Larry Word - Program Director
Larry Word has ten years’ experience building and managing successful addictions treatment programs. After becoming a certified substance abuse counselor in 2010, Larry successfully created, designed, and implemented a 15 week pilot program aimed at reducing recidivism in the ex-offender population. The program—named ACTION (Addictions Counseling and Treatment in Institutions for Overcoming Narcotics)—was later adopted by the California Department of Corrections and continues in use today. Larry Word authored the winning grant for expanding Recovery Coaching through the California Access to Recovery Effort (CARE). The CARE grant allowed Larry to integrate Recovery Coaching, Peer Support, and Spiritual Counseling into an already dynamic outpatient program for teens. Larry has also served as a Program Compliance consultant a variety of organizations, specializing in Title 9 & 22 compliance, DHCS certification standards, and application of patients’ rights under the Affordable Care Act. He joined the CARUS team as Program Director in January of 2018.
Larry Word earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governors State University. He holds degrees in Business Management, Liberal Arts, and General Education from Palo Verde College, graduating Summa Cum Laude and twice earning the valedictorian honor. Larry also holds a Paralegal degree from the Blackstone School of Law and graduated Armstrong Bible College. Larry has been a featured trainer on SAMHSA webinars and earned Outstanding Leadership Award from the Chancellor & Board of Trustees of California Community Colleges for his contributions in expanding rehabilitation opportunities to the incarcerated. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children. Larry has been in recovery since 2001.
Michael Bucher – Rock & Roll Recovery Instructor
Michael F. Bucher is a Los Angeles singer-songwriter-producer, Rock and Roll Recovery group facilitator, and Yoga for Recovery instructor.
Michael's musical accolades include live performances at Coachella & Isle of Wight festivals (2009 - 2010), a top 5 song on the U.K.'s Radio One (2008) and U.S. radio play on Los Angeles based KROQ FM & "Alt Nation" satellite radio (2007- present). Michael continues to create, produce and perform music with his band and other artists.
With over 3 years experience working in addiction recovery, mental health and dual diagnosis as a certified yoga and meditation instructor, Michael’s 12-step based recovery groups provide a safe space for clients to process, heal, and enjoy life through creativity, play, and mindfulness practices. As a depression survivor, Michael contributes his own personal experience, testimony and the tools that continue to be instrumental in his healing journey.
In addition to Michael's 15 years of music experience, he holds a B.A in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a 200-hour yoga teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance, a trauma-informed teaching certification from Uprising Yoga, a life coach & personal development certification from Rose Yoga Australia, and a Reiki healing certification from Usui Shiki Reiki.
Michael is the creator and founder of Rock & Roll Recovery and True Nature Yoga for Recovery. He currently facilitates a weekly Rock & Roll Recovery group at CARUS Recovery in Tarzana, CA and guides True Nature Yoga for Recovery groups at recovery centers in Malibu and the San Fernando Valley.
Aneta Lotakov Prince, MD
Board Certified Psychiatrist
General Adult Psychiatry
Dr. Prince graduated with honors from the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and completed medical school at the Sackler School of Medicine, NY American Program at Tel Aviv University. She went on to complete her residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at the Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, where she also acted as Chief Resident for the adult inpatient and dual diagnosis units. Dr. Prince moved back to California shortly after completing her training, and has spent a significant part of her career working with underserved and dually-diagnosed populations. She originally found work in the Department of Corrections, which she followed with 8 years as lead psychiatrist in a special program under the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
After a short time on family leave, Dr. Prince returned to work helping those who are recovering from addiction. Dr. Prince has expertise in areas of mood, psychosis, anxiety, addiction, and substance use disorders. She focuses on the whole person, weighing lifestyle variables into treatment planning and utilizing lifestyle modification approaches alongside medication. To unwind from the challenging work of mental wellness, you may find her traveling, or trying hard to resist an opportunity to karaoke. Dr. Prince feels that “Falling down is still forward motion” and strongly believes in the resiliency of the human mind, body, and spirit. She joined the CARUS team to offer her personable care to others via their integrated treatment approach.
Lisa Benya D.O.
Dr. Lisa Benya is an internal medicine doctor servicing the Malibu community for many years. Her caring and compassionate approach has earned her a great reputation for being one of the area’s favorite doctors.
She is a board-certified physician who as an internist broadened her scope to include more serious and chronic conditions including addiction medicine.
Dr. Benya has been in practice for more than 20 years and affiliated with many hospitals. Her undergraduate work began at the Boston University School of Medicine and attended Medical School at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Wiliam D. Stanley M.D.
Dr. William D. Stanley received his Doctorate of Medicine degree from UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ. He did his Residency training at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. He did 1 year of a Master’s program in Anatomy at the University of Maryland Baltimore City campus prior to matriculating to medical school that next year.
He has worked in Internal Medicine for the majority of his professional life both inpatient and outpatient. He started Parkside Medical Assoc, PA in Trenton, NJ, employing 4 physicians. He noticed he had an interest in substance abuse and started involvement with ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) in 1998. He completed his Boards in ASAM in 2000 and, later, by ABAM (American Board of Addiction Medicine) in 2010. Since 2013 he has concentrated his time exclusively to the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. Prior to his joining Dr. Benya and her team in California, he was Medical Director of both an inpatient detox unit and 2 outpatient treatment programs, all located in New Jersey. He has an active license to practice medicine in both New Jersey and California.
Darren Lipshitz M.D.
Dr. Darren Lipshitz is an Addiction Medicine specialist who recently joined the 90265 Medical Group in Malibu.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, he moved to the USA at a young age and has been an American citizen since 1985. Although his country of birth has had a profound impact on his values of social justice, he has found that the United States shares those ideals of liberty and equality. This can be seen through volunteer work throughout his career.
Dr. Lipshitz attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. He then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for his degree in Medicine. After four cold winters in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, he moved to the more appealing climate of Northern California where he continued his medical training and completed a Residency in Family Medicine at the UCSF-affiliated program in Salinas.
He ran a solo, private practice in Sausalito CA in the early part of his career, where he was the "town doc" for many families. This included all demographics, from the affluent in the vista-rich hills to the anchor-outs on the water to the underserved population in neighboring Marin City, where he also helped the community establish their own Federally-Qualified Health Center.
Eventually, Dr. Darren relocated to Southern California to be closer to family and to enjoy the warmer sands of Santa Barbara.
Also looking for new challenges professionally, he became Board Certified and working in the field of Addiction Medicine. He has never stopped seeing patients through primary care eyes and still has a "town doc" heart which lends itself well to the specialized field of Addiction Medicine and the complex physical and social issues often encountered.
When not working Dr. Darren enjoys taking his only child, the four-legged furry Billi, to the beach or park for a game of fetch. He may also be spotted reading at a coffee shop or exploring a hiking trail.
Craig Smith M.D.
Dr. Craig V. Smith, M.D. is a former organ transplant surgeon, who now dedicates his practice to addiction medicine. He received his M.D. degree from the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Smith then completed his general surgical residency at Harbor-UCLA medical center and his multi-organ transplant surgical fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh medical center. He returned to UCLA medical center to start his career in academic transplant surgery, performing transplants, teaching students and residents while also conducting research on transplantation for the treatment of diabetes. During his academic career as an associate professor of surgery, Dr. Smith performed more than 500 organ transplants at UCLA, UC Irvine and the City of Hope National Medical Center.
Since alcohol and drug use are leading causes of organ damage leading to the need for a transplant, Dr. Smith learned about addiction by listening to his patients. More importantly, since a requirement to receive an organ transplant is abstinence from using alcohol and drugs, Dr. Smith learned about recovery from listening to his patients. After listening over the years, pursuing self-study and continuing medical education in the field of addiction, in 2009 Dr. Smith decided to dedicate his career to addiction medicine.
Dr. Smith is board certified in Addiction Medicine by both the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine.
Director of Admissions and Outreach
Natasha Noghli - RADT-1
Antoinette Drost-Nary- RADT-1
Dr. Lance Miller – Psy.D.
Katrina Mazzucca - RADT-1