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San Diego Addiction and Drug Rehab

Known for its beauty and culture, San Diego has drug rehabs for every budget, as well as numerous sober living residences. Drug trafficking from Mexico is common in the city, leading to increased availability of illicit substances, such as meth.

Addiction Treatment in San Diego

San Diego Nicknamed America’s Finest City, San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate and beautiful beaches, as well as being home to a thriving Mexican-American culture and U.S. Navy base. In addition to all that, San Diego is a very recovery-friendly city, offering quality treatment centers and numerous drug-free housing services.

In 2012, there were more than 14,000 drug and alcohol treatment admissions in San Diego.

While methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and alcohol are the most commonly treated substances in San Diego, there are treatment programs available for every addiction. The city also has treatment options for every financial situation, including luxury rehabs and state-funded centers. Please call us now for help finding a San Diego rehab.

Top San Diego Rehabs

Southern California is known for having high-quality treatment centers and San Diego is no exception. The city and its surrounding areas offer a number of trusted rehabs with experience treating drug and alcohol addiction. Some of the best rehabs in San Diego include:

Pacific Bay Recovery
(San Diego)


  • Cost: $
  • Length of program: 90 days
  • Capacity: 12 patients

Pacific Bay Recovery is a dual diagnosis treatment center located in downtown San Diego. The center also has a transitional housing facility in North Pacific Beach.

Pacific Bay Recovery offers inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and medical detox. The rehab also provides the following services:

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Yoga
  • Aqua therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Personal training

The treatment center specializes in behavioral and substance abuse disorders that commonly accompany chronic pain. However, their treatment plans are adaptable to treat a wide range of addictions. Pacific Bay Recovery accepts some insurances.

Casa Palmera
(Del Mar)

casa palmera

  • Cost: $$$
  • Length of program: 30-90 days
  • Capacity: 93 patients

Located in Del Mar, California, Casa Palmera is just a 30-minute drive north of San Diego. The dual diagnosis behavioral health treatment center takes a holistic approach to treatment, healing the mind, body and spirit. The center offers an array of different programs, including:

  • Residential substance abuse treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Mental and behavioral disorders treatment
  • Continuing care

The center in network with most major insurance providers and also works out-of-network with some carriers. Casa Palmera is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Should I Travel Outside of San Diego for Treatment?
While San Diego has many top-notch treatment centers, the best program for your needs may be located outside the city. It’s important to find a rehab with experience treating your addiction that also provides an environment where you’ll feel comfortable. Some notable centers outside of San Diego include:

  • AToN Center – Encinitas, CA (30 miles north, 1 hour drive)
  • Hazelden Betty Ford Center – Rancho Mirage, CA (125 miles northeast, 2.5 hour drive)
  • Promises Treatment Center – Los Angeles, CA (130 miles northwest, 3 hour drive)
  • The Lakehouse Recovery Center – Westlake Village, CA (165 miles northwest, 3.5 hour drive)
  • A Sober Way Home – Prescott, AZ (370 miles northeast, 6 hour drive)

Intensive Outpatient Treatment at Lasting Recovery

lasting-recoveryLasting Recovery is a top-rated outpatient treatment center located in San Diego’s Sorrento Valley. The center treats drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring disorders. Their treatment philosophy focuses on the biological, holistic, interpersonal and spiritual aspects of addiction and mental disorders.

The center uses a combination of evidence-based treatment methods, 12-step principles, holistic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients overcome their addictions. Lasting Recovery offers several treatment programs, including:

  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Family therapy
  • Weekend treatment

Lasting Recovery is certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the California Department of Healthcare Services (ADP). The center is also a Kepro Certified TRICARE Provider as a Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Facility (SUDRF), providing services for active duty and retired military personnel and their families.

Drug Abuse in San Diego

As is the case in Los Angeles, illicit drugs are widely available in San Diego due largely to the city’s proximity to Mexico—the Mexican border is a mere 17 miles from downtown San Diego. Drug trafficking is prevalent in the area and prohibited substances are smuggled into the city from Mexico and South America often.

In the 1990s, San Diego was known as the “meth capital of the world”—a title that, until recently, was slowly becoming obsolete thanks to increased education, prevention, treatment and enforcement in the area.

However, meth seems to be making a comeback in San Diego, with increasing amounts of the drug being smuggled in from Mexico.

“If you look at this last year, we’ve had the highest amount seized, and that was 14,732 pounds of meth…that’s a lot of meth. Over the last five years, the amount seized has gone up significantly each year.”

San Diego County Undersheriff Ed Prendergast, KPBS Midday Edition, 2015

Other drugs commonly smuggled into San Diego include:

Alcohol, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana make up the top four most commonly treated addictions in San Diego.

Addiction and Drug Abuse Statistics in San Diego


In 2013, there were 541 drug and/or alcohol overdose deaths in San Diego County.


In the first half of 2013, 29 percent of treatment admissions were for methamphetamine, a 4 percent increase from the first half of 2012.

3,328treatment admissions

In 2012, there were 3,328 treatment admissions for heroin—the second most treated substance addiction that year behind meth.

Addiction Treatment Services in San Diego

The city of San Diego is located in San Diego County. The San Diego County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Division provides Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services to San Diego residents. If you or someone you care about needs help in San Diego, there are a number of programs offered by the County’s AOD services, including:

  • Inpatient and outpatient adolescent treatment
  • Inpatient and outpatient adult treatment
  • Medical detox
  • DUI programs
  • HIV testing and counseling
  • Prevention programs
  • Women’s treatment

The BHS Division has contracts with local treatment service providers, allowing them to offer low-cost or no-cost prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services across the county. These services are funded by BHS and are provided regardless of a person’s ability to pay. These programs also accept Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program.

Second Chance Program

San Diego’s Second Chance program helps people become contributing members of society by creating opportunities for them to change their lives. The program provides workforce training and job placement to veterans, youth and adults who are former addicts or have been incarcerated.

Second Chance also has a clean and sober housing program. The program’s eight sober living facilities provide affordable, supportive housing for those struggling with substance abuse who want to turn their lives around. Second Chance offers referrals to treatment facilities, as well.

Find Help in Your City Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please know help is readily available and merely a phone call away. Whether you’re looking for a rehab in San Diego or just outside the city, we can find the treatment center that best fits your needs. Please call us now to start your path to recovery.

Sources & Author Last Edited: December 2, 2015

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). "Drug Abuse Patterns and Trends in San Diego County—Update: January 2014." Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). "Drug Use and Abuse in San Diego County, California: 2013" Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  3. County of San Diego Department of the Medical Examiner. (2013). "2013 Annual Report." Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from: Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  4. Second Chance. (2015). "Second Chance Clean & Sober Housing." Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  5. Lasting Recovery. (2015). Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  6. Casa Palmera. (2015). Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  7. Pacific Bay Recovery. (2015). Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
  8. Burke, M., Cavanaugh, M., Pico, P. "San Diego County's Meth Problem Not Going Away." KPBS. 6 Jan 2015. Retrieved on November 26, 2015 from:
About the Writer, Kayla Smith

Kayla Smith is the editorial director for Addiction Center. After working for years as a journalist, she joined the Addiction Center team in hopes of spreading awareness about addiction and mental health issues and helping people get treatment.

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