Our Team

Drug and Alcohol Detox Facility in Costa Mesa

Dr. Ali Kohzad

PharmD., Owner/CEO

In 2009, I graduated pharmacy school and continued my career at CVS Pharmacy. After working as a pharmacist for 6 years, and witnessing first-hand the destruction of our society by the opioid epidemic, I decided to make a life-changing decision. I could not continue to be a part of the problem and morally had to make a change in my career. I decided to quit my job and pursue a business license in the recovery industry. I learned quickly how difficult yet rewarding the fight is on this side of the fence and for the last 5 years, I have dedicated my life to helping people on their road to recovery.

Maria Littleton

Clinical Director, LMFT

After working with individuals and families over the last decade I have come face-to-face with the impact of substance abuse and the deterioration it causes on not only the lives of individuals but on a larger scale which emcompasses societies and humanity. When I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals who shared the same beliefs and desires to address this world-wide problem I embraced the chance to run with it, as we work together to impart change. It has become a mission for me to develop and provide a holistic approach to the healing journey of addiction for individuals and communities.

Salma Essau Nawabi

Nurse Practitioner

Salma Nawabi is a Family Nurse Practitioner who provides health and medical care for diverse populations in a variety of primary care, acute and long-term care settings.

Salma was born in Jacksonville, Fl. She graduated high school from Wolfson Sr. High in 1992. Then received her first degree with a Bachelor of Science in Health from The University of North Florida in 1996. From Florida, Salma moved to Washington, D.C. to further her career and interest in health and started working at Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center conducting clinical research trials for patients with breast cancer. During her research she went back to school and received her second degree with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 2002. With her nursing degree she practiced solely in the Emergency Department of George Washington University Hospital with focus on Level One Trauma for the next 6 years. While holding the charge nurse position and leadership position as a preceptor/educator to new nurses in the Emergency Department Salma went back to school to achieve a higher education with a Master’s in Science with a focus in Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University, graduating in 2006.

After graduating in 2006 Salma moved across the country to be close to her parents and extended family in Southern California. She has been in Orange County since and practicing as a Nurse Practitioner providing an extensive interdisciplinary knowledge base and working with people from birth to old age with specialties including Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Behavioral Health and Addiction Medicine.

Salma truly finds happiness when she is making a positive difference in other people’s lives and it was not until she started working with one of the largest non-profit student organizations to help raise money for women and children in poverty-stricken countries, that opened her eyes to helping others in ambulatory and acute care settings. Because the Nurse Practitioner provides health and medical care for diverse populations in a variety of primary care, acute and long-term settings, Salma’s background in the Emergency Department and volunteer work has developed her character by being a strong and virtuous person, one who puts aside her own concerns to care for others. She has a keen sense of quick decision-making capabilities within reason and with high responsibility to provide comprehensive care in an objective manner.

When not working Salma enjoys spending time with her two children; daughter Milan and son Massi, her parents, cousins and friends, as well as a strong passion for playing volleyball, doing hot yoga and hiking.

Laura Pickering

Admissions Coordinator/ RADT 1

I like working in this field because I enjoy building connections with the clients and seeing them realize that their life is worthy of rebuilding.

Ashley Montes


I work in this field because my whole life I’ve had every obstacle come my way and I’ve triumphed. Now I have the opportunity to give back to a stigmatized and marginalized community that desperately needs love and support. I get to be someone who impacts their lives and use my skills to help them thrive in life.

Brittany Poe

Compliance Director, B.A. in Communications/PR, RADT 1

As a child, I was exposed to a lot of homelessness and through my church and family, we volunteered in feeding the homeless on skid row all throughout each and every year. As I got older, I volunteered at numerous nonprofits in the LA and OC area. Helping people has been a passion of mine that was not only instilled in me at a young age, but became something I wanted my career to be into adulthood. I was so lucky to have found The Duck House when I did. While I get to help turn people’s lives around, in turn, they have changed mine.

Seanmichael Farrell

Program Director, C.A.T.C.1

I believe that every human being needs love and compassion in order to heal and grow. After a lifetime of addiction and hurting people, I got sick and tired of failure and suffering. I found that helping others helped me, that practicing love and compassion for others brought an abundance of both into my life. At the Duck House I use my experience as an addict and as an addiction counselor to ensure the quality of care needed to assist individuals self actualize the skills which will assist them in their recovery.

Peter Olivas

B.A. psychology, Case manager

My name is Peter Olivas and I am the lead case manager at The Duck House LLC. I have been working in the addiction recovery field for over seven years. I graduated from Santa Ana College with associate of arts degree in psychology with high honors 2014. After graduating, I attended California State University, Fullerton and graduated cum laude in the fall of 2017 with bachelor’s degree in psychology with minor in human services with an emphasis in substance abuse. The reason I got into this field is that I have witnessed numerous family tragedies over the years because of the disease of addiction. I am openly passioned about helping others who struggle with substance use although I am also a recovery addict with 11 years clean and sober. I have held numerous positions over the years, but I am profoundly thankful to be working in a field that I have such a deep connection in assisting other individuals who suffer from the disease of addiction.

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