Laguna Beach's Top Addiction Resource & Information Guide

Laguna Beach, California is an oceanside paradise, with oceanside bluffs and sandy beaches to explore. There’s an underside to the area, too. Despite a higher quality of life for most of Orange County, of which Laguna Beach is a part, the area has still been affected by the opioid epidemic. Learn what to look for when seeking addiction treatment help in Laguna Beach and surrounding areas.

Laguna Beach is a seaside city in southern Orange County, California. Not only is it an artist colony, but visitors can explore sea caves, tide pools, oceanside bluffs, and sandy beaches among more than 20,000 acres of protected wilderness.

Laguna Beach is a smaller community, with a population of about 23,000, according to the 2019 census.

In recent years, Orange County has seen a rise in alcohol- and drug-linked overdose deaths.

The county’s opioid overdose death rate outpaces the state’s. It also surpasses other area counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, and Santa Barbara.

The Orange County Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board & OC Health Care Agency issued a report with data from 2011–18. Among its findings of opioid-linked overdose deaths:

  • 70% of Orange County drug-linked deaths included opioids (half involved prescription opioids).
  • Males died at higher rates: 10.4 deaths per 100,000 vs. 5.7 for women.
  • 45–52-year-olds were the most affected age group.

Laguna Beach, from 2013–15, had 14 drug and alcohol overdose deaths: two from illicit drugs, 10 from prescription drugs, and two from a mix of alcohol and drugs. (Orange County had 1,011 overdose deaths over that same period.)

Not only have prescription opioids been a problem, but heroin and fentanyl overdoses have been on the rise, too.

Student Substance Abuse in Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach Unified School District has four schools (two elementary, one middle, and one high school). The district provides information and resources in case of a crisis (suicide prevention, drug use, bullying, etc.).

There is only one post-secondary school in Laguna Beach, the Laguna College of Art and Design. There are dozens of colleges, both public and private, within a 30-mile radius, including the University of California-Irvine.

Mental illness and substance use can affect any age group (including adolescents and young adults).

Among young adults (ages 18–25):

  • Nearly 9 million have had a mental illness within the last year.
  • Approximately 5 million had a substance use disorder in the past year (accounting for 7.2% of young adults).
  • 43.8% of that group received care for mental health or substance use disorders.

Approximately 1.7 million young adults had a severe mental illness that co-occurred with a substance use disorder. Only about half received care for their mental disorder, 5.8% received care for both conditions, and 1.5% had their substance use disorder treated.

Among high schoolers:

  • Nearly half (46.6%) of 12th graders had tried illicit drugs.
  • 61.5% had tried alcohol.
  • 47.2% had vaped (nicotine, marijuana, or flavoring).

Among young adults:

  • Non-college students (11.1%) used cannabis daily, compared to 5.9% of college students.
  • 10.9% of college students vaped in the past month, compared to 9.9% of non-college goers.
  • Prescription drug misuse dropped from 2013 to 2018 among both groups. In 2013, 5.4% of college students and 9.6% of non-college adults partook. By 2018, the number had dropped to 2.7% for college students, and 3.2% for non-college crowds.
  • College students tend to use Adderall (often prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) off-label as a study drug (11.1%) compared to 8.1% of non-college adults. More non-college women (10.1%) use Adderall, compared to 8.8% of college women. The reverse is true among men: 14.6% of college men use the ADHD drug, compared to 5.3% of men not attending college.

If needed, students may have access to rehab in other cities, such as an Oakland rehabilitation center.

Address: 27123 Calle Arroyo #2121, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

What to Look for When Choosing a Rehab in Laguna Beach, California

There are many criteria to consider when trying to find an inpatient rehab in the Laguna Beach, California area. Making sure a facility offers safe, medically proven care is important. So are several other factors.

Accreditation

One important thing to consider when researching a drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility is its accreditation.

Third-party entities like the Joint Commission or LegitScript are two common accrediting bodies in the addiction treatment industry. When a facility is accredited and licensed it shows that it is making a greater effort to provide top care. Accrediting organizations typically will arrive unannounced to do an on-site survey. These inspections ensure compliance standards are being met. They’ll talk to patients and staff, and observe doctors and nurses as they do their duties.

You can find a facility’s accrediting and licensing information online, or you can reach out to the center and ask them for details.

Demographics

Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Substance use disorders affect all groups and all walks of life. A lot of people, however, do find it helpful to recover in a place where they feel accepted, respected, and better understood.

Laguna Beach has long been a haven for the LGBTQ+ community. At times when it was unacceptable to be gay (illegal, even), gays found a haven in the area, a place where they could more freely be themselves. Imagine being told that what you feel, or who you love, or even who you are is wrong. Going into treatment and facing that kind of thinking puts up instant roadblocks to progress, because the patient may not feel truly understood or respected.

As a result, a rehab center that is open and accepting can make a huge difference in a person’s progress.

Patient-to-Staff Ratio

It’s worth considering a facility’s patient-to-staff ratio, too. That’s the number of patients each staff member has under their care. A smaller ratio means each nurse, therapist, or clinician has more time to devote to each client. The result tends to be a better understanding of the patient’s needs and greater insight into the circumstances that may have driven their drug or alcohol abuse. That, in turn, can result in better outcomes for a patient’s recovery.

Services Included in Treatment

There are many factors to consider while searching for inpatient rehab in Laguna Beach, CA. Treatments are something to focus on, but so are the services that a center offers. Those details can make choosing a bit easier.

Rehabs may have some or all of the following:

  • Fitness classes
  • A fitness center
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Resort-like lodging
  • Private rooms
  • Art therapy
  • Beach outings
  • Alumni meetings

Many other options may be offered as well or instead.

What to Expect During Inpatient Drug Rehab in Laguna Beach

Residential rehab treatment can vary greatly. Some facilities are more lavish—the sky’s the limit—while others are more modest. Inpatient rehab has one major advantage to its patients in that it removes them from day-to-day temptations and can help them work through uncomfortable withdrawal with expert help, minimizing the risk of relapse. Once the patient is free of drugs, they’ll be able to better focus on what led to substance use in the first place.

Stages of inpatient rehabilitation include:

  • Intake. Here, the patient meets with staff and undergoes a physical exam and mental health assessment. This information will be used to prescribe a treatment plan.
  • Detox. Here, the patient detoxes, getting clean of drugs or alcohol. It can be painful and uncomfortable, sometimes leading people to relapse. That’s why having expert help can make a difference, because doctors and nurses can ensure the process goes safely and with as much comfort as possible. Once the patient is clean, they can progress to the next stage.
  • Treatment. At this phase, the patient learns about their addiction, including what may have driven the behavior. They’ll do this in group and individual therapies and also develop healthier coping behaviors. If a co-occurring mental disorder factored into the substance use, that will be treated, too. The goal is to get the patient sober and arm them with the tools to stay that way after rehab.
  • Aftercare. The best centers will not just work on treating the patient while they’re there, but they’ll equip them for life after rehab. That will include connecting clients with outpatient programs, therapists, and support groups close to home to ensure they have a strong support network in the weeks, months (and sometimes years) to come.

Types of Treatment Available

Some common treatment terms pop up when researching drug and alcohol rehabs in Laguna Beach, CA, and surrounding areas. If your desired type of treatment is not available in Laguna Beach, consider seeking out the details of a rehab in Redding, CA.  They include:

  • 12-step rehab. These programs incorporate a series of 12 steps to help a person address and work through their substance use. They tend to be more faith-oriented (but sometimes more spiritual as opposed to outright religious). Members usually are expected to admit their addiction has rendered them powerless; they’re also encouraged to at least acknowledge a higher power. (The interpretation of that can vary. One person may bow to God, while another might bow to G.O.D., which can stand for something like Gift of Desperation.)
  • Non-12-step rehab. The 12 steps are not everyone’s ideal path. Some people might prefer to work on self-empowerment or follow scientific approaches. LifeRing and SMART Recovery are two well-known secular self-help groups.
  • Luxury rehab. This type of facility spares no expenses. Luxury could mean that it’s in a grand location, with hotel-like amenities, or it could mean that it’s set among the mountains or oceanside.
  • Inpatient drug rehab and alcohol rehab means the patient lives at the facility so they can receive around-the-clock medical treatment (when needed) and therapy. They may stay for 30, 60, 90, or more days, and this allows more time to focus on recovery while free of day-to-day distractions.
  • IOP. This stands for intensive outpatient program, and it’s where people will stay at home during treatment, but they’ll pay regular visits (anywhere from daily to once a week, depending on need) throughout their recovery.
  • Dual diagnosis rehab is when co-occurring disorders are treated at the same time. Co-occurring or dual diagnosis situations are when mental illness (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.) leads to or results from some kind of substance use disorder (it can happen either way). In that case, treating both ailments can lead to better outcomes. Dual diagnosis can be a necessity for patients, so make sure to seek out a facility that has it if needed, such as a rehab center in Oceanside, California.
  • Holistic rehab. This focuses on healing the mind, body, and spirit. It can include meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, and other options. Holistic treatments can reduce stress and anxiety. Patients can then use those skills as ways to help them remain sober.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of talk therapy helps the patient change negative thought processes. They’ll replace problematic and self-destructive patterns and replace them with healthier, more productive outlooks.
  • Aftercare planning procedures. The center’s staff works with the patient to plot out life after rehab. They’ll put the patient in touch with outpatient treatment options like psychotherapy as well as support groups in the client’s community. This can keep the patient more engaged in their recovery journey, thereby reducing the likelihood of relapse after rehab.

A person might use one, some, or all of these treatment approaches—or other things entirely—on their recovery journey in Laguna Beach rehab.

Treatment Options at Rehab Centers in Laguna Beach, California

Addiction treatment options in and around Laguna Beach, California, can include several kinds of therapies (including behavioral and holistic) and support groups. Ideally, both mental health as well as drug and alcohol addiction will be addressed.

As you seek substance use disorder treatment, it can be a good idea to meet with mental health professionals or an addiction specialist to determine what may be the most effective course of treatment. The right treatment approach—and it may need fine-tuning along the way—can help a person understand why they became dependent on drugs or alcohol as it prepares them for a sober future.

Paying for Rehabs in Laguna Beach, California

Checking into an inpatient rehab treatment center to focus on healing and learning effective coping strategies can be very helpful in addiction recovery. Some people might naturally be hesitant, because of the cost. Fortunately, there are many ways to pay for treatment, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, substance use treatment may be covered, at least to some extent.

Someone researching treatment centers could contact the facilities they’re considering. The staff often works closely with insurance companies to help maximize patients’ coverage. Calling one’s insurance provider to find out what’s approved, the co-pay, deductible, and more is also a good idea.

Some rehab centers charge on a sliding scale, or they can work with the patient to arrange some kind of payment or financing plan. Cash is accepted, too.

The Affordable Care Act made mental health and substance use disorder services into essential health benefits, so many plans (including individual and small group ones) will cover services. How much will be covered can vary widely, however.

Public insurance options can help, too. Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans and Medi-Cal, California’s public health insurance, do cover some treatment of substance use disorders, including for residents of Orange County. That doesn’t mean anyone can go to any rehab, but it means there may be more options than one might initially believe.

Traveling to Laguna Beach, California Rehab Centers

In traveling to Laguna Beach, California, rehab facilities, a person might consider flying into Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. It’s located in nearby Santa Ana, about 20 miles away.

Laguna Beach is considered to be a walkable community, with all the trails, beachfront access, coves, and more, but there there are plenty of travel options in the area, too, including:

  • The city’s free trolley service, which goes along the coast.
  • The OCTA bus, which stops at many of Orange County’s attractions and train stations.
  • The MetroLink train system, with routes throughout Southern California.
  • Rideshare options.

One other thing to consider when looking for a rehab center is to ask the staff about transportation. Many facilities will pick up a patient from the airport or train station and then drive them back upon checking out. Often they’ll go within a two-hour radius of the center, so the patient doesn’t have to worry about getting there and back.

Laguna Beach, California Addiction Treatment Resources

Meetings (both 12-step and non-12-step) are held throughout the Laguna Beach area. Before attending anything, it’s a good idea to double-check on the time, location, and whether the meetings are only being held online.

12-Step Support Groups:

    • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). A peer support group for people with alcohol abuse issues. AA follows the 12-step model. Meetings are held in Laguna Beach and surrounding areas.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen are for people worried about loved ones with drinking problems. Alateen is specifically for teenagers. Meetings are held in Laguna Beach and throughout Orange County.
  • Marijuana Anonymous (MA) is for those recovering from cannabis addiction. Groups meet in Laguna Beach and beyond.
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA) is for people trying to quit cocaine or other mind-altering substances. CA meetups are held in Laguna Beach and nearby.
  • Nar-Anon groups gather to talk about how another person’s addiction has affected them.
  • Narcotics Anonymous is for anyone dealing with an addiction to drugs. Orange County holds some meetings.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a 12-step group for people with dual diagnosis disorders. Members must want to stop using intoxicating substances, and they must also wish to manage their mental illness healthily. Meetings are held around Southern California.
  • Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a Christian 12-step where people can work through all kinds of issues, including addiction. The group first met in Lake Forest, California, but now meetings are held at church campuses in the area.

Non-12-Step Support Groups

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery focuses on abstinence and leaves religion out of the picture. Meetings are held in the area; there are online options, too.
  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) takes a secular and scientific approach to sobriety. Meetings are held around Orange County, but many are currently online.
  • Women for Sobriety (WFS) helps women with substance use problems through encouragement and empowerment. WFS meets in various Southern California locations.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) is for people who grew up in homes where alcohol was abused. The group meets around Orange County; many are held online due to COVID-19.
  • Moderation Management (MM) does not urge people to quit alcohol entirely. Instead, they suggest moderation over outright abstinence. There are meetups in California, but many meet online.

Veterans Affairs Addiction Treatment

Military veterans do get injured in combat, or experience lingering trauma. It can last well beyond their tours of duty. To cope with mental or physical anguish, some may resort to drug or alcohol abuse, even becoming addicted.

There are programs developed to help veterans who are experiencing addiction problems, or mental or physical health issues. Places to search include:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lets site visitors search by location. There are VA clinics in nearby Laguna Hills and Santa Ana.

If you think that traveling to California would be the best option for you or your loved one’s treatment, then give us a call and find out more about Chapters Capistrano and Monarch Shores Recovery, our two addiction treatment facilities in California.

Sources

  1. visitlagunabeach.com – Visit Laguna Beach
  2. ocregister.com – Opioid death rate in Orange County eclipses other Southern California counties
  3. ochealthiertogether.org – Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Orange County, CA
  4. ochealthinfo.com – Drug & Alcohol Morbidity & Mortality in Orange County
  5. lbusd.org – Crisis Resources & Intervention
  6. inclusion.uci.edu – Mental Health, Substance Use, and Wellbeing in Higher Education: Supporting the Whole Student (2021)
  7. drugabuse.gov – Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs
  8. drugabuse.gov – Drug and Alcohol Use in College-Age Adults in 2018
  9. jointcommission.org – What is Accreditation
  10. visitlagunabeach.com – The Long History of LGBTQ+ Advocacy in Laguna Beach
  11. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Settings, Levels of Care, and Patient Placement
  12. addiction.surgeongeneral.gov – Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
  13. medlineplus.gov – Dual Diagnosis
  14. drugabuse.gov – Principles of Effective Treatment
  15. mentalhealth.gov – Health Insurance and Mental Health Services
  16. ochealthinfo.com – Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS)
  17. visitlagunabeach.com – Transportation

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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