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

19 Jul

blog (23)

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

blog (21)

“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.

Alternative Sentencing Program Lawyer Testimonial

8 Feb


I have been working for several years in the treatment and recovery field as a treatment professional, attorney and interventionist. I have worked closely for over seven (7) years with my trusted colleagues at Cornerstone toward lasting and meaningful client recovery and court case outcomes.

I refer families and clients to Cornerstone with the utmost confidence in their services and quality of care. Cornerstone has as dedicated, compassionate and skilled a team as you will ever find. The costs are always reasonable, they work well with insurance and complex cases, and the teamwork is always first rate. Their alternative sentencing expertise helps clients navigate through the criminal justice system with court and probation approval.

From 5 Star Yelp Review on 12/14/15

“I Got My Life Back” – Cornerstone Review

29 Oct


Cornerstone Client Review 10/21/15

Cornerstone was the best experience of my life.  I had a horrible coke problem and am proud to say I was a year clean and sober yesterday.  The case managers care so deeply about every patient there. They don’t candy coat anything though. If you’re wrong,  they will put you in your place, which is exactly what you need when you have been living by your own rules for so long and need someone to help direct you in the right way again. The drivers, the staff, at the facility and who live in the homes with you are all amazing people. I swear,  pick cornerstone if you need help.

My parents had to choose between getting a new roof and sending me to rehab,  and if you ask them, cornerstone was the best money they ever spent. They got their kid back.  I got my life back. It works if you truly wanna change your life.