founder & addiction rehab pioneer, Ken Starr MD.
Ken Starr MD FASAM FABEM
My name is Ken Starr and I am the Founder and CEO of the Wellness Group, an innovative and comprehensive treatment center in San Luis Obispo, California.
Our primary focus is to deliver state-of-the-art, comprehensive, and compassionate care for those suffering from addiction.
As an Emergency Physician, I started helping patients recover from alcohol and opiate abuse in 2011. I rented a tiny closet-sized office, hung out a sign, and said “open for business”. My brother’s death months before from a heroin OD, made my journey clear. There just weren’t any great outpatient innovative and affordable treatment programs at the time. Granted at that time, I was just prescribing suboxone for opiate dependence and benzos for alcohol detox.
Over the next few years, I took care of a lot of people. I studied. I did some things right and some things wrong. I learned a lot. I had great mentors who encouraged me to give every patient the attention and help they needed. I became Board Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine and then a few years later by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. And this was before I even heard of NAD+.
After a patient told me about his experience doing NAD+ around 2014, I was curious to learn more. I studied with Dr. Metsayer in Louisiana and brought NAD+ to California knowing it was going to change the face of recovery nationwide. And it has! When I saw people detoxing off heroin, suboxone, and methadone with little to no withdrawal I was blown away.
We started our NAD detox program that summer. Now, I’m proud to say the Ken Starr MD Wellness Group is the oldest, most experienced provider of NAD+ on the West Coast. What we’ve seen NAD do, cannot be unseen. Having detoxed patients for years without NAD, I would never want to go back. NAD+ is simply the most powerful and effective tool in existence to assist those suffering from acute withdrawal, cravings, and relapse.
We’ve had patients come from all over the country to detox using NAD+. It’s powerful, effective, and just worth it. This is a life-changing treatment offered in what seems the middle of nowhere, but I invite you to learn about NAD+ and how it can change your life.
Ken Starr MD
Meet our Team
Ken Starr MD, FACEP
DIPLOMATE OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF ADDICTION MEDICINE
Dr. Starr is an authority in the field of Addiction Medicine and Wellness. Since founding the clinic in 2012 after the overdose death of his brother, he has been committed to helping patients achieve lasting sobriety and improve the quality of their lives. Dr. Starr utilizes medications, supplements, traditional and non-traditional therapies that help people overcome chemical dependency and live the lives they know are possible. His current areas of interest include advancing drug and alcohol detox methods, facilitating long term recovery, IV nutritional programs for optimal health, and Men’s health programs. Dr. Starr’s passion about NAD therapy has enabled the clinic to become the most experienced provider of NAD treatments on the West Coast. He has introduced nutritional IV Infusions into the practice so all patients can affordably and comfortably work towards their wellness goals. Dr. Starr is board certified in both Addiction Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He takes a personal and compassionate interest in each of his patients and is easily available for patients and their families at all times. Dr. Starr is currently on staff at French Hospital in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande Hospital and Cottage Santa Ynez Valley Hospital in Solvang. He works with Dignity Health and the County of San Luis Obispo to improve the care of patients who could benefit from Addiction Medicine specialty care.
Dr. Elizabeth Briggs Psy.D, LMFT
Dr. Elizabeth Briggs is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California and holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, in addition to a Doctoral Degree in Applied Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Thompson offers an integrative approach to treatment grounded in psychodynamic theory, which promotes self exploration and lifelong growth. As a Central Coast native, Dr. Thompson is passionate about serving her local community and advocating for accessible solutions for quality mental health and substance abuse treatment for coastal residents. Dr. Thompson has served in leadership roles within substance use treatment and behavioral healthcare throughout the state of California and has a strong passion for supporting individuals and families struggling with substance abuse, trauma, life transitions, and relationship conflict. Dr. Thompson has been invited to speak on the topics of substance use treatment and recovery in partnership with the Institute for Addiction Sciences and the University of Southern California, in which she has been able to share her expertise and experiences working in the field and navigating her own hurdles as a family member with lived experience of addiction.
View Our Office
Our office is located in the heart of downtown Arroyo Grande, a charming community just minutes from the ocean. We love enjoying all that the Central Coast has to offer! Walk on the beach in the morning, brunch at a local cafe, hike at Lopez Lake in the afternoon, and enjoy some live music in SLO in the evening: the choices are endless in this beautiful area.
The 4,000 sq.ft. building is stylishly decorated in warm, sunny tones reminiscent of Southern Italy and furnished with your comfort in mind. From reclining leather chairs and private infusion rooms, to yoga mats and blankets for meditation, to wall-mounted smart TVs— we’ve got it all for your pleasure and relaxation for during your visit.
Dr. Starr is the best! He truly cares for you and your recovery. He has seen me every step of the way through mine and I couldn't have done it without him and his staff. Everyone associated with his office is knowledgeable and caring. I've never experienced a doctor's care like this one!
After completing six ketamine sessions and realizing through that the seriousness of my addiction, and how I was destroying my health, relationships, and life, I enrolled myself in IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). Through the academic learning, group support, and excellent counseling of the therapists, I was able to identify the underlying triggers of my substance abuse and address them. For me, the strength of this program was to eliminate the underlying psychological issues leading to addiction in order to move forward with my life. Instead of giving the substance power over me every day, using the ‘one day at a time’ philosophy, it allowed me to shed that monkey off of my back and embrace each new day loving myself and my life. This program saved my life and I am forever grateful!