Healthcare services in the state of California are highly regionalized, set up and overseen by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The city of San Diego lies in San Diego County, and the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) provides healthcare services to the more than 3 million residents of the county. These services are offered through partnerships and contracts with local agencies, community-based providers, hospitals, clinics, and county facilities. Addiction treatment services are managed through the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) division of HHSA.

With 10 healthcare systems, 21 hospitals and two major community health networks serving the uninsured and low-income population, the Live Well San Diego Community Health Assessment (CHA) publishes that residents in San Diego County are well attended to. Drug rehab services are contracted out to private and nonprofit community providers on a regional basis.

As over 10 percent of youths in San Diego County who are between the ages of 12 and 17 report using cocaine, abusing marijuana, sniffing glue, or misusing other drugs at some time in their lives, and over 35 percent of adults cite past-year binge drinking, drug rehab services are important. Addiction is a disease that impacts each person differently, and a guide to treatment can help families and loved ones figure out what format and type of drug rehab might be best, what level of care is needed, and how to choose an optimal drug rehab provider.

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Formats for Drug Rehab

Drug rehab typically falls in to two main formats: inpatient and outpatient programs. The main difference between inpatient and outpatient drug rehab is that with an inpatient program, a person will stay at the facility around the clock, and with an outpatient program, individuals will participate in services at a facility at their convenience. Both of these formats for drug rehab can include a variety of drug abuse and addiction treatment services, such as:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes that individuals should remain in a treatment program for at least 90 days regardless of which drug rehab format they choose. An inpatient drug rehab program can generally offer the highest standard of care since they can support and attend to the needs of a person 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Inpatient programs can also offer around-the-clock medical and mental healthcare as well as holistic and complementary methods to improve a person’s overall wellbeing. Services like nutrition planning, fitness programs, yoga, spa treatments, massage therapy, chiropractic care, mindfulness meditation, and creative therapies may be options with an inpatient drug rehab program. In general, inpatient programs are considered the most comprehensive with the widest range of options and choices for care and treatment.

Outpatient drug rehab affords a person the ability to schedule sessions and services at times that can accommodate work and school schedules and leave room for family responsibilities as well. These programs may be suited for people who need to continue to attend to daily work, school, and/or family obligations and those who have a strong foundation and support system in place at home.

There are also two types of outpatient programs that are more structured than traditional outpatient rehab, offering families and individuals a kind of in-between option. For example, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) has a similar structure to that of an inpatient drug rehab program, with intensive programming provided for several hours each day. PHPs are commonly used as step-down transitional programs from inpatient drug rehab formats or as a step-up option from traditional outpatient services.

Another more structured outpatient drug rehab option is an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Someone attending an IOP will participate in drug rehab services for a minimum of three hours per day, three days a week. IOPs and PHPs are typically short-term drug rehab formats that follow a strict schedule.

Peer support and 12-Step programs are often included in most comprehensive rehab programs, both inpatient and outpatient. These programs offer mentoring, sober fellowship, encouragement, and peer support for ongoing recovery. Individuals can attend meetings at least once a week, and groups are free to join and open to anyone desiring drug and alcohol abstinence.

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Provider Information and Insurance Options

Another format for drug addiction treatment is the public drug rehab option. Public drug rehab programs can include many of the aforementioned services, levels of care, and methods. Public programs are provided to eligible residents through programs that likely receive funding either from the state, the federal government, or both. These services can be offered free of charge or for a low cost to low-income individuals and those without health insurance coverage.

Public drug rehab is offered through county-regulated contracted providers in San Diego County, and beds are usually limited. There may be a waiting list to get in, and services may have specific requirements and criteria.

Public programs accept California Medicaid or Medi-Cal patients and offer services to anyone regardless of whether or not they can pay for them or if they have insurance. Women who are pregnant, people in immediate danger of self-harm or harming others, individuals with families, and those who demonstrate financial hardship are generally prioritized when it comes to enrollment and admittance into a public drug rehab program. The County of San Diego HHSA keeps an updated Behavioral Health Services Directory for residents in and near San Diego to find publicly supported drug rehab programs.

In addition to different drug rehab formats, there are also variations within addiction treatment providers. There are more than 14,500 specialty drug addiction treatment programs in the United States, NIDA publishes. Different providers can offer various drug rehab formats, options for care, methods, amenities, and types of services.

Private drug rehab providers often provide a high level of privacy, luxury accommodations, and a wide range of specialty treatment options and comforts. Providers will vary based on cost and payment information. Private providers, or fee for service (FFS) providers, have flexible payment plans and can accept health insurance to aid in payment for services as well.

Addiction treatment is included in many insurance coverage policies as an “essential health benefit,” and coverage can often be used to pay for specific services. Individual insurance policies vary. Professionals at drug rehab facilities can help families maximize insurance coverage, come up with a flexible payment plan, and budget for addiction treatment services.

Just as cost and budgeting are important aspects to consider when searching for a drug rehab program in or near San Diego, location can also be important. Finding a drug rehab program close to home can provide families and individuals with a quick and easily accessible option for treatment.