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Home » Santa Clarita News » Families in Action - Cary Quashen » Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center
Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center

Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center

Action Family Counseling’s Bakersfield drug and alcohol rehab center provides addiction treatment for Kern County residents who choose a sober lifestyle.

By Stephen K. Peeples

For anyone seeking help with alcohol or drug addiction in the Bakersfield-Kern County area, the friendly, but no-nonsense drug and alcohol rehab specialists at the Action Family Counseling residential rehab center in Bakersfield are just a phone call away. 


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The expert staff members at the 35-bed Action Bakersfield rehab center are trained and licensed to work with teens as well as adults. Specialists work with each patient’s individual addiction and related disorders, including depression, to tailor an effective rehabilitation program. Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center

The Action residential treatment center in Bakersfield provides nurturing but structured and solution-focused individual, group and family therapy, in a safe residential environment free of temptation. The center offers substance abuse and addiction treatment, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and therapy focusing on problem-solving and solutions.

Action’s Bakersfield Rehab Center Treats the Whole Person

“We really look at the whole person, not just the physical body, but also the emotional condition and everything else that comes with it,” said Cary Quashen, founder-CEO of Santa Clarita-based Action Family Counseling, which operates the Bakersfield rehab center. 

Programs at the center include daily recovery groups, process groups, and 12-Step recovery programs for clients, who work on a modified program developed by the staff to meet the individual client’s needs. 

Therapy at Action’s Bakersfield rehab center also includes physical exercise and activities like the gym, basketball and more, with a focus on re-socialization so the patient can get re-acquainted with living everyday life sober instead of impaired. 

Action Founder an Ex-Addict Sober for More Than 30 Years

A recovering addict who’s been sober and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction treatment 30-plus years, Quashen is a nationally recognized expert on the issue, particularly relating to teens and young adults. 

He also co-hosts the “Families in Action” radio program Mondays at noon on KHTS-AM 1220 in Santa Clarita, presenting news and views from the front lines of the Santa Clarita Valley’s effort to stem abuse of illegal and prescription drugs by people young and old.


Tune in to Action’s weekly Families in Action program Mondays from noon to 1 p.m. on AM 1220 KHTS in Santa Clarita.


Most recently, Quashen and co-host Bob Sharits, program director of Action’s intensive outpatient program in Santa Clarita, have focused on the dramatic drop in local heroin deaths, attributed to the joint effort between the city of Santa Clarita, the Hart high school district, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Action and other porgrams; the subsequent spike in methamphetamine abuse among SCV teens; and dangerous synthetic cannabinoids such as spice making a local comeback. 

Action Family Counseling operates in-patient rehab centers in Santa Clarita, Piru and Bakersfield, providing intensive drug and alcohol outpatient help for clients throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Kern counties, the latter through Action’s Bakersfield residential treatment center. 

RELATED: Read all the KHTS ‘It Takes a Village’ Features about Drugs in the SCV 

Action’s Bakersfield drug and alcohol rehab center is the former Willows facility. 

“The Willows was around for many years and helped many, many people, but when the owner took sick, we stepped in,” Quashen said. “Action bought it in 2009 and changed it around a little to better serve the population that needs it right now. It’s been around for a long time, an awesome facility.” 

Residential Drug & Alcohol Rehab in a Quiet, Safe Bakersfield Neighborhood

“Action Bakersfield is a residential treatment center in a quiet residential area, which is what excites me the most about all our rehab centers,” Quashen said. 

“Bakersfield is not like an institution,” he said. “It’s like walking into a residence. As soon as people get there, they feel comfortable. They feel safe. It’s really a good, safe place to take care of business, get clean and sober, clear your head, get support, get some structure and discipline back into your life, get some family work done, then go home and make it.” 

Action Steps to Follow Up

But Action’s therapy doesn’t end when the in-patient work at the Bakersfield rehab center is done.

“Follow-up is everything,” Quashen said. “We get so many people who’ve been in long-term [rehab] programs and then were discharged. They went home to what? The life they used to know. Before you know it, they’re right back to drinking, smoking, snorting or shooting.” 

To break that cycle, clients who complete their treatment at Bakersfield transition to an intensive outpatient program that lasts at least 90 days, so Action’s specialists can help the patient stay on track as needed. 

How to Get Help at Action Bakersfield, and What to Expect

“We have a call center people call, which is actually in Santa Clarita,” Quashen said. 

Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center“We figure out where they’re located and the exact therapeutic service they need. If they live anywhere in Kern County – or if they live in Santa Clarita or the Santa Clarita Valley, Simi Valley or Ventura areas and we want to get them away from their old environment – we’ll send them to Bakersfield,” he said. 

Once a client arrives at the Bakersfield rehab center, the first step is an intake evaluation.

“Sometimes people have lots of what we call features when they walk in, meaning psychological features,” Quashen said. “Is it really psychological, or is it from coming off crystal meth? We have a lot of work to do to figure out, in a short period of time, what’s going on. 

“You’ve really got to get the person detoxed so you know where you are,” he said. “The first few days are super important. They’re seeing the medical doctor, the psychiatrist, the counselors are evaluating them. Even before we put them on any serious medication besides straight-out detox meds, we want to make sure we know what we’re seeing is drug-induced or not. 

“We have licensed therapists, groups where we can process what’s going on with the clients, groups where the nurse will come in and do medication evaluations,” he said. “Clients see the psychiatrist weekly, so if they’re on medication, we can evaluate the meds, make sure they’re working, see if the person still needs to take them. If they’re not on meds, they may need to be, at least at first, until stabilized.” 

“After the person’s medical needs are taken care of, Quashen said, “A counselor will meet with them and talk about their history and track record, and come up with a treatment plan. 


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Addiction, Recovery and Rehab are Family Affairs

Through years of direct experience, Quashen and Action know an individual’s addiction also has serious adverse effects on the addict’s relationship with family, friends and co-workers. 

“So any treatment plan will always include not just individual therapy and individual family therapy, but also weekly multi-family group therapy,” he said. 

“To us, it’s not the patient fighting addiction — the whole family is the identified patient,” Quashen said. “We want to deal with everybody in the person’s circle, knowing that if little Paul comes into our rehab, he’s eventually going to clean up well enough to go home. But if things are still the same at home, he’s going right back into the same mess.

“So, our specialists work with patients doing individual therapy, individual family group therapy, and even multi-family group therapy classes on the weekend for a few hours, so they can bond,” he said. “There are also 12-Step recovery groups, referrals to AA and NA meetings – you name it, Bakersfield has it.” 

Bakersfield Therapy Inspired by 12-Step Program

After intake, Action’s treatment process takes rehab and recovery a step at a time, a variation on the 12-step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 

“We introduce them to the 12-step recovery principles,” Quashen said. “Even in meetings we’ll use Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, getting the person introduced to the right program. When they leave, they can go into AA’s 12-Step meetings, because we want everyone to follow through, get sponsors. Addiction is a lifetime disease and we have to take care of it. 

“That’s why we put so much emphasis on aftercare,” he said. “Any program, [even if] it’s for 30 days, is only really as good as what you do when you leave. So when clients leave our residential facility, they go into an intensive outpatient program where they go back three times a week for a minimum of three months, so we can really watch them and make sure they’re successful in life. 

“The follow-up is critical,” he said. “What we found is that people who have gone through treatment centers before – if they leave and do nothing, they have a lot less chance to stay sober. But if they go through a treatment center and follow up with 12-Step meetings, their sponsors, their intensive outpatient program or therapy and stay on their medication if need be, they have a much greater chance of success. Really, aftercare is everything.” 

For more information about Action Family Counseling’s residential addiction treatment services in Bakersfield, click here or call 800-367-8336. 

Photos: Courtesy Action Family Counseling

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Source: Santa Clarita News


Experts Ready At Action Bakersfield Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center

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