BreakAway Health in Costa Mesa, California, was established in 1983 as a DUI program for adults. The following year, it was licensed by the state as an adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). In 1999, Richard Plaskett, a former client who had volunteered as a peer to adolescents, bought BreakAway. He now holds Bachelor’s and Master’s-level degrees in psychology and is a certified clinical forensic counselor as well as being BreakAway’s owner and CEO. BreakAway Health offers comprehensive outpatient behavioral health care for adults, adolescents and their families, using a blend of evidence-based therapeutic practices to treat substance abuse issues.
Treatment and Staff
BreakAway Health has one of the oldest adolescent programs in Southern California, focusing on a family system of treatment—identifying and healing relationships by creating healthy boundaries, bridging communication within the family, providing each family member with a voice coupled while teaching them to actively listen. They do their best to create a natural flow from treatment back into the family.
Potential clients are assessed to determine what level of treatment they require. Many of them come from short-stay residential programs or other outpatient programs where they have struggled to stay sober. That being said, BreakAway Health does not offer detox.
The highest level of adolescent treatment is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) program known as the Day Treatment Program that consists of three phases. During phase one, clients attend five full days a week and two evenings. Classroom academics are provided by the Orange County Department of Education from 8 am to 12:30 pm Monday through Friday. Afternoon group therapy includes communication and relationship building, anger and stress management, art therapy, conflict resolution, crisis management and goal setting. All clients start out seeing their individual therapists twice a week in addition to meeting with a psychiatrist once a week. One of the evening groups is reserved for family therapy. After completing the first phase, clients step down in treatment. The second phase consists of two, three-hour nights a week for two to three months and the final phase is one night a week on a continuing schedule that includes the whole family.
The adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is also scheduled in three phases, starting with three, three-hour sessions a week for six to eight weeks. Phase two lasts for six weeks for two nights a week; clients continue to step down as long as they don’t relapse—otherwise they move back to phase one and repeat some of the work assignments.
Dual diagnosis support is integrated into the adolescent treatment program. A multi-disciplinary treatment team of a psychiatrist, consulting psychologist, forensic counselor, CADCs, MFTs and peer counselors work together to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders.
The Adult IOP program provides customized treatment plans for mental health, substance abuse and dual diagnosis clients. Clients have access to individual therapy, life coaching, psychiatric services and medication management. Morning hours are devoted to daily case management and activities of daily life (like budgeting and meal planning). Afternoon and evening groups are held Monday to Friday for three hours at a time and include topics like relapse prevention, anger and mood management, life building skills, exercise, meditation and introduction to the 12 steps. The length of the program is contingent on the client. People start with three to five days of treatment a week and step down to once a week. All clients are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings; getting a sponsor and working the steps are part of the treatment protocol.
BreakAway Health’s multidisciplinary staff is headed by a medical director and includes a certified addiction specialist, a certified addictions treatment counselor, an associate CSW and a certified California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse counselor.
Adult and adolescent clients have access to life coaching, art therapy, weekend adventure therapy, meditation, exercise and structured transitional living environments when applicable. BreakAway Health also provides transportation for its adolescent clients. There are two pick up points for teens commuting from Huntington Beach or south Orange County, but space is limited and clients must be approved by the treatment team for this service.
Family programming is integral at every level; group therapy is built into the weekly schedule and individual therapy is available for all family members. The aftercare program is also extensive. Alumni meetings are designed for graduated families to return weekly for continuous support in recovery. Relapse prevention, coping skills and dealing with daily issues are the main focus topics in alumni groups. Aftercare is a minimum commitment of 12 weeks.
BreakAway Health provides extensive, evidence-based treatment for adults and adolescents. Teens can continue classes and dual diagnosis clients are continually monitored throughout treatment so their co-occurring disorders don’t compromise their recovery. With comprehensive aftercare planning and the possibility of transitional living, clients are supported well into their sobriety.
3151 Airway Ave, Ste D-1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
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