I. Getting Help

What to Consider When Choosing a Rehab Center

Asking the right questions can make your search for a rehabilitation program faster and more focused. Consider asking the following questions as you research your options:

Factors that will impact your rehab needs include the severity of your addiction, your financial resources, and your lifestyle preferences.

For more information on how to make all of these decisions, read our guide to Choosing the Right Rehab.

II. The Best Rehabs in Sacramento, CA

The cost of rehab can be high and varies according to location and specific patient needs. In many cases, rehab centers accept government funding or private insurance so patients need not bear the entire cost of care. Regardless of whether you have insurance, you have options for finding help to overcome your addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 39 licensed substance abuse treatment centers within 25 miles of Sacramento. Many of these centers are dedicated to connecting low-income residents to quality care. Of these 39 centers, CommuniCare Health Center: Salud Clinic ranked highest based on our five core metrics.


We used these five core metrics to evaluate each of the following rehabs. Please feel free to review our filtering process and ranking methodology to learn more about our evaluation methods.

1. CommuniCare Health Centers: Salud Clinic

The Salud Clinic location of CommuniCare Health Centers scored 6.8 points out of 10 possible points in our rankings for its outpatient substance abuse services. This center utilizes several forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help patients recover from opioid addiction. Along with the possibility of using medication for treatment, all patients can take advantage of a wide range of treatment approaches that include both cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies, trauma-related counseling,12-step facilitation, brief intervention, motivational interviewing and incentives, relapse prevention, and much more.

Patients from all backgrounds will find this center welcoming, and persons with co-occurring mental health issues, clients referred from the court system, pregnant and postpartum women, adolescents, and anyone who has experienced trauma will all find programs for their unique needs. Hard of hearing and Spanish-speaking patients will also find language services at the Salud Clinic.

This clinic supports the overall well-being of its patients by providing a range of ancillary services, including individual/group/marriage/family counseling sessions, health education and screenings, tobacco cessation therapy, housing and transportation assistance, and much more. Salud Clinic accepts Medicaid, Medicare, other forms of government assistance, and most private health insurance. Patients who need to pay for their own care can take advantage of a sliding fee scale based on income and other factors. Payment assistance is also available.

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 9.13
  • Treatment Approaches: 6.93
  • Cost: 7.5
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 8.71
  • Ancillary Services: 8.37

2. Sacramento Native American Health Center

Scoring 6.4 points out of 10 points, Sacramento Native American Health Center ranked highly for its outpatient substance abuse services. This center supports detoxification and recovery through the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for both alcohol and opioid addiction, and it employs a wide range of complementary treatment approaches along with these medications. These available treatment approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, culturally-sensitive 12-step facilitation, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, the Native American Red Road Approach, and more.

This center prioritizes the support of groups that may need specialized counseling, such as veterans, LGBTQ individuals, persons with co-occurring mental health issues, domestic abuse and trauma survivors, HIV-positive patients, clients referred from the court system, and more. Furthermore, a multitude of ancillary services, such as health education and screenings, treatment for non-substance abuse addictions, transportation assistance, social skills development, counseling, and more seek to help patients create holistic wellness of both mind and body.

Payment options at this center are somewhat limited, particularly for clients not of Native American ethnicity. Medicare and Medi-Cal are typically acceptable forms of payment, and private insurance may be billed in some cases but usually only for Native American patients. Both Native American and non-Native American patients who are paying out-of-pocket may be eligible for discounts via a sliding fee scale.

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 4.15
  • Treatment Approaches: 6.16
  • Cost: 7.50
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 8.71
  • Ancillary Services: 8.37

3. Communicare Health Centers: Hansen Family Health Center

Hansen Family Health Center, another location of CommuniCare Health Centers in the Sacramento area, scored 5.4 out of 10 points in our rankings for its outpatient substance abuse services. This center offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. Additionally, patients benefit from a variety of treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, anger management, trauma-related counseling, 12-step facilitation, and more.

This inclusive center offers services for the hard of hearing and Spanish-speaking clients, and it also provides special programs for adolescents, pregnant and postpartum women, patients with co-occurring mental health issues, survivors of trauma, and clients referred from the court system.

Hansen Family Health Center features a lengthy list of ancillary services intended to improve the overall quality of life of its patients as well. These services range from health education and screenings, individual/group/marital/family counseling, and tobacco cessation support to domestic violence services, transportation assistance, social skills development and more. This center accepts most private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, other forms of government assistance, and self-payment. Uninsured patients who must pay for their own care are often eligible for a sliding fee scale based on income and financial need.

  • Rehabilitation Services Provided: 5.81
  • Treatment Approaches: 6.93
  • Cost: 2.50
  • Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 4.69
  • Ancillary Services: 6.82
Top-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Sacramento
RankRehabTotal ScoreContact Information
#1CommuniCare Health Centers: Salud Clinic6.8500 Jefferson Boulevard, Suites #180 & #195
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Main Tel: 916-403-2907
Intake Tel: 916-403-2970
#2Sacramento Native American Health Center6.42020 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Main Tel: 916-341-0575
#3CommuniCare Health Centers: Hansen Family Health Center5.4215 W. Beamer Street
Woodland, CA 95695
Main Tel: 530-405-2827
Intake Tel: 530-405-2815
#4Common Goals, Inc.5.4256 Buena Vista St., Suite 100
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Main Tel: 530-274-2000
#5Aegis Marysville4.8201 D St., Suite G
Marysville, CA 95901
Main Tel: 530-742-7747
#6Sacramento County Department of Health Services: Alcohol and Drug System of Care4.33321 Power Inn Road, Suite 120
Sacramento, CA 95826
Main Tel: 916-874-9754
#7National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency: Sacramento4.11433 Fulton Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
Main Tel: 916-692-8565 x 100
#8Chapa-De Indian Health4.111670 Atwood Road
Auburn, CA 95603
Main Tel: 530-887-2800
#9Bridges, Inc. Outpatient Treatment Program3.93600 Power Inn Road, Suite C
Sacramento, CA 95826
Main Tel: 916-453-0704
#10Sierra Vista Hospital3.48001 Bruceville Road
Sacramento, CA 95823
Main Tel: 916-229-8515

Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Sacramento

Start by determining your coverage

It’s best to begin your search for a rehab facility by determining your healthcare coverage. Reaching out to your private or marketplace insurance provider will help you determine which nearby programs you qualify to use and how much your co-pays might be. You can also reach out to one of the contacts listed on the California Department of Health Care Services website to determine if you are eligible for Medi-Cal services. No matter your coverage, insurance companies are required to cover substance abuse treatment for qualified individuals.

Use our database to find a treatment center near you

The database tool below lists the treatment centers in California recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). By entering your zip code into the search bar and using the correct filters, you can find rehab centers near you.

Schedule an assessment

In order to pursue treatment services covered by insurance, you’ll need an assessment from a qualified therapist or counselor. You can contact a rehabilitation center directly to request an assessment, or you can contact your primary care provider for a referral. Drop-in assessments are available in some cases. You can also reach out to companies in our database for help finding an assessment provider.

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Type Of Care
Treatment Apporaches
Service Setting
Age Groups Accepted
Ancillary Services
Facility Operation
Facility Smoking Policy
Gender Accepted
Language Services
License Certification Accreditation
Payment Assistance Available
Payment Methods and Insurance Accepted
Special Programs Groups Offered

    What to Expect in Rehab

    The science of addiction treatment is constantly improving and shifting, and a variety of techniques are utilized within treatment programs. However, the core elements of rehabilitation remain very similar across all programs.


    For more on what to expect in rehab, read our guide on the addiction rehabilitation process.

    III. Finding Aftercare in Sacramento

    While it may be appealing to attempt to return to a “normal” schedule after leaving rehab, incorporating aftercare as part of your “new normal” is critical for lifelong recovery. Without aftercare, studies show that the chances of relapse increase dramatically. Aftercare is available in a variety of formats that offer flexibility to the community, such as follow-up visits to your rehab facility for counseling, 12-step groups, and sober living homes. Participating in some form of aftercare has been shown to significantly improve the success of a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

    One of the most common forms of aftercare is the 12-step process pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization for those recovering from alcohol addiction. Other organizations, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for those struggling with drug addiction, use the same 12-step process.


    Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you

    Please access our directory tool below to find your nearest Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and discover when meetings are held. Meeting times and locations tend to change periodically, so it is best to call ahead and ensure meeting information is up-to-date before you attend your first NA or AA meeting.

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Database

    NameCityProgramTelephoneSpanish Hotline
    24 Hour Answering ServiceChinoAA(909) 628-4428N/A
    24 Hour Answering ServiceDavisAA(800) 970-9040N/A
    24 Hour Answering ServiceTwain HarteAA(209) 533-1134N/A
    24 Hour Answering ServiceYuba CityAA(916) 454-1100;(916) 454-1771N/A
    24-Hour HotlineThousand OaksAA(805) 495-1111N/A
    52nd District Alcoholics Anonymous Central OfficeSanta MariaAA(805) 925-3782N/A
    916 North Area NA916 North Area (Chico)NA(877) 669-1669N/A
    A.A. Central Office Of Kern CountyBakersfieldAA(661) 322-4025N/A
    A.A. San Fernando Valley C.O.Van NuysAA(818) 988-3001N/A
    Alcoholics Anonymous 24-Hour HotlineGaltAA(209) 339-1201N/A
    All South Bay Central OfficeTorranceAA(310) 618-1180N/A
    American River Area NAAmerican River Area (Sacramento)NA(800) 600-4673;(866) 565-2135N/A
    Antelope Valley IntergroupLancasterAA(661) 945-5757N/A
    Area de Habla Hispana del Norte California NAArea de Habla Hispana del Norte CaliforniaNAN/A(855) 667-2262
    Bay Cities Area NABay Cities Area (Long Beach, San Pedro, Torrance, Hermosa Beach)NA(310) 372-9666N/A
    Beach Area NABeach AreaNAN/AN/A
    CAN Area NACAN Area (Needles)NA(928) 768-6467N/A
    Central California Area NACentral California Area (Fresno)NA(559) 255-5881N/A
    Central California FellowshipSacramentoAA(916) 454-1100;(916) 454-1771N/A
    Central Coast Area NACentral Coast Area (Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles)NA(800) 549-7730N/A
    Central Coast Central Office IntergroupSan Luis ObispoAA(805) 541-3211;(855) 541-3288N/A
    Central Intergroup Office Of The DesertCathedral CityAA(760) 324-4880N/A
    Central Service Office Of FresnoFresnoAA(559) 221-6907N/A
    Central Sierra Area NACentral Sierra Area (Angels Camp)NA(800) 240-4956N/A
    Central Sierra South Area NACentral Sierra South Area (Sonora)NA(209) 533-2348N/A
    Central Valley IntergroupModestoAA(209) 572-2970N/A
    Central Valley North Area NACentral Valley North Area (Acampo, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton, Tracy, Victor)NA(209) 464-9262N/A
    Contra Costa Area NAContra Costa Area (Concord)NA(925) 685-4357N/A
    Contra Costa Service CenterWalnut CreekAA(925) 939-4155;(925) 939-5371N/A
    County Line Area NACounty Line Area (Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks)NA(888) 672-9318N/A
    Del Norte IntergroupCrescent CityAA(707) 464-3411N/A
    Delta Central OfficeStocktonAA(209) 464-1509N/A
    Desert Empire Area NADesert Empire Area (Barstow)NA(800) 863-2962N/A
    Dist. 20-Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley and Surrounding AreasWestern Nevada CountyAA(530) 272-6287N/A
    East Bay Central Area NAEast Bay Central Area (Alameda County, Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Livermore)NA(510) 444-4673N/A
    East Bay North Area NAEast Bay North Area (Oakland)NA(510) 444-4673N/A
    East County IntergroupEl CajonAA(877) 993-2422N/A
    Eastbay Intergroup Central OfficeOaklandAA(510) 839-8900(408) 417-1593
    Eastern Counties Area NAEastern Counties Area (Whittier, Downey)NA(562) 698-4604N/A
    Eastern Inland Empire Area NAEastern Inland Empire Area (Riverside, San Bernardino)NA(800) 397-2333;(909) 370-3568N/A
    Eastern Sierra Area NAEastern Sierra Area (Ridgecrest)NA(760) 446-4445N/A
    Foothill Area NAFoothill Area (Porterville)NA(559) 784-4420N/A
    Gold Coast Area NAGold Coast Area (Ventura, Oxnard)NA(888) 817-7425N/A
    Gold Country Area NAGold Country Area (Jackson, Ione, Sutter Creek and Pioneer)NA(209) 256-0645N/A
    Greater East Los Angeles Area NAGreater East Los Angeles AreaNA(323) 721-5504N/A
    Greater Los Angeles Area NAGreater Los Angeles AreaNA(323) 933-5395N/A
    Greater Mojave Area NAGreater Mojave Area (Victorville)NA(888) 322-6817N/A
    Greater San Jose Area NAGreater San Jose AreaNA(408) 998-4200N/A
    Harbor Area Central OfficeLong BeachAA(562) 989-7697(310) 516-8626
    Hollywood Area NAHollywood AreaNA(323) 850-1624N/A
    Humboldt County IntergroupEurekaAA(844) 442-0711N/A
    Humboldt/Del Norte Area NAHumboldt/Del Norte Area (Crescent City)NA(866) 315-8645N/A
    Inland Empire 12th Step Service BoardClaremontAA(909) 628-4428N/A
    Inland Empire Central OfficeColtonAA(909) 825-4700N/A
    Inland Empire Foothills Area NAInland Empire Foothills Area (Redlands, Yucaipa)NA(909) 795-0464N/A
    Inland Empire West Area NAInland Empire West Area (Montclair, Ontario)NA(909) 622-4274N/A
    Intercounty Fellowship Of A.A.San FranciscoAA(415) 674-1821N/A
    Intergroup Answering ServiceSusanvilleAA(530) 257-2880N/A
    Kern County Area NAKern County Area (Bakersfield)NA(877) 629-6759N/A
    Kings Tulare Area NAKings Tulare Area (Hanford, Tulare, Visalia)NA(559) 734-0403N/A
    Lake County Area NALake County Area (Lakeport)NA(707) 262-0132N/A
    Lake County IntergroupLower LakeAA(707) 995-3316N/A
    Los Angeles Central OfficeLos AngelesAA(323) 963-4343;(800) 923-8722N/A
    Lower Desert Area NALower Desert Area (Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Indio)NA(888) 777-5947N/A
    Marin County NAMarin County (San Rafael)NA(877) 612-7837N/A
    Mariposa A.A. Answering ServiceMariposaAA(209) 966-3110N/A
    Mendocino Coast IntergroupFt. BraggAA(877) 546-9286N/A
    Mendocino Country Area NAMendocino Country Area (Ukiah, Willits)NA(707) 485-9110N/A
    Mendocino Inland IntergroupUkiahAA(707) 462-7123N/A
    Middle Mountain Area NAMiddle Mountain Area (Yuba City, Marysville, Olivehurst)NA(877) 669-1669N/A
    Mission Peak Area NAMission Peak AreaNA(510) 444-4673N/A
    Monterey Bay Area IntergroupMontereyAA(831) 373-3713N/A
    Monterey County Area NAMonterey County Area (Monterey)NA(831) 624-2055N/A
    Monterey County Area NAMonterey County Area (Salinas)NA(831) 758-1630N/A
    Morongo Basin Area NAMorongo Basin Area (Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley)NA(800) 833-2830N/A
    Mountain Area NAMountain Area (Running Springs, Big Bear, Yucca Valley, Lake Arrowhead)NA(909) 584-7115N/A
    Napa County IntergroupNapaAA(707) 500-7001N/A
    Napa/Solano Area NANapa/Solano AreaNA(866) 642-3848N/A
    No. California IntergroupReddingAA(530) 225-8955N/A
    No. San Diego Co. Central OfficeVistaAA(760) 758-2514N/A
    North Coastal Area NANorth Coastal Area (Vista, Oceanside, Encinitas)NA(866) 331-1958N/A
    North Orange County Central OfficeFullertonAA(714) 773-4357N/A
    North Solano IntergroupVacavilleAA(707) 446-2244N/A
    North Valley Central OfficeChicoAA(530) 342-5756N/A
    Oakhurst Fellowship Answering ServiceOakhurstAA(559) 683-1662N/A
    Oficina Central de RiversideRiversideAAN/A(951) 687-7090
    Oficina Central HispanaEl MonteAAN/A(626) 453-0226
    Oficina Central HispanaLos AngelesAAN/A(323) 750-2039
    Oficina Central HispanaSan DiegoAAN/A(619) 280-7224
    Oficina Central HispanaSan FranciscoAAN/A(415) 824-1834
    Oficina Central Hispana Costa NorteSan JoseAAN/A(408) 287-7205
    Oficina Central Hispana IntergrupalSalinasAAN/A(831) 757-8518
    Oficina Central NorteSanta RosaAAN/A(707) 623-6702
    Oficina Hispana Del Este De LaLos AngelesAAN/A(323) 722-4175
    Oficina IntergrupalChula VistaAAN/A(619) 476-0288
    Oficina IntergrupalWatsonvilleAAN/A(831) 768-9597
    Oficina Intergrupal Condado VeOxnardAAN/A(805) 988-0329
    Oficina Intergrupal De OrangeSanta AnaAAN/A(714) 541-7225
    Oficina Intergrupal Del Este De La BahiaRichmondAAN/A(510) 328-8930
    Oficina Intergrupal HispanaFresnoAAN/A(559) 266-6752
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana De Alcoholicos Anonimos Del Area de Santa ClaraSan JoseAAN/A(408) 931-2002
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana del Area de San MateoMountainviewAAN/A(650) 679-2374
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana Del Conadado Notre de San DiegoVistaAAN/A(760) 758-6905
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana Del Condado De KernBakersfieldAAN/A(661) 205-0296
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana Del Valle De CoachellaIndioAAN/A(760) 625-9018
    Oficina Intergrupal Hispana SuLong BeachAAN/A(310) 516-8626
    Oficina Intergrupal Sureste De VenturaSanta PaulaAAN/A(805) 525-6140
    Oficina Intergrupal Valle Del AntelopeLittlerockAAN/A(661) 944-5147
    Oficina Intergrupo De ChinoPomonaAAN/A(909) 629-0493
    Orange County Area NAOrange County Area (Anaheim)NA(714) 590-2388N/A
    Orange County Central OfficeSanta AnaAA(714) 556-4555N/A
    Paradise IntergroupParadiseAA(530) 342-5756N/A
    Peninsula Area NAPeninsula Area (San Mateo)NA(650) 802-5950N/A
    River Cities Area NARiver Cities Area (Anderson, Red Bluff)NA(877) 669-1669N/A
    Sacramento Fellowship Area NASacramento Fellowship Area (Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Woodland)NA(877) 623-6363N/A
    Salinas Valley Area IntergroupSalinasAA(831) 424-9874N/A
    San Diego Central OfficeSan DiegoAA(619) 265-8762N/A
    San Diego Imperial Counties - Spanish NASan Diego Imperial Counties - SpanishNAN/A(619) 546-0774
    San Diego Imperial Counties Region NASan Diego Imperial Counties RegionNA(800) 479-0062;(619) 584-1007N/A
    San Fernando Valley Area NASan Fernando Valley Area (East San Fernando Valley)NA(818) 997-3822N/A
    San Francisco Area NASan Francisco AreaNA(415) 621-8600N/A
    San Gabriel Valley Area NASan Gabriel Valley Area (Pasadena)NA(626) 584-6910N/A
    San Gabriel/Pomona Valley Central OfficeGlendoraAA(626) 914-1861N/A
    San Mateo CO Fellowship Of A.A.San MateoAA(650) 577-1310N/A
    Santa Barbara Area NASanta Barbara AreaNA(805) 569-1288N/A
    Santa Barbara Central OfficeSanta BarbaraAA(805) 962-3332N/A
    Santa Clara County Intergroup C.O.San JoseAA(408) 374-8511N/A
    Santa Clarita Area NASanta Clarita Area (Newhall, Saugus)NA(800) 338-2155N/A
    Santa Cruz Area NASanta Cruz AreaNA(831) 429-7436N/A
    Santa Cruz County Intergroup Inc.SoquelAA(831) 475-5782N/A
    SCV Central Office Of A.A.Santa ClaritaAA(661) 250-9922N/A
    Shasta/Trinity Area NAShasta/Trinity Area (Redding)NA(877) 669-1669N/A
    Sierra Foothills Area NASierra Foothills Area (Auburn, Placerville)NA(888) 423-3428;(530) 645-1635N/A
    Sierra Sage Region NASierra Sage Region (Mammoth Lakes, Bishop)NAN/AN/A
    Siskiyou Area NASiskiyou Area (Mt Shasta, Weed, Yreka)NA(530) 925-6616N/A
    So. Solano County Central OfficeBeniciaAA(707) 745-8822N/A
    Sonoma County Area NASonoma County Area (Santa Rosa)NA(707) 324-4062N/A
    Sonoma County IntergroupSanta RosaAA(707) 544-1300;(707) 546-2066;(800) 224-1300N/A
    South Coast Area NASouth Coast Area (San Juan Capistrano)NA(800) 333-3610N/A
    South Tahoe Basin Area NASouth Tahoe Basin Area (Lake Tahoe South)NA(530) 541-4100N/A
    Southern Antelope Valley Area NASouthern Antelope Valley Area (Palmdale, Lancaster)NA(661) 266-2200N/A
    Southwest Area NASouthwest Area (Hemet, Temecula, Banning)NA(951) 652-5326N/A
    Southwestern Riverside County Central Service Office Inc.TemeculaAA(951) 695-1535N/A
    Spanish Speaking for LA NASpanish Speaking for LANAN/A(888) 622-4672
    Stanislaus Valley Area NAStanislaus Valley Area (Modesto, Merced)NA(888) 942-9922;(209) 526-1817N/A
    Truckee/North Lake Tahoe Basin Area NATruckee/North Lake Tahoe Basin AreaNA(530) 546-1116N/A
    Tulare County Central OfficeExeterAA(559) 592-6999N/A
    Valle Oficina CentralModestoAAN/A(209) 222-8313
    Valley Service CenterDublinAA(925) 829-0666;(925) 829-3160;(888) 859-3230N/A
    Ventura County Central Service OfficeCamarilloAA(805) 389-1444N/A
    Victor Valley Intergroup Central Office Inc.Apple ValleyAA(760) 242-9292N/A
    West End Area NAWest End Area (West San Fernando Valley)NA(818) 787-9706N/A
    Western Slope IntergroupPlacervilleAA(530) 622-3500N/A
    Westside Area NAWestside Area (West Los Angeles, Santa Monica)NA(310) 390-0279N/A

    Sober Living Homes

    Recovery residences, also known as sober living homes, are designed to help people recovering from substance abuse break free of their addiction and learn to live a healthy, productive life. Research shows that a supportive environment that teaches life skills, such as emotional awareness and job preparedness, are extremely beneficial to the long-term success of recovery efforts.

    Life in a sober living home comes with expectations. Residents are required to maintain a clean environment, pay rent fees, and attend support groups or individual counseling. Residents may stay for a short period of only a few weeks, or as long as many years, as long as they remain sober and follow house rules. These homes have strict zero-tolerance policies towards drug and alcohol use that protect all present.

    Check our database for halfway houses or sober living homes in Sacramento, or use our tool above by selecting the appropriate filter. Feel free to read our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them as well as to search for a certified recovery residence in your area.

    IV. Substance Abuse in Sacramento

    Benzodiazepine cause more ER visits than cocaine and amphetamines combined

    Benzodiazepines, a class of tranquilizers, are prescribed to treat both seizures and anxiety. Since benzodiazepines positively alter moods, they have significant potential for abuse among certain populations, namely those with mood disorders and those who have a previous history of substance abuse. Taking benzodiazepines such as Xanax with alcohol or opioids, taking benzodiazepines that were prescribed to someone else or produced illicitly, or taking a higher dosage of benzodiazepines than prescribed all constitute substance abuse. Studies show that persons who use benzodiazepines for more than three or four weeks are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, but estimates of how many people abuse this class of drugs at any given time vary anywhere from 2.3% to 18% of the U.S. adult population.


    ED visits for cocaine and amphetamine overdose per 100,000 residents, 2018


    ED visits for benzodiazepine overdose per 100,000 residents, 2018

    Sacramento residents may be surprised to know that benzodiazepine overdoses account for more nonfatal overdose emergency department (ED) visits than cocaine and amphetamines combined. In 2018, 0.85 per 100,000 Sacramento County residents visited an emergency department for a cocaine overdose, and 3.12 per 100,000 residents visited for an amphetamine (all forms of methamphetamine as well as ADHD medications) overdose. In contrast to these rates, ED visits due to a benzodiazepine overdose occurred at the rate of 11.66 per 100,000 Sacramento County residents.

    Like other prescription drugs, a portion of benzodiazepine overdoses occurs due to simple mistakes even when the patient is not intentionally abusing the drug. The exact numbers of intentional abuse versus unintentional overuse for this class of drugs are not published in Sacramento County. The above-mentioned rate of ED visits for benzodiazepine overdose in Sacramento County has encouragingly dropped 39.99% since 2014, but it still remains higher than the state average rate of 10.46 per 100,000 residents. Considering the habit-forming nature of benzodiazepines, patients who are prescribed anything from this class of drugs should proactively discuss the potential for abuse with their doctors and pharmacists, and parents should be aware that benzodiazepines are used recreationally by some young people.

    Prescription rates and overdose deaths for opioids are decreasing in Sacramento County


    Opioid prescriptions per 100,000 Sacramento County residents, 2014


    Opioid prescriptions per 100,000 Sacramento County residents, 2017

    Across the United States, law-makers and physicians have come together to recognize that the trend of overprescribing opioids within the medical community is, in part, fueling our nation’s opioid epidemic. As policies and attitudes have changed, many areas around the country are beginning to see decreases in the rate of opioid prescriptions. Between 2014 and 2017, the rate of opioid prescriptions per 100,000 residents of Sacramento County dropped from 806.05 to 671.09, a decrease of 16.74%. By comparison, in San Francisco County, the rate fell an even more dramatic 20.88%, and, in Los Angeles County, it decreased by 8.53%. In California as a whole, the opioid prescription rate fell 12.68% between 2014 and 2016. The data reveals that, in partnership, Sacramento County physicians and regulators have made a better-than-average effort to reduce opioid abuse by reducing the number of prescriptions.

    Although prescription rates fell dramatically between 2014 and 2017, opioid overdose deaths decreased by a more modest 2.59% in Sacramento County during the same time period. However, Sacramento County’s small decrease is still a meaningful victory, considering that in other major population centers in the state during the same time period, opioid overdose deaths actually increased. San Francisco County’s opioid overdose death rate climbed 12.25% and Los Angeles’ rate skyrocketed 50.56%. The lack of clear correlation between decreases in opioid prescriptions and decreases in opioid overdose deaths in all counties highlights the fact that shifts in the opioid epidemic depend on a plethora of factors, from the availability of illicitly-produced heroin and fentanyl to the prevalence of polydrug use and the impurity of street drugs to the availability of effective substance abuse treatment programs.

    Interestingly, visits to emergency departments for opioid overdoses rose 2.98% in Sacramento County between 2014 and 2017. The distribution of 1,450 naloxone kits in the county in 2017, rather than an actual decrease in opioid abuse, may be largely responsible for the decrease in overdose deaths that occurred from 2014 to 2017.

    Overdose deaths in Sacramento County are lower than the national average

    Between 2008 and 2017, 8,512 deaths were attributed to drugs or alcohol in Sacramento County, representing 7.41% of the total number of deaths during that same time period. This death rate is 5.3% lower than the overall rate of 12.71% in the United States. In Sacramento County during those years, 31.1 people suffered fatal drug overdoses and 27.2 people died from an overdose of alcohol per 100,000 people.


    of Sacramento County deaths due to drugs and alcohol, 2008-2017


    of U.S. deaths due to drugs and alcohol, 2008-2017

    One characteristic of overdose rates in Sacramento County worth pointing out is that drug overdoses comprise 53.41% of the fatal overdoses during that time period. Though alcohol contributes significantly to fatal overdoses in the area, drugs play a slightly larger role. The same does not hold true in all areas of California. For example, in Los Angeles County, 55.68% of overdoses are attributed to alcohol, and, in San Diego County, alcohol and drugs almost equally split the responsibility for overdose deaths, with alcohol accounting for 50.18%.

    Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Sacramento County Between 2008 and 2017
    0-1718+All Ages
    Drug-Induced Deaths in Sacramento County104,5364,546
    Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Sacramento County03,9663,966
    Total Deaths in Sacramento County1,595113,261114.871
    Percentage of Drug & Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Sacramento County

    Key Indicators of Substance Abuse

    Collecting data on exactly how substance use disorders affect communities can be complex. Being honest about their addiction is difficult for many people, and not everyone who has a substance abuse problem seeks treatment or is included in statistics. Nevertheless, we can consider several data points to understand the larger impact of substance abuse in Sacramento. We located statistics from sectors such as the availability of space in residential treatment centers, homelessness rates, and suicide rates across the area that give a broader view of the substance abuse issues that impact Sacramento.

    Residential treatment beds are scarce in Sacramento compared to California


    Residential treatment beds per 10,000 Sacramento County residents, 2018


    Residential treatment beds per 10,000 California residents, 2018

    The availability of space in residential treatment facilities indicates the overall readiness of an area to care for persons with substance use disorders. Unfortunately, the Sacramento area has less available space than state average among its residential – also referred to as inpatient – substance abuse treatment facilities. According to 2018 data, residential substance abuse treatment facilities in Sacramento maintained an average of 4.8 beds per 10,000 adults in the county. This number includes both beds for patients in the process of detoxing and beds for patients who have already detoxed. In contrast, California as a whole offers 6.2 beds per 10,000 adults. Thus, in its residential treatment facilities, Sacramento can treat 1.4 fewer patients than is the average for the state.

    Having a shortage of available beds in residential treatment facilities can place undue pressure on these programs, ultimately decreasing the quality of care or increasing wait times for patients to enter a facility. However, the news regarding the availability of treatment options in Sacramento County is not all negative. Although residential beds are limited, the number of outpatient methadone treatment programs for those persons struggling with opioid addiction is higher in this area than the state average. In California, 12.8 treatment slots are available per 10,000 residents; however, the rate in Sacramento is 15.0 treatment slots per 10,000 residents.

    Chronic homelessness is growing in Sacramento County

    The 2017 Point-In-Time (PIT) survey found that 3,665 homeless persons lived in Sacramento County. This number represents a 29.87% increase in the homeless population in Sacramento County since 2015. Researchers from California State University Sacramento, who compiled the 2017 report on homelessness in the county, point to rising housing costs, especially rental costs, as the driving force behind the increase.


    of Sacramento County residents are homeless, 2017


    of California residents are homeless, 2017

    Although homelessness in the county has risen in recent years, it affects a smaller percentage of Sacramento County residents than it does the rest of the state’s residents. In 2017, 0.23% of the population of Sacramento County was homeless, compared to 1.39% of the population of California being homeless persons.


    of Sacramento homeless population deemed chronically homeless, 2017


    of Sacramento homeless population deemed chronically homeless, 2015

    In 2018, 30.72% of the Sacramento County homeless population was termed chronically homeless according to HUD guidelines, which specify that a person has experienced prolonged periods of homelessness coupled with a physical disability. However, in 2015, the percentage of homeless persons deemed as chronically homeless was only 17.52%. This drastic leap in chronic homelessness is especially alarming because the 2017 PIT survey revealed that 56% of Sacramento County’s chronically homeless population is suffering from a substance abuse problem. Reducing the growth of this high-risk group, while statistically small in size, is still a very critical aspect of combating substance abuse in the county. Connecting chronically homeless persons to resources that address both their practical and psychiatric needs is an important goal for homeless outreach in the area.

    Suicides occur at a heightened rate in Sacramento County compared to California

    The relationship between suicide, depression, and substance abuse is complicated. In individual cases, it can be difficult to determine if a substance is causing suicidal ideation or if a person is using a particular substance in an effort to medicate a pre-existing troubled mental state. Research shows that a quarter of people with mood disorders choose to self-medicate, and men are twice as likely as women to do so. Thus, while the connection between suicide, mental health, and substance abuse can be unclear, a high suicide rate in an area can indicate widespread substance abuse issues.

    Unfortunately, suicides rates per 100,000 residents of Sacramento County remain consistently higher than those in California as a whole. As of 2017, the suicide rate in Sacramento County is 14.0 suicides per 100,000 residents, compared to 10.9 suicides per 100,000 residents in the state. The county’s rate dipped to 12.7 per 100,000 in 2016, but even then it was 1.8 higher than the state’s suicide rate in that same year. While the California Department of Public Health does not report details about the relationship between drug abuse and suicide on the county and state level, the increased suicide rate in Sacramento County points to a high rate of untreated mental distress, which can include untreated substance abuse.

    V. Take Action

    Sacramento and its surrounding communities have many resources for those persons seeking to break free from substance dependency. You can use our tool to find a local rehabilitation center that can help to determine your rehabilitation needs and insurance coverage. If you fear you won’t be able to afford rehab, many low-cost treatment centers are available for those who need financial assistance.