The Effects of Marijuana and Drug Addiction in Teens

By | Drug Addiction, General | No Comments

Addiction to Drugs and Marijuana

Restricting Marijuana access until age 21 makes sense because it’s less harmful to developing brains; there are fewer Auto and work accidents and improved educational outcomes, and less evidence of drug addiction in our teenagers.

Recent research indicates that chronic Marijuana users, especially those in their late teens, impede the development of the pre-frontal cortex and thalamus as they reach the critical last years of brain development. This phenomenon is evidenced by the large number of students dropping out of High School due to, among other things, drug addiction and the increase of parental dependence from a generation of young adults. The Brain does not fully develop until the age of 25, and chronic use stunts the necessary growth resulting in lower levels of maturity.

The Insurance, Public safety and OSHA lobbyists are certain to continue efforts to maintain a 21 year old restriction in states that are currently pursuing legal status for recreational use of Cannabis. This effort could be considered a harm reduction measure akin to the raising of the legal drinking age in the US from age 18 to 21 in the 1980’s. By following the success of the Alcohol laws in place, the public can expect lower insurance premiums, better quality of work and fewer tragic deaths due to Marijuana intoxication. Memory problems, impaired coordination and balance, as well as diminished concentration and reaction time are common among Marijuana’s heaviest users and create hazards for the individual and those in their presence.

College Administrators have turned a blind eye to chronic Marijuana use on their Campuses since the 1960’s, and although many students do achieve degrees, often times quite easily, in spite of being frequently high on or having formed a drug addiction to pot. Other students just get by or fail entirely, as Marijuana tends to lessen alertness, and impair ones abilities in completing complex study tasks. Getting high on a daily basis does not prepare Graduates for the necessary social skills required in an ever demanding and competitive playing field. A 21 year requirement will improve students focus, attendance and subsequently less subsidized dollars will be wasted on grants or subsidies for underperforming students.

Education is the key component to all successful substance abuse prevention and harm reduction programs. America has been losing ground in the Educational, Economic and Wellness arenas for the past 3 decades, a position in which we were once revered.

Teenage Marijuana abuse is clearly becoming one of society’s biggest challenges and plays a role in the era of mediocrity we find ourselves in today. Federal mandates upholding a 21 year old age requirement, regardless of medical necessity or recreational use is the most sensible alternative.


NIDA- Marijuana facts for Teens

University of Washington- ADAI – Learn about Marijuana

Reasons Alcoholics Drink

By | Alcohol, General | No Comments

A Personal Story

How many times have you heard “just stop”! “If you decide to quit you can”. “You just don’t care, if you did you would change your ways”. The simple truth of the matter: The reason alcoholics drink is because they have a disease, a malady of mind and body. The very definition of “alcoholism” is an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting for alcohol dependency.

This sober alcoholic has heard time and time again about my own weakness, about the theories of why or how alcoholism is not a disease, matter of willpower, or a decision, but for me and thousands of others it is not a matter of willpower, and it absolutely is a disease.

I personally always felt different on a fundamental level, unable to relate to other people the way it seemed “normal” people could. I never felt I fit; I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. This started from a very young age at a point in my life when I had no tools to know how to even express it. I felt so many emotions so much of the time that I slid into depression early on and spent my early years trying to learn ways to escape. Exercise, boys, movies, and I did everything to the extreme. For me there was no balance. I couldn’t stand how I felt, I would find something to help me forget that for as long as I could and then inevitably wound up back at ground zero scratching my head, angry and alone in a room full of people. When I found alcohol it was, at first a solution, a way to numb that nagging voice deep within me that told me I was a failure, I was ugly, and I would never mean anything. I felt that heavy emotional veil lift and for the first time some levity came into my life and I could convince myself that I was okay.

The brain of an alcoholic is actually different than that of a non-alcoholic from a scientific standpoint. Look it up in any medical journal and the confirmation is there; however, alcoholism and the reasons alcoholics drink is not strictly due to the allergy of body, but it is also a sickness of the mind and spirit. I was spiritually sick.

Treatment today for the modern alcoholic offers many modalities to assist the alcoholic find a long-term way to identify the disease, and form an outline for individuals, like myself, who had no idea how to quit. Often I felt that I didn’t want to quit, that I could handle alcohol and drink like a gentleman, even going dry spells without drinking only to either weeks or months later relapse into a state of incomprehensible demoralization one more time.

I would have told you I drank because the world had wronged me that I was abused, abandoned, stressed out, misunderstood, etc., etc., but at the root of all of it, I was addicted to the physical and mental effect that alcohol gave to me, and I was unable to stop, promise after broken promise to myself and others with the best intentions and the strongest willpower I would honestly say “I am done”., but I simply COULD NOT leave it alone.

There is a solution; we are here to offer you one. You are not alone, you never have to be alone again.

If you or someone you know is need of help treating alcoholism, contact us today!

Photo of Balboa at Sunset

The Novation Neighborhood

By | Balboa, General | No Comments

One of the things I like best about Newport Beach, and especially its yacht harbor, Balboa Bay, is its rich history going back to the 1800’s. Of course, it goes back centuries earlier with the Spanish, and even thousands of years before that with the Tongva and other indigenous people. And sure, there are older harbors settled by Europeans in California – San Diego, Monterrey, and San Francisco – but there was very little settlement or development between them until the 20th Century. Balboa Bay and the city surrounding it, Newport Beach, are an exception to that. It was an important commercial harbor beginning in the 1870’s and became a resort destination for Southern California by the turn of the century. Today Newport Beach is the largest pleasure craft harbor in the world.

In 1908 an Italian gondolier, John Scarpa, and Joseph Beek, the founder of the Balboa Island Ferry in 1919, started the first Christmas boat parade in the harbor. They used Japanese lanterns to light John’s Venetian gondola and another eight canoes following. You can call it “cultural appropriation,” but it was a hit! This promenade of boats has had its ups and downs over the past century, but it’s expected that over a million people will watch the 109th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in 2017. There are as many as a hundred decorated boats cruising the 14-mile course around the harbor, and hundreds more spectator boats out on the water. In addition to all these boats, many of the waterfront homes along the parade route participate in an annual “Ring of Lights” holiday decoration competition. The New York Times calls it all “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation.”

Rose Wilder in the Christmas Boat Parade

After watching the parade for decades from the shoreline, this year we will be IN the parade! We have entered our classic 50’ wooden sailboat, Rose Wilder, which is tied up at Novation Center’s private dock, as an official part of the parade. You’re welcome aboard, but space is limited so do reserve a place if you’d like to come along.

If you would like to join us and see enough holiday decorations to hold you over for the season, please contact me at Space is available on Rose Wilder to watch the parade on the nights of Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, December 13-15th. We will have hot and cold drinks, plus sandwiches and cookies on the boat. Everyone should be aboard by 5:45 PM, and we will shove off not later than 6 PM to get over to the starting area. The parade begins at 6:30 and finishes about 9 PM. We expect to be back and tied up at our dock not later than 9:30. For more information on the event, visit

The Boat Parade or the Ring of Lights are two local traditions with over a century of tradition behind them, and another way that Novation’s neighborhood on Balboa Peninsula Point is very special.

What Makes Novation Different?

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The path to recovery includes many elements – we know that physical and psychological safety to be a foundationally crucial component. Comprehensively addressing addiction with a holistic and curated approach in a private retreat setting is one of the many elements on this pathway offered at Novation.

I have had the privilege of developing lasting bonds with our guests in an uniquely serene and naturally healing environment – that is our facility. Spending time at Novation is unlike any place I have ever experienced, while being a living example of our safe-place, sacred-space mantra. We follow the principle of living in a glass house, with total clarity and transparency.

Attention to Details, and Patients

Our guests with previous residential treatment care have shared that the experience at Novation was nothing they could have imagined. Enjoying the initial surprise with our breathtaking facility, followed by our staff’s demonstrated commitment to working together as a team, and anchored by our team’s straightforward and honest representation of program substance, amenities, and tailored flexibility was pleasantly shocking.

A quote from a recent guest demonstrates this attention to detail and value:

“…the staff were clearly on the same page with one another and everything I was told before I got to Novation not only happened, they went above and beyond to keep their word and exceeded my expectation.”

Novation has found the balance between the highest quality personalized experience of a true luxury resort, while still providing common creature comforts and the feelings of being in a true home. Whether it is enjoying the amazing sunsets together, or utilizing the unparalleled Bay and Beach access, we take seriously the pleasure of having our guests revel in the opportunity to share our home and expertise.