Choosing Recovery: Addiction Treatment Resources in California

Realizing you need help for your addiction is an extraordinary moment. While for many it might seem like an admission of failure, in reality it is a moment of triumph, clarity, and possibility that arises from a place of honesty and self-nurturing. But what does help look like? Where do you go? Who do you turn to? In California, we have a plethora of addiction treatment options available to us, and selecting the right option for your needs can seem a bit daunting. By understanding how different treatment models work, you can begin the process of selecting the most suitable match for your needs, and start your journey towards recovery using the best resources available.

Residential Addiction Treatment in California

Residential addiction treatment is considered the gold standard in addiction recovery, and California is home to some of the most renowned residential addiction treatment centers in the world, including Alta Mira. By leaving your everyday environment to engage in an intensive, supervised process of self-reflection and learning, you can optimize your healing and lay the foundation for sustainable sobriety without the distractions, triggers, and temptations of your ordinary surroundings. With these programs, your stay typically lasts 30-90 days, depending on your needs and the individual program. However, not all residential addiction treatment programs are created equal. A 2012 report by National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that “most addiction treatment providers are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials needed to provide the full range of evidence-based services, including medication and psychosocial therapy.” As such, it is critical that you select a licensed residential program with the expertise and experience to provide comprehensive, effective, and medically sound care.

Treatment programs such as Alta Mira offer the highest standard of clinical care delivered by top addiction experts who draw on a range of evidence-based therapies and practices tailored to the specific needs of each client and help you gain the insight and skills you need to make meaningful and lasting changes. By integrating medically supervised detox, in-depth psychological assessments, individual psychotherapy, holistic therapies, and 12-step peer support, you receive a complete, multidimensional treatment experience that supports you physically, emotionally, and spiritually in early recovery, and creates a strong base for ongoing sobriety. Co-occurring mental health disordersare treated alongside addiction to ensure that the roots of your addictive drive are addressed, alleviating the underlying sources of psychological distress and strengthening your recovery. This approach has been found to be the most effective way of achieving sustainable sobriety as well as improving overall quality of life and ongoing wellness.

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Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs are often recommended for people who are stepping down from residential treatment to ease the transition back into the community and provide the structure needed to maintain sobriety as you return home. These programs may also be appropriate for people whose addictions are not severe enough to warrant residential care, who cannot take time away from work or school to attend residential treatment, or who have been in treatment before and feel they are at risk of relapse but have not yet returned to regular substance use. There are two primary types of outpatient addiction treatment programs:

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Clients typically attend IOP programs for 8-12 weeks, 3-4 hours per day, 3-4 days per week, either during the day or in the evenings, and participate in a range of therapeutic activities and practices to strengthen recovery. Each IOP may have unique features that reflect a particular recovery approach. Intensive Outpatient Programs use a combination of individual therapy, group sessions, holistic therapies, and workshops to build on the recovery strategies developed in residential care and facilitate the integration of new skills into your everyday life outside of treatment. If you want to live at home during treatment, finding an IOP located in your area is important.

Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization programs are similar to IOPs, but take place in a hospital setting or satellite hospital location and may include medical services such as medically supervised withdrawal. You typically attend treatment for 4-5 hours every day for a period of 8-12 weeks, and may participate in individual therapy, group therapies, and psychoeducation. The quality and design of these programs depend on the specific location.

Inpatient Treatment

Many hospitals provide medically supervised detox services for people who cannot safely discontinue substance use on their own. With 24-hour monitoring by doctors and nurses in a hospital environment, you can rapidly detox from drugs or alcohol in a safe milieu and receive medications to alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal. During this time, you may also receive support from psychologists or social workers who can make referrals for treatment after detox. However, inpatient hospital treatment is typically brief and crisis-oriented, as most hospitals in California are not equipped to provide comprehensive addiction treatment services on an inpatient basis. Additionally, many people do not find that a hospital setting offers the privacy and comfort they desire, particularly as withdrawal can be a time of heightened emotional vulnerability and distress.

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Addiction Counseling

Addiction counseling on an outpatient basis typically involves weekly sessions with a counselor who specializes in addiction issues in either an individual or group setting. Using a variety of therapeutic techniques, your counselor may lead you through an exploration the psychological, environmental, and experiential factors contributing to your addiction to help you understand the roots of your addictive drive and develop healthier coping skills. Outpatient individual and group addiction counseling can be a vital part of the recovery process, though it is best employed following completion of a residential or outpatient program, to help you preserve and expand the gains made in treatment.

12-Step Groups

12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are often one of the first places people go when they want to end their addiction. These groups are free, widely available all over California, and open to anyone who wants support to break free from addiction. Based around established 12-step principles, the meetings allow you to share feelings, thoughts, experiences, struggles, and triumphs with other people in recovery, which can be deeply comforting and help you maintain your sobriety. However, while 12-step groups can be an important part of a treatment plan, they are not treatment in and of themselves; the focus of meetings is on peer support rather than counseling or therapy. Many people do experience great personal insight within these groups, but they do not replace comprehensive treatment and are therefore ideally suited as an adjunct during residential or outpatient treatment as well as serving as an ongoing part of your recovery process.

Finding The Right Recovery Resources

At Alta Mira, we are dedicated to helping all people struggling with addiction find hope and healing. We are always available to discuss your treatment options and refer you to the best resources for your unique needs, regardless of whether or not we are the right program for you. If you need help charting your recovery course, connecting with an addiction counselor or treatment center, or even finding a local support group, there are resources available online, but we invite you to contact us anytime. We can use our extensive knowledge of addiction treatment resources in California and across the country to ensure that you get the care and support you need to break free from addiction and live a healthier, more joyful life.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive addiction treatment for people struggling with all forms of substance addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Our serene residential facility, located in beautiful Sausalito, California, provides an ideal setting for nurturing your mind, body, and spirit as you begin your journey toward recovery. Contact us for more information about our innovative program and how we can help you or your loved one heal from addiction.