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Sobriety Rocks: Celebrity Rehab Staff Joins Bianca Center for Substance Abuse

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The Bianca Center for Substance Abuse announced it will open its doors in November 2008. Named after Bianca Halstead of the band Betty Blowtorch, The Bianca Center plans to offer an alternative to the high-priced, revolving door, quasi-spa rehabs that populate Los Angeles. The center will serve as a haven for those who want to seriously face their addiction problems in a safe, sober environment that aims at facilitating lasting recovery.

Halstead herself was an inspiration and beacon for recovery. The high-profile rocker was sober for 11 years. While on tour in New Orleans in 2001, she was tragically killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.

"I didn't get sober until a few years after she died," states Bianca Center Executive Director and Halstead's nephew, Jaymee Carpenter. "What [still] blows my mind is how she made the sober lifestyle look so ridiculously cool and worth fighting for. She was an example to countless others by not only projecting that image, but by regularly offering help to those seriously seeking sobriety."

The Bianca Center staff will have support from renowned experts hailing from Wonderland, Promises, and VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab. Staff members include Clinical Director/Psychologist Lanikai Clouse, drug and alcohol counselor Loesha Zeviar and Administrative Director Melissa Marquez.

Renowned drug and alcohol counselor Bob Forrest from VH1's Celebrity Rehab is Carpenter's long time mentor, has helped in formulating the center's program, and will run weekly family groups. Forrest has also been front man for LA-based bands such as Thelonious Monster and The Bicycle Thief and serves on the Musicians Assistance Program (MAP) Board in Los Angeles.

As a counselor, he personally understands how being locked up in rehab will not in and of itself produce lasting results, if any at all. His own experience took him in and out of rehabs 24 times until 1996 when he found sobriety through a 12-step program and the help of friend Bianca Halstead. "She was the only one who would take me in at that point," Forrest remembers, "I had basically burned all of my bridges."

"Our hope is to inspire the desire to be sober," says Carpenter of The Bianca Center's core goal, "offering a solid alternative to the mainstream treatment model. We believe successful recovery isn't for people who just want it or need it; it's for people who are ready to do it."

SOURCE Bianca Center for Substance Abuse
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