COSTA MESA ( — An Orange County drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has a treatment program for bullies.

“You have the bullies and the bullier and the people who have been bullied in the same room. It’s almost just like, ‘Hey, I can start to understand where you’re coming from, and you can understand where I’m coming from.’ It becomes this really powerful group,” Morningside Recovery Executive Director Joel Edwards said.

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Two months ago, the Costa Mesa facility began offering the special groups when therapists noticed that the bullied and the bullies both turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with their pain.

“There became such a need for it, we decided to build a separate program for it,” Edwards said.

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Edwards calls the 90-day bullying recovery program, which has five participants so far, the first of its kind.

“They’re struggling with that internal struggle of ‘Gosh, I used to be like this to someone and now I feel bad about it and I want to kinda change my ways.’ We’re helping them address what led [them] to the bullying behavior,” he said.

KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reports that bullying is such a concern that some cities, like Rancho Santa Margarita and Carson, are looking to pass anti-bullying ordinances.

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“So [the bullies] just start kinda repeating that cycle, so for us it’s getting in there and helping them to break that cycle, see where it started from, and then help them kinda get new coping skills to move forward,” Edwards said.