Residential Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers in Southern California

Sober Living by the Sea offers trusted alcohol addiction treatment in Southern California. To better serve the individual needs of our clients, Sunrise provides gender-specific rehabilitation to deliver more successful recovery.

Understanding Alcohol

Learn about alcohol and substance abuse

Made by fermenting sugars, yeast, and starches, alcohol is an intoxicating substance in wine, beer, and liquor that causes a person to feel “buzzed” or drunk. This feeling of drunkenness is a result of alcohol’s ability to diminish activity in a user’s central nervous system, causing relaxation, reduced inhibitions, and feelings of tiredness.

Alcohol is commonly found at social celebrations and get-togethers. And while many people are able to drink alcohol in moderation, many others struggle to keep their drinking under control. They may find themselves overindulging at parties or social events, or perhaps even drinking excessively at home. If a person’s struggles with drinking continue unabated, he or she may meet criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), commonly known as alcoholism. AUD is a debilitating disorder that can have disastrous effects on a person’s life and often cannot be overcome without professional help at a treatment and rehab center for alcoholism.


Alcohol addiction statistics

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), in a given year approximately 5% of people ages 12 to 17 and approximately 9% of people ages 18 and older meet criteria for AUD. The disorder is most common among those 18 to 29 years old, with slightly more than 16% struggling with AUD.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for alcohol addiction

Although AUD has been extensively studied, researchers are continuing to uncover risk factors for the disorder, some of which include the following:

Genetic: AUD tends to run in families. In fact, genetic influences account for about 40% to 60% of the risk of AUD. People whose close genetic relatives have AUD are three to four times more likely to develop AUD, even if those people are raised in adoptive homes. These findings also are confirmed by twin studies, which indicate that a person is more likely to develop AUD if his or her identical twin also has AUD.

Environmental: Certain environmental and personality factors also can contribute to a person’s risk of developing AUD. Cultural treatment towards drinking, stress, being around others who use alcohol, easy access to alcohol, highly positive expectations of alcohol’s effects, and limited coping ability all increase a person’s risk of developing AUD.

Risk Factors:

  • Personal or family history of substance abuse or other mental illness
  • Growing up in a home with someone who had AUD
  • Greater levels of impulsivity
  • Poor or ineffective coping strategies
  • Easy access to alcohol
  • High levels of stress
  • Having strong positive expectations about the effects of drinking
  • Being around others who drink or use other substances heavily

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction

While each person’s experience of AUD is different, people struggling with the disorder often show a similar set of signs and experience similar symptoms. Some of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Drinking early in the morning or at intervals throughout the day
  • Spending a great deal of time acquiring, using, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Drinking alone
  • Hiding one’s drinking
  • Continuing to drink even after experiencing negative consequences as a result of drinking alcohol
  • Drinking in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than intended
  • Becoming irritable or agitated when not able to drink
  • Hiding alcohol throughout the house or in the workplace

Physical symptoms:

  • Redness of the nose and cheeks
  • Gaining weight or appearing bloated
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal distress
  • Developing tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Craving alcohol
  • Losing weight due to malnutrition

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Fixating on thoughts related to drinking
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Having memory loss or blackouts

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Abstaining from important social activities in order to drink more
  • Using alcohol to cope with failures
  • Mood swings
  • Being unable to enjoy oneself without alcohol


Effects of alcohol addiction

If it is left without treatment at a rehab center, AUD can have a number of profound negative effects on a person’s life, such as:

  • Anemia
  • Onset or worsening of mental health symptoms
  • Polysubstance use, addiction, or chemical dependency
  • Damage to liver, kidneys, pancreas, or other organs
  • Malnutrition
  • Contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Being unable to keep a job
  • Financial strain
  • Legal issues or jail time
  • Injury from alcohol-related accidents
  • Strained or broken relationships
  • Death, either by accident, suicide, or overdose (“alcohol poisoning”)

Co-Occurring Disorders

Alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorders

Unfortunately, people who struggle with AUD may also meet criteria for other mental health disorders, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of alcohol withdrawal and overdose

Effects of alcohol withdrawal: When a person uses alcohol over a long period of time and then attempts to stop use, he or she may experience some of the following effects:

  • Sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling restless
  • Short-lived visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
  • Seizures

Effects of alcohol overdose: An alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, is a dangerous condition that can result in the following effects:

  • Uneven respiration
  • Decrease in body temperature
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Blue tinges to skin
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Why Consider Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Why consider alcohol addiction treatment at our rehab center in Newport Beach

If alcohol addiction remains untreated, it can affect nearly every area of a person’s life. Poor performance at work may lead to job loss, long-term unemployment, and financial difficulties. AUD often puts stress on personal relationships, possibly resulting in separation, estrangement, divorce, and loss of child custody. Alcohol abuse can also encourage a person to avoid contact with others in favor of staying home and drinking, with the end result that a person’s relationships wither and he or she becomes social isolated. Alcohol, when abused, can also cause organ damage, especially to the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, and it can also make a person more vulnerable to alcohol-related injury or a potentially fatal overdose. Fortunately, however, AUD is a treatable condition, meaning that by seeking out treatment at a comprehensive treatment center, a person can minimize or avoid these negative consequences.

Comprehensive treatment at a residential program can often be the ideal option for individuals who have been struggling to overcome AUD. During residential treatment, individuals are surrounded by a supportive team of treatment professionals and work alongside others who are also on the path of early recovery. In this safe and supportive environment, individuals can rid their bodies of alcohol, address the issues that may have contributed to or been impacted by their alcohol abuse, and make the lifestyle changes that will support their successful pursuit of long-term recovery.

Sober Living by the Sea provides a comprehensive network of residential treatment centers for alcohol abuse & addiction.  With male and female-specific tracks, we provide an extra layer of comfort and understanding. Located in Newport Beach, Sober Living provides a unique landscape for relaxation and healing, giving you the right form of alcohol addiction rehabilitation needed.

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My experience with the alcohol treatment programs at Sober Living by the Sea has always been positive and uplifting, full of education and insight, and very rewarding. I am now celebrating 3 of sobriety!

– Former Patient
Marks of Quality care
Our accreditations show our focus on quality care.
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)