2020 International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31st

Join Fresh Start California of Orange Country as we observe International Overdose Awareness Day: a vision to end the global overdose crisis.

The global overdose crisis is widespread, claiming the lives of 585,000 people in 2017 alone. According to the World Health Organization, in the United States alone, overdose deaths have skyrocketed 21% just since 2016, causing North America to have the highest drug-related death rate in the world with over 64,000 deaths per year. In addition to drug-related deaths, the trauma that resonates in witnesses, family, and friends after this loss is incalculable. However, it is important to remember that these deaths are preventable, and such is the overall purpose of International Overdose Awareness Day: to heal communities and prevent further harm.

What is International Overdose Awareness Day?

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) was started by the Penington Institute in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia. In the near twenty years since, it has spread internationally, instigating awareness and activism in community organizers, non-profits and government organizers all aiming to reduce harm and commemorate lives lost from drug-related deaths.

The Penington Institute is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1995 by those who have lived-experience with drug-related deaths and substance abuse harm. The organization believes in productive prevention, focusing on “making individuals and families safer and healthier, helping communities, frontline services and governments reduce harm, respect human rights and improve the rule of law” by “tack[ling] drug use in a safe, effective and practical way.” They are well respected in the international community and engage in research, analysis, and community activism to succeed in their objective.

The statement of purpose of International Overdose Awareness Day is clearly stated by Penington Institute’s initiative:

“International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.”

IOAD’s call to action is therefore to help spread awareness, recognizing that overdose and its radiating consequences are preventable. It is also a way to remember family members and friends lost as a result of overdose. By ending the stigma of drug-related death and understanding substance use disorders with an empathetic and actionable lens, we can work toward overdose prevention.

How Can You Participate in International Overdose Awareness Day 2020?

Whether you are recovering, or you are a loved one touched by the residual effects of drug addiction, there are actionable ways that you can participate in IOAD in raising awareness and destigmatizing addiction and overdose:

  • Host or attend a community activity: In light of COVID, official events are held indoors or virtually, and can be found at the IOAD website. If you want to start your own small community event, you can officially register it to promote attendance. Even if large participation events aren’t your thing, safely gathering even a few others together can make a big difference. Check out the IOAD Event Organizers Support Kit for more information on organizing your own community activity.
  • Purchase a badge, wristband or lanyard: Showing your support or demonstrating a personal loss caused by overdose by wearing these symbols of awareness is one of the easiest ways to participate.
  • Post on social media: Follow the @overdoseawarenessday social media accounts to stay updated and post to your own using the hashtags #endoverdose and #overdoseaware to and amplify awareness through the online community, while also finding support and community for yourself with others around the world.
  • Donate: Consider donating to the official campaign directly, or contacting your local community support systems and organizations that assist in local efforts of overdose awareness and prevention. These organizations are either run by the city or by nonprofits, and work with harm reduction and public health, as well as homeless crisis initiatives and youth outreaches.

As a global community, we can end the stigma of overdose and help treat and curb the damage done as a result of preventable drug-related deaths. Your actions, whether big or small, can make an impactful difference. Join us in observing International Overdose Awareness Day 2020 on August 31st in an effort to end the global overdose crisis and then usher in September, which is National Recovery Month.

For additional resources about International Overdose Awareness Day 2020 in Orange County and information about drug detox and rehabilitation, call us as Fresh Start of California. Our Southern California detox and rehab is here for you! 

Fresh Start of California Will Remain Open and Continue to Provide Safe Treatment

COVID-19: Fresh Start of California Response

As a place for those in need of treatment, Fresh Start of California is taking significant steps to continue serving clients, their families, and prospective clients affected by substance abuse and addiction while simultaneously responding to the spread of COVID-19. Our entire staff and treatment team is dedicated to helping public health leaders contain this pandemic without slowing our efforts to meet the critical needs of those struggling with addiction.

Our Response

  • Established a Coronavirus Incident Command Team and a dedicated Incident Command Center to lead our monitoring, planning, decision-making and communication—overseen and driven by our chief medical officer and chief nursing officer.
  • We have implemented site-specific pandemic response plans, allowing us to:
    • Check all patients and staff for fever, which is noted as the most common symptom of COVID-19
    • Screen prospective clients for symptoms, international travel, and exposure to someone with a known case of COVID-19
    • Ensure diligent infection control and prevention, sanitation, as well as hygiene
    • Respond immediately to any emerging situation
  • Eliminate non-essential business travel and off-site patient activities through the end of April to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Monitori information and implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, as well as state and local public health authorities.

Fresh Start of California will remain diligent in monitoring and responding to this pandemic as it evolves, taking any steps necessary to protect our patients, staff, families, and friends. Concurrently, we remain devoted to assisting new patients in need of help and providing top-tier treatment to our clients.

-The Treatment Team at Fresh Start of California.


If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol of drug addiction and is in need of treatment, please contact our team right away. We are ready to help!

Spread the News: September is National Recovery Month!

September is recognized as National Recovery Month. During this time, many organizations, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and addiction treatment facilities, such as Fresh Start of California, raise awareness about substance abuse and educate Americans that proper treatment can result in healthy and fulfilling lives. In addition, National Recovery Month celebrates those who have moved through treatment and seeks to remove the misunderstandings regarding the issues of substance use disorders.

When Did Recovery Month Begin?

In 1989, Recovery Month began as Treatment Works! Month, which sought to honor the efforts of professionals within the substance abuse treatment field. In 1998, Treatment Works! Month evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and expanded to celebrate individuals who have moved through recovery. The day of observance evolved yet again in 2011 when it became National Recovery Month to also include mental illness.

Is Drug Addiction Treatable?

Yes, drug addiction/substance abuse addiction is treatable, but the journey to success and sobriety is not always simple. Because addiction is a chronic disease and because each person’s addiction is different, the approach to treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, people who suffer from addiction cannot simply and abruptly stop the use or consumption of drugs and expect good or even healthy results.

Become Part of National Recovery Month. Call Fresh Start of California!

At Fresh Start of California, our Orange County, California detox and residential treatment center is dedicated to providing effective treatment for all. We understand that treatment cannot be addressed as a one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s why we work diligently to understand the needs of each patient that enters our facility.

If you or someone you love is in need of medical detox or rehab, contact our detox and residential treatment team in Orange County, California. We are ready to help change your life and give you the fresh start you have been waiting for.

Call Fresh Start of California today for a free assessment! We are available 24/7!

FSOCA Takes Alumni Skydiving to Celebrate Sobriety Milestones

At Fresh Start of California, we are passionate about celebrating victories, and in our eyes, there is no better victory than that of sobriety. So, how did we celebrate? On Sunday, August 4, Co-Founder Preston Durnford took a group of detox alumni, including Jacklyn Pelloni and Tristan Hughes, to skydive for the first time ever at Skydive Lake Elsinore. Alumni of Fresh Start of California About to Skydive

When asked about the significance behind skydiving with alumni clients, Preston stated:

I think skydiving is great in the beginning of a person’s new life in sobriety or anyone who is striving for a more fulfilling life in general. To push your mind and retrain it to do more exciting things rather than the same old miserable behaviors of their pasts—that’s the goal.

There is something amazing when the clients come and commit to jumping out of a plane with me, knowing I’m right there with them. For them to know that they have a lifelong friendship and bond with Fresh Start of California and that we are all putting in effort towards a more fulfilling and happy life—there just really isn’t anything like it.

While many of the alumni were nervous to jump out of a plane, each was more than thrilled to put it down in the books as one of the wildest rides. The most memorable part of it all was that each of the alumni was able to share their love for sobriety with one another. Where life was once a dark space, it is now filled with adrenaline-rushing and life-changing experiences. Together, and with the ongoing support of our Orange County addiction treatment team at Fresh Start of California, each of these individuals is able to embark on a journey of happiness, meaningfulness, and excitement.

Let’s celebrate life in sobriety together. Call Fresh Start of California at 833.852.3470 and speak with our Orange County detox and residential treatment team about getting help today! Fresh Start of California Alumni at Skydive Lake Elsinore

Fresh Start of California and Alumni Compete Together in The OC 5K

Our team at Fresh Start of California is passionate about we do and how we help. That’s why we form relationships with our clients that last a lifetime. This idea alone is what fuels our alumni program, Epic Transformations. Fresh Start of California at The OC 5K

In an effort to continue showing alumni their true strengths day in and day out, we challenged a few to run The OC 5K Run/Walk on May 4. The alumni were joined by Preston Durnford, co-owner of Fresh Start of California, and various staff members of the facility.

While the run was a challenge for all, the discipline it required only deepened the bond between our Orange County detox facility staff and the alumni of our programs. We are honored to be surrounded by such strong individuals, and we look forward to forming these strong lifelong friendships with each client that passes through our facility.

Seeking a Proven Orange County Detox? Join Our Family Today.

If you are seeking an Orange County detox that will help you achieve sobriety and lifelong goals, reach out to our team at Fresh Start of California today. We will stand by your side through every part of the detox and residential program. Completing the programs is only the beginning. We seek forever friendships with our clients and push them to become the best they can while walking the path of sobriety.

Ready for a change you deserve? Call our Orange County detox today!



Fentanyl is Termed “The Third Wave” of the Opioid Crisis

Fentanyl Opioid CrisisAccording to a study conducted and published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is now identified as “The Third Wave” of the opioid crisis. In addition, fentanyl was present in over 89% of deadly overdoses through October 2018, nearly double the percentage in 2013.

Merianne Rose Spenser, an author of the study, stated that these fatal overdoses are increasing even faster among Latino Americans and Black Americans. In addition, the number of death certificates, which include mention of fentanyl for people between the ages of 25-34, has also increased drastically.

Where is the Fentanyl Problem Most Prevalent?

There are various “hot zones” in the United States, and Massachusetts has been noted as one of the most affected zones. According to David Kelly, the Deputy Director of The New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Unit, fentanyl seizures have spiked in an unpredictable manner.

The following “hot zones” have seen the highest rate in overdose deaths:

  • The New England area
  • Mid-Atlantic states
  • Upper Midwest states

Unfortunately, Massachusetts has become what they call the “test market” for fentanyl due to the area’s large market for opioids.

What are the 3 Waves of The Opioid Crisis?

In totality, the opioid crisis includes the following three waves:

  • The 1st wave: Prescription pain meds (Oxycontin and others)
  • The 2nd wave: Heroin
  • The 3rd wave: Fentanyl

Sadly, the opioid crisis, which now includes fentanyl, does not show any signs of declining soon. With this being said, it is more important than ever that communities find better ways to connect with addicts and family members of addicts. We must be diligent in our efforts to put this crisis to an end, and it takes all parties working together to make that happen.

In Need of Rehab in New England Area? We Take Clients from the Entire U.S.

If you or someone you loved is suffering from drug addiction, contact our Orange County rehab and detox right away. Fresh Start of California is here to help those in need of drug rehab in Massachusetts and the New England area as well. Our detox program and the residential program can help heal you today.

Call Fresh Start of California today, and let us help you start a new chapter.


Fresh Start of California Celebrates 3 Year Anniversary!

It is with our greatest pride and joy that we announce our third-year anniversary. To celebrate, our Orange County detox and rehab team hosted an open-house party stacked with a gazebo, a taco truck, games like cornhole, a facility tour, and great friends and professionals from other treatment centers. We believe that connecting and strengthening business relationships not only benefits our personal relationships with other hard-working individuals, but it also benefits the greater good of the community. Fresh Start of California

When we all come together and celebrate the amazing work we are doing in the community, we are truly able to see the impact we have on those around us. What better way to celebrate all that work than with those who push us to be the very best we can?

We would like to thank our amazing staff for everything they have done. This celebration would not have been possible without each person’s help, and we are truly blessed to have such amazing team members as we continue to grow and thrive.

When the celebration was over, some of our staff stayed to chat in the office. During our regroup, we realized just how thankful we are to be doing what we love for those we love. The turnout was amazing, and we were in awe of how lucky we are to work with such great people, both in our own facility and others within the industry. We have grown so much in just 3 years, and we look forward to touching more lives as we continue to reach a wider community.

Check out these photos to see how Fresh Start of California really gets the party started:Fresh Start of California 3 Year Anniversary 3 Year Anniversary at Fresh Start of California Patrick at Fresh Start of California BBQ at Fresh Start of California 3 Years Old Balloon


FSC Partners with Dr. Phil to Introduce Virtual Reality Therapy

Fresh Start of California is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery to our rehabilitation program. On July 26, 2017, Fresh Start of California integrated this groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) program designed to help reduce recidivism and improve overall outcomes for inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Developed by Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw, and recently introduced on his #1 rated national talk show, Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery VR program will add an influence to our patients’ lives in the form of Dr. Phil himself –his distinctive voice delivered from exclusive locations that our patients would never normally have access to, including on-stage at his show and sitting with him in his private office.

With more than 45 years of experience working in the mental health profession and addiction recovery, Dr. Phil understands like no one else what it takes for someone to make a drastic change in the direction of their life.

As a complement to our current inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, Fresh Start of California believes this program will put our facility at the forefront of virtual reality technology in healthcare. We are proud to add this tool to our counselors’ arsenal.

To learn more, watch Dr. Phil explain the VR Technology: 

About Fresh Start of California

At Fresh Start of California, our mission is to guide and assist those struggling with addiction. At every step, we remain available in order to help our patients achieve permanent results.

To begin, we provide detoxification services, residential treatment services, and recovery tools that are intended to produce long-term results. We believe each person is different and, as a result, create individualized treatment plans for every patient.

Our facility and team strongly believe that constructive and collaborative activities are key to happiness and success. For this reason, we provide but are not limited to:

  • 12-step therapy
  • Yoga
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy

Regardless of the walk of life a person may come from, we are ready to provide help at every step of the process and help our clients navigate through the process as seamlessly as possible. We are ready to help shape each person’s future for the better.

About Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil McGraw, perhaps the most well-known mental health professional in the world, is the host of the leader in daytime talk, Dr. Phil. Launched in 2002, Dr. Phil provides the most comprehensive forum on mental health issues in the history of television. For 15 years, Dr. Phil McGraw has used the show’s platform to make psychology accessible and understandable to the general public by addressing important personal and social issues.

With a strong commitment to research, and the assistance of leading scholars and behavioral scientists, Dr. Phil McGraw educates viewers about state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment options for many of the most challenging problems faced by individuals, couples and families.

His unique dedication to families and children is legend to the millions of people around the world who watch his show and read his books. Dr. Phil’s work was recognized by the American Psychological Association in 2006 as they honored him with a presidential citation. Dr. Phil McGraw is the author of nine #1 New York Times bestsellers, published in 39 languages, with over 33 million copies in print. Dr. Phil earned a B.A. from Midwestern State University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas, which was followed by a year of post-doctoral training in Forensic Psychology at The Wilmington Institute.

About Jay McGraw

Jay McGraw is the Emmy ® Award-winning creator and executive producer of the syndicated series The Doctors, as well as president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Stage 29 Productions. Jay McGraw is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Doctor on Demand, the successful tele-medicine app that has changed the way people interact with doctors. The app allows fast, easy and cost-effective video visit access to some of the best doctors, psychologists, and other healthcare providers in the country.

He is also CEO of Ghost Mountain Books, Inc., a publishing company that specializes in health, wellness and lifestyle authors and content that has released numerous bestselling titles since its launch in 2012. He is also a #1 New York Times bestselling author, having penned six books. Jay holds a law degree from Southern Methodist University and a psychology degree from University of Texas.

For more information please visit our site or drphil.rehab