September - 2012 Issue - 9
Recovery Month

Sovereign Health Group would like to acknowledge September as National Recovery Month. Recovery Month began in 1989 as "Treatment Works" honoring the work of the treatment recovery professionals in the field. This led to the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery (Recovery Month) in 1998. Recovery Month now encompasses the treatment and recovery of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders and acknowledges all the excellent professionals who work in the field and the people who are in recovery.

Sovereign Health Group is dedicated to providing excellent care for Addiction, Dual Diagnosis, Mental Health and Eating Disorder conditions. We strive to rewire the brain one step at a time by providing clinically driven programming and a brain wellness program to rehabilitate cognitive deficiencies.

Our ode to Recovery Month is to continue to provide the leading treatment modalities, create awareness and education, and develop and maintain strong partnerships with other supporting organizations. We have been involved in various organizations such as CA MFT (California Marriage & Family Therapists), AAMFT (American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), IAEDP (International Associations for Eating Disorder Providers, NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association), NAATP (National Association of Treatment Providers) are among the organizations that we work with to create a network of resources.
Staff Q&A

Q: What brought you to Sovereign Health?
A: From the first luncheon I attended at Sovereign in September of 2010, I was impressed with staff, the facilities, and Dr. Sharma's progressive vision of building a unique dual diagnosis program. I like the multifaceted approach to recovery that includes cognitive behavior therapy, life skills, 12 steps, and biofeedback.

Q: How did you become involved in recovery? 
A: The old fashion way, I was an alcoholic and an addict. My actions ended in an embarrassing arrest for possession of cocaine. That was my personal bottom. I knew I had to get clean and sober or I was going to die. Being a commercial airline pilot, I received tons of support and structure. I was held accountable to many people for a period of six years. I realized that recovery not only saved my career, it saved my life. I am passionate about recovery and grateful for the incredible life I live today.

Q: You have a very popular lecture series called "Reclaiming Your Hijacked Brain." Could you tell us a short summary about it and why you feel the themes are important to recovery?
A: Early in my recovery I wanted to know how I had gotten so far off track. I had become spiritually, emotionally and morally bankrupt. I had lost myself, and I needed to know how and why. All the answers pointed toward the brain; an acquired, self-induced neurological disease.

As I learned about my brain, the shame of my addiction diminished. I became consciously aware that I could change my hijacked brain by changing my thoughts and behaviors. I challenged my core beliefs and instituted an authentic set of personal values. Recovery for me took reinventing how I live my life, from the moment I wake up until I put my head on the pillow at night.

During this process I discovered that the brain is passive and the mind is active. Neuroscience explains what takes place in the brain during the "addiction and recovery process." Spirituality, meditation, and self-enhancing behaviors create the healing process to reclaim the hijacked brain. . 

Q: What aspect of working at Sovereign Health do you enjoy/appreciate the most?
A:I love the patients. It inspires me when I see patients have "ah ha" moments - when the lights come on and they experience that long awaited for moment of clarity. Also, working with other devoted staff members striving for the same goals makes me feel that I am a member of an important team. 

Q: If you could give just a few pieces of advice to those in recovery, what would you say?
A:To those in recovery I'd give the following advice. Show up on time and be prepared as you have a lot of hard work ahead of you. Also show up with a good attitude and try your best, it's your life. Do what you said you were going to do, not keeping to your goals will only hurt yourself. Don't take anything personal and condisder how your words and actions affect others. 


Program Highlight: Relapse Prevention

While recovering from addiction or a mental illness is a process with many dimensions and facets, helping to prevent relapse is an extremely important part of that process. Relapse prevention refers to a strategy that is designed to identify and prevent high-risk situations for those dealing with substance abuse, obesity and other mental and physical issues and provide those in recovery with the skills to handle those events. Relapse prevention helps put recovery in perspective for the patient, letting him or her know that, relapse is a likely part of recovery, which can not only be dealt with but can be used as a point of growth, if handled well.

At Sovereign Health, we also view relapse prevention as an important skill to give to our patients, which is why it has always been a part of our program. In our relapse prevention group which utilizes foundational principles established by Terence Gorski, we focus on identifying the cause and effects of relapse, helping the patients see vulnerable situations before they happen. We view relapse not as a chance event, but rather as a process, involving the ideas and feelings that a patient has throughout his or her entire time in recovery, not just at that moment. We also use the view of the PAWS system, or Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. The PAWS view notes that the symptoms and issues that occur with withdrawal can often be quite severe and need to be managed; otherwise the effects can be quite severe.

As with all we do at Sovereign, our relapse prevention group is simply another way for us to provide our patients with the best care possible and ensure that the succeed not only this us in the clinic, but in the rest of their journey throughout recovery.
5 Addiction Myths That Make Recovery Harder

Former addict says it's hard to overcome addiction
Adi Jaffe

Editor's note:
Adi Jaffe is a Los Angeles-based addiction psychologist and researcher. A former drug addict and convicted drug dealer, Jaffe is a UCLA-affiliated researcher and expert on substance abuse, especially on the neuroscience and policy issues involved, and founder of

Do drugs really "fry" your brain? Once an addict, always an addict? Is there such a thing as an "addiction gene"?

The subject of addiction is plagued by myths and misinformation that were created to scare our children away from drugs. But these haven't succeeded, and have actually made it harder for addicts to seek treatment and to return to a normal life.

As a former methamphetamine addict myself, I know how hard it is to overcome both the addiction and, possibly even more so, the stigma that society places on us because of these myths.

In fact, in a study I'm currently conducting at the University of California Los Angeles, we're finding even more evidence that one of the top reasons addicts put off treatment is a fear of the social consequences. In a nutshell, people fear the label of "recovered addict" more than they do the hardships of going "cold turkey."

Why? Because in many cases they risk facing social humiliation and a variety of legal restrictions on driving, housing, custody of children, business licensing, as well as an extended period of mandated drug testing, many of which stem from a misunderstanding of addiction.


Presenting Captain Larry Smith "Reclaiming the Hijacked Brain" now On Demand

Captain Larry Smith presented "Reclaiming the Hijacked Brain" at Sovereign Health's monthly Education and Networking luncheon on August 8th, 2012. The presentation covered addiction and codependency, the passive brain vs. the active mind, neural plasticity, deceptive brain messaging, and approaches to recovery. View the presentation now On Demand:

Click Here To Watch: Reclaiming The Hijacked Brain

Larry Smith is a retired Air Force Officer and Fighter Pilot. He is presently a 747 pilot for United Airlines and has accumulated over 20,000 hour of flight time. He is on staff at Sovereign Health Group's San Clemente location as a Counselor and is the Co-Owner of Get Real Recovery Inc. His articles are published monthly in Serene Scene Magazine and Recovery View Online Publications. He works with the United Airlines Assistance Program guiding pilots with addiction issues through a rigorous recertification process. His book "Captain Larry Smith's Daily Life Plan Journal" is endorsed b y TV's Dr. Drew who states, "Larry has created a means to maximize the potential of journaling engender boundaries, goals, and spirituality".

View All of Sovereign's Presentations on Demand
Save The Date: October Networking

Join Sovereign Health for their Monthly Networking Events in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Orange County Networking

Every Second Wednesday of The Month
(Save To Your Calendar as Reoccuring Event)
Date: October 10th, 2012
Location: 209 Avenida Fabricante
San Clemente, CA 92672
Time: 11:30-01:30pm     Lunch, Networking, and Presentation

Los Angeles Networking

Every Second Thursday of The Month
(Save To Your Calendar as Reoccuring Event)
Date: October 11, 2012 
Location: 6167 Bristol Parkway
Culver City, CA
Time: 11:30-1pm     Lunch and Networking

RSVP with Marissa Katrin Maldonado
(Specify Networking Location in Email)
Phone: 909-827-1516


Alumni Spotlight

Dual Diagnosis Clinics Make a Difference - Rob's Story
Dual Diagnosis Clinics Make a Difference - Rob's Story

Visit Sovereign Health's You Tube Page to See More Testimonials and other Videos on our channel.

Click Here: Sovereign Health You Tube Videos
Using Health Insurance

Mental Health, Eating Disorder, and Addiction Treatment had been non-existent for thousands of people in the United States every year due to not having enough resources to pay for a program. Sovereign Health of California wanted to change the face of the utilization of health insurance in treatment and help more people reach the help they need and deserve. Sovereign has been diligent and motivated from the very beginning to create and continue increasing the amount of coverage that a patient receives for treatment. From the very first call, our admissions team will handle the verification of benefits and devise a plan of action to get the patient into treatment as quickly as possible. If the patient does not have the deductible or out of pocket expenses, we are willing to work with each person individually with the resources available to make it work. Patients at Sovereign are seeing an average of 30-45 covered days in treatment, with quite a few reaching 60 days, and a few even reaching 90 days. Sovereign Health is Joint Commission Accredited and continues to build an excellent system of patient documentation to prove medical necessity for treatment. Sovereign is dedicated to excellent patient care and satisfaction. We are proud to say "We Accept and Direct Bill Insurance".

Click Here to Learn More

Admission Info

At Sovereign Health of California, we utilize an experienced intake staff to facilitate entry into our program. The confidential intake process usually begins with a brief conversation to help determine whether we are a suitable match for a potential patient. The next step is to determine the level of care necessary. Finally, the information is passed on to our clinical staff, who are in charge of assessment and admission. 

We invite you to call us at 866-819-2948 or email us at

Sovereign Health of California specializes in providing holistic and evidence-based clinical treatment, focusing on the person as a whole. Conditions, including mental health, dual diagnoses, and eating disorders, are treated simultaneously and with equal care in our specialized treatment centers. A clinical model of healing the physical, mental, and emotional is used to treat our patients. 
Company Summary

Sovereign Health Group offers treatment for Dual Diagnosis, Mental Health, and Eating Disorders.  We use a foundation of evidence based treatment modalities and blend experiential therapies to create finely balanced treatment programs.  We have locations in San Clemente and Culver City.  Sovereign Health is Joint Commission Accredited and hold high standards for excellent patient care.  We have a team of licensed medical professionals that provide cutting edge and effective clinical treatments.  Sovereign has a mission to rewire the brain one step at a time and create a foundation for a long lasting recovery.

Corporate Address:
Sovereign Health of California
209 Avenida Fabricante
San Clemente, California 92672

Treatment Locations
San Clemente, Culver City

Toll Free: (866) 819-2948
Front Desk: (949) 369-1300
Fax: (949) 276-5183



In This Issue
Recovery Month
Staff Q&A
Relapse Prevention
5 Addiction Myths
On Demand: "Reclaiming The Hijacked Brain"
Free Monthly Networking Luncheons
Alumni Spotlight
Using Health Insurance
Admission Info
Company Summary

Corporate Address:
Sovereign Health Group
209 Avenida Fabricante
San Clemente,
California 92672
Treatment Locations:
San Clemente
Culver City
Toll Free:
Front Desk:
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Sovereign Health Group
Sovereign Health of California
Our Locations: San Clemente - Culver City