Drug and Alcohol Detox Clinics in California

California detox clinics have to follow state laws and guidelines for operation. Learn how to find a safe and reputable detox center in California here.

minute read

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: The State of California supervises hundreds of different detox clinics. Learn how to find a safe and reputable detox center in California here.


What is CA Medical Detox?

If you want to safely quit drinking or using drugs, medical detox is for you. A reputable medical detox center uses:

  1. Medications
  2. Medical Interventions
  3. Supportive Care

…to help make withdrawal less intense. These therapies have been proven to be effective and reduce the chances of relapse.

What makes detox effective?

Medical detox is performed in a clinical setting. The process is controlled and supervised by trained medical doctors who help you restore chemical balance to your body. These professionals know how to help people overcome the physical and psychological dependence caused by alcohol or drug use.

Detox is the safest way to remove drugs or alcohol from the body.

Detoxing in California

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is the government authority in California that manages licenses to detox centers in the state. [1] Specifically, these are facilities that provide 24-hour residential nonmedical services to adults battling substance use problems. Most of the facilities licensed by DHCS are certified, as well.

Any facility that provides one of the following services related to addiction needs to be licensed:

  • Detox
  • Educational sessions
  • Incidental medical services
  • Individual and group sessions
  • Substance abuse recovery or treatment planning

Q: So, how can you know if the California detox you’re about to enter is legit, or not?

A: Well, you’ve got to do a little research. Check your county’s alcohol and drug programs to make sure a detox clinic you are about to enroll meets the necessary requirements. Before calling, check if the clinic is listed as a current licensed detox clinic. You’ll find a list of licensed/certified facilities by county on the DHCS website listed below. [2]

Get through withdrawal symptoms safely.

How Does Detox in California Work?

California offers many options for medical detox, state funded as well as private. The California Department of Health Care Services and its division, The Mental Health Substance Use Disorder Services, manage the substance abuse services throughout California. Through recovery programs and preventive measures, they aim to reduce the number of people that have alcohol or drug problem.

State funded programs are often free and include detox, inpatient, outpatient treatment, and supportive services. Private rehab centers are similar, but more expensive. Many also offer diversity of cutting edge programs and approaches which can have better outcome for recovery. However, both options offer positive outcome.

A good addiction treatment program will start with a detox. In general, every detox clinic in California should provide the following protocols:

1. Assessment. The purpose of assessment is determining if there is a problem and what is the best treatment option available for each patient. In essence, the assessment stage is the basis for a personalized addiction treatment plan. The assessment is usually performed by a qualified addiction counselor or therapist and can include the following:

  • A blood test for the presence of abused substances
  • An interview about substance abuse history
  • Family history
  • Physical evaluation
  • Psychological evaluation
  • A review of social environment

2. Stabilization. The purpose of this stage of detox is to safely achieve a substance free state. As you go through withdrawal you may experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Craving
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea

But, you will be constantly assisted and monitored by the medical personnel and if needed, pharmacotherapy and psychological assistance will be offered to you.Family support and involvement is crucial at this point. Loved ones should be updated about the situation as detox progresses. The family should also be familiarized with the next level of treatment following the detox.

3. Fostering the patient’s entry into treatment. The goal of this stage is to encourage and prepare the patient for entry into rehab. After detox is completed and the patient is stable enough, a continuum of treatment services and care is offered, including: inpatient, sober living, outpatient services, and aftercare. [3]

Call us to get into a safe detox now.

Inpatient Detox Clinics

Inpatient detox clinics in California use the same protocols used by other clinics around the U.S. The purpose of medical detox is to help you achieve safe and comfortable treatment outcomes. The goal is that you’re both mentally and physically stable during the detox. So, the focus is on medical steps.

STEP 1: The first step is assessment. As mentioned above, a qualified addiction assessment is done with an addiction’s counselor or any type of therapist. During assessment, you sit down with the counselor, who will ask a series of questions and go through your history of drug and/or alcohol abuse. You may be asked to submit a drug test, as well. Gathering all this information will assist detox staff to identify the best drug treatment options available throughout the state of California.

STEP 2: The second step is to enter the detox clinic. Upon admission in a detox clinic you will be closely observed and get face-to-face physical checks every 30 minutes for the first 72 hours. You may be asked to submit blood work. Staff will also check blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing regularly. Upon admission, you may need to complete a more thorough mental health assessment. At least one trained staff member will be available to you at all times, and everything should be recorded in your file.

STEP 3: If the detox problem is more severe than expected and is beyond the capacity of the program, then you should be referred to another level of treatment. In some cases, this can include hospitalization or even emergency care.

Detox is the first step in addiction treatment.

Outpatient Detox Clinics

In California, detox services may also be provided in an outpatient setting. [4] In general, outpatient treatment is as effective as inpatient, but only for those experiencing mild or moderate withdrawal symptoms, or for those transitioning from inpatient treatment. However, the services are more limited and you have less options for treatment. According to a predetermined schedule, trained medical staff will provide you with:

  • Medically supervised evaluations
  • Withdrawal management
  • Referral services

Patients usually receive 6 to 9 hours of counseling services each week in two or three contacts, which is less time than in an inpatient setting. Furthermore, outpatient services should be delivered in:

  • An office setting
  • A healthcare facility
  • An addiction treatment facility

Want to get your family back? Going to rehab is a good start.

Involuntary Detox in California

California laws allow involuntary commitment of individuals with a substance use disorder or alcoholism.California courts can order evaluation for addicts who are impaired by the continuous abuse of drugs or alcohol, and are dangerous to themselves or others. [5]

Remember that involuntary commitment laws ensure certain rights to every person committed, such as the right to an attorney and the right to petition for an evidence of the reason for the commitment. Here is a look at the legal process for getting someone into treatment without their permission.

1. Any person, family, medical professional, or psychiatrist can file a petition to the court to commit a person to an involuntary treatment.
2. Before the petition if filed, a person or designated agency will do screening to determine if there is a probable reason for the allegations. It will try to interview the individual in question, and to check if s/he will agree to intervention services and evaluation.
3. If the person doesn’t agree, and refuses evaluation it may be detained up to 72 hours and the petition is filed together with the screening report.
4. If the person agrees to be evaluated, s/he can be detained for up to 72 hours for evaluation and treatment.
5. After you finish mandated treatment, which allows you to leave after two weeks after arriving, you are not required to have additional treatment.

Moreover, California defendants accused of particular drug or alcohol related crimes can sometimes have treatment included as a part of their sentence. In 2000, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act in California enacted Proposition 36. Under Proposition 36, if you’re charged with a non-violent drug or alcohol related crime, you may be given a chance to avoid prison by agreeing to get addiction treatment instead. [6]

So, rehab can be used as a condition for release on parole or probation. It can also be used to replace prison time or to shorten the duration of a traditional prison sentence.The purpose of this program is a decrease of the numbers of addicts, jailed only for addiction issues and offer them treatment options. So the treatment can be a part of your sentence.Offenders who successfully complete Prop 36 requirements can petition the court to erase their criminal record.

In order to qualify for the program the court must first determine:

  • Substance abuse diagnosis
  • Willingness enter a treatment program
  • No history of violent or sexual crimes
  • No other instance of drug-related crime on their record

California mandates drug treatment instead of jail time ONLY for first and second time eligible nonviolent drug offenders.

State Detox in California

State detox in California is an alternative for residents with Medicaid or state insurance for addicts and families that don’t have enough resources to cover the cost of treatment. Inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment are covered under Medi-Cal, which is California’s Medicaid program.

The first step for entering into a state funded rehab is willingness to enter a program that will help you recover. If you are living in California and you can’t afford treatment, call 1-800-819-9973, the free 24-7 helpline for addiction treatment.

Call us to talk about life. We understand addiction.

CA Detox for Veterans

California has about 1.8 million veterans which is more than any state in the United States. [7]Many of them have substance abuse problems, with alcoholism highly prevalent. How can veterans get help for addiction in California?

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program provides services to eligible alcohol and drug dependent Veterans. These services include:

  • Aftercare
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Medical detox
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders

To access these services, first apply for VA health care. Apply for VA health care.

If you have never been seen in a VA hospital or clinic (or don’t have a VA primary care provider)

1. Find a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) program in California.
2. Call the general information hotline at 1-800-827-1000.
3. Contact a VA medical center in California. Find a VA medical center near you.

If you have a VA doctor, talk with your primary care provide about substance use. S/He can help you get screened for addiction.

If you served in recent operations, call your local VA medical center, and ask to speak to the OEF/OIF/OND coordinator.

If you need an immediate help, call a hotline that works 24/7.

  • National Hotline dedicated for supporting Veterans: 2-1-1
  • National Veteran Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 & press “1” for Veteran

Help is available. Call any of these hotlines, and you will speak with someone who is trained to provide immediate emotional support.

Detox can save lives

Detox can save your life. It can reunite you with your family.

But detox is just the first part of addiction treatment. Detox on its own is usually insufficient for a successful recovery. Addicted people need to treat the psychological part of their addiction. They can accomplish this with counseling, support groups, or an inpatient rehab program.

Finding a program that fits your needs increases the chances of recovery. Choose smart and ask for professional help. Give us a call. We can help!

To look at your addiction honestly and realistically…you’ll need to change your attitude about your drug and alcohol use. Rehab truly helps with this. There are a variety of treatment options available in California. Why not call and get help today? Can you really afford to wait?

If you are struggling with addiction do give us a call. Or, leave us your questions in the comments section at the end.

Call us to talk about detox now.

Reference Sources: [1] Department of Health Care Services Licensing and Certification 
[2] Department of Health Care Services Licensing and Certification Section Status Report, December 2016: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION SECTION STATUS REPORT
[4] U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
[5] THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MODEL STATE DRUG LAWS: Involuntary commitment for individuals with a substance use disorder or alcoholism
[6] US National Library of Medicine: Impact of California’s Proposition 36 on the Drug Treatment System: Treatment Capacity and Displacement
[7] Legislative Analyst’s Office: Understanding the Veterans Services Landscape in California
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?