Five Reasons Why California Is the Ideal Setting for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

See why the golden state could be the gateway to reconnecting with your life.

California is home to stretching beaches, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife. Many options for treatment exist in the state—ranging from drug and alcohol treatment centers to a healthy lifestyle supported by exploration, action, and friends.

California is the ideal setting for drug and alcohol detox—as well as recovery. Not only are the state’s drug detox programs incredibly effective, but its environment is conducive to the lifestyle which combats addiction at its core.

Elevate Addiction Services is situated in Silicon Valley, serving Oakland, San Francisco, and Central Coast. We love our residents, and we want to help them explore the many effective treatment options available to them. Below, we’re covering the top five reasons why California is the ideal setting for drug and alcohol treatment.


Reason One: California’s Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers are Effective

Many drug and alcohol treatment centers in California work to combat drug addiction. In California, drug abuse is the number-one premature killer among other risks, just above car accidents. For this reason, the state’s leading providers have doubled down on the creation of drug and alcohol rehab centers.

In fact, every dollar spent on rehabilitation saves roughly seven dollars on decreased crime, theft, medical costs and disenfranchised housing costs. The same dollar, reportedly, increases employment for suffering and non-suffering drug users alike.

California’s drug and alcohol rehab centers are numerous and diverse. The OC Health Care Agency has increased its efforts in offering guidance to suffering individuals in the past—offering informational resources whenever possible. Meanwhile, non-profit—or even free—substance abuse treatment centers are growing in number. These detox treatment centers help a number of people, including:

  • Those who are noninsured
  • Those who are underinsured
  • Low-income individuals
  • Individuals suffering from physical disabilities.

By helping these individuals, non-profit or free substance abuse treatment centers help decrease drug use in individuals suffering economic hardship.

How do California’s drug detox programs compare to those in other states? Reportedly, Orange County residents now have comparable—or even lower—rates of substance abuse compared to other states. Approximately 35 percent of Orange County adults have used illicit drugs, at least once. In most states, this percentage hangs around 49 percent.

The OCHCA and NIDA have assisted many residential and outpatient programs, helping those struggling with addiction find recovery. Currently, both entities are focusing on long-term treatment plans which address multiple issues of addiction—promoting the use of more outpatient programs.

 Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

Reason Two: California’s Opioid Death Rate is One of America’s Lowest

Unfortunately, California has experienced waves of drug abuse spikes in the past. This said, an individual seeking recovery isn’t necessarily put at a direct risk in seeking recovery in California. In the wake of the state’s surge in drug use, modern detox treatment centers have created incredibly effective programs. These programs, aimed at the heart of addiction, have helped recovering addicts—both in-state and out-of-state—find a reprieve from addiction.

California drug and alcohol treatment centers tend to be very specialized. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin use rose by 63 percent between 2002 and 2013. Heroin-related overdose deaths, meanwhile, nearly quadrupled in the same period.

In the past several years, heroin overdose deaths have begun leveling off. In Los Angeles County, as an example, 2010 experienced 225 heroin deaths. In 2012, it experienced 29. Seemingly, the nation’s opioid epidemic isn’t impacting California nearly as much as other states, either.

In West Virginia—the state hit hardest by the opioid epidemic—41 out of 100,000 residents were killed by drug overdoses in 2015. In California, only 11 out of every 100,000 residents were killed by drug overdose—making it the seventh-lowest state in the nation impacted by drug-related deaths.

This said, state administrators and drug detox programs alike have focused on wake-up calls which target narcotic use among adolescents and adults. While California experiences one of the nation’s lowest opioid death rates, many of its opioid-related deaths are caused by fentanyl—a highly potent opioid which can kill users even in small doses. As a result, local and state health leaders created a number of California opioid safety coalitions in 2015. 95 percent of Californians live in a part of the state where leaders have entered these coalitions. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the state saw a 12-percent drop in opioid prescriptions across California.

Opioid Death Rate

Reason Three: California Has Strongly Focused on Mental Health Assistance

In Orange County, depression is the top-responsible cause of hospitalization in those suffering from mental health issues. Often, detox programs help patients understand the impacts mental health has on addiction. Whether you’re pursuing inpatient or outpatient treatment, a surrounding support system of in-depth, comprehensive mental health assistance can make all of the difference.

In most cases, suffering individuals need treatment which targets any mental illnesses as well as their addiction. Otherwise, these individuals will be more likely to fall out of treatment. Or, worse, they may relapse. Many detox treatment centers offer dual-diagnosis recovery programs for this reason. Dual-diagnosis programs integrate mental health assistance alongside addiction therapy—helping patients heal on multiple levels. In most detox treatment centers, dual-diagnostic recovery offers:

  • One-on-one psychotherapy
  • Peer support groups
  • Life skills classes
  • Behavioral modification courses
  • Aftercare services

California’s high focus on mental health also supports patients with assistance after they’ve left a program. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that chronic drug use can result in both short-term and long-term changes in brain chemistry. In some cases, these changes can result in mental health problems spanning across depression, paranoia, aggression, anxiety, hallucinations and more.

The state’s approach to new, affordable mental health services is also beneficial to those in recovery. Nearly half of adults—and two-thirds of adolescents—who have mental health needs don’t get treatment. Compared to the rest of the United States, however, California sees a lower overall suicide rate. Today, the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity Act are expected to help both the insured and uninsured obtain treatment in California.

Mental health assistance can be obtained during drug and alcohol detox, in-house recovery or in an outpatient program. Across Central Coast, Oakland and San Francisco, affordable mental health centers even work alongside various addiction treatment centers. California alcohol rehabilitation particularly benefits from this, as an alcohol detox center working alongside mental health providers can offer community outreach, accountability groups and more.

Any form of mental illness can increase the chances of addictive behaviors. However, certain psychiatric disorders occur more often than others. The Division of Pharmacologic Therapies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has listed a number of these illnesses:

  • Mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Process addictions
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Even if a psychiatric disorder underscores one’s addictive tendencies, removing the addiction may not be enough to secure a safe, happy and relapse-free future. Thus, a California detox program is best-accessed when one of the state’s many capable mental health providers is available to help.


Reason Four: California Has Many Alcohol Recovery Resources

As of 2006, rates of California alcohol abuse and dependence placed the state among the top 10 at-risk states in the country. In recent years, state administrators have worked alongside California alcohol rehabilitation professionals to help suffering alcoholics find relief.

It isn’t hard to find an alcohol detox center as a result of these changes. In 2009, 23,284 people sought California alcohol rehabilitation, either for alcohol detox medication or for a full-length detox program. Since then, California residents have benefited from enhanced alcohol recovery programs.

Finding a detox program isn’t difficult at all. This said, any alcohol detox center will tell you how dangerous alcohol abuse can be. The road to alcohol recovery begins with changing existing behaviors. These changes aren’t easy, but they’re vital to one’s ongoing health and stability.

First, alcohol detox mediation is needed. Medications like Librium and chlordiazepoxide are used to assist with acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, alcohol detox medication is quite safe. By watching over patients undergoing detox, alcohol rehab providers help them avoid an array of withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Irritated mood
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Pronounced anxiety

Further treatment options can be given on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many inpatient treatment centers offer 28-, 60- or 90-day programs. Outpatient programs give patients the freedom to live at home, approaching their addiction with the assistance from support groups and available providers.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance for those in recovery. For this reason, many alcohol recovery program providers are constantly available during outpatient procedures.

Alcohol Recovery Resources

Reason Five: California Offers Exploration

Because outpatient recovery is more suitable for some, it’s important to understand why California is a phenomenal destination for outpatient assistance. Plenty of opportunities exist for San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Oakland and Central Coast residents. Adventure is right around the corner for those who seek it.

Adventure therapy, or experience-based therapy, helps recovering individuals create experiences, build confidence and foster a new excitement for life. This method of therapy, based on real-life experiences, removes patients from small rooms and puts them into the world. Adventure therapy has a few other names, including:

  • Wilderness therapy
  • Adventure-based therapy
  • Outdoor therapy
  • Experiential therapy

At its core, adventure therapy helps addicted individuals reconnect with themselves. By relying on the self, one’s own resources and one’s own willpower—the recovering individual can overcome the long-term challenges of addiction. Adventure therapy also helps recovering individuals find new hobbies and interests, replacing the urge for substances.

Adventure therapy consists of many types of outdoor explorations. Depending on the adventure you’d like to undergo, your addiction treatment center can help. In fact, many California outpatient rehab centers offer adventure-based therapy opportunities. Sometimes, adventure therapy is featured as a program cornerstone. Sometimes, an outpatient program may simply point recovering patients in the right direction.

Because California is home to beach life, ocean exploration, parks, hills, and mountains, it’s a prime location for anyone seeking adventure. California is incredibly diverse, land-wise, giving recovering individuals plenty of opportunities. These may include:

  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Walking, running and hiking
  • Learning a new art or craft
  • Learning about California’s history

Some outdoor programs may offer bigger challenges, like rope courses, zip lining or rock climbing. Others are camping-based, introducing recovering patients to the wonders of the wilderness. In many ways, adventure therapy exists to help patients find a new appreciation for overcoming challenges. The natural high, rush of positive energy and payoff from dedication, in most cases, directly assist with recovery.

It’s important to take opportunity into your own hands. Undergoing addiction treatment can be difficult, but having a powerful support group can make all the difference. If you’re on the road to recovery, your journey is different than everyone else’s. California is diverse, both in location, culture and area amenities. Chances are, something California offers is exactly up your alley.

If you’re a California native, you’re in one of the best states for addiction recovery opportunity. If you’re just outside the state—or if you’re considering traveling to California—the area may hold some opportunities other states don’t. Between the introduction of new, effective detox programs, initiatives to combat addiction and plenty of things to do, California is one of the best states to pursue recovery in.

If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, contact a Elevate Addiction Services today. Assistance is always available, and highly trained professionals can help you persist through life’s difficulties. Recovery takes time, but it’s entirely obtainable.

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