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Treatment center hosts open house

New outpatient services site welcomes community members at its East 17th Street location.

April 24, 2014|By Hannah Fry
  • Carl Mosen, , left, and Kevin Mello, pose for a photo during the grand opening for Hotel California By The Sea on Thursday.
Carl Mosen, , left, and Kevin Mello, pose for a photo during… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Hotel California by the Sea, a self-proclaimed luxury drug and alcohol treatment center based in Newport Beach, hosted an open house Thursday evening to celebrate the unveiling of its new outpatient services center in Costa Mesa.

More than 80 community members attended the event at the new center, which officially opened this month on East 17th Street.

Though the Costa Mesa outpatient center is open to all adults, the location specifically targets executives and celebrities who would like a certain amount of privacy during recovery, said Director of Community Relations BJ Hickman.

The outpatient concept is relatively unique in Orange County and attracts individuals who would like to get treatment while continuing to work, Hickman said.

"We wanted to address a market that really wants and often needs treatment," she said.

The outpatient center hosts one-on-one and group sessions for between $3,200 and $10,000 per month depending on the type of treatment required, Hickman said.

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Hotel California by the Sea, which has a rehabilitation home on Villa Way in Newport Beach, provides alcohol and drug abuse treatment to men and women.

The Newport Beach location, which opened in January, offers detox services, residential treatment, transitional programs, day treatment and sober living homes.

Costa Mesa and Newport Beach residents have had their fair share of problems with rehab centers and sober living homes in recent years. Some residents say the homes bring increased criminal activity, noise, excessive smoking in and around the homes and other nuisance-type behaviors.

The negative image surrounding treatment centers isn't news to Hotel California by the Sea founder Carl Mosen, who believes that community members' portrayal of those in treatment is unfair.

"You allow 20 kids to live in a beach house with constant parties, but when you have six sober people living together it becomes a problem," he said. "It doesn't make sense."

Mosen was the original owner of Sober Living by the Sea, another group of sober living homes in Newport Beach, which was embroiled in a 2008 lawsuit between the city and a group of residents who opposed the homes, according to court documents.

Mosen estimates that 10 percent of the population suffers from an addiction of some kind and treatment centers provide necessary relief for people who are looking to improve their health.

Nearly 13 years ago, Kevin Mello, who now works as the center's executive director, was one of those people.

Mello was an electrical engineer on the East Coast and a functioning alcoholic who was addicted to prescription medicine before he entered treatment.

He credits his treatment at an East Coast facility as a main reason he was triumphant in his attempt to get sober.

"I've always been passionate about the foundation that treatment provides people—allowing them to get into 12 step programs like [Alcoholics Anonymous] and be successful," he said.

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