California Alcohol and Drug Rehab and Treatment

IN 2005, there were approximately 2,261,000 people in California with a alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction problems.,  and an estimated 880,000 individuals that had dependence or addiction problems with illicit drugs.  This isn’t counting that huge Santa Barbara Missionnumbers of people that are addicted to prescription drugs, which is the category with the most frequent call to our line.


We know that these figures can easily put you into glee about the subject and rather than focusing on your issue or that of a loved one, it tends to minimize the importance of an individual’s pain and suffering from addiction.

These figures are for 2005, but there has been little change in the in these statistics or conditions related to treatment in California.  However, there has been improvement in public health and safety as a direct result of the efforts of alcohol and drug counselors, treatment centers and government programs and initiatives.  For instance:

In the DUI programs, alcohol-involved crash stats were down 15.2% in 2010 down from 2000. However, in fatal crashes were drugs were evident at a level that would change conditions, fatalities rose from 428 in 200 to 692 in 2010.There were 1,416 people killed in 2010, in car crashes in California where alcohol and drug were involved.  Fatal and injury producing crashes involving drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 rose between 1999 and 2009. However the same study showed that drivers under the age of 18 with similar alcohol and drug involvement actually declined in the same decade.  Overall, the greatest number of fatalities came from alcohol impaired drivers, but in the last decade, the amount of drug-related fatalities rose by 63%.

Prevention and Treatment in California:

California has always been proud of its state and county funded alcohol and other drug services,  and in comparison to other states, it certainly should be, but when compared to the huge treatment and prevention challenges in the state, the state is obviously falling short of an ideal scene.

Youth Services: California treatment providers understand that way addiction is expressed in adolescences is very different and program strategies must also differ to address those differences.  Over the past five years, California has worked hard to develop youth-oriented and appropriate system of care, including outreach and early intervention services, especially in meth producing counties, youth-specific intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment in group-home settings and juvenile detention centers, and relapse prevention designed specifically for adolescents.

Whenever you look at the services provided by an agency as large as California’s ADP (Alcohol and Drug Programs office) it is impressive, but when you examine the number of people that have called our help -line to find appropriate treatment without any funds to pay for private care, the picture isn’t nearly as pretty.

California disperses is block-grant money through county office for alcohol and drug program, which makes it more locally specific and, supposedly friendly, but it also become very political as to who gets funding for their program and who doesn’t.  When you have attended some of the county-funded treatment facilities and have seen very little change in your addiction, then the services seem quite inferior.

Without quality and effective treatment, an addict will continue to have deteriorating health issues, continue the ethics problems that ruin families (lying, deceit, excuses and sometime cruel and aggressive behaviors, a total disregard and abuse of the family’s money, removing themselves from family activities, a disregard for their condition and an apathy about their health and their futures.

If you are the loved on involved with an addict, you may easily find yourself in continual roller-coaster emotions, but mostly in worry and and a feeling of powerlessness, where you don’t think that you can do anything to change conditions and you fear the inevitable.

Stopping the cycle of addiction is probably the hardest task that you will confront in your life, whether you are the addict or the loved one, it is a monumental task to changes these conditions and the degraded spirt of the family.  It is Pollyanna-ish to think otherwise, but the human spirit, you, have the strength and wisdom to overcome this monster of addiction and over the past 35+ years that we have been witnessing these victories, everyone of them is unique and everyone comes out the other side feeling thankful for the change but also feeling that exhilarated and thankful for the process.

You too can win the addiction challenge!  If you life in the Los Angeles area, call and ask for Mac, who, for more than five years, was a leader in development and evaluation of programs in and around LA.  For Three years he worked closely with the CLARE Foundation of Santa Monica, California.  He can tell you what you can expect from that state-funded program as well as “Signs of Recovery”, a wonderful 12-step based program for addicted persons that are hearing-impared, hence the name.

At some point, every family that is working to get a loved one that is addicted to alcohol or other drugs will counter the efforts to get them into treatment by assuring the family that they can do it on their own and don’t need treatment.  I would applaud their optimism, but make a deal that if they can’t, they will go to a treatment center.  I have seen very few that have made it on their own and those that I have seen are usually, what is called a dry-drunk, meaning that they have all of the characteristics of an addict, minus the use of alcohol and other drugs.  People in this condition usually relapse soon and often since the pain of their unresolved emotional issues intensifies their cravings to escape.

It is very difficult for someone to admit that they have failed and that their addiction is beyond their control, so you may have to allow the addicted person time to admit to himself and others that he needs help.

While this testing period is going on, it is important you find a rehab center that is going to be effective.  Once an addict says he will go treatment, you have a small window-of-opportunity to do the right actions to end the addiction in your family.

When you decide it is time to do the research to find the best program you can get within your financial abilities, you shouldn’t rely on the internet to do your research.  It is certainly paradoxical for this site to be telling you that you can’t trust what you read on the internet, but let me explain.

If a program is well financed, like Betty Ford Center of Sierra Tucson, you will find only positive comments on the first five or more pages of the search engine.  Even when the center is broiled locally in controversy. i.e.  Sierra Tucson was treating a physician from California for depression in the summer of 2012.  His family had told the center that he was suicidal and should be watched closely.  The family called the center regularly to check on him and were told that he was doing fine, until one staff member mentioned that he had left the program two weeks prior.  His family was naturally shocked since he hadn’t returned to his California. Upon investigation, it was discovered that he had wondered onto the campus of the facility and was’t accounted for until they became alarmed and then he was found dead on the campus of the center.

That type of information would be important in choosing a reliable treatment center, but due to the wealth of the parent organization, CRC, you won’t find that story from the Arizona newspapers until you scroll down five or six pages, when searching under Sierra Tucson Treatment Center.  When you have enough money to have, literally hundreds of websites bombarding that internet with only programed PR, then you are kept in the dark.

That is why, if you are looking for a treatment center, it is smart to call and talk to Mac, who has been to the Sierra Tucson facility, has reviewed over 150 treatment centers on site and can read between the lines.  He can tell you what he knows about the effectiveness of a center before your loved one is subjected to ineffective, and possibly dangerous, treatment practices.

Mac has worked with program throughout California and he can give you professional and inside information on what you can expect and whether you should entrust your loved one’s case to their care.  A phone call to Mac at 888-781-7060 is a smart action before you start thinking seriously about a treatment provider.


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