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California Drug & Alcohol Programs & Treatments For Teen

Drugs and crime can typically be directly linked to one another, and many teens get caught up in crime at a very young age due to drug problems. This is not a life for an adolescent to have and live, as it leads to life-long problems down the line. California is fortunate to have a great deal of treatment options available, especially for young adolescents. Once you are able to pull them out of the life they got themselves into; treatment options are there to fully rehabilitate them. California has over 200 different types of treatment/locations for teens, everything from counseling, outpatient/support groups and residential help. Every teen deserves a chance to live a normal life and experience all the good things that come with it.

Adolescent Drug Abuse Among High School Students

Most drug addictions that adults in California are struggling with started when they were in high school as an adolescent. Drug abuse at a young age does increase your chances of becoming addicted to drugs later in life. Students in California high schools reported the use of alcohol or drugs, and there was a dramatic increase from grades 7 to 11 per the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) report in 2018. Among grade 7 students in the state, 13.3% were using alcohol, and 7.9% were using marijuana. Among the grade 9 students in California, 32.3% were using alcohol. Along with this, over 43% of students were abusing cough or cold medicine.

The use of marijuana was seen among 23% of grade 9 students, while 3.7% were using cocaine, and 16.8% of grade nine students were abusing prescription pain medication. Most pain medication that is abused by adolescents is gotten from friends or family because of unused prescriptions being left in the house. The drug use among grade 11 students was much higher within the state, and over 51% of grade 11 students were using alcohol. Cough and cold medicine were being abused by 43% of grade 11 students, and 37% were abusing marijuana. Cocaine was being used by 6% of grade 11 students, and over 21% was abusing prescription pain medication.

Meet an Expert


Bobby Newman is a certified counselor, interventionist and prevention specialist who has been performing successful interventions for over 17 years. He also has educated thousands of people on the danger of drugs and alcohol addiction. He has been on the streets working with homeless drug addicts as well.

Lifetime Use of Illicit Drugs Among California High School Students

Drug abuse in high school will typically always lead to drug abuse in adulthood. When teens start to abuse drugs early in life, they are more likely to continue this use during their adult life. Drug abuse in high school does make it difficult to focus and do well throughout your post-secondary career. Within the state of California, alcohol, and cough or cold medicine, along with marijuana, were the most frequently used substances among 11th-grade students. Per the California Health Care Foundation report in 2018, roughly 1 in 3 students reported having used alcohol or cold/cough medicine to get high four or more times in their lifetime. One in four grade 11 students had used marijuana four more times in their lifetime.

Grade 11 students in California use various types of drugs. About 33% of students have used alcohol four or more times; over 31% had used cough medicine four or more times. Marijuana was used by 25% of students four-plus times, along with 8% abusing prescription pain medication multiple times. Ecstasy was being abused numerous times by 3.4% of students, while inhalants were being used multiple times by 3.4% of grade 11 students. Cocaine was the least used drug by grade 11 students, and only 3% of students abused cocaine four or more times in their lifetime.

Adolescent Marijuana Use and Treatment in California

In California, around 254,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17, or 8.3% of adolescents in the state used marijuana in the past month. The use of marijuana among teens between 2011 and 2015 remained around the same percentage. Between 2011 and 2012, roughly 8.8% of adolescents in the state aged 12 to 17 were misusing marijuana. From 2012 to 2013, within California, around 7.8% of adolescents in the state were misusing marijuana. Between 2013 to 2014, the percentage of adolescents abusing marijuana was 8.7%. The rate of marijuana use among adolescents in California between 2014 and 2015 was around 8.3%. Among youth in California aged 12 to 17, the annual average percentage of marijuana use in the past month did not change much between 2002 and 2005 and 2014 and 2017.


The state of California is one of few states that do have hundreds of different resources for drug and alcohol addiction, dependence, and abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists over 250 resources within their directory website. There are treatment programs for every type of addiction, which an adolescent may be struggling with; this includes teen detox centers, and residential and outpatient programs for young adults. The centers are spread across the state, with large clusters of centers located within the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento areas.


The length of a teen drug addiction program in the state of California will be different at each center, but most commonly a program will either be considered a short-term or long-term program. Short-term treatment will be a month or less, whereas long-term centers can offer programs for three months or more. The longer a program, the more beneficial it will be for adolescent's, especially in-house treatment centers, which offer controlled and safe environments.


California Addiction Services by Type of Drug

California Addiction Services by Type of Drug

Here is a list of the different drug & alcohol adolescent treatments in California. The list can be incomplete so please do not hesitate to contact one of our counselors at 1-800-304-2219.



marcel gemme author

Marcel Gemme

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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.