Known as the Golden State, California has embodied the country’s dreams of wealth and success for generations. But for many of the state’s residents, personal dreams have been destroyed by drug addiction and alcoholism. California drug rehabs represent hope for a new life in sobriety. Whether you’re searching for a rehabilitation program in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco or San Diego, the program you choose should accommodate your specific needs.
Look for a facility that offers a treatment plan that meets these important criteria:
- Licensed by the Licensing and Certification Division of the state’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the state government office responsible for overseeing treatment facilities
- Staffed by physicians, nurses and certified addiction counselors who specialize in providing quality care to their clients
- Offers multi-disciplinary treatment programs that take your physical, mental and emotional needs into account
- Provides counseling and preventive services for spouses, partners and children
- Follows up with clients by providing comprehensive aftercare services, such as ongoing therapy and self-help group meetings
Rehab Trends in California
Stimulants like methamphetamine accounted for the majority of rehab admissions in California in 2009, according to data gathered by the Executive Office of the President of the United States. As a central nervous system stimulant, meth alters the brain’s production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that affects your sense of well-being. Meth can give you a boost of euphoric energy, temporarily increase your mental focus and suppress your appetite, but long-term use can cause heartbeat irregularities, cognitive deficits, psychosis and serious dental problems.
Marijuana abuse is another common reason for admission to California treatment facilities. Marijuana, or cannabis, has gained widespread acceptance among the public because of its medical use as an appetite stimulant and a pain reliever. But when used for recreational purposes, marijuana can produce physical and psychological dependence, memory loss, anxiety or depression, lung damage and fertility problems, warns the American Council for Drug Education.
Questions to Ask About California Drug Rehab
California is at the forefront of most social trends in the US, including substance abuse treatment. When you seek help for addiction in California, you can count on having access to the latest psychosocial and pharmaceutical treatment strategies. But finding the treatment plan that works for you is still a very personal decision — one that should be based on your individual needs rather than on social trends.
As you look for a drug rehab in California, work with an experienced addiction counselor to answer these questions:
- How advanced is your substance abuse? Are you chemically dependent, or do you have signs of an active addiction to drugs or alcohol?
- Do you need medically supervised detoxification to clear the drugs and alcohol from your body, or will social detox methods be enough to help you get clean and sober?
- Have you been through detox and rehab in the past? How were those experiences, and did you have any problems with either process?
- Are you pregnant, or do you have any serious health conditions that might affect your rehab needs?
- Do you have a co-existing mental health condition, like depression or bipolar disorder that needs to be addressed as part of your treatment?
- Do your family responsibilities or job obligations allow you to enroll in a residential treatment program, or is outpatient treatment better suited to your situation?
- Do you have health insurance or a source of private payment to cover treatment costs, or do you need financial assistance with rehab fees?
- Will you have reliable transportation or childcare while you go through rehab, or do you need help locating these resources?
Comparing Recovery Resources
Whether you choose to go with outpatient therapy or residential treatment, the program you select should provide:
- A supportive atmosphere that promotes sobriety
- A comprehensive range of treatment resources
- A caring, compassionate staff
- An aftercare program that will help you stay sober after rehab
What Happens During Rehab?
The first element of addiction that needs to be addressed is the physical component. An individual who has taken prescription drugs over time (especially with opiate related issues such as Vicodin addiction or OxyContin addiction) are going to have a number of toxins in their system. In order to cleanse these toxins out, the individual must stop taking the drug entirely. This is called detox and it takes place while in the care of a medical professional.
The remainder of a prescription drug program deals primarily with the psychological aspect of addiction. This is addressed through both individual and group counseling. Individual counseling sessions are one-on-one meetings with a therapist who examines the personal history of the patient to find out why they started using prescription drugs. Then, patient and therapist work closely together to discover healthy life-strategies to help the individual stop using and cope with their life stressors in a more productive way.
Entering Rehab in California
Making the decision to contact a rehab facility may be the most difficult part of getting into recovery. Once you’ve overcome the fear and denial that keep you from getting clean, you may be surprised at how motivated you are to start the process. But even if you have a lot of motivation, entering rehab is almost always intimidating. If you’ve never been through detox and treatment, you might not know what to expect. If you’ve already been to rehab in the past, you may wonder whether you’ll succeed at recovery this time around.
When you enter a rehab program, you’ll be evaluated by an intake counselor who will talk with you about your past and present history of drug and alcohol use. You might be asked to take a screening test to determine your level of intoxication and identify the chemicals in your system. Detox supervised by consulting physicians may be recommended if you’ve been drinking heavily or using drugs recently, or if you have a history of severe alcohol withdrawal in the past. Once you’ve completed the detox process to clear the drugs from your system, you’ll start the work of rehabilitation.