desire to cut down or stop taking prescription painkillers
Effects of Prescription Painkiller Addiction

The negative impact of prescription painkiller addiction

The effects of prescription painkiller addiction can be just as harmful as the effects of an addiction to illicit drugs. But if you or your loved one seeks care at the first signs of an addiction to prescription painkillers, you can heal from any damage you may have experienced from living with a substance use disorder.

These are just some of the effects a prescription painkiller addiction can have on an individual’s life if left untreated:

  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Financial problems and bankruptcy
  • Arrest and incarceration
  • Damaged relationships with close friends and family
  • Violence associated with seeking drugs
  • Injury or death while intoxicated
  • Accidental overdose

While these effects might seem like inevitable consequences of an addiction to prescription painkillers, there is hope. By seeking help for a prescription painkiller addiction, you can start to heal from any damage caused by living with a substance use disorder. Healing and recovery are possible when you find support for yourself or your loved one.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Common co-occurring disorders among people who are addicted to prescription painkillers

An individual who is struggling with a prescription painkiller addiction is at an increased risk for developing other mental health challenges, or co-occurring disorders. Mental health concerns that commonly co-occur with prescription painkiller addiction include:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Conduct disorder
  • Other substance use disorders
Effects of Prescription Painkiller Withdrawal & Overdose

Withdrawing from prescription painkillers and the risk of overdose

Effects of withdrawal: An individual who is suffering from a prescription painkiller addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop taking prescription painkillers without professional support. Some of the effects of withdrawal from prescription painkillers include:

  • Irritable mood
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches, usually in the back and legs
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Fever
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep

Effects of overdose: People who are addicted to prescription painkillers are at a high risk for accidental overdose because these medications can slow a person’s breathing and heart rate until they stop completely. These are just some of the signs of prescription painkiller overdose:

  • Pupils become very small
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting or making gurgling sounds
  • Fingernails, lips, or skin turns purple or blue
  • Skin is cold
  • Heartbeat is very slow

An overdose from prescription painkillers can be fatal, so if you think someone is exhibiting the signs of an overdose, please get them immediate medical attention. With quick action, you can ensure that a person who is experiencing an overdose gets the help they need.

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)