Orange County Alcohol and Drug Rehab Guide

Just over 20 million adults in the United States struggled with addiction in 2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). As addiction is a highly personal disease, there are many different types of treatment and care options to manage it. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes that there are over 14,000 dedicated addiction treatment facilities in the United States.

Drug Rehabs in Orange County

Group therapy. Rehab group on psychology support meeting, closeup

Orange CountyCalifornia drug rehabs offer treatment through both public and private providers. Public providers are overseen through the regional provider, the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA). Behavioral health services, which includes drug rehab, are managed through the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) division. The 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Kaiser Foundation Hospital Anaheim & Irvine reports that in Orange County, there are 122.7 mental health providers per every 100,000 residents, which is lower than the state average of 157 per 100,000 people.

Approximately 34 percent of the residents of Orange County residents have reported using illicit drugs at least once, and 6 percent have misused a prescription drug at some point in their lifetime. According to the Drug and Alcohol Morbidity and Mortality in Orange County 2017 report, there were 3,876 hospitalizations in the OC related to drug or alcohol dependence, with alcohol being most common and opioid drugs being the second most involved substances.

Drug rehab can take many forms, and it is offered through a variety of treatment settings and environments. This guide for drug and alcohol rehab centers in Orange County, CA can help residents understand the ins and outs of addiction treatment and how to find helpful, local care.

Drug Rehab Explained: How a Guide Is Helpful

There are many different formats to choose from when it comes to drug rehab. The two main types of drug rehab are outpatient and inpatient.

Outpatient Programs in Orange County

Outpatient services are provided at a facility at specific times, and the individual will return home each evening. Outpatient services can vary in structure and intensity. For example, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are similar in structure to a residential, or inpatient program. IOPs, at the minimum, offer programming three hours a day at least three days a week for a total of nine hours. Many IOPs offer more hours more days a week as needed. The journal Psychiatric Services publishes that in 2011 nearly half of all addiction treatment providers offered IOPs; there were over 6,000 programs throughout the United States that year. An IOP can be a step down from a residential program or an option for someone who needs more intense services than traditional outpatient programs can provide; however, the person may not require inpatient around-the-clock care.

Partial Hospitalization Programs in Orange County

Another intensive and short-term form of outpatient drug rehab is a partial hospitalization program (PHP). These programs are a step down from a residential program, offering services for most of the day with individuals mainly returning home just to sleep in the evenings and then coming back again the next day. A PHP is often followed up by additional outpatient drug rehab services and may serve as a transition into traditional outpatient rehab.

Residential Treatment Centers in Orange County

A residential program can offer the highest level of comprehensive care with extremely structured programming and constant supervision 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An inpatient drug rehab program can provide a safe and secure environment for individuals to learn new life skills and coping mechanisms while forming healthy habits and relapse prevention tools. Nutrition and physical health can be attended to as well as emotional wellbeing. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that both outpatient and inpatient drug addiction treatment services should continue for at least 90 days.

Medical Detox in Orange County

Both outpatient and inpatient drug rehab programs may require detox services first. Detox programs allow drugs to process safely out of the body. In the case of significant drug dependence, a medical detox program that uses medications as well as supportive care in a medically monitored setting is optimal. Detox typically lasts between five and seven days on average, and it may be provided through outpatient or inpatient means, depending on a person’s individual needs. Detox should always be followed up with a complete drug rehab program.

Orange County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services

Both outpatient and inpatient drug rehab centers in orange county will include some of the following types of services:

  • Group, individual, and family therapy
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Occupational and life skills training
  • Relapse prevention
  • Educational programming
  • Medication management
  • Treatment for co-occurring mental and/or medical illnesses
  • Recovery support and aftercare services

Orange County Support Groups

Supporting individuals in recovery is an important aspect of drug rehab, as addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. Support groups are a form of outpatient support that individuals can join during rehab and continue attending well into recovery. Participating in an orange county recovery support group can improve abstinence rates, as the Journal of Addictive Disorders publishes that individuals who participated in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) were twice as likely to remain sober over those who didn’t. A self-help group like AA offers peer support through a 12-Step faith-based program that focuses on complete sobriety and offers members anonymity, confidentiality, and encouragement in recovery. Other types of support groups exist for recovery support, such as SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery.

Support groups are a form of recovery services that can augment a drug rehab program and sustain long-term recovery. These groups are usually free to join and don’t require any kind of preregistration. Meetings are generally open to anyone in recovery wishing to remain sober. We have included a list of orange county support groups below:

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Knights of Columbus Hall
130 W. Main St., Tustin.

Daily: 6 a.m. and noon
Mondays: 7:30 p.m., men’s group
Tuesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 8 p.m.

Church of the Foothills
19211 Dodge Ave., Santa Ana.

Mondays: 7 p.m.

Mariposa Women’s Center
812 Town & Country Road, Room 16, Orange.

Mondays: 7:30-9 p.m.

Daily meetings countywide. Call to find a meeting at (714) 556-4555.

Narcotics Anonymous

Daily meetings countywide. Call (714) 776-8581 or visit for information.

Co-Dependents Anonymous

Mariposa Women’s Center
812 W. Town & Country Road, Room 16, Orange

Sundays: 7:30 p.m.

Daily meetings countywide. Call (714) 573-0174 for meeting locations and times.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Weekly support groups open to those who struggle with depression or bipolar disorder. Call (714) 744-8718 for information.

Fullerton, Huntington Beach
Laguna Beach, Orange

Dual Recovery Anonymous

Open to those who struggle with co-occurring disorders.

Church of the Foothills
19211 Dodge Ave., Santa Ana. 

Fridays: 7:30-9 p.m.


Bereaved Adults Support Group

343 W. Valencia Drive, room H

Saturdays: 10 a.m.


Private vs. Public Drug Rehab in Orange County

Patient holding paper document, insurance, bill or invoice with dollar sign in doctor office in hospital or emergency room

There are typically two main types of providers: those offering public treatment services and those providing private care. Public providers often receive funding through the state and/or federal government, and they may have specific eligibility requirements and length-of-stay maximums. Public treatment beds are often waitlisted, and it can take longer to get into a program.

In California, public healthcare needs are managed through the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and then regionally managed through each specific county healthcare office, such as the OC Health Care Agency. All residents of the OC who are also US citizens can seek public drug rehab services; however, priority is given to pregnant women, those in crisis, and individuals demonstrating financial hardship.

Public providers generally accept Medi-Cal, which is free or low-cost health insurance coverage for low-income adults and children in California as well as those without health insurance. Public providers offer drug rehab services for free, at a low cost, or on a sliding scale depending on what families and/or individuals can afford.

Private drug rehab providers often accept health insurance as a form of payment, and they offer payment plans and loan opportunities for payment. Private drug rehab programs can generally offer more private accommodations, a wider variety of amenities, and quicker access to care with fewer restrictions than public rehab programs.

Private programs and providers will differ on cost depending on the type of services required. For example, residential treatment programs will cost more than outpatient services on average, and the longer a person stays, the more it can cost. Luxury accommodations obviously cost more.

Drug addiction treatment may seem expensive with average costs around $15,000 or more; however, NIDA reports that rehab can actually save families and society money in the long run when you factor in the costs of lost workplace production, healthcare expenses, and criminal justice costs. Most drug rehab providers have counselors on hand to work with families on budgeting and finding the best financial means to pay for treatment services.

Prioritizing Treatment Needs and Making an Informed Decision

When looking into drug rehab, it is important to prioritize your own individual needs. Everyone is different, and programs can benefit each person differently. Understanding what kinds of rehab programs in orange county are out there and educating yourself on local drug rehab options is essential in order to make an informed decision. Important things to consider include:

  • Cost
  • Level of Care
  • Location and transportation
  • Types of services provided

Families should sit down and prioritize their needs before choosing a treatment program in order to ensure that it will be the right fit. Come up with a budget and determine how to pay for treatment as well as what type of services will be the most beneficial. Will a residential program where a person can focus completely on healing and recovery be optimal, for example? If a person does not suffer from significant drug dependence or co-occurring disorders and family, work, and/or school obligations need to be attended to then perhaps an outpatient treatment program will work best. Often, treatment providers can perform detailed assessments and evaluations to help determine what level of care will be best.

Talk to your insurance company as well to identify available options and what may be necessary for coverage before enrolling in a program. Some providers will want a referral from a primary care provider (PCP), for instance, while others will require policyholders to choose an in-network provider.

Decide how important privacy and anonymity are. Private providers may offer the highest level of discretion, and it may even be beneficial for peace of mind to enroll in a facility that is set in a secluded location. For others, being close to family during rehab may be a higher priority as family and loved ones can play a major role in treatment and recovery. Make a list of prioritized needs before choosing a drug rehab program or provider.

Once the priorities for care are determined, there are questions that families and individuals can ask providers before enrollment to ensure that all needs are being met. These include:

  1. What does a sample treatment plan look like? Ask to see a daily schedule template and look at how the day is structured. More structure and scheduled programming is generally better, especially at first.
  2. How closely are people supervised? What is the ratio of staff to clients, and what level of training/certifications do staff members have? More licensed staff with fewer clients means better supervision and support.
  3. What types of therapy are offered, and how often are they provided? Do individuals receive one-on-one therapy sessions? If so, how many and how often? Both group and individual therapy are beneficial for recovery.
  4. What level of care is providedDo they offer medical detoxHow about medication management? Is there a full continuum of care that allows individuals to move between levels of care as needed? A person’s treatment needs can change as time goes on, and it can be beneficial to be able to move between care levels when necessary.
  5. What types of licenses/accreditations does the rehab facility have? In California, treatment providers must be licensed through the state. Additional accreditations can prove a commitment to a higher standard of quality care. For example, accreditation by the Joint Commission indicates an aspiration to offer care above and beyond what is deemed standard.
  6. What are the accommodations like? How many treatment beds are there, and how many people to a room? It can be beneficial to consider a gender-specific program or another program that caters to a specific demographic for more specialized care.
  7. What types of aftercare support programs are provided? Recovery and aftercare support are important for recovery. Many programs offer alumni programs and continuing support after completion of a program.

Orange County Drug & Alcohol Use Statistics

A 2018 report on substance use in California found that:

  • Californians abuse alcohol more than illicit drugs. While only 3% of Californians met criteria for dependence on illicit drugs, that number rose to 6% for alcohol dependence.
  • Alcohol was responsible for more nonfatal ER visits in CA than all other drug diagnoses combined. 
  • Young adults in CA (ages 18-25) struggle with addiction at rates nearly twice that of the state average.
  • By the time they get to 11th grade, over half of CA students have already used alcohol and nearly 40% have tried marijuana.
  • Heroin-related ER visits rose significantly in recent years, more than tripling between 2006 and 2017.
  • In Orange County, there are nearly 31 nonfatal opioid-involved ER visits for every 100,000 residents each year.
  • The number of drug overdose deaths in CA rose from 2,700 in 1999 to 4,700 in 2016.
  • In 2017, 1,335 of the 1,882 opioid overdose deaths in CA were attributed to prescription opioid medications.
  • Amphetamine users accounted for the highest number of treatment admissions in CA in 2015.

Resources for Orange County Residents

To find a drug rehab center in Orange County, the Orange County Social Services Agency (OC SSA) provides a local listing of substance abuse services. The OC Health Services Agency offers a Behavioral Health Services Navigation resource tool. The OC Links Information and Referral Line can also provide online and telephone support for residents seeking public drug rehab services.

The Coalition of Orange County Community Health Care Centers (COCCC) provides information on low-cost and free medical services for residents of Orange County. To find state-regulated treatment services in any area, individuals can input their local zip code and the type of service requested through the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Primary care providers as well as medical and mental health providers also often provide resources for drug rehab services in local communities.

Preventative and recovery support organizations are often community-based and provided by nonprofit organizations and agencies. These organizations support local communities and strive to ensure healthy societies by educating the public on drug abuse, providing preventative campaigns and measures, offering resources for treatment, and providing general information for families and individuals in recovery.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence- Orange County (NCADD-OC) is a nonprofit organization that offers educational and drug and alcohol abuse prevention services to the local Orange County community.
The nonprofit Project PATH runs the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Impaired Driving Prevention Project to help reduce impaired driving in Orange County. Recovery support organizations, such as Orange County- Alcoholics Anonymous (OC-AA) and the Orange County Area of Narcotics Anonymous (NA), offer continuing support in recovery with local meetings and fellowship opportunities.