Top Addiction Counselors in Orange County, CA

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a “treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.” Like any other chronic disease, recovery from addiction is often very difficult and can include multiple forms of therapy and/or medication. Addiction counseling can happen one on one, in a group setting, or outpatient or inpatient treatment centers. Group therapy is often used to facilitate discussions with family members or friends and can help you be conscious of ways your family, friendship, or work dynamic may be contributing to your addiction. An addiction counselor’s role is to help you identify what in your environment or emotional state could be causing you to use drugs or other substances. Addiction counselors can also help you work through the emotions you feel before and after using substances and recognize patterns in your behavior that are causing you to want to use drugs. There are a lot of methods of addiction therapy available, but every addiction counselor will help you find “coping skills” that can subvert or replace your urges to use, and develop a plan to help you maintain your sobriety in the future. Most addiction counselors will also conduct regular drug tests. Below are the top Orange County addiction counselors who can give you the help that you need.  

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, find a Rehab in California

1. Dr. Sanjai Thankachen, MD, 

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen has 13 plus years of experience treating substance use, addiction, mental and behavioral health issues. He completed his residency at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York, before working at Ventura County Medical Centers outpatient clinic. Dr. Thankachen is the medical director of the Dana Point Rehab Campus under Alter Health Group, and he is passionate about providing science-based quality treatment for those struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or other issues. The Dana Point Rehab Campus offers detox programs, residential inpatient treatment, dual diagnosis, and co-occurring disorders programs, and faith-based treatment options. They offer support and resources for families and friends of those struggling with addiction and recognize that sobriety cannot be achieved alone.

Address: 34232 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite DI. Dana Point, California 92629

Phone: (888).509.1751



2. Ronald Israel, MA, LAADC, ICADC

Ronald Israel is a board-certified Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor (LAADC) and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Israel is dedicated to helping individuals, couples and families deal with and recover from substance abuse and addiction. He has more than 20 years of experience as a substance abuse and addiction counselor and as a mental health counselor. Israel’s approach is to specifically tailor his method of therapy to the patient’s comfort level and personal life using compassion, empathy, and practical feedback to empower his clients to achieve personal growth. He also has presented various addiction and recovery treatments and topics at National conferences.

Address: 34163 Pacific Coast Highway Suite 225B Dana Point, California 92629

Phone: (949).350.0557



3. Dr. Krista Driver, LMFT, Mariposa Women and Family Center. 

Dr. Krista Driver is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with a doctorate in psychology from the American Behavioral Studies Institute. Dr. Driver is the CEO of the Mariposa Women and Family Center, which focuses on “empowering women and families to make positive changes in their lives.” Mariposa offers gender-specific substance abuse outpatient treatment, as well as alcohol and drug abuse education classes, relapse prevention support groups, behavioral therapy, after and extended care programs, individual counseling, and support and drug testing. Dr. Driver and the Mariposa Women and Family Center understand that Orange County, California has a statistically high drug and overdose rate, and seek to help heal their community. They offer gender-specific services for men and women and help for teens and young adults.

Address: 31845 W Orangewood Ave. Suite 300 Orange, California 9286

Phone: (714).547.6494



4. David Welch, Ph.D, Wel-Mor Psychology Group, Incorporated. 

David Welch Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist who works with those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction, domestic violence, marital and couples issues, end-of-life, loss and grief issues, and childhood trauma. Welch is the direct supervisor for all substance abuse programs at the Wel-Mor Psychology Group and has 20+ years of experience treating addiction with inpatient and outpatient programs, dual diagnosis, residential treatment programs, and individual therapy. He offers his services to groups, couples, and individuals, as well as running a male “Batterers’ Intervention Program.” Dr. Welch has been a licensed Clinical Psychologist for 20 years, and the Wel-Mor Psychology group offers his private practice as well as court programs and outpatient substance abuse care.

Address: 4120 Birch Street, Suite #121, Newport Beach, California 92660

Phone: (714).540.9070



5. Dr. Mitch Keil, PsyD Clinical Psychologist, Keil Psych Group 

Dr. Mitch Keil is a clinical psychologist with 13 years of experience as a provider of mental health services in Southern California. Keil is currently a professor of psychology at Santiago Canyon College and he has trained at various diligent institutions across California, like Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, and worked with veterans suffering from PTSD at the VA in Loma Linda, California. Keil provides individual, group, and couples counseling at his practice in Newport Beach. To treat addiction, the Keil Psych Group focuses on the reason behind the addiction and finding the pain the patient is trying to avoid feeling. Dr. Keil offers services to teenagers, young adults, and adults suffering from anxiety, depression, relationship or interpersonal issues, trauma, PTSD, and addiction. The Keil Psych Group takes a holistic approach to counseling and understands that your loved ones are also affected by your addiction.

Address: 260 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, California 92660

Phone: (714).334.5497



6. Dr. Michael Stone, MD, FAAFP, ABAM, FASAM, 

Dr. Michael Stone is a Medical Director, a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a member of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He founded Cornerstone of Southern California 37 years ago to give addicts a non-judgemental and safe space to begin to learn and understand the reasons behind their illness. Since 1969, Dr. Stone has treated over 80,000 addicts and their loved ones from all walks of life. He helped train the directors of the Betty Ford Center when it was built and has been treating those struggling with addiction and substance abuse for over 50 years. Cornerstone provides one-to-one therapy, group therapy, relapse prevention therapy, inpatient drug rehab, medication-assisted treatment, intensive outpatient programs plus extended care programs, and more.

Address: 1950 17th St. #150, Santa Ana California, 92705

Phone: (714).844.1004




Addiction is a disease that can have long-lasting negative effects on the addict and their loved ones. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 6.5% of people 21 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) with the substance being illicit drugs, while 11.1% of people had substance use disorder with the substance being alcohol. For perspective, the United States is home to over 330 million people, meaning 21,417,500 of them have or are at risk of having a substance use disorder involving illicit drugs, and 36,574,500 of them have or are at risk of having a substance use disorder involving alcohol. That’s a huge amount of people who need help recovering from substance abuse. Addiction counseling and therapy can help you understand why you’re addicted and empower you to find sobriety with the help of those closest to you. With the help of an addiction therapist, you can detox and remove drugs or alcohol from your life and begin to build a new one for yourself. Most addiction therapists are also well versed in the ways mental, physical, and emotional health can affect your sobriety and can help you identify triggers and negative patterns that are causing you to use. Addiction is incredibly hard on the addict and the people around them, but the disease does not have to be fatal. With help from an addiction counselor, you can take steps towards full sobriety and recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out to an Orange County addiction counselor today.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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