Ah, Los Angeles—the city of Hollywood glamour and dream-chasing where youngsters from all over the U.S. have gone to seek their fortunes. Unfortunately, the “Los Angeles” image isn’t always so positive—especially as this is written in mid-December 2017, when the first suggestions you get from entering “Los Angeles” into a search engine are likely to involve record-breaking wildfires and tens of thousands of acres of scorched earth.
Even without major natural disasters, not everyone associates L.A. with good times. Conservatives, especially, have often disparaged the area as a center of narcissistic celebrities, drifters, irresponsible sex—and drug addiction. Whatever you think of Los Angeles as a cultural center, there’s no question that addiction is a problem for many. Googling “drug rehab centers Los Angeles” gets you some 620,000 search results; changing that to simply “drug rehab Los Angeles” scores nearly 750,000. And to give just a few examples involving specific drug categories:
- “Los Angeles heroin detox centers”: 22,800,000 results
- “Los Angeles cocaine treatment centers”: 12,800,000 results
And when it comes to official statistics, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recognizes over 500 behavioral-health treatment centers within L.A.’s 100-mile radius.
If you need drug detox in Los Angeles, you may be delighted—or overwhelmed—to realize you have so many potential options. Either way, it’s inadvisable to simply register at the first center that comes up in a search for “drug rehab Los Angeles” or “drug rehab centers Los Angeles,” or even in a search that specifies your drug of addiction. California rehab centers are largely unregulated by the state, and the pickings do include some bad apples that provide exploitative or incompetent “treatment.” Even a center that’s excellent in itself may not fit your personality or philosophy.
Here are some hints on making sure you wind up at the best Los Angeles drug detox center for you.
1. Do plan on going to a treatment center with professionally managed, medically supervised detox—never risk doing it alone at home.
Although it may be tempting to go the no-cost, completely private “cold turkey” route, it amounts to a major gamble with your life. Consider what might happen if withdrawal symptoms led to severe dehydration, seizure, cardiac arrest or suicidal impulses—and you were too physically and/or mentally impaired to call for emergency help. It’s never safe to risk a detox without experienced supervision and quick access to medical treatment—and even if you survive withdrawal with no obvious ill effects, you’re robbing yourself of the follow-up care and long-term support that help prevent relapse, not to mention physical examinations that could catch and treat any health damage the addiction might have done.
2. Get recommendations from your health insurance company, doctor and/or local addiction-recovery support networks.
Most health-insurance plans cover some detox and rehab expenses, so especially if cost is a concern for you, check in advance what treatment providers are approved by your network. And if at all possible, get a referral from someone who’s personally familiar with you and the recovery industry—someone you can trust to make competent recommendations while keeping your best interests at heart.
3. Whenever possible, choose a detox center convenient to your home ground, and pay it a personal visit before committing to it.
When you stay fairly close to home—just far enough away that old triggers won’t be visible and you’ll have reason to think twice before quitting mid-treatment—you not only minimize travel inconveniences and expenses, you’ll make it easier for family to check up on you for mutual reassurance. Plus, it’ll be easier to make an advance visit and verify that you get a good “feeling” from the grounds and the people. A qualified drug rehab center will want to meet you in advance, anyway: they’ll be equally concerned about verifying that you and the program fit well together.
Some hints for preliminary visits/interviews:
- Bring a friend for moral support and to verify your impressions of the center.
- Ask to talk with the people who’d actually be working with you—don’t settle for an interview with one administrative assistant.
- Review the center’s website in advance. When you visit the center itself, observe whether the real-world atmosphere is consistent with the online impression.
- Ask to tour the common grounds and see a residential-patient room similar to the one you’d be staying in. (The privacy of current patients notwithstanding, never trust a detox center that proves less than open here.)
- Ask about specifics of detox procedure, overall philosophy (Tough love or gentle touch? Any particular religion or spirituality stressed?), provisions for emergencies (including evacuation in case of natural disaster), and food/water considerations (Can the center accommodate your dietary needs? Are you assured of proper hydration throughout detox? Do they plan a menu consistent with helping patients regain full health, including making up for addiction-related weight loss?).
4. Choose a place you can see yourself living in for several months.
To assure you get the best possible preparation for living in long-term sobriety, a good detox center will recommend around 90 days of inpatient treatment following the withdrawal stage of detox. So think twice before saying yes to any place you aren’t sure you could live with for that long. Will your residential quarters really be comfortable for the long term? Do you like the atmosphere of both indoor and outdoor grounds, and do you feel they give you enough space? What will your day-to-day routine be like? How often will you be expected to attend individual and group therapy sessions? Will you have much alone time? What are the rules regarding visitors and outside communications? What are the typical goals and approaches toward helping you develop a long-term sobriety plan? Will follow-up require making frequent visits back to the center or an affiliate location?
While getting a little out of your comfort zone is not only inevitable but essential in effective detox, you do want a place that makes you feel at home and cared for. There’s no sense in adding additional stresses to the inherent struggles of detox.
You may never become a Hollywood star or even think about the possibility, but choosing your best Los Angeles drug detox center can be the first step toward becoming the star of your own life!
Inland Detox, the top drug rehab provider in southern California, is located just two hours southeast of Los Angeles in the relaxing Temecula Valley. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please call (888) 739-8296 to arrange a visit.