California State Laws for Substance Abuse Treatment
California Rehab and Recovery Resources
California Employee Rights
There are both federal laws and California state laws that address drug and alcohol dependency and treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that employers may not show discrimination against employees with disabilities. The term disability is defined as “[A] physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual..” by the ADA. Both alcoholism and drug addiction are considered disabilities by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
There are exceptions to this which leave the employee vulnerable to termination. Should an individual be found using drugs or alcohol on the job they will not qualify for protection under the ADA. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 works with public organizations, and many private employers, to increase substance abuse awareness and protect employees from action taken by a terminated employee.
Filing for Disability in California
California has paid short-term disability programs for employees who meet the eligibility requirements. The claim process is not difficult or complicated and quite often the employees’ health group will provide the application form from the Economic Development Department (EDD) website. When applying for California Short-Term Disability Insurance (SDI) the following must be true:
- Individuals must be unable to work for a period of 8 consecutive days, and on the eighth day, SDI benefits begin.
- Individuals must have been gainfully employed or job-seeking prior to the disability.
- Individual’s income must have exceeded $300 from prior pay period, and deductions for disability insurance must have been withheld.
- Individuals will need to provide documentation of treatment from their licensed medical professional.
- Individuals must file a claim within the first 49 days of disability.
- Individuals disability application must be completed by a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner
There are several factors that can keep an individual’s claim from being approved and therefore will remain ineligible for short-term disability insurance. If one is already receiving unemployment insurance or on paid family leave, SDI is not an option. Should a disability occur that involves any criminal charges or an individual is serving time for the offense, SDI will be unavailable. It makes sense that for those who enjoy worker’s compensation that exceeds any SDI benefits will not qualify. Short-Term Disability Insurance in California is reserved for those who meet the above requirements.
California’s Drug and Alcohol Epidemic
Substance abuse rates in California have grown to epidemic levels in recent years. Abuse of drugs and alcohol affects people from all socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. According to data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 2.6 million California residents age 18 and over sought treatment for substance abuse in 2015-2016. A more shocking statistic from the same survey is the number of minors under the age of 12 who sought treatment for substance abuse. The survey reports that more than 2.7 million pre-teens received drug or alcohol abuse intervention, with another 2.6 million reporting substance abuse for which treatment was not sought or received.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office released a breakdown of state resources allotted for discretionary general funding for 2016-2017. This budget outlines the need for public safety funding to aid with the growing substance abuse issues within California. This budget included $10 million for the treatment of substance abuse and other health issues. While this is a small percent of the $6 billion in funding available, it serves as an example of prioritized spending trends across the nation. According to the 2013 California Drug Control Update released under the Obama Administration, the rate of drug-induced deaths within the state was considerably lower than the current national average.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is the nation’s agency dedicated to the reduction in drug abuse and its associated issues. Prescription drug abuse has been identified as the nation’s fastest-growing concern and as a result, an intervention plan was created to address the need for education, monitoring, medication disposal and enforcement. This prescription drug intervention plan works to provide states with an effective framework in order regain control over current drug intervention strategies.
Drug abuse and addiction is California’s leading cause of premature death. It is estimated that 11 people die each day as a direct use of substance abuse. This figure includes resulting automobile accidents, homicides, and suicides. Law enforcement throughout the state deal daily with arrestees, most of whom are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Over 40 thousand California residents require emergency room visits due to alcohol and drugs. The state of California produces and supplies more medical marijuana than any other state, an amount totaling over $1.3 billion each year. The Drug Enforcement Administration releases statistics on drug seizures each year and estimates that in the state of California alone, more than 800 lbs. of heroin are collected. Methamphetamine collection is estimated to be over 5000 lbs. annually, and marijuana a shocking 413,000 lbs.
California State Drug Use Laws
While California is often viewed as having some of the more lenient state laws where medicinal and recreational marijuana were concerned, the same cannot be said for illicit drug possession laws. Any individual caught with drugs, whether they be carrying, selling or trafficking, can face substantial jail time. For those who are caught in possession of heroin or other street drugs, the sentence might be parole and drug rehabilitation.
California Heroin Laws
Heroin is a Schedule 1 drug under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This means that possession, sale or trafficking of this illicit drug can carry fines and jail time. Sentencing for possession of heroin in California can include probation with additional requirements, such as drug treatment and community service, but it often includes time in state prison. For those selling heroin, the punishments increase. Depending on the exact nature of the sale, and where it occurred, the consequences may vary. For heroin selling alone the jail time is 2-4 years and fines are up to $50,000 unless special circumstances exist. With special circumstances, the jail times can be enhanced by 3 years or more. Some of these special circumstances include:
- Selling to minors: state prison time of 3, 4, or 7 years
- Sale to school children or younger: state prison time of 5-9 years
- Selling using minors: state prison time of 3-9 years
- Sales that are made within 1000 ft. of any schools: additional 3-5 years
California Marijuana Laws
California’s laws about marijuana have become much more relaxed in recent years when the legalization of medical marijuana occurred in 1996. In 2016, residents voted to approve a proposition that allowed adults over 21 to buy, carry or use marijuana in amounts up to 28.5 grams. Consumption of purchased marijuana must happen on private property. Beginning in 2018, all selling or growing marijuana were required to carry a license and abide by a new tax that adds 15% to any sale. Two important codes regarding marijuana:
- Selling marijuana without a license: 6 months jail time and/or fines totaling $500
- Possession of marijuana over 28.5 grams: jail time up to 6 months and/or fines totaling $500
The state of California is located in the southwest United States. Neighboring states and countries include Nevada and Arizona to the east, Oregon to the north, and Mexico to the south. The Pacific border of California runs for almost 900 miles and is lined with some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. In the southern part of the state is Hollywood which is located in Los Angeles which is home to the country’s entertainment industry. In the Northern part of the state, the city of San Francisco and surrounding areas are home to some of the largest companies in the world. With a population of more than 39 million residents, California is the most populated state.
THE COASTLINE DIFFERENCE
Coastline Behavioral Health helps clients deal with the stronghold of addiction and behavioral health issues to develop healthier life skills to facilitate sobriety. Alcohol and drug addiction changes behavior in ways that are detrimental and we work in all areas of a client’s life including employment, personal relationships, finances, and health. Coastline Behavioral Health is set apart from the others in modality and treatment options, including the components of experiential therapy that have been developed by specialists in the addiction recovery field to meet individual client needs.
To find out more about our treatment program in Southern California, you can call to speak with a member of our admissions team. We are here to help you every step of the way.
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