SoCal Rehab Defies Closure

By Hunter R. Slaton 02/29/12

Cited for sketchy handling of meds and other violations, Morningside Recovery continues to operate even after it was told to shut down.

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On November 2, a network of Costa Mesa rehabs and sober-living houses called Morningside Recovery—which Lindsay Lohan reportedly checked into in summer of 2010—was told by the state Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs that it had to close up shop. Yet that’s not what has happened, as the Orange County Register has discovered. The shut-down order was issued after investigators found Morningside to be careless in dispensing prescription medications, and to be “operating beyond the scope of its licenses”—specifically, treating 70 clients in unlicensed facilities. In one case, a woman who was housed by the rehab in an apartment building for 10 days said that during her stay she met just once with a therapist for 15 minutes, besides being given a pile of pills—a misadventure for which she was billed $24,000. In another instance, a young man said that staff never came by to pick him up so that he could receive his meds; he either had to skateboard over to get them, or just skip his 'scrips altogether. The president of Morningside Recovery, Mary Helen Beatificato, denies that the November order meant her rehab network had to shut down. “If we weren't supposed to be operating, somebody would be doing something about it,” she told the Register. The Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs begs to differ. “They are not supposed to be doing anything at all,” confirmed a spokeswoman.

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Hunter Slaton is the esports managing editor for Blizzard Entertainment. You can find hunter on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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