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. One Secular Anonymous meeting in California is: Cocaine Anonymous is a 12-step program for individuals wishing to overcome their cocaine addiction. Follow the prompts on the website to find local C.A. meetings 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.
Online Self-Help ForumsSmart Recovery Online (SROL) is an online community that offers daily online meetings, message boards, and a 24/7 live chat to help people overcome addiction. You can see a list of online meetings and register to attend them by clicking on the link above and following the prompts. Self Recovery is a private online addiction recovery program. This is a great option for those who have hectic schedules, family obligations, tight budgets, and fear judgment from others. This program enables the user to explore the causes of their addiction. You can enroll in their classes by clicking on the link above and following the prompts. Life Process Program is an online recovery service for drug and alcohol addiction. The program is an alternative to AA and other 12-step programs. It is self-paced and puts you in control of your recovery. This program is broken down into 8 online modules that contain video files, reading materials, and exercises relevant to that module. You can register for this program by clicking on the link above and following the prompts.
- A.A. Near You. Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Al-Anon Meetings. Al-Anon.
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Aa.org.
- California CA. California Cocaine Anonymous.
- California Narcotics Anonymous. California NA.
- 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.
- Online Program for Addiction Recovery. Life Process Program.
- Secular Recovery. Meetings- Secular Anonymous.
- Self Recovery- Online. Self Recovery.
- 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.
Refuge Recovery takes ancient Buddhist practices and molds them into a modern method to manage addiction and achieve sobriety.
It’s an alternative to traditional 12-step meetings, but like them, there is a sense of community, peopled with peers who are on the same journey. There’s no focus on a higher power, but there is meditation.
Founder Noah Levine says he began abusing substances at a young age. By the time he was in junior high, he already was building an extensive rap sheet for himself. He was ordered into drug counseling and 12-step meetings, but the Judeo-Christian approach didn’t jibe with him. (His father was poet and Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine.)
While in juvenile hall, his father suggested meditation. Levine said he was initially skeptical, but after giving it a serious go, he found it really resonated with him.
By the mid-2000s, he’d developed his Buddhist-inspired path to sobriety. In 2014, he published Refuge Recovery.
According to Refuge Recovery philosophy, people must accept the reality of their addiction. That will lead to enlightenment, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, and love for self as well as others. Also, being under the influence interferes with mindfulness.
That awakening will not be an easy process, Levine told Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. “We first ask you to get really uncomfortable, to turn toward the suffering in order to get through it.”
Mindfulness and meditation are part of the toolkit Refuge Recovery uses to curb cravings, manage emotions, and to forge connections with others.
Practitioners are not required to believe in anything, but simply to trust the process and be willing to do the work toward recovery. Part of that work involves taking stock of the suffering they’ve experienced and caused. To find the underlying causes, this allows them to begin to let go.
Meetings, which are peer-led, begin with a reading of the Four Noble Truths:
- Addiction creates suffering
- The cause of addiction is repetitive craving
- Recovery is possible
- The path to recovery is available
The Fourth Noble Truth segues to the Eightfold Path, which leads to the end of suffering. The eight steps focus on moral virtue, meditation (mental discipline), and wisdom. Right Livelihood, for example, frowns upon making gains that harm others. Right Effort means avoiding unhealthy states.
A group meditation follows, and then a speaker or one of the organizers will focus on a specific topic. After that, people will have a chance to speak up about any challenges or struggles they’ve been facing pertaining to their addiction.
Meetings are free, and there are online groups as well. Modest donations are accepted to cover costs.
tricycle.org - The Suffering of Addiction
amazon.com - Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction
refugerecovery.org - What Is the Refuge Recovery Program?
tricycle.org - The Noble Eightfold Path