Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment in California

According to 2019 NSDUH data, over 20 million adults in the United States have substance use disorder. Among these, 14.5 million have alcohol use disorder, and 2.4 million Americans have a co-occurring alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder. Addiction touches all sectors of society, and it doesn’t discriminate.

At Renaissance Recovery, we understand the dangers of addiction and our team works tirelessly to help our clients fight back against substance abuse and live sober, healthy lives.

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated:


What to Look For From California Substance Abuse Treatment

When you’re exploring rehab centers in California, you’ll discover a great deal of crossover between substance abuse treatment programs for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder. To avoid repetition, we’ll keep the location-specific guidance limited to our look at California drug rehab. The same obviously applies to alcohol rehab centers in California. 

We’ll kick off with a glimpse at why you should consider engaging with treatment for substance use disorder in California.

Table of Contents

Drug Rehab California

Whether you’re abusing illicit drugs or prescription medications like opioids or benzos, Californian treatment centers allow you to connect with nature and recalibrate your system in a state with year-round sunshine. The beaches and scenery are the perfect backdrop for experiential adventure therapy

Of the many options at your disposal for drug rehab in California, the following counties are well worth popping on your shortlist:

  •  Orange County
  • Los Angeles County

Orange County

Orange County boasts long stretches of stunning coastlines and a great choice of beaches. While private rehab is clearly not a vacation, access to these areas is a perfect way to connect with others in recovery among surroundings of natural beauty. If you’ve been spending too much time in darkened rooms, OC offers the perfect antidote. 

The climate is ideal for giving you a natural boost as you detox from drugs in a treatment center. You shouldn’t find the weather gets too hot or too cold, allowing you to focus fully on your recovery without feeling any more uncomfortable than you already feel. 

With many addiction treatment programs including an outdoor activity component, Orange County is a wonderful venue for adventure therapy programming. From hiking and relaxing along the coast, you’ll find a great deal more to Orange County than Disneyland. 

Orange County, California also has a powerful local recovery community, allowing you to plug into 12-step programs, alumni events, and more. Learn more about our Orange County drug rehab by calling today.

Los Angeles County

The most populous of all counties in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County gives you an unrivaled choice of drug addiction treatment centers. 

Take advantage of that year-round sun and laser in on the business of detox and recovery with as few distractions as possible and all the best medical treatment on hand and on-demand at a Los Angeles rehab

OK, before you consider comparing rehab centers, you need to be clear about the different methods of delivery for addiction treatment. 

The most intensive form of treatment available is inpatient treatment, otherwise known as residential rehab. With severe substance use disorders, you’ll engage with a residential treatment program, spending from 30 to 90 days or more in a rehab center. This form of treatment typically commences with medically-assisted detox. 

In the case of severe addictions, medically detox followed by inpatient treatment can make withdrawal safer and more comfortable, and you’ll continue with treatment in an environment free of stressors or triggers.

 Many mild or moderate substance use disorders can be effectively treated with outpatient programs, though. These vary in terms of time commitment and intensity. 

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the most intensive full-time form of outpatient treatment for drug addiction. You’ll engage with medication-assisted treatment and/or psychotherapy, and you’ll also have access to individual and group counseling sessions. Expect to spend up to 30 hours weekly on your recovery. After sessions, you’ll return home or to a sober living home rather than remaining at the treatment facility. 

California IOP Programs

An intensive outpatient program (IOP), despite its name, is less intensive than a PHP in terms of time commitment. With an IOP, you’ll engage with treatment just like with a PHP, except the time-intensity is reduced to anywhere from 9 to 15 hours weekly. 

Anything less than 9 hours of treatment weekly is considered a traditional outpatient program, ideal for mild substance use disorders. 

Common Medication Used in Rehab

In the event of opioid use disorder – whether induced by heroin or prescription opioid painkillers – detox and recovery can be streamlined with the use of three drugs approved by the FDA. These are: 

  • Methadone: This maintenance medication has been used to treat heroin addiction since the 1960s. A slow-release medication, methadone can ease cravings for opioids while at the same time minimizing the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms. The medication is only available at drug rehab centers or regulated clinics
  • Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine counters the euphoric effects of opioids while reducing the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Naltrexone: Naltrexone also blocks the rewarding effect of opioids. This medication comes in tablet form or as a monthly injectable

As well as these medications, other medications can be prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment program to help you deal with the following: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures

You can also expect access to the following forms of therapy in a drug rehab in California: 

With medication to help ease the challenging early stages of recovery and psychotherapy to help you probe the root cause of your substance use disorder, engaging with the right California drug rehab could maximize your chances of kickstarting your recovery.

How to Find the Best Rehabs in California

When you’re looking for a California rehab clinic, the best place to start is by asking friends and family for recommendations. With millions of Americans suffering from issues with drink and drug addiction, there’s a strong chance someone in your social network will have experience of recovery. 

The next step is to perform a simple Google search. Look for “California rehab” and try searching for “California drug rehab” or “California alcohol rehab” if you want a more specialized treatment center. 

Assemble a shortlist and then contact the centers on your list to get more information about costs, length of treatment, and whether or not insurance is accepted.

To shortcut the process, consider Renaissance Recovery Center, a Southern California rehab with a proven track record of success.

Renaissance Recovery’s Southern California Rehab

We hope today’s overview of treatment centers in California has given you the confidence to pursue the first and most important stage of recovery – reaching out for the initial appointment. 

Our rehab center can help you with all forms of addiction treatment including:

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with drink, drugs, or prescription medication, our California substance abuse treatment facility is the perfect location to detox and commence recovery. 

We specialize in outpatient addiction treatment programs, and we personalize all our programs to meet your needs and budget. Whatever the scope and severity of your addiction, we can help you get back on track. 

To start the process and begin rebuilding your life with all the support you need on hand, call the Renaissance Recovery admissions team at 866.330.9449 to learn more about out Calfornia substance abuse treatment program.

an image of a man thinking about california rehab

Alcohol Rehab California

While alcohol is socially acceptable, this legal substance can become a serious problem when abused, as evidenced by over 14 million Americans with AUD. 

If you choose to engage with alcohol rehab in California, this doesn’t necessarily mean packing your bags and heading to a treatment center for a month. Many cases of alcohol use disorder and behavioral addiction can be effectively treated via outpatient programming. 

You can expect the same combination of medication-assisted treatment delivered alongside psychotherapy as you would find in drug rehabs in California. 

Just like with opioid use disorder, there are three medications the FDA approves for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. These are: 

  • Disulfiram
  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate


Disulfiram enhances your sensitivity to the presence of alcohol in your system. Consuming alcohol when taking this medication will trigger unpleasant side effects, including vomiting, nausea, headaches, and an irregular heart rate. Resultantly, most people will stop drinking rather than experience these adverse side effects


Naltrexone reduces cravings for alcohol. This medication is proven to help problem drinkers remain abstinent when engaged with addiction treatment


Marketed as Campral, acamprosate targets neurotransmitters in your brain and helps mitigate the severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. You need to have detoxed before starting a course of acamprosate

As with treatment for drug addiction, these medications to treat alcohol use disorder are not administered in isolation, but rather in combination with psychotherapies like CBT and DBT.

What to Expect from a California Rehab Clinic

Rehab centers in California all come with similar location-specific benefits, notably the equable climate. 

To choose the right California treatment center for your needs, though, you’ll need to double down on the same elements vital for all rehabs. 

While the following is not an exhaustive list, this will give you a great springboard for comparing the best drug and alcohol rehabs in California: 

  • Look for evidence-based treatment programs
  • Inquire about success rates and testimonials
  • Ask about staff accreditation and expertise
  • Is there sufficient one-to-one therapy?
  • Does the California rehab have the right specialties for your substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder?
  • Is there a dual diagnosis treatment program?
  • What sort of aftercare is offered?
  • Does the treatment center provide medical detox?

Look for Evidence-Based Treatment Programs

You’ll find many different approaches to addiction treatment, but not all of these modalities are adequately science-based. 

While embarking on the right addiction treatment program is proven to increase the chance of long-term sobriety, the wrong program could do you more harm than good. 

All decent rehabs in California will be happy to explain the evidence base for their treatment programs, from FDA-approved medications through to proven forms of psychotherapy like CBT and DBT.

Inquire about Success Rates and Testimonials

You should not only ask for the success rate of the treatment centers on your shortlist, but you should also discover the basis for this definition of success. Does “success” constitute simply completing the program? Inquire about the number of clients who achieve long-term sobriety. 

Make sure you compare rehab centers like-for-like as well. A rehab specializing in the treatment of severe opioid use disorder will understandably have lower success rates than one treating mild alcohol use disorder.

Ask about Staff Accreditation and Expertise

Your overall experience of rehab will largely depend on the quality of the staff. From intake and detox through to completing the program, the team will be with you every step of the way. It’s down to you to ensure you engage with the right team. 

Staff needs to be more than helpful and dedicated, though. Make sure they are all fully accredited and look for specialists in their field rather than generalists. 

Ask how many physicians and registered nurses are available, and find out what their role will be in the delivery of your treatment.

Is there Sufficient One-to-One Therapy?

While group therapy can help expose you to a broad spread of opinions and viewpoints, and also offers you peer support, there’s no substitute for individual therapy when you’re looking to conquer an addiction to drink or drugs. 

Make certain any treatment centers on your shortlist provide enough one-to-one attention. 

You should have access to all of the following therapies and more at the best California drug and alcohol rehab: 

  • Experiential therapy
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Faith-based therapy


Can a California Rehab Help with Your Addiction?

Different drug and alcohol rehabs in California specialize in different areas. All that counts here is finding the smoothest fit for your addiction.

Is There a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

In many cases, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety co-occur with addiction. This is known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. 

The most effective form of treatment addresses both of these issues simultaneously, so if you have a co-occurring disorder, make sure any California rehabs on your shortlist offer targeted and integrated dual diagnosis treatment.

What Sort of Aftercare is Offered?

Recovery from addiction to drink or drugs is not an event but rather a lifelong process. 

Just as detox is not a cure for addiction, neither is completing a course of treatment. Instead, when you leave the treatment center for the final time, you’ll be starting a challenging and ongoing journey as you stay sober. 

The best rehabs in California will provide you with robust aftercare once you finish the program. From access to ongoing counseling and therapy as required to help with vocational and employment issues, make sure the programs you’re considering have great aftercare in place.

Does the Treatment Center Provide Medical Detox?

Whether you’re engaging with inpatient or outpatient rehab in California, you may need medical detox if you have a more severe addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs. 

With a clinically supervised detox, you’ll have access to safe and FDA-approved drugs to ease withdrawal. We outline these above. You will also have medical staff on hand to intervene in the event of any complications. 

If you feel you would benefit from this form of supervised detoxification, make sure the California treatment centers you’re considering provide this.

Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction

Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.

Contact us

Call today or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help you conquer addiction.