Given the large variety of information on the internet, it's difficult to sort through what applies to you and your specific treatment needs. The best way to start your search for free treatment resources and programs is by checking out the information below.
State-Funded ProgramsState-funded programs are a great option for someone who cannot financially afford to enroll in private programs. The California Health and Human Services Agency oversees publicly funded programs based on mental health services for people who live in California and are suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders. The California Health and Human Services Agency provides a SUD Non-emergency Treatment Referral Line for those suffering from substance use disorders and needing help finding treatment. The phone number you can call to talk to someone is (800) 879-2772.
Local MeetingsLocal meetings can be a significant source of support for someone working to overcome an addiction. In California, there are tons of local meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and many other 12-step programs. You can find resources to locate a comprehensive list of local meetings below.
Find Support LocallyThe California Health and Human Services Agency provides a plethora of mental health and substance abuse resources for people who are living in California and are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. By clicking on the link above you will be directed to the Substance Use Disorder County Access Line page. Once there, you can scroll down and find the county in which you live. Next to the county, you live in there will be a phone number that allows you to speak with a representative who will provide you with substance use disorder services and information. In some areas, there is also a crisis line you can call in the case of a crisis. However, if you are having a medical or psychiatric emergency you should dial 9-1-1 immediately. A website is also displayed next to your county to provide you with additional information. Additionally, if you click on the Services link at the top of the page you will be redirected to additional mental health and substance use disorder services.
Local AA MeetingsAlcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is a 12-step program for men and women who have a drinking problem, supporting each other to overcome their addiction. You can find a comprehensive list of local A.A. meetings through visiting A.A. Near You. If you scroll down the page, you can click on California. The California link will redirect you to a fresh page with a list of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in California and their contact information.
Local NA MeetingsNarcotics Anonymous (N.A.) is a 12-step program designed to help people who are addicted to narcotic drugs stop using drugs and find fresh ways of living. By visiting California NA you will be redirected to the local California N.A. page. This website provides information about different N.A. meetings all over the state of California. There are also virtual N.A. meetings. Click on the link provided and then click on “To Find a Meeting Click Here.” The link will redirect you to a list of virtual N.A. meetings, their time, date, and a link to access the meetings.
Faith-Based MeetingsFaith-based meetings in California help those who are struggling with their addiction find relief while supporting and strengthening their faith. “click here” where it says “Find a Celebrate Recovery group near you.” You will then be sent to a page where you can put in your location and find programs near you.
Other Options/Paid OptionsOne of the biggest factors that cause people not to receive treatment in California is the inability to afford or not knowing how to pay for treatment. Below lists a few ways to help you pay for your addiction treatment.
ScholarshipsSome facilities offer scholarships or even grants that will partially or fully cover the cost of your treatment. One thing you can do is contact the treatment program you wish to attend to see if they offer any scholarships or grants you can apply for. Below are two funding options to help you pay for your treatment: 10,000 Beds is a scholarship that is geared towards awarding 250 addiction treatment scholarships each year to individuals who need addiction treatment. You can apply for this scholarship by clicking on the link above. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides funding opportunities and grants to help people afford their substance abuse treatment. You can apply for one of these grants by following the prompts in the link above.
InsurancePrivate Insurance is one way to pay for addiction programs. Insurance companies are legally required to pay for insurance to help cover addiction treatment. Depending on the insurance you have, you may attend treatment at a very low cost to yourself. There are a couple of federally funded options to help you fund your addiction treatment. These include government health insurance and the Veterans Administration. Below is a list of government health insurance options and the Veterans Administration form of insurance known as Tricare. Medicare is a federally funded form of health insurance for people over 65 and or under 65 but with certain disabilities. Medicare is affordable health insurance that offers various plan options to best fit your needs. To check your eligibility and apply, click on the link provided above. The website will prompt you on how to get started with Medicare. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. It is a state and federally funded form of health insurance for people who are pregnant, disabled, or low income. Participants pay little to nothing for coverage. To check your eligibility and apply, click on the website provided above. Tricare is health insurance for military members and their families. Tricare covers substance use disorder treatments and is a great option for members of the military and their families to seek treatment for their addictions.
LoansNot all insurance policies will cover all the treatment services needed for a person to recover from their addiction. One option is to take out a loan to help pay for addiction recovery. A home equity loan is a loan that uses your home as collateral. These are considered low-risk and have favorable interest rates. Private loans are sometimes catered specifically to those seeking finance for addiction treatment. These private companies offer affordable rates that take into account a person's treatment needs and recovery timelines. Personal loans are another option. Personal loans are taken directly from a person’s bank account and are based on their credit history and other assets.
12-Step programs and non-religiousSecular Alcoholics Anonymous is like the 12 step A.A. program but without the Christian aspect to it. It is an agnostic version of the traditional A.A. program. You can click on the link above and enter your location to see a list of local Secular A.A. programs near you. Online Cocaine Anonymous meetings are another option for someone who cannot attend a physical meeting or likes the convenience of the meetings being online. If you click on the link provided, it will take you to the website where you can find a list of the online meetings. If you prefer to attend email meetings or even voice meetings, they have those available for you as well. Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a 12-step program to help people manage their dual diagnosis. The goal is to help those who are experiencing dual illnesses. This program is for people who are chemically dependent and suffering from emotional or psychiatric illness. It helps them recover from both their substance abuse and emotional or psychiatric illness by focusing on relapse prevention and improving their quality of life. Smart Recovery is an alternative to 12-step programs. This program uses cognitive therapy to change behaviors that trigger substance abuse. Click on the link above to find a program in your area. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. CoDA uses 12 Steps and 12 Traditions are their principles for guidelines to develop honest and healthy relationships. This meeting supports those who are suffering from addiction and codependency. To find a meeting in California, click on the link above, and follow the prompts.
Friends and familyAl-Anon is a group for family and friends of alcoholics to help them recover from the effects of living with a loved one who has a drinking problem. Click on the link provided and enter your location. The link will take you to a list of local Al-Anon meetings near you. Nar-anon is a meeting for friends and family of addicts and recovering addicts. If you click on the link provided, it will take you to their website where you can type in your location and it will populate local Nar-anon meetings. Families Anonymous is a 12 step fellowship program for the family and friends of individuals with drug or alcohol issues. To find a location near you, click on the link provided and follow the prompts.
Recovery Advice When Money Is ScarceEven if you are low on money, recovering from your drug addiction should be a priority. A lot of the 12-step programs that you can attend to aid in your recovery are volunteer lead and should be free. Many health insurance policies will cover some of your addiction treatment because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lists addiction as one of the 10 essential health benefits that are required to be covered similarly to other medical and surgical needs. Also, friends and family can be a source to borrow money from if you are having difficulty getting a loan or insurance is not covering enough. It can be very difficult for your friend or family member to watch you struggle with your addiction. As a result, they might help you pay for addiction treatment.
- A.A. Near You. Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Al-Anon Meetings. Al-Anon.
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Aa.org.
- Co-dependents Anonymous. CoDA.org
- Covered Services. Tricare.
- DRA Meetings in Northern California. Dual Recovery Anonymous.
- Families Anonymous. Families Anonymous.
- Find a Meeting- Nar-Anon. Nar-Anon.
- Funding opportunities. SAMHSA.
- Health benefits & coverage. HealthCare.gov.
- Medi-Cal. California Health and Human Services Agency.
- Local Meetings. Smart Recovery.
- Medicare. Medicare.gov.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coverage. Healthcare.gov.
- Online Cocaine Anonymous. ca-online.org.
- Secular Recovery. Meetings- Secular Anonymous.
- Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
- Substance Use Disorder County Access Line. California Health and Human Services Agency. Virtual N.A. Meetings. Narcotics Anonymous
- Secular A.A. Meetings. Secular Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholism affects many people, not just the people who are doing the actual drinking. In fact, family members and friends of heavy drinkers may suffer greatly from the effects of alcohol.
Al-Anon and Alateen groups recognize the suffering of loved ones. The groups teach people about alcoholism and help them understand that they need and deserve help as well.
What Are Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon and Alateen are organizations that aim to help relatives, friends, coworkers, and others affected by the drinking of people they know. Al-Anon meetings are open to everyone, while Alateen meetings are for teenagers (and occasionally preteens). Collectively, the meetings are known as Al-Anon Family Groups (AFG).
Both groups are related to organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other groups that help people who have struggled with addictions to alcohol or drugs or with compulsive behaviors.
Al-Anon, Alateen, and AA, in common with other addiction-related groups:
- Encourage members to meet with each other to provide support.
- Ask their members to work through a series of 12 steps to acknowledge their problems with alcohol, drugs, or behaviors; admit their mistakes; and make efforts to change.
- Use 12 traditions to guide individuals and the organization.
- Allow new members to ask veteran members to serve as sponsors to provide more personalized support.
- Respect the anonymity of their members.
- Publish literature that informs people about addiction and addiction-related issues.
- Operate under the guidelines of the World Service Conference to manage the organizations and provide access for their members.
- Offer their services for free, although they accept donations.
Do Al-Anon and Alateen Have Meetings?
Yes. Like AA, Al-Anon and Alateen emphasize meetings. And like other addiction-related organizations, Al-Anon and Alateen offer meetings across the United States and around the world.
In these meetings, members can gather to learn more about addiction and provide mutual support. People can share their problems and triumphs and can see that they’re not alone, that others are experiencing the same things.
For people who want to meet face-to-face, Al-Anon and Alateen offer in-person meetings. The organizations include information on where to find such gatherings on the Al-Anon Family Groups online site.
The site also includes information about what to expect when people attend meetings and answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Some people may prefer virtual meetings instead of face-to-face ones. They may not be able to travel to attend in-person meetings or may not have any gatherings in their geographic area.
Developments such as COVID-19 may have also closed facilities that host meetings or have made people wary of gathering in groups.
For those reasons and others, Al-Anon and Alateen support a wide variety of platforms that allow people to gather and communicate without having to leave their homes. Members of these groups can contact each other and express their thoughts by using:
- Phone calls
- The internet (chats, email messages, bulletin boards, blogs)
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook)
- Instant messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Skype, Discord)
- Conferencing apps (WebEx, Zoom)
People who start groups are encouraged to register on the founding organization websites. These sites provide resources about starting new groups as well as other resources about the groups, addiction, and dealing with the addiction of others.
How Can People Learn More About Al-Anon and Alateen?
In addition to providing literature for group members, Alateen and Al-Anon provide resources for professionals who work with addiction. To make the literature more accessible to more people, these resources are in English, Spanish, and French.
For people who prefer to learn by listening, the Al-Anon Family Groups site also posts podcasts that serve as introductions to their meetings. The organizations also publish articles and blog posts where people relate their experiences firsthand.
Knowledge is power. Al-Anon and Alateen work to provide their members with knowledge so they can be more powerful and so they can fight the effects of addiction.
al-anon.org - Al-Anon Meetings
al-anon.org - New Al-Anon Group Registration