Selecting a Treatment Provider in California

Selecting a Treatment Provider in California

Reports show that 5,348 people died in 2018 from an overdose in California — a mortality rate of 12.8.[1] Given the dire need for addiction treatment services, the mission of American Addiction Centers is to help people find treatment, either at one of our facilities or not. 

This page is a guide for those who may be looking for information about addiction treatment in California for either themselves or a loved one. We have consolidated information below about addiction treatment, detox treatment, and withdrawal treatment services in California. 

Types of Rehab in California

When it comes to addiction treatment, there are several different types available. The most widely recognized types of care are detox and withdrawal treatment, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. 

Detox and withdrawal treatment tends to be the first step for many people struggling with addiction and is a way for individuals to physically stabilize prior to joining another treatment program. Inpatient treatment is the most intensive type of addiction treatment available, while outpatient treatment may be a viable option for those who have already completed inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment can also be a beneficial option for people who may not be able to take time away from work obligations or family responsibilities. 

The table below showcases the number of rehab facilities in California that offer each level of care: 

Type of Care, by number and percent
Facilities
No. %
Outpatient 1,041 69.31%
Regular 941 62.65%
Intensive 588 39.15%
Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization 265 17.64%
Detoxification 209 13.91%
Methadone/buprenorphine maintenance or naltrexone treatment 283 18.84%
Residential (non-hospital) 572 38.08%
Short Term 406 27.03%
Long Term 503 33.49%
Detoxification 273 18.18%
Hospital Inpatient 34 2.26%
Treatment 23 1.53%
Detoxification 30 2.00%
Total 1,502 100.00%

 

Considering Detox & Withdrawal Treatment First

Detox and withdrawal treatment plays an important role in the recovery process. This is due to the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects of withdrawal. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, nausea, and shaking. In more serious cases, people may experience delirium tremens (DTs).[2] 

If left untreated, more serious cases can experience seizures and, in the most extreme cases, death. This is why detox & withdrawal treatment focuses on safe stabilization with medical supervision before attending a long-term addiction therapy program. As a result, if you are considering attending treatment for the first time, you may want to consider detox as opposed to the other lower levels of care like inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient and outpatient treatment are two very popular forms of therapy that can help an individual find firm footing on the path to recovery. 

Inpatient treatment is a type of addiction treatment that a patient may enroll in after attending detox treatment. Inpatient settings require the patient to live on-site and adhere to the programming of the service provider, which may include therapy, group sessions, one-on-one therapy, and more. 

 Outpatient treatment is a good option for people who have completed inpatient treatment. Rather than living in a residential setting, the person is able to return to their normal routines while setting aside time for group and individual therapy sessions throughout the week. 

Paying for Treatment in California

Addiction treatment spending in the U.S. is projected to reach $42 billion in 2020.[3] While that number pales in comparison to the $600 billion annually that substance abuse costs the nation, paying for treatment in California can be expensive.[4]

As a result, after considering what type of treatment is the best fit,  the most common concern for people interested in attending rehab or detox is how they will pay for treatment. There are several items to consider when choosing a provider to ensure that the facility will suit your needs. The first of which is deciding whether or not you will attend a state-funded facility or a privately owned one. The second will be choosing how to pay for treatment.

State-Funded vs. Private Treatment in California

There are several major differences between state-funded and private addiction treatment in California. 

Private programs are typically attended by individuals who have personal financial means or employer-based health insurance that will cover the costs of the program. These programs generally have higher quality amenities, can have a greater staff to patient ratio, and don’t have limitations that government or state-funded programs might. 

Government and state-funded programs may be more accessible to those who do not have private insurance of personal funds to cover private treatment. However, they also tend to accept patients on an as-needed basis. This means that those with the most severe addictions usually receive treatment first, while others may be placed on a waitlist.[5]

 The following table breaks down the number of facilities by whether they are private non-profit, private for-profit, locally-funded, state-funded, or federally-funded so that you can understand what type of treatment centers are available in California.

Facility Operation, by number and percent
Facilities
No. %
Private Non-Profit 744 49.53%
Private for Profit 562 37.42%
Local, county, or community government 136 9.05%
State government 5 0.33%
Federal Government 34 2.26%
Tribal Government 21 1.40%
Total 1,502 100.00%

 

Detox & Rehab in California by Payment Option

While the dollars spent on rehab via private insurance has remained mostly stable, the share of total alcohol and other drug treatment expenditures has declined since 1986. Back then, private insurance contributed nearly 30 percent to the treatment of alcohol and other drugs.[6] While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has mandated that all plans cover substance use disorder treatment, not everyone is able to afford an ACA plan through the Marketplace.[7]

Roughly 7.2 percent of the California population is still uninsured.[8] Although this may be disheartening to those seeking treatment without insurance, this should not stop people from attempting to find the treatment they need. 

The table below breaks down the typical payment methods used and how many facilities in California accept each payment type so you can understand the type of options you may have to pay for treatment.

Facility Payment Options, by Number and percent
No. %
Cash or self-payment 1,244 82.82%
Private Health Insurance 875 58.26%
Medicare 314 20.91%
Medicaid 587 39.08%
State-financed Health insurance 381 25.37%
Federal military insurance 243 16.18%
No payment accepted (free treatment for all clients) 71 4.73%
IHS/Tribal/Union (ITU) funds 207 13.78%
Other payments 3 0.20%
Sliding fee scale 876 58.32%
Treatment at no charge or minimal payment for clients who can’t pay 693 46.14%
Total 1502 100.00%

 

As you can see in the table above, 875 of the total 1,502 treatment facilities in California accept private insurance, 1,244 also accept cash or self-payment. At least 381 of the 1,502 accept state-financed health insurance and 243 accept federal insurance plans. While not having a private insurance plan could limit your options, always remember that there are plenty of treatment facilities out there to help you.

Treatment Center Accreditations in California

Once you have decided what type of level of care would best suit you and what kind of provider is the best fit for your payment method, you should next consider the accreditation of the facility you are considering.

 Accreditations are an important part of selecting the right treatment provider. In California, you can find board-certified addiction-medicine doctors on the California Society of Addiction Medicine website and you can also check the website of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals.[9] Leveraging these tools can help you identify reputable providers and weed out any potentially unscrupulous facilities. 

Additionally, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredits operators worldwide at the request of health and human service providers. The Joint Commission Accreditation for Addiction Treatment Providers (often referred to simply as the Joint Commission) also provides accreditation to service providers.[10]

 Please note that in California the state does not require licensing requirements to operate an outpatient addiction or mental health treatment program. While many states require operators to become licensed and adhere to certain standards, California only offers an optional IOP certification for adult alcohol and drug treatment programs.[11] Instead, many operators look to the CARF for best practices and standards. 

The table below breaks down the typical accreditations along with the number of facilities who hold each type of accreditation:

Facility Licensing, Certification, or Accreditation, by number and percent
No. %
Any listed agency/organization 1,404 93.48%
State substance abuse agency 1,120 74.57%
State mental health department 244 16.25%
State department of health 756 50.33%
Hospital licensing authority 48 3.20%
The Joint Commission 282 18.77%
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) 427 28.43%
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) 49 3.26%
Council on Accreditation (COA) 71 4.73%
Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) 10 0.67%
Other national organization or federal, state or local agency 55 3.66%
Total 1502 100.00%

 

As you can see, regardless of how you plan to pay for treatment or what type of treatment you are looking for, there are a number of reputable providers with accreditations serving the state of California. 

Are You looking for Detox in California?

Struggling with Withdrawal can be the most difficult part of achieving sobriety. It can also be the most dangerous. At American Addiction Centers, our mission is to help people achieve sobriety safely and effectively. As a leading provider of addiction treatment, we operate facilities all across the nation. One of which is in Orange County.

If you are looking for help and aren’t sure where to start, give our confidential helpline a call. You’ll speak with one of our admissions navigators. Their purpose is to answer your questions and help you find treatment either at one of our facilities or educate you on where you may be able to find treatment if we are not a fit.

 

[1] “Drug Overdose Mortality by State,” National Center for Health Statistics, cdc.gov, April 29. 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/drug_poisoning_mortality/drug_poisoning.htm

[2]  “What is Alcohol Withdrawal?” WebMD, WebMD.com. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-treatments#1.

[3] Health Aff, “Despite Resources From the ACA, Most States Do Little to Help Addiction Treatment Programs Implement Health Care Reform,” U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, May 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4706741/

[4] “Is Drug Addiction Treatment Worth Its Cost?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, January 2018.

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/drug-addiction-treatment-worth-its-cost

[5] “Substance Use Disorder County Access Lines,” California Department of Health Care Services, September 22, 2020, https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/SUD_County_Access_Lines.aspx

[6] Maureen T. Stuart and Constance M. Horgan, “Health Services and Financing of Treatment,” Alcohol Research & Health, 2011, 33(4), 389-394. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3860539/

[7] “Mental Health & Substance Abuse Coverage,” HealthCare.gov, https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/mental-health-substance-abuse-coverage/

[8] Cathie Anderson, “More Californians Got Health Insurance Annually Over 4 Yeas. Here’s Why the Rate Stalled,” Sacramento Bee, September 13, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article234997637.html

[9] “CSAM’s 2020 State of the Art Addiction Medicine (Virtual) Conference,” California Society of Addiction Medicine, https://csam-asam.org/?.

[10] “Evolving With Care,” The Joint Commission, https://www.jointcommission.org/.

[11] “Legal Changes in California Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment Industries: Key Takeaways,” Nelson Hardiman Healthcare Lawyers, October 21, 2019,  https://www.nelsonhardiman.com/legal-changes-in-california-behavioral-health-and-addiction-treatment-industries-key-takeaways/