California drug abuse overview

California has a population of 39,237,836 people. The most recent data from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 5,782,000 people over the age of 12 had abused illegal substances in the past month, around 14.74% of the population. 5,258,000 reported marijuana use in the past month and 7,532,000 in the past year. The report also found that 859,000 California residents had abused cocaine in the past year, 648,000 had abused meth, and 1,319,000 had abused prescription pain medication. 217,000 people over the age of 18 reported using heroin in the last year. Those reporting opioid misuse including heroin, painkillers, and fentanyl in California totaled 1,377,000 people.

Alcohol abuse in California

Alcohol misuse was also reported in California with 15,863,000 people over the age of 12 saying they had used alcohol in the last month and 7,395,000 reporting binge drinking. The perceived risk of people over 12 years of age indulging in problematic alcohol use (5 or more drinks twice a week) in a month was 16,564,000 people.

Overdose deaths in California

In 2021, California saw a total of 10476 recorded drug-related overdose deaths. This includes those that were accidental or unidentifiable but excludes those that were related to suicide or homicide. This puts the overdose death toll in California at 26.7 people per 100,000. The total number of alcohol related deaths (including overdose and all other causes) was 7290 or 18.6 per 100,000 people.

Substance use disorders in California

The NSDUH report also recorded the total amount of substance abuse disorders in California and those who currently require treatment. The report found that 5,899,000 were recorded as having a substance use disorder (SUD) and 4,105,000 had an alcohol use disorder. 693,000 people were recorded as having an opioid use disorder including those with painkiller, heroin, and other opioid-based drug use disorders.

Addiction treatment in California

There are many who have been diagnosed with or reported a substance, illicit drug, or alcohol use disorder that require rehab treatment and are not receiving it. The report found that 2,690 people in California needed treatment for illicit substance abuse, 3,829,000 required treatment for an alcohol use disorder, and 5,381,000 needed treatment for a diagnosed substance use disorder.

How do you know if you need addiction treatment?

It’s difficult for most individuals to admit they have a drug or alcohol addiction. But when other aspects of their lives are negatively affected, it is usually only one signal that they need help.

If you’re wondering whether or not you need addiction treatment, here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Lack of control

  • Cravings

  • Unable to quit despite wanting to

  • Withdrawal symptoms

  • Doing anything to get more of the drug/substance

  • Lack of motivation to work

  • Loss of interest in friends and hobbies

  • Relationship problems

California addiction statistics

  • 8% of the population has a substance use disorder, which equals out to roughly 2.7 million people
  • Cocaine is the third most abused drug in California, with 7.2% of the population hooked on it
  • In California, an estimated 45% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018; approx 2,400 deaths

What treatment options are available in California?

Rehab centers in California offer various treatment options to help you reduce your drug use. Deciding to change your relationship with drugs or alcohol is the first step toward getting better. The next important step is finding the right treatment. 

To increase your chances of recovery, you need to make sure you choose the right treatment for your addiction. Rehab centers offer assessment services to help determine your addiction and the level of care and treatments you need. Some also recommend the best treatment programs to help you beat your addiction.

To help you do this, rehab centers use many treatments, including counseling and therapy. Depending on your individual needs, you can opt for outpatient or inpatient treatment to aid with your recovery. 

Here are some common treatment methods used in California rehab centers: 

  • Behavioral counseling

  • Relapse prevention

  • Brief intervention

  • Substance abuse disorder counseling

  • Matrix model

  • Anger management

  • 12 step facilitation

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Trauma-related counseling

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy

  • Rational emotive behavior therapy

  • Individual group and family therapy

  • Motivational interviewing

Rehab for alcohol in California

Here are some California rehab centers that can help you if you need alcohol addiction treatment:

  • MFI Recovery Center 

  • Phoenix House

  • MedMark Treatment Centers

  • Community Human Services

  • Gold Country Health Initiative LLC

  • Granite Wellness Centers 

  • Riverside University Health System

How do I pay for rehab in California?

Most rehab centers accept payment in cash, but this payment method can quickly become expensive. With the time-sensitive nature of substance abuse treatment, you should look into other payment assistance like the California Medicaid program.

For those who can’t afford private health insurance, the California Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, can cover a huge percentage of the rehab costs. You must first inquire about your qualifications for the California Medicaid program.

If you don’t have insurance, you should look for rehab centers that offer treatment on a sliding scale based on your income. That’ll be more affordable in the long run, especially if you require inpatient or residential care.

Government assistance for addiction treatment in California

California's Department of Health care services ensures that individuals with Medicaid can access drug treatment services through Drug Medi-Cal. 

Drug Medi-Cal will help pay for covered services if you receive substance abuse disorder treatment at a Drug Medi-Cal certified program. Drug Medi-cal also covers specific treatment services in these facilities, so you should inquire before going to the rehab center.

The Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division oversees the implementation of the  Drug Medi-Cal program and other initiatives by the state. They are responsible for California adults, youths, and children's behavioral health programs. They do this through monitoring children's therapeutic care programs and administering grants from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Other programs include behavioral health prevention and family services. 

The California  Department of Health is focused on building a healthy and thriving society by preventing drug use and providing treatment services for individuals suffering from addiction in the state. 

You can contact the substance abuse disorder division at (877) 685-8333