California is known for its miles of beaches, majestic mountains, sandy deserts with their Joshua trees, and historic missions that dot the state. Despite these features, California residents still face a high rate of addiction to alcohol, opioids, and illicit drugs.

California Drug And Alcohol Rehab Centers

California has hundreds of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. Rehab centers are situated in multiple remote, beautiful locations with access to a number of different treatments and treatment approaches.

Some top treatment centers in California include:

1. Promises Treatment Centers, Malibu

This treatment center is located on the beach in Malibu, just north of Los Angeles. Promises offers addiction treatment for addictions to a range of substances. Programs are individualized, and the center also offers a specialized program geared specifically for those with co-occurring mental health issues. Luxury amenities are included to promote comfort, which is so important to healing. Promises believes that providing comprehensive care and comfort helps to remove the distractions of an individual’s daily life so they can concentrate more fully on recovery.

2. First Steps Recovery, Clovis

First Steps Recovery is located in Central California on five acres of land, overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountains. This treatment center provides initial detox under medical supervision. They have a short-term inpatient treatment program, a wilderness treatment program, as well as outpatient programs. Alternative therapies, like equine and art therapy, are also provided. Programs at First Steps Recovery are all individualized, and they note that their program is not just about removing toxic substances from the body, but focuses on treating the “mind, body and spirit.”

3. Elevate Addiction Services, Multiple Locations

Elevate Addiction Services provides addiction treatment from two northern California treatment centers. One is located just outside Silicon Valley and the other is situated near Lake Tahoe. Both offer inpatient intensive therapy programs utilizing the Smart Recovery method instead of a 12-step based program. Individual programs are designed so that patients/residents participate only in the portions of the programs that are beneficial to them. Elevate adopts holistic principles of recovery, which begin with detox.

California Inpatient Treatment Programs 

An inpatient treatment center is a treatment center where patients reside at the facility for a certain period of time. The general stay is 30 days long, but depending on the severity of the addiction and whether the patient has any mental health conditions that require medication, it could be longer.

Some questions to consider if you are selecting a California inpatient treatment center include:


  • Does the treatment center have a program tailored to your type of addiction? This is important since different drug addictions require different types of treatment. Is detox part of the plan? Does the center provide treatment for you if you have been diagnosed with, or believe you have, a co-occurring mental disorder like depression, anxiety, or a personality disorder?
  • What types of therapies are offered? Are there holistic options? Do they offer therapies like yoga, meditation sessions, or mindfulness training? Are there relaxation techniques available, like swimming, listening to music, or participation in art therapy classes?
  • Is the facility licensed and the staff credentialed?
  • Does the facility accept your insurance, or assist you in finding financial assistance or provide payment options?
  • If it is important to you, check to see if there is a faith-based rehabilitation approach available.

Benefits Of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment programs are the most successful options for those with severe addiction issues, who have co-occurring mental health issues, or who have been to a California drug rehab center in the past. But, there are benefits to inpatient treatment for anyone who has a substance abuse problem:


  • It provides a safe environment that is generally well-organized and comfortable.
  • There is freedom from outside influences and distractions.
  • Triggers can be identified and avoided.
  • Medical personnel oversees detox and the recovery treatment process.

California Alcohol And Drug Rehab Payment Options

For people entering an inpatient addiction treatment program, cost of treatment may cause concerns. Yet paying for treatment should never stop individuals from entering recovery, as there are many payment options available.

Private insurance plans generally cover the cost of addiction treatment services. Most private insurance companies will cover some form of behavioral health treatment, although there may be certain restrictions. Before heading to treatment, for instance, it may be necessary for an individual to undergo a clinical assessment to show that treatment is necessary.

Insurance copayments will vary according to plan, and many rehab centers will work with individuals and their families to establish a payment plan, such as sliding-scale fees. Some people may choose not to use their insurance or may choose private pay using a savings account, personal loan, or payment plan.

Certain California rehab centers may sponsor a person’s treatment cost through a private scholarship or through the use of a federally-funded grant. Grants and scholarships are usually awarded based on need, eligibility, and other factors, and may help people with no other financial means secure treatment.

California Outpatient Alcohol And Drug Rehab 

Some people may be highly motivated to stop their substance abuse and get help for their addiction but who are unable to participate in an inpatient treatment program. A variety of outpatient rehab programs exist which can provide the flexibility a person might need in order to keep working while at the same time getting the help that is needed. Outpatient treatment is also more affordable than inpatient treatment.

You can choose a type of outpatient treatment program that works best for you. Some have day-long programs that you are required to attend for a certain number of weeks, but you return to your own home at the end of each day. Other rehab centers structure the program so you schedule treatment around your job and education. You can meet your daily responsibilities while attending sessions several times a week.

Aftercare Support Programs In California

Most inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs connect clients with a peer support program for continued care after treatment is completed. This can make the difference in helping individuals continue on the new path of recovery or avoid suffering a relapse. There are a number of different programs available. The most well-known and successful ones are:


  • Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) — Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship for all people who have a drinking problem. Attendees remain anonymous, and there are no age or education requirements. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. It is a 12-step program that focuses on getting help from a higher power to manage addiction.


  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) —This is a 12-step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. It is committed to helping everyone addicted to any substance “find the opportunity for a new way of life.”


  • Smart Recovery — This not a traditional 12-step program, but focuses on various points of life that a person may need help with in overcoming addiction and maintaining recovery.

Substance Abuse Issues In California: Legalization Of Marijuana

In December 2017, California became the most recent state to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use—previously marijuana was only sold for medical use in the state. While marijuana will be made legal for sale, it is still considered a drug of abuse and will be highly regulated, as the drug is still illegal for recreational use on a federal level.

Although popular beliefs support the idea that marijuana is not addictive, research demonstrates this is not true. The California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) presents the following facts, “that prove that marijuana has all the characteristics of an addictive drug.”

  • Marijuana works on the brain’s reward system in the exact same way as other addictive drugs.
  • Animal studies conducted on the effects of THC show that, when marijuana is given for two weeks then removed, the animals developed consistent patterns of behavior related to addiction.
  • Clinical reports for people who use marijuana show patterns of withdrawal when stopping use of the drug.

Under the new recreational regulations, marijuana will be legal for use, but counties within California will differ on the allowance for sale. Law enforcement is still trained to look for signs of intoxication or drug abuse.

Although the general public may believe that marijuana is a harmless substance with little to no risk of addiction, the CSAM states, “perpetuating the myth that marijuana is not addictive is a disservice to the significant minority of users who do become addicted.” Fortunately, marijuana addiction treatment is offered at a number of inpatient and outpatient treatment centers in California.

California Drug Abuse By Numbers

In 2016, there were almost three times as many opioid overdose deaths in California as there were in the nation. In 2012, 362 people died of heroin overdoses. That number has increased every year; in 2016, there were 587 heroin overdose deaths.

Opioids, including heroin, are the main drugs of abuse plaguing California residents. The top opioids of abuse in California include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), tramadol (Ultram), and heroin.  Other commonly abused drugs in California include cocaine and other illicit drugs.

Alcohol addiction is also a major problem in the state of California. Thousands of people seek recovery help every year from addiction treatment centers. In fact, nearly 7,000 Californians over the age of 12 reported they had at least one binge drinking episode in the last year.

Despite the high instance of drug and alcohol abuse in California, there are hundreds of addiction treatment centers in the state offering a range of inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Addiction is a chronic disease, but with the right help and support, individuals can learn to manage the symptoms, avoid relapse, and structure a life that supports sober living.


Contact us for help in selecting an addiction treatment program or facility that best meets your individual needs.



California Society of Addiction Medicine — Marijuana’s Addictive Potential (for the general public)




Rehab Centers by City