Alcohol Treatment in California

Created On Friday, 17, February 2017
Modified On Tuesday, 09, November 2021


A person with an alcohol use disorder can sometimes quit on their own, but if they drank heavily for a long time, it is a good idea to attend an alcohol detox center in California with professionals. That is because the withdrawal symptoms can be so intense that professional detox is the safest choice. A person going through alcohol withdrawal can become confused, have a fever, have an increased heart rate, etc. If someone experiences very intense symptoms, they should attend one of the medical detox programs in California or nearby states. A professional detox facility provides comfort, safety, and support while the person eliminates alcohol from their system. Some people will take Vivitrol, a brand name of Naltrexone. It can help someone reduce their alcohol intake but should not be used as a replacement for treatment. If you or someone you love needs help finding the right detox program in California, an assessment or referral specialist can help you figure out which would be best suited. After a person goes through the detox process, they should attend a full rehabilitation program to ensure the alcohol addiction issues are handled.

The primary tool used in alcohol rehab is counseling and therapy of various kinds to address the issues related to one's alcoholism. One can also find other services such as legal services, HIV/AIDS services, and educational services as part of some California alcohol rehab treatments. Providing various types of services will help people cope with life after their treatment based on the difficulty they were or are having. For example, if family members are having a hard time dealing with their loved one's addiction, having access to family services can help the family and the recovering alcoholic once they leave the treatment and return to their family life. When looking for alcohol rehab in California, it is crucial to make sure that the facility will provide the services that the person needs.

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California Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Programs

The two main types of rehabilitation are outpatient and inpatient treatments, and it can be a challenge to figure out which kind of treatment would be more suited to the person. Both types of treatment have their advantages, and they are both available in California and neighboring states if going out of state is necessary. One of the benefits of inpatient treatments is that they offer a stable, alcohol-free environment with around-the-clock support and care. However, attending such treatment means that the person will have to leave their life for the program's duration (work, family, etc.). Outpatients programs have the advantage of the person still going on with their life while undergoing treatment. However, this means that the person will not benefit from 24-hour care during their recovery. To figure out which type of treatment would be best suited for you or your loved one, you can speak to a professional (including one of our counselors) who can help guide you.

California Alcohol Laws

This section speaks of the laws regarding alcohol in California. These laws can change and evolve, and you should always seek legal advice from a legal professional. The legal drinking age in California is 21. Using a fake ID can lead to fines, jail time, and driver's license suspension.

California Drunk Driving Laws

In California, you are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more if you are over 21 years old. If someone is under 21, the BAC limit is 0.1%. Commercial drivers cannot drive a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or more.

Here is an overview of the consequences of DUI offenses in California. There can, however, be mitigating or aggravating factors that can influence the punishments linked to each violation. If a person has DUI questions, they should speak to a legal professional.

DUI Offenses Jail Time Fine License Suspension
1st offense 48 hours to 6 months $390 to $1,000 6-month suspension and a 4-month administrative suspension
2nd offense within 5 years of the first offense 96 hours to 1 year $390 to $1,000 2-year suspension and a 12-month administrative suspension
3rd offense within 5 years of the first offense 120 days to 1 year $390 to $1,000 3-year suspension and a 12-month administrative suspension

California Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Statistics

Here are some statistics on alcohol consumption and abuse in California and the consequences it represents for the population.

  • In 2020, the California population's estimated alcohol consumption over 13 years old was 2.3 gallons, lower than the national average (2.52 gallons).
  • On average, from 2008 to 2009, over 25 percent of the underage population (12-20 years old) in California reported drinking in the past month, and close to 8 percent reported that they purchased the alcohol themselves.
  • According to an Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 2012 study, Marin County had the highest rate of alcohol consumption, with over 72% of the population that drank alcohol in the past month. Sierra County was the county with the highest rate of heavy drinking. Binge drinking is a big problem in San Francisco county, with 24% of the population engaging in binge drinking.
  • In California, it is estimated that around 17.7% of adults engage in binge drinking.
  • Data shows that approximately 15% of the drinker in California are heavy drinkers.
  • Drunk or impaired driving account for 30% of all car crashes fatalities in California, and almost 70% of these involved drivers with a BAC of 0.15% or more. In 2018, there were over 125,000 DUI arrests in the state.

Here is a list of detox centers for Alcohol addiction in California. The list can be incomplete so if you cannot find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.

List of Alcohol Detox Programs in California


Marcel Gemme, DATS


on November 9, 2021

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.