California Rehab Programs for Alcohol and Drug Treatment

California rehab programs for substance use problems are widely available throughout the state. There are many options, with various treatment philosophies and methods. Some of these include programs based on the 12 Steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), non-12 Step programs, faith-based treatment and holistic ones. Settings also cover a wide range from various geographic locations and varying arrays of accommodations and services.

Standards of Care in California Rehab Programs

Reputable rehabs are licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Rehabs, or programs in which residents stay in a facility for treatment, are held to specific standards in multiple realms. Most basically, they are expected to provide services in a substance free environment that supports addiction treatment and recovery. Core services provided by rehab program staff include detox, treatment planning, individual and group counseling sessions, education for residents and family members, relapse prevention planning, and information about pertinent community resources.

Care Providers in California Rehabs

Professionals that provide specialized alcohol and drug treatment counseling in the state of California are governed by state regulations and professional oversight boards of professional conduct. Providers in alcohol and drug rehabs in California can have a range of credentials, and many are staffed with what is known as an interdisciplinary treatment team which is a group of providers with different roles and specialities. Such treatment teams can have employees with the following jobs:

  • Physician
  • Doctor of Addiction Medicine
  • Psychiatrist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse
  • Pscyhologist
  • Social Worker
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician
  • Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor
  • Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor
  • Certified Co-occurring Disorder Professional
  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
  • Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist
  • Intervention Specialist
  • Women’s Treatment Specialist

Some California rehabs provide holistic services that require staff trained in nutritional counseling, functional medicine, herbalism, acupuncture, yoga, massage, energy medicine, and other therapeutic modalities considered to be specialities of alternative or complementary therapies. Practitioners of such treatments are also held to professional standards of education, competency and conduct. They will have credentials and educational backgrounds that prepare them for their specialty practices.

Differences Among California Rehab Programs

Not every California rehab is alike and you should take time to understand basics about every program you consider. There are fundamental standards governed by local, state and federal law, but the philosophy, methods, theories of clinical practice, array of services provided, and staffing can vary widely. Also, the costs and what payment arrangements are accepted by each program can vary greatly.

If you are exploring more than one rehab option for yourself or a loved one, you cannot assume that all operate in similar ways, or that the treatment you receive in one rehab will be equivalent to that received in another. Every time you contact a program, you will need to inquire about their treatment philosophy, methods, staffing, services, and costs. You will also have to clarify if your particular insurance coverage is accepted there. There may also be out-of-pocket costs even if your insurance is accepted by the program you are interested in. Each program will have their own particular policy regarding financial arrangements for the costs you or your loved one are responsible for.

Treatment Philosophies in California Rehab Programs

The course of treatment in a California rehab depends upon a lot of variables. One significant variable is the treatment philosophy of a particular program. For example, a program that is based on the 12 Steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) will use the 12 Step principles throughout the course of treatment. 12 Step-based programs also operate with the belief that an addiction is never cured, but one can be sober and life a far healthier and more successful life. On the other hand, there are treatment programs that believe addiction can be cured and do not base their programming on 12 Step principles. Additionally, there are faith-based treatment programs that use religious principles throughout the course of treatment. These are simply examples of some of the most common and various treatment philosophies you can find when exploring options. It is important that you or a loved one inquire specifically about the treatment philosophy of any program you consider. It is critical to feel comfortable with a treatment program’s philosophy in order to make the most of your treatment stay.

Privacy and Confidentiality Standards in a California Rehab

In the substance abuse treatment field, privacy and confidentiality are mandated by federal laws and regulations (42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 and 42 CFR Part 2). These define the limitations in which information about a person in alcohol or drug treatment can be disclosed by the personnel of a California rehab. There is a great deal of stigma surrounding addictive illnesses and seeking treatment for them. Fortunately, these privacy laws circumvent barriers to treatment for countless individuals who need help, but would otherwise be reluctant to pursue treatment.

The laws and regulations apply to any California rehab, and those across the nation, that provide addiction services directly or indirectly regulated or assisted by any U.S. department or agency. Protected information includes whether one is participating in a rehab program, as well as documents that have information regarding identity, diagnosis, prognosis or any services received.

Anyone receiving addiction related services must give written consent for California rehab programs to disclose information. Each written release must specify to whom the information is released, why, and what kind of information is to be released. Exceptions to these laws and regulations include reports about child abuse or neglect, information subpoenaed by a court, or information given when a rehab participant has died. Additionally, if the recipient of addiction services has a medical emergency in which he or she cannot give consent for emergency medical treatment, care providers can give information in order to secure necessary emergency treatment for the individual in need.

What to Expect When You Choose a California Rehab

When you or a loved one decides to seek addiction treatment in a California rehab, you can expect staff from that program to screen and evaluate in order to determine if their program is appropriate for you. You can expect an in-depth interview in which questions are asked about your substance use, including which substances you’ve used, how much, how frequently, and for how long. Accurate reporting is vital so that the treatment staff is best able to make the most effective and safest plan for withdrawal, detox and ensuing treatment.

You can also expect an initial evaluation to involve questions about such current issues as work, school, relationships, physical and mental health, and life stressors. Personal history and family history is also important for your treatment providers. Together, all of this information helps clarify your treatment needs so a treatment plan can be individualized to your or your loved one’s specific needs. This process best ensures a successful rehab stay and the best possible outcomes.

Being Admitted to an California Rehab

After evaluated and determined in need of treatment, you or your loved one will be admitted to the program. An admission process typically involves paperwork in which you consent to treatment, make payment arrangements, are oriented to the physical facility, the schedule of services, and other ‘housekeeping’ information for your stay in the facility such as how to manage daily needs in the program, have visitors, do laundry and the like.

You can also expect that you or your loved one will have a physical exam, lab work, and interviews with other staff members such as nurses, counselors, and social workers. Typically, a particular staff member will co-ordinate your care throughout your stay, however, various staff members are likely to provide individual or group services during treatment.

If a medically supervised withdrawal and detox is necessary, any addiction rehab treatment will start with that process. Depending on how well you feel during withdrawal, other activities and therapies may also be attended. However, it is after detox that the most intensive therapy and counseling takes place.

The Use of Medication in a California Rehab Program

Just as treatment programs can differ in philosophy, they can also differ in their use of medications during addiction treatment. For example, some programs may employ psychiatrists who can treat co-occurring substance problems and mental health problems. These are known as dual diagnosis programs. Other terms you may hear that describe simultaneous substance and mental health conditions are programs that treat co-occurring disorders or dual disorders. In such programs, the use of psychiatric medications is common to treat depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health conditions.

Medications are also commonly used to ease the symptoms of withdrawal from various substances. Reducing withdrawal symptoms can decrease the chances of medical complications during withdrawal such as hypertension, rapid heart rate, seizures and other life-endangering crises. In fact, a medically supervised withdrawal is necessary for medical safety after heavy and/or prolonged use of certain addictive substances such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids. Even without medical complications, the distress of some withdrawal syndromes can cause one to return to use. Whenever you or a loved one need to withdraw from an addictive substance, it is important to seek medical advice and follow medical recommendations for withdrawal and detox. Medical supervision best ensures safety and successful withdrawal.

Medications can also be used to reduce the chances of relapse after successful detox from certain substances. This type of treatment is often called replacement therapy or maintenance therapy in opioid treatment. For example, medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to decrease cravings and/or prevent the ‘high’ of other opioids. Medications are also used in recovery from other substances to reduce cravings and lower the risk of relapse.