Our History

For the last four consecutive years, Forbes.com has studied the “Top Ten Most Luxurious Place to Dry Out” and not surprisingly, Sober Living by the Sea was included in this very select list. But luxury was not what was on the mind of Carl and Barbara Mosen in June 1986, when they made the decision to open an aftercare facility to assist recovering men and women transitioning out of primary care addiction treatment.

Subscribing to the philosophy of the 12-Step Program, Carl and Barbara promoted the basics tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous and taught recovering people how to really “live life” in sobriety and enjoy it.

Starting by taking clients into their own home, and helping them get to work and 12-Step Meetings, Carl and Barbara quickly started expanding their services to include residential treatment programs.

The variety of programs offered at Sober Living by the Sea is now vast, including gender-specific programs.

A Treatment Community

With a vision to teach people that recovery from chemical dependency is possible and that it can be effectively treated in a variety of settings, Carl and Barbara chose Newport Beach and designed a treatment model that is considered somewhat unusual – the clients live in homes located on or just off the beach, with a house parent. The usual means of transportation is a ‘beach cruiser’, a.k.a. bicycle. Each day is filled with meditation, group meetings, therapy, local AA meetings, exercise and working the steps. This is a sober community within a vibrant community!

The Sober Living treatment program grew in scope and expanded to include additional services, and soon clients were coming from all over the Southern California area, allowing the word of mouth about our treatment center to spread to people in need of rehab programs in Orange County, as well as people in need of rehab facilities in Los Angeles.

Research has shown that returning a recovering person to their home setting after only 30 short days of confined inpatient treatment can be like throwing a baby who doesn’t know how to swim into the ocean and expecting him or her to survive. As one employee says, “Sober Living’s philosophy is to teach the clients how to swim, show them where the life preservers are if they are ever in trouble, and make them responsible.”

With many innovative programs designed to meet the needs of those suffering from both substance abuse and coexisting psychiatric disorders, along with a highly skilled professional staff, Sober Living by the Sea is about “living,” not just surviving by the seashore.

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