Cornerstone – Family Owned and Operated for 32 years!

17 Mar


Cornerstone of Southern California was founded in 1984 by Dr. Michael Stone MD in the city of Tustin, California. Dr. Stone founded the program for addicts and alcoholics after working in a hospital treatment center called Care Unit and finding that the stark white walled hospital setting was alien and too far removed from the realities of life that the alcoholics and addicts were accustomed to. When the patients would leave the center they often would relapse back into old behaviors and return for more treatment after a mere few weeks.

Dr. Stone found a house in the city of Tustin and began a recovery home designed to help clients abstain from drugs and alcohol while educating them about their disease and the triggers that could lead them back into substance abuse in a residential, home-like setting. This was the birth of Cornerstone!

Since that time we have grown from a single residential recovery home into a 20 home system including 4 residential detox homes, extended care, monitored residential and sober living homes. Cornerstone also boasts an outpatient day treatment facility in Santa Ana and all homes and offices are within a 3 mile radius of one another.

Accredited by the Joint Commission and Licensed and Certified by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) we are a leader in the treatment community in California.

Why choose Cornerstone?

15 Mar

blog (6)

Addicts and families of addicts choose different treatment centers to help them find recovery every day. What criteria should they be using in order to choose the facility and program that best suits their individual needs? Should they be seeking out the lowest prices, the best location and amenities, the highest qualifications held by the staff, the success rate or even the modality of treatment used? There are a myriad of differences between most treatment centers and deciphering which one will give you the best chance of success can be overwhelming.

Cornerstone of Southern California has made the choice simple. We have been in the business of helping addicts and alcoholics since 1984. We have all levels of care including medically assisted detoxification in a residential setting, extended care, alternative sentencing, monitored residential, day treatment, intensive outpatient, sober living and a family program. If you choose us you will not be shipped out to another company with staff you do not know or recognize for any part of your treatment. We have a full continuum of care moving from intensive (detox, extended care) to the lowest, least intensive (sober living) all under the care and guidance of one company.

We are DHCS licensed and certified as well as Joint Commission Accredited. We operate 20 beautiful, residential recovery homes in the cities of Orange, Tustin and Santa Ana, California complete with newly remodeled kitchens, flat screen TV’s and wireless internet. We do not house clients with more that two in a room and offer private rooms for those who request them. We employ live-in House Monitors to ensure a safe and sober environment for all clients in our care.

Cornerstone is an in-network provider contracted with over 25 major insurance companies like Blue Cross, AETNA and CIGNA who work with us due to our competitive pricing and our exceptionally ethical practices. Cornerstone does not engage in unethical drug testing or billing practices as do many other treatment facilities. We accept HMO’s and PPO’s while most other treatment centers only accept PPO insurance plans.  

At Cornerstone we focus on Relapse Prevention Education in a 12 Step based program in order to give all our clients the best possible chance at lasting sobriety. We are Cornerstone of Southern California – a Foundation for Recovery!

Are you in a codependent relationship?

2 Mar


Does it seem as though you are always making sacrifices in your own life in order to make your partner happy? What are you receiving (if anything) in return? Don’t be afraid if this sounds familiar to you because many people can find themselves enmeshed in a codependent relationship at some point in their lifetime. Recognizing it and taking proactive steps to fix or end the relationship will define you in a whole new light.

What Is a Codependent Relationship?

Before any repairing can take place one must understand the meaning of a true codependent relationship. Psychologists and experts define it as a pattern of behavior in which you are dependent on the approval of someone else for your own happiness, self-worth and identity.

An apparent sign of codependency happens when the sense of fulfilled purpose in your life comes mostly through making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner’s needs and make them happy.

“Codependent relationships signify a degree of unhealthy clinginess, where one person doesn’t have self-sufficiency or autonomy,” says Scott Wetzler, PhD, psychology division chief at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “One or both parties depend on their loved ones for fulfillment.”

Anyone can be a codependent and some research suggests that those who had parents who emotionally abused or neglected them in their developmental years are more likely to enter codependent relationships than those with stable, healthy home lives.

“These kids are often taught to subvert their own needs to please a difficult parent, and it sets them up for a long-standing pattern of trying to get love and care from a difficult person,” says Shawn Burn, PhD, a psychology professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

“They’re often replaying a childhood pattern filled with development gaps,” Wetzler says.

Answer these questions to Know if you’re in a Codependent Relationship:

Are you unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of a specific person?

Do you recognize unhealthy behaviors in your partner but stay with him or her in spite of them?

Are you giving support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health?

“Individuals can also assume they are in a codependent relationship if people around them have given them feedback that they are too dependent on their partner or if they have a desire, at times, for more independence but feel an even stronger conflict when they attempt to separate in any way,” says psychologist Seth Meyers.

“They’ll feel anxiety more consistently than any other emotion in the relationship,” Meyers says, “and they’ll spend a great deal of time and energy either trying to change their partner or … trying to conform to their partner’s wishes.”

What is the impact of a Codependent Relationship

It is unhealthy to give up your own identity, desires and needs in order to satisfy the needs of your partner.

“You can become burned out, exhausted, and begin to neglect other important relationships,” Burn says. “And if you’re the enabler in a codependent relationship — meaning you promote the other person’s dysfunctions — you can prevent them from learning common and needed life lessons.”

How to Change a Codependent Relationship

Ending the relationship is not always the answer. Setting appropriate boundaries between partners, spending time alone following your own desires and seeking out your own happiness is a good beginning. Talking and setting goals for your relationship can also greatly improve the codependent dynamic.

“It’s also important to spend time with relatives, friends, and family to broaden the circle of support,” she says. “Find hobbies of your own. Try separating for certain periods of time to create a healthy dependence on one another.”


Educating Families about Addiction

1 Mar

Here at Cornerstone of Southern California we have been helping addicts and their families recover from addictions for the past 31 years. Our approach centers around
Relapse Prevention Education and we have always strongly encouraged family involvement by offering a comprehensive Family Program. In this program we offer education on a broad range of topics from codependence, boundaries, enabling, and tough love over an 8 week time period.

Our Family Night Speakers have been given rave reviews from the family members of clients in our care. Some recent comments include:

“I had no idea I was sick also and this is a family disease.”

“The content of the lecture was meaningful and insightful and we truly learned a lot.”

“The information that they provided was relevant and up to date.”

“I was laughing out loud with everyone in the room.”

“I was impressed by Aaron’s ability to teach us the cold hard facts of this disease while keeping us laughing. He definitely had the rooms attention!“

“Learned that I can’t make them change.”

“Aaron brought it home. Realized that things have to change at home so it is not the same environment and to make things change.”

“Keep Aaron as a speaker he does a great job.”

“Very credible given their personal experience.”

“Appreciate his honesty.”

If you have a family member in treatment with us we hope that you take advantage of our Family Program.


Choosing a Drug Rehab: Close to home or far away?

24 Feb


There are many factors involved when deciding to choose a local or far away drug rehab facility.

If everywhere you go you are reminded of your drug addiction, the people you know are also addicts and even your family members are addicts too, you may need to move away from home if you want a real chance at lasting recovery and getting sober. This means making a geographic change and going someplace further from your local drug rehab facility in order to minimize the possibility of being susceptible to local triggers.

In other cases an addict who has attended drug rehab in the past should be aware they will need support after leaving an out of state facility and returning home. The return back home can be a very difficult transition. The best choice would be to continue drug rehab treatment and aftercare somewhere close to home.

Making the Right Choice

Both scenarios illustrated above demonstrate why the client’s needs must be considered when looking for the right location for effective drug treatment. There are, however, additional items you will want to consider before admitting yourself to any local or out of state treatment program:

What are your Family Dynamics?

Will your family be a needed source of support, or would they act as a distraction or trigger which would potentially lead you to relapsing?

How are your Surroundings?

Beyond family, do you have any additional influences that could positively or negatively impact you such as friends, local locations? Would it be better to move to a drug rehab facility in another city or state?

Is privacy a main concern?

Will there be a difference as a result of your privacy and if you remain local? If you see a familiar face at the drug rehab center will it make things tougher?

How accessible is the facility?

It is imperative to remain in contact and on a weekly basis and follow-up with your drug rehab facility for aftercare. Will being close to home make it easier to leave versus being out of state?

Do you need insurance to help pay for treatment?

Is getting insurance to cover your treatment a factor. Depending on what your insurance covers are you willing to leave your local area?

The Right Drug Rehab Depends On You

For some people in recovery, it may be best to attend a drug rehab program that’s far away from their hometown environment which can lead to distractions and possible setbacks in their recovery process. The distance can make it easier to focus solely on recovery. For others, having the local support of friends and family during the recovery process can be the key to success, making a facility that keeps them near these positive influences more appropriate.

You have to examine your own individual situation to determine whether a local or distant drug rehab facility will be a better fit for you.

How do I know if I am addicted?

17 Feb


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.

#addicted #drugtreatment #addictionhelp

Protect Your Organization and Provider Network from Insurance Fraud and Abuse in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Market

15 Feb



Ten years ago managed care organizations were primary and foremost referral agents for those seeking addiction treatment. This was a time when case-management and referrals were managed by real people in real time. Since that time, insured members find SUD treatment providers independently and often through misleading call-centers/ patient brokers on the internet. Head hunters get paid top dollar by out-of-network providers for PPO insured or well-funded candidates.

As some unscrupulous entrepreneurs build profitable businesses through unethical practices, their abundant marketing budgets have overtaken the market. Ethical, in-network, insurance contracted providers do not have comparable marketing capital to compete. They operate off of a highly discounted rate of reimbursement which result in meager marketing/ promotion budgets.

SUD providers are incentivized to drop or avoid insurance contracts. Reimbursement is too low and contractual restrictions are too high.

The entrepreneurs are being rewarded by the same PPO plans they abuse, by being paid a percentage of their indiscriminately escalated “usual and customary” rates. Rather than managing ASAM continuing care where the patient resides, the PPO carrier enable the continuation of long residential stays away from home. Insurance carriers willingly pay out-of-area residential programs to extend residential stays by using the day treatment and intensive outpatient treatment benefit while the patient continues to reside in residential, away from home care. No benefits are left to assist the patient integrate recovery back where the wreckage, triggers and real-life problems reside. “Institutionalization” is reinforced by today’s commercial healthcare market.

Following are increasingly common breaches in lawful or ethical practice allowed by an absence of regulation and oversight and willing reinforcement by third party payers:

1) Out of network providers pay for prospective patient premiums (new PPO policies and COBRA) for the duration of treatment then allow the policies to lapse.
2) Patients are induced to admit by out-of-network providers waiving co-pays and providing sober living to IOP patients.
3) “Usual and customary” services rates are overstated (X10) by out-of-network providers to enhance revenues.
4) Out of network providers escalate their retail “usual and customary rate” for PPO which differs from that offered to their self-pay clientele. Out of network PPO reimbursement is maximized.
5) Payment for referrals are exchanged between out-of-network providers and to “call centers posed as treatment programs” on the internet.
6) Patients are brokered to out-of-network providers from internet call-centers which gage the rate of kick-back based upon the quality and quantity of the caller’s insurance coverage or capacity to pay top-dollar out of pocket.
7) Revenues are enhanced by unnecessarily elaborate, costly and frequent urinalysis testing by out of network providers and laboratories.
8) Intensive outpatient program providers provide “sober living” residence to clientele through the combination of overstated “reasonable and customary” service rates and urinalysis over utilization.
9) UR and billing is contracted out by providers to specialty companies which overstate/ falsify acuity levels and “lethality” to heighten level of care need and length of stay.
10) Internet call-centers and corporate providers mislead viewers and callers about the level of care, type and location of services needed for their condition.
11) Patients are flown from state to state, across the country to engage in out-of-network residential treatment. Once the patient arrives, their choices for level of care and between service providers end.
12) Patients are misled about the amount that the insurance will pay and what will be their likely self-pay amount. “We take your insurance and whatever they don’t cover, we’ll put on a reasonable payment plan”. Residential treatment lengths of stay of thirty to ninety days are rarely medically necessary or covered by insurance.

Following are a few suggestions for third party payer oversight, investigation and enforcement:

1) Require that day treatment and intensive treatment benefits are paid when the patient returns to their residence to enable recovery to be integrated in real time to their real life circumstances.
2) Price up PPO options and replace with affordable EPO plans in benefit offerings.
3) Publicize to service providers and members ethical business standards.
4) Publicize investigations and prosecutions to provide warnings and precedents.
5) Verify acuity levels through second opinions provided by in-network providers.
6) Monitor new policy dates correlated by contemporaneous SUD treatment admission and investigate.
7) Call patients to verify acuity levels.
8) Investigate accuracy of contracted UR and billing.
9) Notify members or require authorized out-of-network providers to notify effected patients of their out of network coverage at the point of admission, including co-pay and deductible amounts and estimated length of authorized reimbursement in real time.
10) Notify or require authorized out-of-network providers to notify effected members and patients the ethical and legal requirements of the out of network provider to collect co-payment and notify them of lapsed level of care authorization.
11) Notify or require authorized providers to notify effected members and patients of in-network treatment providers and alternatives.
12) Deny out of state, out-of-network PPO authorization if in-state providers are available.
13) Deny authorization to providers who lack Joint Commission accreditation.

From Twin Town Treatment Centers – February 3, 2016/in Uncategorized /by idgadvertising

Acceptance: Facing REALITY without filters

15 Feb


This is one of the most difficult processes when trying to improve your life because often – it is painful.  Yet, there is often relief once the thin veil of self-imposed “head” thinking in the form of, analytical justifying, rationalizing and fantasizing gets to the point of tipping or exploding.  It would not be human to live without considering the “greener grass” ideal, yet that entire thought process, that the “grass” is, or could, or must be greener is centered in destructive and flawed “head” talk.  This thought system builds on itself as you falsely fantasize, rationalize, justify, that your present situation is less green….SANE people understand – there is no greener grass, just different grass.

When we reject reality we accept the flawed thought system and begin to resent, devalue, jeopardize, what is real and start to live in a skewed reality.  In this place there is no calm, no clarity, no comfort.  It is a constant battle between what is and what our minds want things to be like and there is no serenity in such a place.

When we accept reality as it is without filters (filters being untrue colors to enhance the “greener” grass or thoughts that perpetuate the skewed belief system) we can improve our lives through clear and meaningful steps. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross first defined these steps as it related to death but it works the same with other forms of loss or change.  There are 5 steps:

  1. Denial – Not letting ourselves know what reality is; a state of confusion minimizing the situation, avoiding the situation, denying our feelings.
  2. Anger – Once we’ve come to the realization that accepting reality is attached to a genuine loss, we often have some form of anger associated.
  3. Bargaining – An attempt to avoid suffering the loss.
  4. Depression – When the bargain doesn’t work and we are too tired (mentally) to continue the battle to avoid the loss…surrendering to the loss and the hurt allows the process to continue to the final stage
  5. Acceptance – Numbness….peaceful, free but without fireworks or belly laughs, it is a state of resolve, being a kin to the feeling of meditation – accepting what is.

Life striving/searching for recovery is a continuous dance between these 5 stages.  They occur with all things we deal with in all aspects of our lives.  Sometimes they are worked through in seconds, sometimes hours, sadly the greater the event the greater the time we travel through these stages bounding back and forth between them as we try to balance emotionally and spiritually.  Coming to Accept life on life’s terms is anything but easy….if it was easy it wouldn’t be life.

A Valentines Day Recovery Message

4 Feb


For many Valentine’s Day is a day filled with renewed vows and invigorated devotion to the one we love, but for others it can be a painful reminder of lost affections and love that ‘used to be’. These painful memories can become triggers for some addicts in recovery and can lead to opening the door to possible relapse. We understand the cycle of recovery and relapse and have watched our clients deal with these difficult memories and holiday dates for 31 years. We are here to support all of the recovered addicts that we have helped and those who have not asked for help yet in dealing with heartache and loss.

What can you do to help you through these trying times?

  1. Get a sponsor and call them.
  2. Do not isolate yourself from others – get out and do something you enjoy or try something new. Surround yourself with family or friends or engage in an activity to ‘stay out of your head’.
  3. Remember that you are not alone in feeling this way – open up to family or friends and you will find that almost everyone goes through these types of feelings. It is not about having them, it is about how you deal with them in a healthy way without using drugs or alcohol to numb the pain.
  4. Go to a meeting and discuss your feelings with others who understand.

These are just a few alternatives and coping skills that you can use to see you through tough times. Remember the old saying, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

If you are struggling during the holidays – reach out.

A shift to Addiction Treatment instead of Jail time

27 Jan


Cornerstone is excited to be witness to a serious shift in thinking regarding providing drug treatment services to addicts and alcoholics instead of jail time both locally and nationally. We have been offering our Alternative Sentencing Program to clients who come to us with legal issues stemming from their addictions for 20 years and have become the program of choice for most of the courts in the Southern California area. Our Alternative Sentencing Manager, Dr. Stephanie Herring PhD., M.A. and our Senior Vice President, Simon Stone JD advocate on behalf of our legal clientele on a daily basis and are very well known and respected. If you have a legal issue stemming from addiction – Call us today! 714-547-5375


To learn more read HERE.