SouthCoast Recovery Has Closed: Report

SouthCoast Recovery, the San Clemente substance abuse rehab facility that was at the center of an award-winning Weekly cover feature about a unique Adderall addiction program, has shut its doors, according to a published report.

An item states the center's local number automatically transfers callers to Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach and that Register calls to owner Dennis Larkin have not been returned.

SouthCoast Recovery founder Dennis Larkin and "unconditional love specialist" Kona.
SouthCoast Recovery founder Dennis Larkin and "unconditional love specialist" Kona.
Cover photo by John Gilhooley/OC Weekly

I had a slightly different experience when I called Thursday evening. The main number produced a recorded message that said the call could not be taken and to try back later. A second number connected with the staff directory and, eventually, Larkin's line, where a message was left. It had not been returned as of this posting.

Here's how the Register report begins:

"SouthCoast Recovery, a licensed alcohol and drug treatment and detox program, 205 Avenida Fabricante in San Clemente, has closed. The facility, with several houses in which clients lived while going through the 90-day treatment, had about 45 employees.

". . . Former employees said that all remaining staff were laid off on Oct. 7, although some are remaining as unpaid volunteers to help until clients are relocated to other facilities."

The Weekly's August 2008 story was about what was believed to be the county's first program solely dedicated to kicking Adderall, a stimulant often prescribed to children suffering from ADHD. Many college students, with or without scripts, pop "Addys" to get through studies for mid-terms and finals. But drug enforcers and counselors warn Adderall can be highly addictive.


Acupuncturist and herbalist Grant Collins works his magic at the clinic.
Acupuncturist and herbalist Grant Collins works his magic at the clinic.
Cover photo by John Gilhooley/OC Weekly

That clinic, SouthCoast Recovery, started in founder Larkin's garage in 1994, later moved to San Juan Capistrano, and--at the time our feature was being reported--was growing so quickly it was overtaking the sprawling, Spanish-style office and retail center on Avenida Fabricante. As other center tenants left, SouthCoast Recovery filled the spaces with classrooms, counseling offices, conference rooms and acupuncture/massage rooms. An old bank vault was converted into crying rooms.

At the time, SouthCoast also operated eight private residences--four of which had been previously occupied by drug dealers--in Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano. One residence was a state-licensed detoxification facility.

SouthCoast Recovery's locales and amenities might cause the unknowing to assume they were in resorts. Its website noted the close proximity to beaches, art galleries and Dana Point Harbor. Excursions were advertised for Albacore tuna fishing and reality television tapings. The staff chef prepared natural, toxin-free meals based on a 5,000-year-old Indian tradition.

The relaxed atmosphere extended to Larkin's spacious office, which the mellow rehab founder shared the staff's "unconditional-love specialist," a golden retriever named Kona. It was there Larkin told me he was about to be honored by the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators for running one of the state's best treatment facilities.

Now, the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs is investigating the clinic's closure, reports the Reg.


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