San Diego-Based Shoreline Recovery Center Provides Addiction Awareness, Mental Health Resources Through Community Education

For those afflicted by substance abuse and mental illness, it’s important that intentional strategies are put into place to avoid relapse and additional episodes. This is done in part by removing the stigma itself by offering understanding and support to those who are seeking help. It includes compassionate treatment and access to resources so affected individuals can find hope and begin their journey toward recovery. “The number one thing we can do as a society is continue to reduce the stigma around addiction and mental health issues,” said Shoreline therapist Max Kubota. “Unfortunately, there are still many people who believe addiction and mental health struggles are a choice. Viewing disorders more similarly to medical issues such as cancer, gives these individuals greater access to resources and support.”

Generally speaking, the younger an individual is when they’re introduced to substances, the likelihood increases that they will be at risk of developing an addiction. “Drug use at a young age is particularly dangerous because the brain is still developing, which makes an individual more susceptible to mental health issues … at the very least, overall brain development can be stunted, especially the prefrontal cortex (executive functioning and decision making center of the brain),” Kubota said.

Over the years, Shoreline Recovery Center has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), San Diego Food Bank and Stepping Stone, along with other local mental health and substance use facilities, to bring awareness to substance use and mental-health-related issues.

The facility participates in various events with these organizations such as walks, presentations and social gatherings. “During these events, we often focus on awareness through program showcasing, education and resource sharing,” Kubota said. This is because the client needs to be ready, willing and motivated for change in order for any type of intervention to work. Most of the clients arrive at Shoreline with a dual diagnosis.

“In most cases, a client benefits the most from having full awareness and understanding of their current circumstances to gain acceptance of their situation and to enact change,” Kubota said.

Shoreline Recovery Center uses multiple modalities to bring better awareness to mental wellness. “We have many groups that focus on mental health and the link between it and addiction,” he said. “Our therapists also explore this topic in one-to-one sessions and we also educate families on this topic for additional support.”

During weekly group counseling sessions, clients share prevention stories with each other as a way to connect and heal.

“Exposure to trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACES) is a big contributor to addiction as well as mental health issues/disorders,” Kubota said. “We take pride in being trauma-informed here at Shoreline … due to the strong link between trauma exposure and substance use disorder/mental health disorders.”

Source: Shoreline Recovery Center

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