Types of California Centers

Patients in search of effective, safe addiction treatment may be surprised to learn California facilities offer widely different standards of care. Nationwide, there is a lack of scientifically proven treatments, with some facilities offering limited care for addiction symptoms while others offer treatments based on opinion instead of medical research.[1]

Finding the best addiction treatment requires serious consideration about personal needs. Evidence-based addiction treatments that include counseling protocols are effective even when patients are resistant to treatment.[2] Other programs relying on a person’s philosophy or unique method may be at best, ineffective, or at worst, harmful to a person’s health. When looking for treatment, it’s best to know how to handle symptoms from specific drugs. For example, detoxing from certain substances, such as opiates, benzodiazepines or alcohol, requires medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms for these drugs are dangerous and uncomfortable without help from medically trained professionals.3

Even when a person completes detox, there is real work left for addiction treatment.It begins with an honest assessment of how a patient feels about sobriety and the realistic path to living a sober life. With so many options available in California, it’s clear patients who know the kinds of treatments available have a head start on finding a facility that makes sobriety possible.

Medication-Based Centers

Medication-based California addiction centers are true to their name — they provide medication that treats specific withdrawal symptoms associated with drug detox.[3] These centers also may treat patients addicted to opiates with a maintenance medication like methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone. Maintenance medications minimize withdrawal symptoms by blocking opiate receptors in the brain.[4]

Just because medication is available for drug detox does not mean a patient has to take it. Medications are helpful for many patients, but others feel the medications keep them from achieving their sobriety goals. During the course of any treatment it’s important to work with a physician or therapist to determine the best course of action.

Religion- or Ideology-Based Rehabs

At religious or ideology-based drug detox centers;medication may not be available for any withdrawal symptoms. This is even true for substances involving serious withdrawal symptoms, such as opiates (heroin as well as prescription painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin) and alcohol. Instead, such establishments focus on alternative treatments, more of a mind over matter approach.[5]

Patients who are not comfortable with this approach or who would prefer to keep options open, may want a drug center that offers medication if needed.

Programs Which Provide Detox Only

Some California drug detox centers are highly specialized and only offer physical detox supervision. Whether or not they offer medication to treat withdrawal symptoms during drug detox, they provide little to no therapy or drug addiction treatment. Patients who progress through the chemical detoxification stage, lasting from days to a week or so, and are physically well enough to go home are discharged.

The Canyon

The Canyon provides integrated treatment plans that treat a person holistically—offering therapies for the mind and body. Integrated treatment offers patients a more complete therapy by addressing co-occurring conditions, both substance use and mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression. Few facilities offer this level of care, even though the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends treating co-occurring conditions as a way to ensure better outcomes.[6] Research shows only 18% of addiction treatment facilities meet the criteria to offer integrated treatment plans.[7]

Integrated treatment plans help patients addicted to all types of substances – opiates, alcohol, crystal meth, cocaine, marijuana, club drugs or a combination thereof – and include medical detox as the first phase of treatment when needed. Addiction experts recommend all patients wait to enter treatment before stopping substances to ensure they receive medical supervision and avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures. The Canyon follows detox with a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses addiction and any mental health symptoms. The plan incorporates individual and group therapy along with a goal-setting process that includes patients in every step of the treatment plan.

For more information about The Canyon’s addiction and mental health treatment, please contact us today.


[1] CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science and Practice. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2016 from http://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-research/reports/addiction-medicine.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations – A Research-Based Guide. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-abuse-treatment-criminal-justice-populations/principles.

[3] NIDA. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Types of Treatment Programs. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states/types-treatment-programs.

[4] NIDA. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Opioid Addiction. Retrieved Nov. 4, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/pharmacotherapies.

[5] Burne, Rhonda G. (2014). Faith Based Programs in the Treatment of Substance Abuse. Southern Illinois University Carbondale Graduate School. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2016 from http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1746&context=gs_rp.

[6] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009). Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders: The Evidence. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2016 from https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA08-4367/TheEvidence-ITC.pdf.

[7] McGovern, M.P., Lambert-Harris, C., Gotham, H.J. et al. (2014). Dual Diagnosis Capability in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Services: An Assessment of Programs Across Multiple State Systems. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2016 from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10488-012-0449-1.

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