Pacific Grove rehab center teams up to help clients see ‘life through sober eyes’ via the Monterey Herald


By Nicoletta Lanese,
Source: Monterey Herald POSTED: 03/08/18, 4:11 PM PST

Pacific Grove >> Over the past 60 years, the Beacon House in Pacific Grove has helped thousands overcome substance abuse. Now, they are teaming up with a national nonprofit called the Gateway Foundation to tap new resources and improve patient care.

“The two organizations have a very similar vision and culture,” said Phyllis Meagher, the president and CEO of Beacon House. Thomas Britton, president and CEO of the Gateway Foundation, is on the Peninsula this week working out details of the partnership. While discussing the collaboration during a conference call, Meagher said to Britton, “It’s nice to hear that we’re already saying ‘we.’”

On March 1, Beacon House became an official affiliate of Gateway, America’s largest addiction treatment nonprofit. The organization has 50 sites nationwide and the capacity to serve 6,000 clients a day. In the last few years, both organizations have been looking to expand their operations; Beacon House within North California and Gateway into new states. As affiliates, they remain independent but can now provide each other infrastructural support, connections to care providers and capital to expand their centers and open new ones.

“We have the same backgrounds, services and expertise, but we’re not in the same geography,” said Britton. “Beacon House and Gateway both believe very strongly that substance abuse is really a symptom of a bigger problem.”

This in mind, both organizations aim to treat the whole person, employing interdisciplinary teams to address the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of substance abuse. Each client’s treatment is tailored individually with the goal to help them realize sobriety over a lifetime — not just a stint in a rehab center. The organizations offer inpatient, outpatient and daytime services, and remain resources to their alumni for life.

“If you get to the point where you need residential treatment, you’ve really struggled,” said Britton. “Residential is really almost more of a grounding … recovery is a life-long commitment.”

At Beacon House, clients strive toward sustainable sobriety with the help of addictionologists, psychologists, chemical dependency counselors, and 24/7 onsite nurses. Through their medical protocols, the organizations’ ease people through the withdrawal period after they initially stop using. “You can be nauseous, dizzy, throwing up, sweating,” Britton said, specifically of those experiencing opiate withdrawal. “That’s the kind of thing that sends people out the door before they really engage in treatment.”

Outside medical care, clients receive care from holistic providers, yoga and exercise instructors and nutrition specialists to revamp their health and lifestyle choices. Marriage and family counseling are also critical aspects of the recovery process, Meagher and Britton stressed.

“We cannot prioritize the family work enough,” said Britton. “When that person comes home, how do you structure your life in a way that really does help the person?” Outside this educational element, the counseling program aims at healing wounds that families may have sustained while their loved one was abusing, he said.

Beacon House itself is less of a house and more of a Victorian-era mansion. Sheltered by manicured gardens, the facility is minutes from downtown Monterey and Carmel. The nonprofit takes advantage of its location, integrating recreational activities like golf and equine-assisted therapies into the recovery process. Santa Cruz surfer Darryl “Flea” Virostko, an alum of the program, has even provided clients surfing lessons in the past.

“It helps them understand what it’s like to live life through sober eyes,” said Meagher.

Both Beacon House and Gateway are funded by private donations and compensation from their clients’ insurance. The nonprofits accept all private insurance carriers and negotiate on behalf of their clients to ensure they receive adequate coverage, and therefore, adequate treatment. They also provide scholarships for those who can’t afford their co-pay.

“Our job ultimately is to remove any barrier to care that a person has, and finances are a big one,” said Britton. Any revenue the centers make is invested straight back into the client experience, he said.

Beyond insurance dollars, Beacon House and Gateway are sustained by the communities they serve. Beacon House works with local organizations through their experiential therapy programs, like their surf lessons. Local educators teach at the center, and community members come share their own recovery stories. The center has ties to psychology and nursing programs at local institutions, including CSU Monterey Bay and UC Santa Cruz, and also offers internships.

After 60 years, Beacon House is woven into the history of the Monterey Peninsula, said Meagher.

“It’s not uncommon for me to run into an alum who has 25 years of recovery, and they are so excited to share with me that their father went through treatment at the Beacon House, too. We have served thousands and thousands of folks in the area, and they’re leading productive, wonderful lives.” By collaborating with Gateway, she said, the organization hopes to help more families in the years to come.

Beacon House’s 24/7 helpline can be reached at 831.372.4366 , and Gateway’s at 877-505-4673.


Beacon House Becomes Gateway Foundation Affiliate on West Coast
Gateway Foundation Addiction Treatment Centers Announce California Expansion
March 1, 2018


Gateway Foundation Addiction Treatment Centers
Announce California Expansion

Pacific Grove’s Beacon House Becomes
Gateway Foundation Affiliate on West Coast

As of today, Beacon House of Pacific Grove, CA (, will be a Gateway Foundation affiliate ( The nonprofit partnership expands Gateway’s national alcohol and drug treatment programs to California. The agreement will serve more Californians with the highest quality of addiction care.

In 2017 alone, more than 60,000 people died from increased opioid use. As recently announced by the Federal Government, for the next two years it will spend $17B to combat this crisis. “More communities than ever before are negatively impacted by opioid use. Our nation needs stronger treatment alignments — like ours — across the U.S., to effectively combat this epidemic,” says Dr. Tom Britton, Gateway Foundation President, CEO. “For 60 years Beacon House made great strides in addiction treatment and care. This new partnership continues our health care mission to treat more residents and clients more effectively,” adds Phyllis Meagher, Beacon House President, CEO.

Gateway Foundation serves over 6,000 people a day across seven states. It is the largest U.S., nonprofit treatment provider specializing in substance use disorders. Beacon House addresses alcohol, opiate, and sedative addiction, among other addictions.

“For our existing clients and stakeholders, this partnership means we are stronger and better together. We advance all effective treatments available and will create innovative, new programs, said Britton. “Working together, we lead the way for community-based, integrated healthcare for people in need. We look forward to building up Northern California’s addiction treatment capacity.” Meagher adds, “Beacon House will have its biggest outreach footprint ever under this partnership — and with a nonprofit partner with 50 years of sound experience. This is something Californians should be proud of.”

About The Gateway Foundation: Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness. A life that is productive, socially responsible, and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the U.S. specializing in substance use disorders for men, women, adolescents, and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders. Gateway’s professional clinicians support over 6000 people a day to successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan to treat the underlying causes of substance use disorder —not just their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
About Beacon House: With two locations in Pacific Grove, Beacon House treats men and women seeking to realize a lifetime without drugs and alcohol. Offering inpatient and outpatient programs, Beacon House prides itself on providing a warm, homelike setting for those in need of a safe, comfortable environment as they begin a path to lasting recovery.




Pacific Grove, Ca, January 29 , 2018 – Drug and alcohol treatment center, the Beacon House is proud to announce that 2018 marks its 60th Anniversary. Established in 1958 by Mary Clark Ross and Dr. Donald Taugher, colleagues of Marty Mann, founder of the National Council on Alcoholi (now the NCADD); the mission at Beacon House still holds true today, treating the human spirit with dignity; and utilizing the latest research and modalities that support the 12 – Step model of recovery.

In the early 1960’s Beacon House received significant generous financial support from Samuel F.B. Morse, founder of Pebble Beach. Morse, a well-known philanthropist, and visionary, helped to further establish this invaluable resource. Today, the Beacon House is a successful not-for-profit organization, supported in-part by the generosity of donors and alumni.

“It is truly an honor to be a part of this dynamic team and we thank our community and alumni for entrusting us to carry the message for 60 years,” commented Phyllis Meagher, Beacon House CEO/Executive Director. “Our entire organization remains committed to growing our innovative resources and comprehensive treatment options and will continue our mission of helping those struggling with addiction achieve a lifetime of recovery.”

Throughout the year, the Beacon House will be holding a series of special events ranging from benefit concerts and lectures at the Sunset Center in Carmel, to alumni gatherings and celebrations for the entire recovery community and beyond. In the meantime, all are invited to sign an online guestbook to send well wishes or personal reflections related to individual experiences at Beacon House.

With two locations in Pacific Grove, California, Beacon House treats adult men and women seeking to realize a lifetime without drugs and alcohol. Offering inpatient and outpatient programs, the Beacon House prides itself on providing a warm, homelike setting for those in need of a safe, comfortable environment as they begin a path to lasting recovery .

For more information, visit or call 866-418-0235



Beacon House logo 3300x2550

Dear Friends,

2018 marks the 60th Anniversary of Beacon House. From rather humble beginnings, we have grown to be one of the Western United States most established and successful drug and alcohol treatment centers, having helped thousands of adult men and women since opening our doors.

Today, we are proud to continue our mission of helping those struggling with addiction achieve a lifetime of recovery. We are committed to continuing to grow our innovative resources and comprehensive treatment options that have garnered attention from industry leaders and practitioners. The future truly holds countless possibilities.

We invite you to learn more about our history, by visiting and as the year goes on, we will be featuring an online timeline, as well as an interactive guestbook, where all can send their well wishes and reflections on their personal experiences at Beacon House via our website. We will also be posting information about special events and celebrations throughout the year.

Thank you for your continued support,

Phyllis Meagher
Executive Director/CEO

Celebrating the Recovery Wave with Surf Therapy as featured in Step 12 Magazine.



Beacon House


Beacon House Alum & Beacon House Surfing & Water Activities Instructor, Darryl “Flea” Virostko featured on



Published in Valley Health Magazine, Fresno, California

For over half a century, the team of experienced professionals at the Beacon House has been committed to helping every individual who walks through their door, understand and embrace the principles and tools needed to achieve lasting sobriety from alcohol and other drugs. As one of the first recovery facilities in the Western United States, the Beacon House knows what works best in building the foundation to achieve a lifetime of recovery. (Read More)


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