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Substance Abuse & Treatment in Chula Vista, California

Every day in the United States, drug abuse claims the lives of thousands. With the opiate overdose epidemic reaching its highest records, the effects are ravaging communities. In Southern California, the city of Chula Vista is among these communities. The second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, it was named for its scenic view. Located between the coastal mountain foothills and the San Diego Bay, it is difficult to imagine that this growing city diverse in culture is threatened by drug abuse. Fortunately, Chula Vista drug rehabs offer help to those suffering from addiction.

If you live in Chula Vista, and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.


Chula Vista was founded in the early 19th century and is currently at the center of an economic upsurge. The ever-growing population is at its highest, coming in at 267,754. Recent census data shows that the population is growing by 2% each year, making it one of the fastest growing cities in California. The current median household income averages at $68,699. Significantly higher than the state average, when compared to its sister cities in San Diego, the annual income is very similar to the surrounding areas. Of the population, currently 10.6% live below the poverty line. Lower than the national average of 14.7%, the largest demographic of those living in poverty include females and males between the ages of 25-35.

Drug Statistics in Chula Vista

For years, researchers have studies the causes of poverty. Although poverty occurs for many reasons, there is an undeniable link between substance abuse and impoverishment. As drug-related crimes continue to increase in Chula Vista, drug abuse patterns are also emerging from the staggering usage of methamphetamine and heroin. Based on arrest reports from San Diego County, heroin ranked number one. As heroin use continues to rise, law-enforcement has also reported a significant increase in the use in cocaine and crack, marijuana, MDMA, and prescription opiates other than heroin. As overdose rates continue to rise, jumping from 3.6 deaths a year to 4.8 per year, reports show that opioid-related deaths in Sand Diego amounted in 253 fatalities in the last year.

Statistics show that in recent years, juveniles between the ages of 9-18 are the most likely group to be impacted by substance abuse. Reflective of the easy access to drugs due to drug-trafficking in the area, the recent overdose deaths of teens in San Diego County has been a jarring wake-up call for the community. In the recent months, the city experienced a high in accidental deaths caused by fentanyl. Often blended with heroin, fentanyl is powerful synthetic opioid that can be dangerously lethal. As the numbers continued to rise, the deaths sparked local outrage as residents of Chula Vista demanded action.

San Diego County Takes Action

Taking into account the concerns of the local residents, the county is currently working with multiple partners including health and prevention organizations, law enforcement, and treatment facilitates. In order to address the issue of drug abuse and establish resources to combat the growing problem, the city is using funding to establish a specialized task force focused on preventing drug abuse and potential fatalities. The city is focusing on preventative measures that decrease drug use and encourage individuals to enter treatment before an arrest occurs.

Aiming to improve the health and safety of residents in Chula Vista, city coordinators have initiated state-of-the-art drug abuse programs that are designed to support individuals on the road to recovery. Dependence on drugs or alcohol destroy lives. Whether addicted to opiate drugs, alcohol, or pain medication, the city is making rehabilitation as easy as possible by providing residence with support prior, during, and after treatment.

Rehab Centers

As the growing number of residents In Chula Vista report an increase in mental illness and substance dependency, all California addiction rehabilitation facilities provide services that are tailored to meet individual needs. To guarantee a positive experience for each patient, before being admitted to a rehab center, individuals must complete an assessment in order to determine eligibility for services. A review of history and self-reported data, the assessment is usually conducted in a professional setting with a qualified facilitator. One-on-one, a physician, nurse, social worker, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other health care professionals will examine the physical, mental, and emotional health of the individual. In this assessment, the assessor may request existing medical information that is provided by referral sources including family, counselors, physicians, hospitals, and clinics.

Assessment and Intake

During the assessment period, the evaluation usually includes a screening as well as an evaluation. The screening is a preliminary procedure that can be administered in person or via online survey. The tools used in the screening phases are often self-administered questionnaires that aim to find direct evidence that supports the existence of a diagnosable condition. This comprehensive process ensures that the individual possesses a serious drug or alcohol addiction and allows trained professionals to define the problem and determine a diagnosis. Assessing the extent of the dependency, the evaluation provides an understanding of how substance abuse affects the individual’s life and determines whether there are any co-occurring conditions that may affect recovery. Used to establish a baseline for the individual, the assessment is used to build a treatment plan that will guarantee the best chance at recovery.

The assessment process is extremely important because it predicts the success of treatment. Although the evaluation is difficult for many, being forthcoming about substance abuse and subsequent patterns of behavior is beneficial in the long run. After the assessment, the individual will either be found eligible or ineligible for treatment. Once approved, the next step is intake. During the pre-intake/intake process, patients will meet with a resident doctor, psychologist, therapist, or counselor. A simple interview process before being admitted into a substance abuse treatment program, much of the information discussed in the assessment will be repeated. Individuals can expect to recount a brief summary of mental health history and complete another screening. Anything that is divulged during intake will be taken into account when determining a suitable treatment plan.

After the pre-intake process, patients are finally admitted to a treatment program. Chula Vista provides residents with several types of rehabilitation facilities. After selecting a treatment program, patients are then allowed to check into the facility. If staying at an inpatient drug treatment program, at this time, individuals are able to see their room and get settle in. After meeting with a team of doctors, nurses, and staff at the facility, they are often given a tour of the facility and are encouraged to ask questions. After all of this, treatment begins.

Detox Process

All individuals must first undergo the detoxification process. Although the actual length of detox varies on the substance and length of use, most detox programs range between 3-10 days. Throughout detox and treatment, patients will have 24/7 support from the team of professionals at the facility, even if the detox program is at an outpatient facility. After completing a physical exam to determine whether or not a medically-assisted detox is needed, the doctor will also construct a nutritional plan to replace nutrition and improve overall health. As detox begins, individuals will begin to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.  Common symptoms may include hallucinations, anxiety, seizures, fatigue, depression, sweating, and vomiting.

Drug use takes a significant toll and the body. As the body has been starved of vital nutrients, during detox, it is important to eat healthy and drink a lot of liquids to avoid dehydration. As appetite returns over time, most patients begin to feel better after the 7th day. Once well enough, patients are able to attend regular treatment sessions which may include 12-step meetings, group-therapy sessions, individual counseling, and recreational activities. Patients also meet with their doctor regularly in order to ensure that detox is going accordingly. After detox, the body will be purged of all toxins and individuals may transfer to a full treatment schedule at the chosen facility.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

Types of Treatment

As mentioned previously, Chula Vista offers residents a diverse selection of treatment options. In the past year, the types of substance abuse treatment programs include:

  • Long-term residential
  • Short-term residential
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Outpatient
  • Brief intervention
  • Sober-living facilities


Long Term

A traditional long-term residential rehabilitation program usually lasts between 60-90 days. Optimized for individuals who need more time for recovery, long-term rehabilitation provides an environment where patients can heal without time constraints. Beneficial for those who suffer with severe forms of drug and alcohol dependency and/or co-occurring mental health disorders, long-term inpatient treatment allows individuals to learn coping, interpersonal, and relapse prevention skills. Crucial for living a life of sobriety, long-term programs provide behavioral therapy, peer-support, and a diverse range of treatment options.

Short Term

The short-term residential model is offered in both outpatient and residential programs. Usually lasting 28-30 days, these programs are most beneficial for individuals who are not heavily addicted or those wanting to re-start the recovery process. In Chula Vista, the short-term residential option can often provide individuals with a more affordable treatment plan. Despite being shorter than traditional residential programs, they are still just as effective. In this capacity, this type of program is optimal for promoting growth and healing. The residential aspect allows patients to exclusively focus on recovery. During a short-term treatment, individuals participate in various types of therapy. Providing access to individual counseling or group therapy sessions, patients are taught a variety of coping and life skills that can be used to aid recovery. With many programs relying on the 12-step program, these programs are designed to adapt to the growing need for treatment and provide intensive treatment in shorter periods of time. Because the risk of relapse runs higher in an outpatient program, they may be exposed to potential distractions and triggers that could hinder recovery.

Partial Hospitalization

An alternative to traditional inpatient care, a partial hospitalization treatment program (PHP) allows individuals to undergo a treatment program that is a structured model of outpatient services. With treatment provided to patients during the day, the program does not extend past the day and does not require an overnight stay. The program offers the same intensity of a residential treatment program but gives patients the freedom to go home each day. Maintaining the same aspects of a residential inpatient rehabilitation program, it can be just as effective. Patient have access to all behavioral therapies, individual and group counseling, support groups, and aftercare support. Ideal for those who cannot commit to a full-time basis, the partial hospitalization program is made for those who benefit from a less structured, more flexible environment. For a minimum 6-hours per day, five times a week, partial hospitalization is the middle ground between inpatient and outpatient care.

More on Inpatient Treatment


Outpatient treatment programs are usually recommended for individuals who wish to continue treatment from an inpatient program. Considered a step-down from inpatient care, outpatient treatment programs generally last from 1-3 months. Offering many benefits, the program accommodates individual needs and is ideal for those who have recently relapsed or who are continuing treatment. Outpatient rehabilitation programs can be a practical option for individuals who suffer from a mild to moderate addiction. Ideal for those who are seeking help before their addiction progresses to chronic levels, outpatient treatment programs are effective for individuals who have a strong support network. Whether in the form of friends or family, compared to inpatient programs, outpatient treatment facilities are optimized for independent recovery. Less costly than inpatient programs, the program includes highly-structured programs 5-7 times a week. Patients engage in therapy, peer support, counseling, and other treatment models.

In recent years, brief intervention has become a popular form of treatment. Highly effective across all spectrums of substance dependency, most brief interventions focus on reducing harmful drinking practices. Unlike other forms of treatment, this model is suited best for individuals who have reached abusive and harmful levels of addiction. Used in school settings, the treatment is usually conducted by a range of therapists and medical professionals. In addition to being used in educational settings, it is also used in many clinics and rehabilitation centers. Consisting of a combination of short counseling sessions that range from 5-60 minutes in length, the treatment aims to educate individuals on the dangers of addiction. Implemented during any stage of treatment, it is often used during the early stages of recovery. Supporting individuals when they want hep makes this treatment effective and successful for long-term sobriety. Reports show that brief interventions have reduced potential risks for excessive drinking behaviors in the future.

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?

Sober Living Facilities

Another form of treatment comes in the form of sober living homes. Used to help addicts transition from rehab living to living independently, the facility eliminates the challenge of managing sobriety and integrating back into society. These homes are often privately owned and often found in quiet areas to ensure a peaceful environment. Different from standard rehabilitation centers, sober-living homes usually offer individuals an intensive recovery experience after completing an inpatient program. Individuals that choose to live in a sober living facility are allowed to come and go as they please, however, they must follow certain rules. Many homes require that residents abide by a curfew, hold a steady job, and contribute to household chores. Residents may also be subjected to random drug tests to prove sobriety. Offering a transitional stage, residents are still expected to handle responsibilities such as paying rent, buying their own food, and most importantly, staying sober.

Alternative Treatment Models

In addition to these rehabilitation treatment programs, Chula Vista is also initiating programs that include alternative treatment methods. Based on the social education model, alternative treatment supports addicts by focusing on regaining control. These programs include different types of therapies such as art therapy, equine therapy, and life-skills management. Instead of focusing on addiction and mental illness, the alternative treatment provides individuals with behavior-modification and cognitive training in order to get to the root of the addiction. Unlike traditional rehabilitation programs, alternative treatments have shown long-term success rates and have established a positive reputation among academics and addiction specialists.

All of the city’s rehabilitation programs are committed to providing medically-proven, evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs that give patients the optimal opportunity to apply the skills needed to experience ongoing recovery. With all of these efforts, officials have not forgotten about the hardest part of recovery – maintaining sobriety. After leaving treatment, addicts become extremely susceptible to relapse as substances are suddenly readily available. Based on recent reports, the risk of relapse after completing a treatment program is 50%. Due to this temptation, a strong aftercare program is essential. These programs that are designed for post-rehabilitation offer individuals a support network and prevention plan. Part of the process to full recovery, it often includes living in a halfway house, living in a sober-living facility, attending meetings, and meeting with a trained professional. An aftercare program decreases the risk of relapse and provides the necessary support needed to keep individuals motivated and committed to sobriety.

Life Long Recovery

Although addiction treatment programs are the first step in recovery, in order to maintain sober living, it is essential that individuals stick to a healthy lifestyle regimen that eliminates potential triggers. Keeping life stress-free will prevent the risk of reverting to maladaptive coping mechanisms such as drinking or doing drugs. To manage triggers and temptations, allow time for reflection and processing. In addition to continuing with counseling and therapy, having a support group is another beneficial aspect of sobriety. With others holding you accountable, it will be easier to navigate sobriety and stay on the right track. Getting sober is a serious commitment that takes hard work and dedication. To move forward on the path to recovery, individuals must be motivated to live above the influence after treatment and for the rest of their lives.