Monarch Shores, Orange County, beachfront house


Rehab in Lake Forest, California

Upscale inpatient rehabs with Non-12-Step program options.

  • Keep your phone and laptop
  • Safe 24/7 monitored detox
  • Non 12-step & holistic options
  • Dual diagnosis programs
  • Beachfront facility
  • Thorough aftercare planning
  • Private rooms at Chapters Capistrano

Sometimes talking over the phone is easier. We’re here to listen to your questions and help you get answers. Call us at:


*HIPPA Compliant and 100% confidential


Typically, treatment centers do not permit cell phone or laptop use, but at both Chapters and Monarch Shores, our clients are allowed to engage with outside responsibilities.

Lake Forest, California, is a newer community in Orange County, incorporated in 1991.  Before there was a Lake Forest, there was El Toro and Foothill Ranch. El Toro was an agricultural community for many years, named for the cattle and bulls raised there. Citrus, olives, grapes, and other crops were also raised in the area. Eucalyptus trees were also planted in the area to ease a lumber shortage.  In the months following the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, El Toro became the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro site. For many years, it was home to service members and their families, who lived in a master-planned community surrounded by eucalyptus and manmade lakes. Those lakes and trees inspired the naming of Lake Forest. In the years since the El Toro base was shuttered, the land has become the Orange County Great Park. It’s full of trails, sports fields, recreation, and is now home to 85,000 people.

However, like many other Orange County communities, Lake Forest has not been immune from substance use. From 2011–15, Lake Forest experienced 32 opioid overdose deaths, a rate of 7.1–9.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. Over that same period, there were 159 opioid emergency department visits. The Orange County Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board & OC Health Care Agency published a report of 2011–18 data, which included information on opioid-connected overdose deaths:

  • 70% of the county’s drug-connected deaths included opioids (half of those involved prescription opioids).
  • Males were more affected (10.4 deaths per 100,000 compared to 5.7 for women).
  • 22.5% of deaths were in the 45–52-year-old range

Student Substance Abuse in Lake Forest, California

There are several colleges and universities near Lake Forest, California, including the University of California-Irvine, that have more than 33,000 students enrolled.

UC-Irvine is also home to the Irvine Center for Addiction Neuroscience (ICAN), which educates undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees, to continually advance the science to better understand addiction and cure it.

UCI also has its Center For Student Wellness & Health Promotion, which adopted the Okanagan Charter to promote health and wellbeing. The school offers consultations on many topics, including alcohol, drugs, and mental health.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse at The National Institutes of Health’s Monitoring the Future survey examined drug and alcohol use trends among young adults (college-going and non-college populations), breaking data down further between genders.

Comparing college vs. non-college males:

  • College men tended to binge alcohol or engage in high-intensity drinking more often.
  • College men used marijuana more often.
  • Non-college men used cocaine and narcotics, other than heroin, more often.

Comparing college vs. non-college females:

  • Non-college women tended to partake in marijuana and most illicit substances more often.
  • College women used amphetamines more often.
  • College women reported more alcohol use or being drunk, but lesser episodes of binge drinking.

If needed, students may have access to rehab in other cities, such as a San Francisco rehabilitation center.


Our closest facility is in California

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

Talk to Our Intake Coordinators

What to Look for When Choosing from Rehabs in Lake Forest, CA

There are many things to consider when searching for a drug or alcohol rehab in Lake Forest, California. Some key points include:


There are many drug rehab centers in California, making it harder to decide. One way to help narrow down the options is to consider a facility’s licensing and accreditation. When a clinic is accredited by a third party like the Joint Commission or LegitScript, that means it’s making more of an effort to provide quality care. An accrediting organization might perform an unscheduled on-site survey to ensure standards are being met.

Find a facility’s licensing and accrediting information online, or contact the center and ask after it.


As of July 2019, Lake Forest had a population of 85,531.

The majority of Lake Forest residents are white (66%), but another 19% are Asian, and 22% are Hispanic or Latino. Nearly 25% of the population is foreign-born.

The diversity of the population can present some challenges for rehab treatment. One challenge is that so-called standard rehab treatment might not always consider another culture’s customs and views. Efforts are underway to change that. A growing awareness of communication styles and core beliefs can make it easier to connect with a patient from a different culture. When a patient feels like their belief system is being considered, they may feel better understood and respected, and respond better to treatment.

Client-to-Staff Ratio

The client-to-staff (or patient-to-staff) ratio of a facility is important to consider. That’s the number of patients each staffer has to attend to (particularly for nurses, doctors, and therapists). The fewer patients a nurse must oversee, for example, the more time they will have to work with each patient. That can result in a deeper knowledge of the patient and more insight into what has prompted their drug and alcohol abuse. That can mean a better recovery.

Services Included in Treatment

There is more (often much more) to addiction treatment than simply checking into a facility and getting medical or mental health care. When looking for an inpatient drug rehab in Lake Forest, CA, take a look at other treatments the center may have to offer, including:

  • A gym
  • Fitness classes
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Resort-like amenities
  • Customized treatment
  • Private rooms
  • Alumni gatherings

Looking at available services at an inpatient rehab can help ensure that making the decision is easier.

Types of Treatment Available

There are many common treatment terms that a person may run across as they search for drug and alcohol rehabs in Lake Forest, California. If your desired type of treatment is not available in XXXX, consider seeking out the details of a rehab in Elk Grove, California. They include:

  • 12-step rehab. People follow a series of 12 steps where they address their substance use and addictions by admitting they are powerless, making amends, and more. They tend to be more faith-oriented, or at least have a spiritual bent. Alcoholics Anonymous is the best-known and oldest 12-step.
  • Non-12-step rehab. 12 steps aren’t everyone’s top choice. Some may prefer a more secular approach, focusing on psychological treatments and self-empowerment. SMART Recovery is one example of a non-12-step.
  • Luxury rehab. These rehabs spare no expense. They may be in a more upscale location and boast spa-like amenities in addition to all the stages of treatment. If luxury rehab is unavailable locally, consider seeking out a treatment center in Tustin, CA.
  • Inpatient drug rehab and drug rehab are when the patient essentially lives at the facility as they undergo treatment. Usually, they stay for 30, 60, or 90 days (or longer), insurance and expenses permitting. This allows the client to focus on recovery without outside distractions.
  • IOP stands for intensive outpatient program. In such cases, the patient will remain at home but visit a treatment facility regularly. Sometimes it can be once a week for several hours or several times a week.
  • Dual diagnosis rehab treats co-occurring disorders. That’s when a patient has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder. One may lead to the other, so treating both conditions can help both diagnoses.
  • Holistic rehab focuses on mind, body, and spirit. Meditation, massage, yoga, acupuncture, and other treatments may be implemented to improve relaxation and overall health.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps the client identify and work through destructive thinking patterns and replace them with more productive approaches.
  • Aftercare planning procedures are when the staff works with the patient to plot out life after rehab. It’s a crucial part of recovery because it puts the client in touch with outpatient treatment, support groups, and counselors who are in the patient’s community. Aftercare is designed to keep the patient-focused on recovery, and it can reduce the likelihood of relapse.

As a client goes through recovery, they may use some or all or some of these treatment approaches.

Support Groups

12-Step Rehab

There are many 12-step options for people searching for support groups. Twelve steps are more spiritual, asking meeting-goers to acknowledge a higher power. (That can be God, but it can also be an acronym for God.) Before going to a meeting, be sure to check if they’ve been moved online.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For people who misuse alcohol. Meetings are held in and around Lake Forest.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen. Someone with a loved one who is dependent on alcohol may find comfort in Al-Anon. Alateen is for teenagers. Meetups are held around Orange County.
  • Nar-Anon (Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Groups gather to discuss being affected by another one’s addiction.
  • Marijuana Anonymous (MA). For people trying to stop using cannabis. Meetings are scheduled throughout Orange County.
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA). CA members are trying to quit cocaine or other mind-altering substances. Meetings are held most days around the county.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA). For people with dual diagnosis (a co-occurring mental illness and a substance use disorder). Members must want to stop using substances and manage their mental disorders. Meetups are held around Southern California.
  • Local Celebrate Recovery (CR) groups. This Christian 12-step is a place for people to work out all kinds of issues, including addiction. Lake Forest, California, is the home of the first meeting, but groups gather at campuses in the area.

Non-12-Step Rehab

Non-12-step groups take a more secular approach to recovery. Faith isn’t frowned upon, but it’s not a focal point. Again, before showing up, it’s a good idea to confirm the meeting time hasn’t changed or it hasn’t been moved online. Some non-12-step options include:

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery (LifeRing).  LifeRing believes people have the power to overcome their addictions. Lake Forest residents may want to try the Huntington Beach gatherings.
  • SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) takes a science-based approach to addiction recovery. Meetings are held all over Orange County. Many are now online due to COVID-19.
  • Women for Sobriety (WFS) helps women with substance abuse problems. The group focuses on affirmation and empowerment. Meetings are scheduled around Southern California.
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA). This group helps those who grew up in homes where alcohol was abused. Online and in-person meetings occur throughout Orange County.
  • Moderation Management (MM). This group isn’t focused on abstinence from alcohol, but on practicing moderation. Meetings are held in-person and via Zoom.

What to Expect During Inpatient Drug Rehab in Lake Forest, CA

Residential treatment for substance use disorders can vary, with some offering luxurious amenities and others being more bare bones. Whether it’s a posh place or something more modest, inpatient treatment does have one advantage in that it takes the patient away from the day-to-day distractions and stresses that can make it difficult to focus on recovery.

Stages of inpatient rehab include:

  • Intake. The patient checks in and gets a health screening. Staff physicians and nurses will use this information to design a treatment program, which may tackle both immediate and long-term healthcare needs, including any illnesses that resulted from substance use as well as any mental disorders (when applicable).
  • Detox. This is a crucial part of the patient’s recovery journey because detoxification can be extremely challenging (and sometimes dangerous) due to painful withdrawal. (Many patients relapse because the side effects can be so difficult to endure.) During detox, the medical staff can make sure the process occurs in safety and comfort, readying the patient for the treatment stage.
  • Treatment. Once the patient finishes detoxing, they can focus on the actual treatment. In this stage, they’ll learn about their addiction and learn to manage triggers as they develop healthier coping strategies. Therapy will address what led to substance use as well as treat any co-occurring mental disorders. Support groups and other activities (meditation, yoga) may be utilized, too, as a way to better prepare the patient for life after rehab.
  • Aftercare. Many centers don’t simply check a patient out, never to have contact with them again. Instead, they connect the client with helpful contacts closer to home, so they can remain focused on recovery. Those contacts typically include outpatient programs, counselors, and support groups.

Treatment Options at Rehab Centers in Lake Forest, California

Addiction treatment options in and around Lake Forest, California, include many types of therapies, support groups, holistic offerings, and more, which can help address both mental health as well as drug or alcohol dependence.

When seeking a substance use disorder treatment facility, consider reaching out to mental health professionals or an addiction specialist. They may be able to help determine what approaches or what treatment center might be the best fit. The right treatment, be it for a specific mental health disorder or to address trauma (to cite two potential examples), may benefit the patient greatly. At other times, some adjustments may need to be made to improve progress.

Veterans Affairs Addiction Treatment

Military veterans are no strangers to injuries and trauma from serving overseas, particularly if they’ve seen combat. That pain (both physical and psychological) can last long past their tours of duty. Some may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with that anguish, eventually becoming dependent.

Area veterans may wish to consider any of the following if they need answers:

  • The City of Lake Forest lists several resources (including federal, state, regional, and non-profit) for veterans.
  • The Orange County Veterans Service Office also has resources for veterans, information on benefits, and more.
  • South Orange County Vet Center in nearby Mission Viejo has search options (and more) for veterans seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder or substance use disorders.
  • The University of California-Irvine has a Veteran Services Center, which helps with education benefits and other resources to help military-linked students transition to student life.
  • California State University-Fullerton has a Veterans Resource Center with wellness programs and more.

Paying for Rehabs in Lake Forest, California

Staying at a rehab facility where the patient can focus intensely on treatment can be highly effective, but it can also be costly, which may make some people reluctant to seek help.

Fortunately, mental health and substance use treatment services are more likely to be covered, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which designated mental health and substance use disorder services as essential health benefits. As a result, many individual and small group insurance plans have some coverage. What is covered, exactly, will vary.

Someone might also reach out to treatment centers. Because the staff works closely with insurance companies, they may be able to offer answers. A patient may also contact their health insurance provider to find out the extent of their coverage, including what services are covered, for how long, what the copays will be, and so on.

Rehabs might charge on a sliding scale or accept payment plans.

Public insurance options like Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans also offer some degree of coverage. Medi-Cal, California’s public health insurance, is available to qualifying residents of Orange County.

That doesn’t mean everyone is covered to go anywhere, but it can mean there are more options for treatment than one might initially believe.

Traveling to Lake Forest, California Rehab Centers

When traveling to Lake Forest, California rehab centers, a person might consider arriving at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. It’s located in Santa Ana and is about 15 minutes from Lake Forest.

Other ways of getting around the area are via public transportation, including the Orange County Transportation Authority, Metrolink rail, or Amtrak.

One thing to consider when looking for a rehab center is to ask the staff about transportation options. Many facilities will pick up a patient and bring them to the center, often within something like a two-hour radius. Once the client completes rehab, the facility will drive them back to the train station, airport, or home (provided it’s near enough), making it one less detail to worry over.

Check with any rehab you’re interested in to see if they help arrange transportation. 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.


  1. – City of Lake Forest, Celebrating 30 Years of Cityhood
  2. – 2017 Opioid Overdose & Death in Orange County
  3. – Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Orange County, CA
  4. – Advocacy, Awareness, Empowerment
  5. – Monitoring the Future: National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2020
  6. – What is Accreditation
  7. – QuickFacts: Lake Forest city, California
  8. – Cultural Competency a Key Component of Substance Use Treatment Services
  9. – Settings, Levels of Care, and Patient Placement
  10. – Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence
  11. – Types of Treatment Programs
  12. – Treatment and Recovery
  13. – Veterans Resources
  14. – OC Veterans Service Office
  15. – South Orange County Vet Center
  16. – Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Program
  17. – Welcome Military-Connected Students
  18. – Veterans Resource Center
  19. – Principles of Effective Treatment
  20. – Health Insurance and Mental Health Services
  21. – Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS)
  22. – Public 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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