FAQ — Serenity Gardens Rehab


Understanding Addiction

What is addiction?

Addiction can mean something different to many different people and organizations involved in mental health and social services. Someone seeking treatment has their own personal definition of what they feel and experience, and what drives them to seek to improve their lives. There are two important definitions that one should consider:

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM for short) is one of the national governing bodies in the clinical definitions and practices of addiction treatment. Their perspective is strongly in the clinical side and forms the basis for the law and practice of addiction.

"Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."

Psychology Today is an important and central publication for mental health and other psychology fields. Their definition of addiction is the best summary of the other definitions found in the industry:

"Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others."

You can get addissional information about addiction here:


What is detox?

Detoxification is usually the first step in any drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. This step is where the intoxicant leaves the body naturally or with the help of medicaiton, and the symptoms of the diminishing intoxicant are mitigated. The physical symptoms of a drug leaving the system is called withdrawl. The intensity and length of the effects of withdrawl depend on many factors such as intensity of use, proximity of use, the type of intoxicant, and different peoples reactions. In some cases the process can be physically harmful, and requires 24 / 7 supervision and medication assistance to be safe. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Detox is safe and treatment always begins with a doctor consultation.
  • It is recommended that detox be done in a qualified facility so that the person seeking treatment is kept as comfortable as possible and also prepared for the upcoming addiction treatment that they may undergo.
  • Depending on many factors, withdrawl and detox can be a emotional, difficult process, and requries lots of compassion and care to overcome.

Here are some places you can go to get more detailed information on detox for a certain intoxicant:


How can I know if someone I love is addicted?

It is sometimes hard to tell if someone you care about is suffering from an addiction. Every different addiction can present itself differently, but it is important to maintain the difference between substance abuse and addiciton. Substance abuse is when an individual knowingly indulges in a particular substance in a way that is not healthy or in a way that may disrupt their lives. This sort of behavior is certainly not healthy, but may not lead to the chronic long term disease which is addiction. Here are some guidelines to determine if the person in question is addicted to a substance or behavior:

  • Does the person spend a lot of time seeking and indulging in the substance or behavior?
  • Is the person missing out on important life events?
  • Is the person able to keep up work and social obligations?
  • Is the health of the person decreasing?
  • Has indulging in the substance or the behavior put someone in danger?
  • Is the substance or behavior being used to cope with other chronic mental health issues?

These are just rough guidelines, there are many more factors that can influence an addiction. For more detail you can visit these pages;


What kind of treatment is right for me or my loved ones?

There are many different kinds of treatment available to help different kinds of people who need different levels of care. Here is a simple breakdown of the major types, what they mean, how you usually pay, and who may need each level.

Inpatient Treatment: In the first month of treatment, many people seek an intensive, reclusive treatment center that will let them detox as comfortably as possible and get the best treatment during the first month of sobriety. Inpatient treatment applies to treatments that involve the person checking in to live at the facility full time while seeking treatment.

  • These programs are generally from one to three months but can be as long as a year.
  • There is huge variety in cost and style of treatment for these kinds of facilities.
  • The same variety applies to the methods of payment, including MediCal, most insurance carriers, and more luxurious private pay centers.
  • Someone checking into these programs will not be able to continue to work, and will live at the facility full time.

Sober Living Homes: After a person has been through some primary treatment and wants to live somewhere with people in long term recovery they would enter into a sober living home. These are normal rentals but with regular drug testing and sometimes other amenities that don't involve treatment.

  • Most people stay in these places for years, as long as a normal rental.
  • Drug testing is fairly standard but other amenities vary
  • Most facilities are fairly cheap, and there are a few more luxury facilities.
  • These facilities are just now getting more attention because of the need for long term addiction prevention and social attachment.

About Serenity Gardens

What is Serenity Gardens?

Serenity Gardens residential treatment program is designed with your individual needs in mind. We offer individualized substance abuse treatment in a comfortable home-like environment of up to four clients. Our high staff to client ratio ensures we are able to make the most of your treatment experience. During your stay at Serenity Gardens you will participate in groups that will explore addiction and mental health, participate in individual sessions with your addiction counselor and therapist, as well as develop useful coping skills vital for relapse prevention and ongoing success in recovery.


What is a typical treatment period like?

The treatment that a person would recieve depends on a few factors of their addiction and the steps they have already taken in their own treatment. The other big factor in the lendth of stay is the financial stability of the person in question for a longer period of treatment.

  • A usual stay is around a month, with the option of staying longer.
  • The first couple days up to a week may be spent in detox treatment depending on the individual's physical state upon entering treatment, which prioritises health, comfort, and stability.
  • Insurance may be able to cover either partial or full payment of treatment. Please feel free to give us a call or fill out our verification of benefits form to get more information tailored for you.

Please visit our daily schedule page for an example of a typical day. There are also special days like family visits, outings where we travel as a group to do something fun, and service days where we will do something charitable for our community.


What kind of treatment do you offer?

We pride ourselves on providing an exceptionally small group undergoing treatment. This allows us to provide a variety of different treatment modalities that tailor to each person's specific struggle. These treatment options affect a little of the daily work that each person does, and it may affect how staff may work with a patient.

  • We provide both traditional, such as 12-step based educational programs, and non-traditional, such as Refuge Recovery mindfulness or SMART recovery programs.
  • There are a few holistic classes that we provide, such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, and more.
  • We allow patients to change the modality if they think that there is another way that resonates more strongly with them.
  • The main areas where there will be different treatment depending on the choice of program are:
      * One on one sessions with a therapist
    • Regular personal worksheets and excersises
    • One on one sessions with counselors
    • The choice of outside group meetings to attend
  • No one kind of treatment is preferred, and there are benefits to both united and diverse groups.

When a person is interested in entering treatment, then our knowledgable staff will go into the specific differences between each treatment modality and will guide the person in the decision that has the most impact on them in the moment. There will always be the option of changing modalities, and a person staying with us is very likely to be exposed to other modalities of treatment through their peers. This is beneficial in that it either strengthens a persons connection to their treatment or shows them that another version of treatment would be more effective for them.

Here are some links for more information about treatment modalities:


Is Serenity Gardens a Licensed treatment facility?

Serenity Gardens is a licensed residential treatment facility by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).


Life at Serenity Gardens

Do you accept insurance?

We accept most major insurance companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare, and more. We cannot accept Medicaid or Medicare at this time.


What are the sleep accomodations at Serenity?

At Serenity we strive to create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere so that each person can find their individual peace. Each person in treatment shares a room with one other patient and shares a bathroom with that person. There are only up to 4 people in the facility at a time.


Can you take care of my dietary restrictions?

Our skilled chef can handle any dietary restriction and strives to prepare the highest quality of food. Helping the body get the right balance of nutrients is an important part of improving health and preparing for long lasting sobriety.

Here are a couple links with more information on nutrition and recovery:


Is smoking tobacco allowed?

Smoking cigarettes is allowed in designated smoking areas in the backyard of the facility.


Will my family be able to visit?

Every Sunday is family visitation day, and the whole family will have a session that day every week with a counselor.