Top California Addiction Rehab Centers

A Guide to Drug Rehab in California

Drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Californians’ drug use has risen from 8.3% to 10.6%, according to the latest research, yet only 10% of those who meet the criteria to receive treatment are getting it.

In the past few decades, California has been at the forefront of combating this issue and is home to some of the nation’s leading addiction treatment centers and rehabilitation facilities for adults and adolescents. Drug rehabilitation is a crucial first step to recovery for those who suffer from substance abuse.

Rehab centers offer a wide range of drug and alcohol dependency treatment services, including individualized addiction counseling, group therapy, and support groups. The significance of the treatment program is bolstered by the fact that addiction is a chronic disease that is not a moral failing but rather an impairment of the brain. Treatment must be continuous and long-term with multiple and varied approaches to meet the individual needs of each client.

Commonly Abused Drugs in California


Marijuana is a drug that has been widely used throughout California for the past 20+ years. The drug has been growing in popularity throughout the state. Between 2014 and 2017, 5.2% of Californians, or 158,000 people, used marijuana for the first time in their lives. Marijuana is addictive, and the effects of the drug can be severe. The serious side effects of marijuana use can include addiction, mood changes, and a loss of coordination. The high from smoking marijuana is very short-lived, and the drug can be associated with more serious side effects.


Cocaine is a very addictive stimulant drug that users can become dependent on. The mind-altering drug has been used for many years in California and across the U.S. Cocaine, like marijuana, is extensively trafficked into the state from Mexico, making it easily accessible. Cocaine is California’s third most abused substance, with 7.2% of the population addicted to it. It works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain and can result in a powerful addiction. The drug can be smoked, snorted, or injected, and withdrawal symptoms can last for months after use. Cocaine causes side effects like paranoia and hallucinations and can result in dangerous behavior.


Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in California and around the world. Excessive alcohol use costs the state of California almost $32 billion per year in physical, emotional, social, legal, and economic expenditures, making it the fifth-highest per capita cost in the country. Alcohol is easily available, and the common effects of the drug include drowsiness, slowed reaction time, decreased inhibition, and poor judgment. Alcohol can also lead to long-term health problems.


Benzodiazepines are extremely addictive prescription drugs used for anxiety and insomnia and contain a large amount of the drug diazepam, which slows down the brain and body. The drugs are very dangerous and produce many unwanted effects. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can cause serious complications when the drug is not discontinued properly. Benzodiazepines can also cause very serious damage to the respiratory system and even the heart. In addition, benzodiazepines may be fatal in combination with other drugs.


Heroin is a very dangerous drug that produces many unwanted effects. Heroin is an extremely addictive opiate that slows down the body and brain. The number of emergency department visits in California attributable to heroin abuse more than tripled between 2006 and 2017. The most readily accessible heroin in the area is Mexican black tar heroin. Mexican black tar heroin is also known as black dragon and is one of the most powerful types of heroin. The dangerous effects of heroin include mental illness, respiratory failure, and overdose.


Methamphetamine is very addictive and may be snorted, smoked, or injected. The usage and overdose of methamphetamine increased dramatically in California in 2019. Meth is transported into the United States from Mexico via the southwest border, according to the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment. Because of its proximity to Mexico, California is one of the main markets for narcotics. The drug causes feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and alertness. However, like all drugs, they are also very dangerous and can be fatal. They can have a lasting impact on the central nervous system, as well as the heart and brain.

Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug dependence is associated with a wide range of neurological and physiological effects, both in the central nervous system (CNS) and in numerous tissues and organs. Abrupt, heavy use of a drug can cause low blood pressure and symptoms of psychosis such as delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Long-term use is associated with similar effects in the brain, as well as changes in the body. Here are some of the most common signs of drug abuse and other substance use disorders.

Frequency of Use

The use of any kind of drug will depend on the individual’s beliefs and expectations, as well as their personal motives. Some people use drugs recreationally while others use drugs simply to get through their day. There may be a large difference in the frequency of use between those who take drugs recreationally and those who use drugs to treat an illness. It can be difficult to define what the normal range is, but there are different levels of drug use that suggest addiction. Frequent use often leads to addiction.


Cravings are defined as intense urges to use a substance. Cravings can be experienced with physical withdrawal symptoms or mental cravings without any physical signs of withdrawal. Cravings are often influenced by situations, places, and people that the user associates with their drug abuse history. There are two types of cravings that can occur with severe drug abuse. The first is psychological craving, which occurs when the user has an intense desire to use in the absence of any physical withdrawal symptoms. The second type of craving is a physical craving, which is experienced when there are withdrawal-related symptoms. Physical cravings are often a strong indication that the individual is dependent on the substance.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can occur if a person dependent on a drug suddenly discontinues use. Withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on the kind of drug and the user’s frequency of use. Withdrawal symptoms are very serious and can be dangerous if not treated properly by medical professionals.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are sudden and drastic changes in mood that can be caused by drug abuse, particularly with stimulants. Mood swings can occur when the brain’s natural chemistry is thrown off balance by the presence of drugs. Stimulants are often associated with mood swings because they tend to create feelings of euphoria and energy, triggering a high in users. Withdrawal from stimulants can often trigger negative moods, which may be accompanied by symptoms of depression and anxiety. Another cause of mood swings can also be due to drug use, resulting in a change in the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.


Insomnia is often caused by a few different factors. These factors are the over-stimulation of the brain, which causes a person to feel overly awake and active. Other times, insomnia can be caused by withdrawal from the drug, which may trigger feelings of depression and anxiety. Insomnia also can be caused by the overuse of certain drugs. With chronic drug abuse, some people may find that they are unable to sleep until their drug has been taken.

Treatment Options for Drug Abuse and Addiction

There are different levels of drug rehabilitation. Some require the individual to be in an inpatient setting, and others simply allow the individual to stay at home. There are different types of treatment that may be best for the individual, depending on their particular needs and goals.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment is a great option for those who are interested in staying in treatment but do not require 24/7 supervision. Most clients can be treated in an outpatient setting without being supervised by staff at the facility. Outpatient programs offer drug counseling, group therapy, and medication management. Outpatient treatment is a great option for those who need to stay at home and maintain their daily schedules.

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient treatment is the most intense option for addiction treatment. Inpatient programs are 24/7 and require intensive therapy. Those who want to be treated in an inpatient setting will often require daily medication management and intensive counseling. Inpatient programs are a good option for those who need medication management or therapy in a setting that removes them from the triggers that led to their drug use.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that works to address issues such as mood disorders, anxiety, life changes, and behavioral problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat drug abuse and is considered one of the most effective methods of treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is centered on the theory that it is important for individuals to identify and change their own negative thought patterns in order to recover. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach individuals how to control their thoughts and emotions.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a treatment approach that focuses on the use of medications to help control drug cravings, treat withdrawal symptoms, and reverse the damaging effects that drugs have had on an individual’s body. It is a non-invasive and efficient treatment option. The goal of MAT is to achieve abstinence or relapse prevention and to promote long-term abstinence. It is only done under medical supervision and strict protocols.


Psychotherapy is a form of counseling that works to address many issues, including depression, anxiety, grief, and other disorders. Psychotherapists work to help people solve their problems through a series of sessions that are usually one hour long. Psychotherapy can be used to work on issues and problems that may have arisen from drug abuse.

Support Groups

Drug support groups are a great option for those who are seeking help. Support groups, like regular therapy and counseling, can offer addicts a source of support. Support groups can also help reinforce positive behaviors through interaction with fellow addicts. Drug support groups can be very beneficial in helping to overcome drug habits.


Counseling is an important aspect of drug abuse treatment. Many people who use drugs need counseling in order to work on the underlying issues that may have caused them to become addicts, as well as other issues that may have arisen as a result of their addictions. Counseling is often included in drug rehabilitation aftercare because it helps people integrate themselves back into their communities. Counseling for drug issues is usually obtained through the help of a therapist who specializes in drug abuse. Many times, family counseling is also included in treatments.

Role of Drug Rehab in California

Drug rehabilitation centers in California are a vital component of drug abuse treatment. Rehab centers are now widely accepted as a way to treat drug dependence, with around 90% of California’s drug diversion courts using residential rehabilitation. The majority of addicts entering rehab in California have severe cases of addiction.

Drug rehabilitation centers in California are administered in a variety of ways, ranging from 12-step programs to outpatient treatment. However, these programs often have similar goals, with the main goal to help people reach and maintain long-term abstinence. The skilled and professional staff at the rehab centers in California are the main factor that separates them from other drug treatment centers. Staff members in these facilities are skilled at their job because they have had experience dealing with the substance abuse problems that their clients face.

California is still facing the drug abuse epidemic. While drug rehabilitation has been a viable option, it is still a relatively new thing, and most people are not receiving the necessary treatment. It is important for addicts to find a treatment center that will best meet their needs. Most addicts will not be able to afford inpatient or residential treatment, but affordable drug rehab programs are readily available. The professionals at rehab centers in California can provide help and guidance to those who would like to overcome their addictions. 87

Sponsored Treatment Center:

Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

About Us

Addiction Experts is a group of addiction and behavioral health specialists dedicated to providing helpful, and free, addiction treatment guides. Millions of people have utilized our resources and suggestions for substance use disorders, mental health treatment, and process addiction treatment. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have! 

Recent Posts:

Get Started on the Road to Recovery