Morningside Recovery, Newport Beach, CA

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Treatment Center Setting
  • Beach Community

Morningside Recovery Philosophy

Morningside Recovery, an addiction and mental health treatment center, was founded in 2001 to give clients the tools to achieve sobriety and healthfully function through our unique supervised, open treatment model. In other words, clients see and do everything in life that they would normally have exposure to, within the most supportive therapeutic environment possible for both achieving and maintaining recovery.

Areas of Specialization

Facility Highlights

A+ BBB Rated

Over 45 Groups Offered Weekly

Groups Led by Master's Level Therapists

Meet the Staff

Joel Edwards Executive Director

Photo of Joel Edwards After taking on a number of roles at Morningside Recovery, including leading the experiential Morningside Adventure Program (MAP), Joel now serves as Executive Director, overseeing all departments and helping the company constantly improve itself in order to give clients the best care possible. Joel takes great pride his work and believes that people can always change their lives for the better: “The old saying, ‘It is never too late’ does not apply as mental health and addiction issues can be life-changing and in some cases life-ending. Opening a dialogue with a friend or loved one you may be concerned about, or asking for help yourself, can literally save lives.”

Katy Wells Clinical Manager- RN, MS, LMFT

Photo of Katy Wells In addition to being a registered nurse (RN), Katy is a certified AA addiction counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She has worked extensively in children’s and family programs, dual diagnosis, and with the chronically mentally ill in a variety of settings. Katy brings this expanse of knowledge and experience in mental health to her practice as a primary therapist at Morningside Recovery. Though dual diagnosis and substance abuse are a primary focus in her work, Katy specializes in relationships, families, parenting, female issues, and eating disorders.

Editorial Review
Kate Tedesco


Rehabs.com Reviews Editor

Morningside Recovery is a luxury substance abuse and mental health rehab located in Newport Beach, California. In addition to substance abuse and behavioral issues, Morningside Recovery also offers treatment for process addictions such as gambling, disordered eating, gaming and sex. One-on-one counseling, gender-specific group therapy, educational lectures and experiential therapies are hallmarks of the facility’s various treatment programs. Clinical treatment methods include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodrama and eye movement desensitization and reprocesses (EMDR). Morningside is non 12-step based, however patients who want to include 12-step principles into their recovery are accommodated. Detox is not available on site.

The facility’s website flaunts an “open-treatment” model and lists numerous freedoms not typical of most residential programs, such as unsupervised visits to the beach, unlimited visitors, and opportunities to work part-time or take classes at a local college. Inpatient treatment is also billed as “non-lockdown,” meaning cell phones, laptop computers and even pets are also permitted. However, according to a recent investigation published on Vice.com, the parents of a 20-year old resident who died under Morningside’s care in 2011 were barred from having any contact with their son, with the father quoted as saying, “…once he transferred to Morningside, I personally did not get to speak with him at all. And the communication was terrible."

The tragic death reported on Vice led to a state investigation that uncovered multiple violations at Morningside, including offering unlicensed medical care and careless administration of prescription drugs, with the young man’s family receiving a wrongful death settlement in October 2014. And in addition to this event, many other alumni reviews uncovered by Rehabs.com also mention dubious financial motivations and deceptive advertising. “This place is all about their money, not your recovery,” claims M.W. on Yelp.com. “They will tell you that they are not 12-steps oriented, that they treat dual-diagnosis (psychiatric as well as addiction issues)…But the reality is far different.”

Another alumni, J.W., agreed. He told Rehabs.com: “They'll tell you anything to get you in the door and the money rolling in.” And I.K. wrote to Yelp.com to say: “They're really in it for the money. I have three years clean now and I'm able to go back and honestly say it’s not a supportive environment.”

The Vice.com article also supports allegations of financial fraudulence, and reported on evidence that Morningside regularly took “kickbacks,” or fees split between owners or employees when patients are transferred from one treatment center to another—a practice essentially motivated by “greed, not need”. Apart from being considered highly unethical, kickbacks like these in the treatment industry are also illegal in California, where Morningside Recovery is incorporated. And in the case in question—where a fee was paid for the young man’s transfer to Morningside, instead of moving him to a hospital for much-needed medical care—the implications of the practice were downright deadly.

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