Cornerstone: Helping Opioid Addicts since 1984

10 Aug

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Cornerstone has been helping opioid addicts since our inception in 1984. We understand the disease of addiction and understand the added difficulties in recovery when it comes to opioid street drugs and prescription drugs. The opioid epidemic has been out of control in this country for years and only recently have we seen some action taken by our government to fight back against this rising tide of addiction. Cornerstone is well versed in the use of Suboxone in opioid detoxification and in long term Suboxone maintenance. Our affiliated addiction medicine physicians can prescribe Suboxone when it is deemed necessary and understand the intricacies of long term maintenance. If you or a loved one suffers from opioid addiction to any of the following substances please reach out to us today:

How do I know if I am addicted?

26 Jul


If you can’t stop taking a drug even if you want to, or if the urge to use drugs is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm, you might be addicted. The NIDA has put together some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you think about drugs a lot?
  2. Did you ever try to stop or cut down on your drug usage but couldn’t?
  3. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without the use of drugs?
  4. Do you ever use drugs because you are upset or angry at other people?
  5. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
  6. Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another?
  7. Have you ever made mistakes at a job or at school because you were using drugs?
  8. Does the thought of running out of drugs really scare you?
  9. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to pay for drugs?
  10. Have you ever been arrested or in the hospital because of your drug use?
  11. Have you ever overdosed on drugs?
  12. Has using drugs hurt your relationships with other people?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you might have an addiction. People from all backgrounds can get an addiction. Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young.  Read more HERE.

“This tweaker called Cornerstone’s Admissions Office and….

19 Jul

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On 4/26/06 a Tweaker called the Cornerstone Intake Department to set an appointment for admission.  The lady on the phone asked, “When would you like to check in?” and the tweaker responded, “Maybe the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or even Christmas”. Ultimately she got him to agree to come in the very next day. 3653 days ago (10 years) today, this tweaker who had just awoken from 13 days of hard hibernation checked himself into the Cornerstone Extended Care Program; I even got a speeding ticket on my way to check in!

I arrived 30+ minutes late to the Outpatient building without knowing that the Intake department was not even located there! I would not have listened if you would have told me where it actually was and there was no way I was ever going to ask.  

Phil was the first man I met when I walked through the door.  Phil, being his usual happy self, asked if he could help me and I told Phil that I was here for an appointment to check into long term residential treatment. I was half waiting for the red carpet to roll out and half waiting to get yelled at for being late but Phil just looked over to the other person working with him and said something like, “Man they never let us know about all these admissions!”  After filling out the paperwork and enduring the pee test Phil walked out of the bathroom and told my mother that her son was positive for meth.

Next I met the program director of The CARE program, and Pat did my Intake assessment in Tom’s office.  Then I was rushed off to house #3 where Doug greeted me as my first House Monitor.  While unpacking I found a brand new bottle of mouthwash (60-70 proof) in the luggage that my mother had packed for me.  I panicked and immediately ran to the House Monitor to explain myself.  Doug took one look at me and said, “You going to drink it? No? Then dump it out.”

On 4/28/06 I was taken to see the doctor and then directly back to group.  The CARE group went to a noon meeting daily,  came home for lunch and then returned to house #15  for another short group before heading back to my assigned recovery house #3.  

That night when the drivers came by and picked up the clients for the IOP and MRP Programs, I jumped in the van.  I sat in the IOP group with my roommate, and the Case Manager said that he should not have any new clients in the group today before I was taken back to the front desk.  Phil told me that he had only signed me up for the CARE program and that I was not in the IOP group.  I proceeded to  lose my mind!  I screamed, “My parents paid cash for this program and you were supposed to have signed me up for the works!  This place is so freaking (I definitely used more colorful language) disorganized!” I am pretty sure I also said that I was leaving and calling my mommy!

Phil calmed me down, told me to relax and that he would get the program director down here to talk to me right away.  I walked out for a cigarette (but likely smoked a pack), called my mommy and my girlfriend.  After about an hour or so all of us sat around and had a conjoint meeting.

My parents, “Her” (the program director), my Case Manager and myself (sitting with a shirt on that said “I don’t give a rats ass”) began to hash it out.  I was leaving with my girlfriend, my parents were crying, and somehow after asserting that I was not doing this 12 step crap, AA, NA, or CA, whatever, it did not matter, they talked me into staying.

Believe it or not this tweaker actually completed 4 and a half months in the CARE / Extended Care program.  I started going to school before I discharged from the program (possibly due to the fact that it got me out of going to the family night program).  I was even able to receive overnight passes after about a month in treatment.  Next I transferred to Sober Living in the apartment for 10 months or so.  

In July of 07’ I became a driver at Cornerstone and then a House Monitor at houses #2 and #11.   I ended up at Cornerstone for 3 or more years and after being educated in the field I went clinical.

As of 6/22/16 I am still a proud employee of Cornerstone of Southern California working in the Intake Department assisting addicts in being admitted to the program. I have come full circle.

Detox Experience at Cornerstone of Southern California

14 Jul

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“I would recommend Suboxone for detoxing from any opiate, prescription pills, or heroin. The detox off pain pills was less drastic compared to other drugs I have tried. The physical symptoms are minimal. I feel good while taking Suboxone; no side effects were felt or any discomfort. ” RJH.

“For 32 years Dr. Michael Stone and his family have been assisting people who suffer from addiction. Cornerstone of Southern California has saved countless lives and has reunited families over the years. Despite the overwhelming success of their programs there are always a few souls who are delusional and say negative things because things did not turn out as expected because of the client not following direction or the client was not willing to get clean to begin with. No one can work miracles, Cornerstone of Southern California comes close when there is a willingness in client to change, and I have seen it with my own eyes over the past 12 years.” Anonymous.

“I checked into Cornerstone to detox from Alcohol and gain education on how to live life without picking up a drink. I wanted to write to express my gratitude to your organization for directing me to the path I am on today. I truly have never had it so good! I have thought many times about my experience at Cornerstone and all I can say is it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Your staff is so amazing! They treated me with compassion; and I was given hope every day I was there by the people you employ. I just want you to know that you have made it possible to live a life beyond my wildest dreams today.” Kind Regards, Jaeden B.

“Dear Dr. Stone and friends at Cornerstone – Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I am doing FINE!! I am going to meetings, getting together with friends, went up to San Francisco over Memorial Day and, of course, doctors appointments!!! (HA HA! No one like you though, Dr. Stone – unfortunately!).

“Anyway, hope all of you are well. I think of you often and about all of the wonderful things you have done for me! It will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!” Thanks again, Anonymous

“Cornerstone has been vital in my journey throught rehabilitation from my alcoholism. I was admitted to Cornerstone by way of an intervention of my adult daughters and with the help and suport of Cornerstaff. In the beginning I was amazed and bewildered by the kindness and respect with which I was treated. At the time, I was so sick in my disease that I certainly did not believe I was worthy of it. The care I was given through my detox was nothing short of a gift from God. They haeld my hand and cared for me until I could physically begin to care for myself and begin the long process of recovery. The staff has the patience of saints and really care about the clients. Each clients program is customized to fit their individual needs and they are so “solution oriented” it is incredible. Counselors and staff are always available and the education i received pertaining to addiction, recovery and relapse prevention is excellent. One of the awesome things about Cornerstone is that they recognize that addiction affects not only the addict/alcoholic but the entire family. Cornerstone encourages the participation of family and other support members to participate in the recovery process as well. Cornerstone provided a physically and emotional safe environment for me to begin to heal and learn the tools I would need to use in my recovery. I would recommend Cornerstone to anyone and if I had to do it all over again I would………And in fact I did. Part of my recovery has been plagued by relapse and i was welcomed back to Cornerstone with open arms despite my miserable self-inflicted humiliation and devastation. I’m a slow learner in this process but Cornerstone has never given up on me. I have gone through nearly all phases of their program from my initial medical detox, to their extended care program, Intensive outpatient, family program and I now am happily residing in one of their sober living houses as I am 9 months sober. Thanks to Cornerstone I am working with a sponsor in AA, working full time and continue to participate in their aftercare program. I would never have been able to begin to learn how to live without alcohol if not for the education support and direction of Cornerstone. My undying gratitude to Dr., Stone and His staff for their selfless dedication to the alcoholic/addict who needs help. I would not be where I am today if it were not for them. I continue to grow in my new sober life and I only pray that I can someday pass on to others what cornerstone has given to me. God bless you Cornerstone.” Anonymous

“From Pain Pills and Opiates – Suboxone is a God send for me. I feel like I can participate and interact with my peers. I am not in nearly the pain from withdrawal that I was before.” EB.