Top 15 Alcohol & Drug Rehab Centers in San Marcos, CA & Free Treatment Resources

san marcos california drug alcohol rehab
Nestled into the foothills of San Diego County, San Marcos, CA is known for ideal weather, beautiful nature trails, unique dining and shopping experiences, and a desirable locale near San Diego and the alluring shores of the Pacific Ocean. While the city has all the ingredients for idyllic living, in the last 12 months, the number of local overdose deaths surged 33 percent — going from 976 deaths in 2020 to 1,303 deaths in 2021.1 Fortunately, there are nearly 100 accredited drug and alcohol rehab centers in San Marcos and the surrounding area, so you have plenty of options.

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Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics in San Marcos, CA

Paying for Alcohol and Drug Rehab in San Marcos, CA

Prices vary for drug and alcohol rehab in San Marcos and San Diego County, but cost does not have to be a barrier to treatment. Many facilities in the area offer low-cost or free rehab options, including:

Free Rehab and Sliding Scale Options

Sliding-scale facilities only charge you what you can afford to pay based on your income. In San Marcos, Mental Health System Teen Recovery Center and Capalina Comprehensive Treatment Center offer free or sliding-scale treatment services.

Private Insurance:

Treatment facilities in San Marcos, CA may accept private health insurance, which can significantly reduce the cost of addiction treatment. While some private insurance plans cover rehab services in full, most plans offer at least partial coverage. Contact your provider to learn how much coverage your policy provides.

Medicare or Medi-Cal:

Both government healthcare programs cover specific drug and alcohol rehab services, and you will need to find a treatment center in San Marcos or San Diego County accepting these insurance options.

Medi-Cal provides low-cost health insurance to low-income residents and typically covers:4

Outpatient treatment

Residential treatment

Opioid treatment programs

Medication Assisted Treatment


Case Management


Physician Consultation

Medicare provides coverage for people aged 65 and older or those who have a disability and meet income-based requirements. It typically covers:5

Outpatient treatment

Inpatient rehab

Medication Assisted Treatment

Partial hospitalization

Group and individual counseling


Alcohol misuse screenings

Opioid addiction treatment

Levels of Care for Substance Abuse

Multiple levels of care exist for alcohol and drug rehab in California. Some residents require all levels of care during their journey to recovery, while others receive only the less intensive options.

Medical Detox

Detox is the process of safely and comfortably removing drugs or alcohol from your system while in a supervised medical setting. Many people choose a medical detox program to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. This is often the first step in the recovery process, completed before transitioning into formal inpatient addiction treatment services.

Inpatient Care

An inpatient or residential setting involves living at an accredited rehab facility 24/7 to receive treatment for addiction. A combination of evidence-based interventions are provided, including individual and group therapy, nutritional counseling, and medication administration.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)

PHPs are a type of outpatient treatment in California that often involve many of the same therapies and methods of inpatient care. The difference being that you only visit the drug rehab during scheduled session times, then you can return home.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

A step down from PHPs, IOPs are a type of outpatient treatment in California allowing you to attend onsite sessions for several hours a day, multiple days each week, while spending the rest of your time at home, working, or fulfilling other obligations.

Standard Outpatient

As the least intensive setting, standard outpatient care is appropriate for California residents who are highly motivated and have a strong support system. It involves just one or two hours of treatment per week.

Relapse Prevention

Aftercare, or relapse prevention, provides ongoing support after a rehab program is complete. Aftercare may include 12-step groups, non-12-step groups like SMART Recovery, ongoing therapy, sober living homes, and more.

How to Pay for Substance Abuse Treatment in California

Private Insurance

Every insurance provider in the U.S. is required by law to provide at least some coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment. In California, residents should contact their insurance provider to confirm specific coverage with their carrier, including applicable copays.


Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. Funded by federal and state taxes, this program pays for medical services for children and adults who have limited income. To qualify for Medi-Cal, California residents must meet income requirements and be one of the following: pregnant, responsible for a child under 21 years old, blind, disabled or a disabled family member, or 65 years or older.

California Medicare

California Medicare is a government program providing coverage to residents who are over the age of 65 or who have end-stage renal disease. California residents can use Medicare to cover the cost of rehab and other addiction treatment services; however, not all rehabs accept Medicare insurance.

Sliding Scale Payment Options

Sliding scale payment plans only charge California residents what they can afford, based on their income. To qualify, residents typically need to provide proof of income and assets.

TRICARE in California

California TRICARE (West Region) is a government program that provides health insurance for military personnel, veterans, and their dependents. TRICARE coverage includes addiction treatment services, such as rehab and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

IHS-Funded Drug Rehabs

Drug rehab programs funded by the Indian Health Service provide free addiction treatment to California Natives and Indigenous peoples in the U.S.

Travel to and Within San Marcos, CA

For those traveling to San Marcos, CA for treatment or to visit a loved one who is receiving services, here’s some helpful insider info about the area.6,7

California Alcohol and Drug Laws

California law includes the following policies related to substance abuse:1,2,3,4,5

California Employee Protections for Drug or Alcohol Rehab: California’s labor code requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide accommodation to staff who voluntarily choose to attend alcohol or drug rehab. This may include unpaid time off or use of sick or vacation time. Employees who wish to request time off for addiction treatment may be able to request it under the Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act.

Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act: This act provides treatment opportunities for individuals who are convicted of non-violent crimes. Eligible offenders may serve their time in drug treatment rather than in prison.

California Government Prevention and Care Services: Senate Bill 110 expanded these services to include contingency management (an incentivized treatment program) as a benefit covered under Medi-Cal. Patients who demonstrate substance-free behavior, such as drug-free urine tests, are rewarded with vouchers or gift cards.

California Ethical Treatment for Persons with Substance Use Disorder Act: This bill protects residents undergoing addiction treatment by requiring alcohol and drug rehabs in California to adopt a client bill of rights that seeks to ensure every client is are treated with dignity, honesty, and respect.

California’s Good Samaritan Law: This law encourages California residents to call 9-1-1 if an overdose is suspected. It protects individuals who seek emergency medical care for overdose from legal repercussions for possession of a controlled substance/drug paraphernalia or providing alcohol to minors.


  1. Kucher, K. (2022, September 1). Overdose deaths surged 33% in San Diego County last year; local authorities warn of “fentanyl nightmare” – The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego Union-Tribune.
  2. Criminal Justice Clearinghouse. (2021). 2020 Adult Arrestee Drug Use in the San Diego Region.
  3. Salven, Sarah. (2021). 2021 report card. Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force San Diego County.
  4. DMC-ODS Treatment Services. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from
  5. Mental health & substance use disorder services. (n.d.). Medicare. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from
  6. Welcome to the City of San Marcos. (n.d.). San Marcos, CA. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from
  7. Ltd, rome2rio P. (n.d.). How to get to San Marcos from 5 nearby airports. Rome2rio. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from

Other Rehab Centers in California

Medical Reviewer
Dr Katie Brown, MD
Attending Physician
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As a recent family medicine graduate, Dr. Katie Brown has a solid foundation in addiction medicine. She is certified to prescribe Suboxone for opioid use disorder and has treated many cases of substance use disorder in her clinic. She is particularly experienced in diagnosing and treating alcohol use disorder as well as its complications.