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Fortunately, San Francisco has many resources for people when they seek help. Group support is often more helpful than going it alone! Here are general descriptions of some of the options you have. For more information, check out our list of treatment and recovery resources.

Do I need Drug Treatment?
This is a very complex question for most people and the answer is not always clear. There is also a big difference between "needing" treatment and "wanting" treatment. When the time comes to quit, some people are able to do it on their own or with some outside help from a support group or counselor. Others benefit from more intensive help. You may need to enter a formal treatment program if:

... You’ve tried to quit several times on your own without success.
You’re having a problem with several drugs at once.
Your cravings are so intense you want to be completely shut off from all access to drugs.
You’re having increasing physical and/or mental problems connected to your use.

If you’re in San Francisco, you can call the addiction counselors who work at the city’s Treatment Access Program: 1(800) 750-2727 (8am to 5pm, Monday - Friday). These folks can help you decide if treatment is right for you and help you explore options.

12-Step Groups (Alcoholic Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous/Crystal Meth Anonymous)
Widely available, peer-run groups focusing on spiritual aspects of addiction and the use of "sponsors" as recovery mentors. Some crystal users don’t feel real connected to the crowd at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and prefer Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). Others find NA or CMA too triggering. There can be a lot of energy around the 12-step model of recovery. A lot of folks find that the abstinence-focused and peer-based 12-step community is the only thing that works for them to stay clean or sober. Other people feel that the 12-step model and programs that follow it can be experienced as coercive faith healing. Every group has a different "feel" so shop around. Lots of gay-specific groups are available in San Francisco.

Click Here for Alternatives (or additions) to 12 step recovery groups

2-5 day stay in a medical facility where you can crash, come down or withdraw safely. The stay only takes care of your immediate physical needs and does not address the "issues" behind your use.

Regular attendance in a structured program of group and individual counseling. Patients attend day or evening sessions, but still live at home and even continue working.

Usually a 21, 28, or 90 day stay in a facility where you remain 24 hours a day. Inpatient can be great for people who need lots of structure and a safe environment away from triggers.

Many programs also address mental health issues at the same time. Program components, costs, space availability, and treatment philosophy vary greatly between agencies, so shop around.

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