Navigate Up
Alcohol & Drug Services
Menu +

Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified: 4/5/2012 9:44 AM
​Licensing/certification requirements depend on the type of service offered. State licensing is mandatory for Residential Treatment programs. Outpatient Treatment providers should also be certified by the State. Information on licensing, certification, and application forms can be obtained from the State of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. THU providers are not required to be licensed, but may be certified by the Santa Clara County District Attorney. For more information on certification guidelines and procedures, call 408-792-2681.
  • Services include:
        Assessment: Assessments are available at all treatment sites. The first assessment identifies clients' psychosocial profile, including their alcohol and other drug use; psychological, physical, legal, and vocational issues; and family and social relationships. By the end of this assessment, clients have an initial treatment plan.
        Detoxification Services: Treatment to rid the body of the effects of alcohol and other drugs. Non-medical, drug-free, inpatient settings provide 24-hour supervision. Some outpatient sites provide methadone detoxification.
        Residential Treatment: Structured live-in programs at licensed treatment facilities for men, women, and women with children.
        Outpatient Treatment: A variety of flexible services and programs based on one's treatment needs. Includes services for pregnant and parenting women; and medically supervised methadone maintenance to help stop opiate/heroin use.
        Dual-Diagnosis Services: A variety of services for clients with alcohol and/or other drug and mental-health problems. Includes residential, outpatient, psychiatric, and case- management services.
        Methadone/Drug-Replacement Therapies: Effective medical treatment and outpatient counseling for heroin and other opiate addictions.
        Transitional Housing: Temporary, safe, and affordable housing for clients who are in outpatient treatment. Residents are expected to be clean and sober.
        Prevention Services: Alcohol and other drug information and referral, education/classes, and support services.
        Education, Training & Employment Services: Different programs to help with skill development, job/life planning, and employment.
        Additional Services:
        - Referral for crisis and/or family counseling (can be accessed anytime during your treatment, if needed);
        - Referral to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation for mental illness (can be accessed anytime during your treatment, if needed).


  • The Department of Alcohol & Drug Services has united several community-based and County providers in Santa Clara County into a single Managed Care System. This helps us to give clients high quality, cost-effective care in a timely manner.
  • Services are provided in convenient locations throughout the county. When you speak to a Gateway counselor, you can request an assessment or treatment location to suit your needs.
  • All of our services work best when you are willing to participate in the programs and have a desire to stop using alcohol and other drugs.
  • Through standardized assessments, clients move through a continuum of care-- based on individual needs--for as long as they need services.

View our information cards for details on the services provided

  • ​You can access treatment in the Managed Care System by calling Gateway at 1-800-488-9919.
  • Gateway provides screenings in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Fees are based on your ability to pay for services. Some programs in the Managed Care System accept private insurance and Medi-Cal.
  • ​Your assessment is the first step toward developing a treatment plan.
  • The appointment lasts from 1- 2 hours.
  • If you are put on a waiting list, you will be told how to stay on the waiting list and approximately how long it will be before you enter treatment.
  • We admit clients into treatment as quickly as possible.
  • To improve your access to services, please keep your scheduled appointments.
  • ​All information in your alcohol and drug treatment records is confidential and is protected by federal and state laws.
  • The Managed Care System can share information about you with another person only if you give your written permission.
  • There are some exceptions to your right to confidentiality. Those exceptions are related to child abuse, elder abuse, and harm to self or others.
  • Disclosure without client consent is authorized to qualified personnel for the sole purpose of conducting scientific research, management, or financial audits, or program evaluation but such persons shall not identify, directly or indirectly, any individual client in any report of such research, audit, or evaluation, or otherwise disclose identities in any manner.
  • The Department of Alcohol & Drug Services offers special "Dual Diagnosis" services to people who are experiencing problems with substance abuse and psychiatric symptoms (such as anxiety and depression) at the same time. 
  • These services are specifically designated for those people who do not have access to other mental health services.

People who have a serious and persistent mental illness do not qualify for these special dual diagnosis services in the DADS System. 

  • To see if you qualify for these dual diagnosis services, contact Gateway at 1-800-488-9919.
  • ​When you call Gateway, a counselor will assess your immediate needs. If you require immediate medical attention, the counselor will refer you for treatment whether you have insurance or not.
  • It is not required that you have insurance in order to receive necessary medical care.
​This is DADS' central screening, information, and referral program. Anyone interested in DADS prevention or treatment services should call 1-800-488-9919 as the first step toward receiving help. Those who require actual treatment services will receive a screening and referral to the most appropriate level of care.
​The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has a Speakers Bureau you may call (408-292-7292) to arrange for a free presentation on alcohol-, tobacco-, or other drug-related topics.
Any response to an area of concern in your child's life is always best done in the context of communicating that you are a loving parent looking out for their safety and health as a growing teen. It is often helpful to talk with a trusted friend or healthcare professional in whom you, as the parent, can confide so that you may approach your child with some support.
Stick to the facts of what you know and avoid blaming statements or threats directed at your child. Your child may not be involved in using alcohol or other drugs. Let your child know that you suspect substance use and are simply taking steps to confirm that and/or to seek appropriate help. It lets them know you are being honest and upfront. If you are still uncertain about what drugs your child may be using or for how long, speak with a professional. Resources are typically found at high schools, your private doctor, county agencies, and outpatient treatment programs that specifically serve youth.
For additional information contact the Department of Alcohol & Drug Services' Children, Family & Community Services Division at 408-299-2304.
​Services available to adolescents include prevention and/or education literature, school-based support groups, intervention services, outpatient counseling, and some limited residential treatment services in Santa Clara County.
a. At what age may children receive services?
Typically, services are available for children ages 13-18. However, if certain qualifications are met, there are some exceptions for those slightly younger and older.
b.Does my child need my consent to be treated.
In California, children may be treated for alcohol and other drug use without parental consent. However, the policy of DADS service providers is to involve parents/guardians in counseling whenever possible because teenagers have a better chance for success when the family is involved in the treatment process.
c. How can I get my child into treatment?
Before any child can receive treatment, he or she should first receive a comprehensive assessment by a therapist who specializes in substance abuse treatment issues to determine the most appropriate level of care that is needed. If your teenager attends a local high school, contacting a counselor at the school is a good place to start. If the counselor is unable to conduct the screening or assessment, he or she will often refer you to someone in your community who can. Your own primary healthcare provider is another resource. Kaiser, for example, provides a range of counseling services for adolescent substance abuse treatment. Additionally, the County of Santa Clara offers screening, assessment, and treatment services in designated school districts throughout the county and also offer brief therapy for youth who do not attend schools where these services are available. For additional information, contact the Department of Alcohol & Drug Services' Children, Family & Community Services Division at 408-299-2304.
There are five types of treatment services available for heroin addiction:
1. Outpatient drug-free counseling;
2. Residential treatment;
3. Methadone detoxification;
4. Methadone maintenance; and
5. Perinatal substance abuse treatment for pregnant women addicted to heroin.
There are established State and Federal eligibility requirements for methadone maintenance. These requirements generally include previous unsuccessful non-methadone treatment and documentation of opiate dependency. The Gateway Program determines client eligibility and refers clients to the most appropriate treatment modality. You may call the Gateway Program at 1-800-488-9919.
​There are six providers throughout the county. Anyone convicted of driving under the influence must attend a licensed DDP to fulfill the Department of Motor Vehicles' requirements. Programs offered include a 12-week (Wet Reckless) First Offender Program, a 3-month First Offender Program, a 6-month First Offender Program, and an 18-month Multiple Offender Program. Classes are provided in English, Spanish, and Asian languages. Not all providers have all language capabilities. Services for hearing-impaired clients are also available. For further information, call 408-272-6500.

​The Court refers clients directly to one of three providers in the county.

Services consist of 24 hours of education. Clients needing a higher level of service are directed to the Gateway Program (1-800-488-9919), where they are assessed and referred to the appropriate treatment modality.

​There are gender-specific programs for women available in these modalities: Detoxification, Residential Treatment, and Outpatient Treatment. Some programs offer child care, van transportation, parenting classes, domestic-violence counseling, and reunification counseling. Some transitional housing services are for women only, or for women and their children. Please call the Gateway Program at 1-800-488-9919 for a referral to the most appropriate level of care.
​If you need to reschedule an appointment with a service provider within thirty days of the receiving the original appointment date from Gateway, you should contact the provider site to re-schedule.
​Yes. Health Realization (HR) is a non-traditional approach to treatment. HR helps clients rediscover their innate health and understand the function of thought in their lives. DADS offers Outpatient and support classes. For more information, please call 408-792-5687.
​In general, most service providers have been awarded contracts with DADS by submitting proposals in response to specific Requests for Proposals (RFPs). DADS periodically issues RFPs to solicit proposals in specific service divisions, or for specific treatment modalities. For further information, call the DADS Contracts Manager at 408-792-5685.
​You may send an e-mail to us requesting that your organization be added to the DADS mailing list. Please include your organization's name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and a contact person's name and e-mail address. If you cannot send us this information by e-mail, send it by mail to: Contracts Manager, Department of Alcohol & Drug Services, 976 Lenzen Avenue, 3rd Floor, San Jose, CA 95126.
​Contracts vary, depending on the requirements imposed by different funding sources. Some contracts have provisions for "fee-for-service" reimbursement. Most of the DADS contracts reimburse service providers upon submission of claims for actual allowable costs during the contract term. Contracts have a specified total maximum, and an amount is established for maximum monthly reimbursement.
​Credential requirements vary, depending on the position and the organization. The DADS Learning Institute (LI) provides year-round training, workshops, and conferences. For more information about all LI offerings, click their button on the DADS website:
​The Alcohol and Drug Contractors Association (ADCA) is a group of service providers who contract with DADS. ADCA meets monthly, and also meets regularly with DADS administrative staff. For more information about ADCA, please contact either of the current Co-Chairpersons: Gabrielle Antolovich (408-292-7292) or Howard Lagoze (408-288-6200).
​Medi-Cal covers select treatment services in the DADS system of care. Your treatment provider can help you determine if you qualify for Medi-Cal and can assist you in the application process.
​The Prop. 36/SACPA (Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act) was on the ballot in November 2000. The voters passed it by about 60%, and the law went into effect in July 2001. SACPA mandates alcohol and other drug treatment instead of jail for first and second non-violent drug offenses. For further information, please contact Steve Maggetti at 408-295-3636.
​The Santa Clara County District Attorney largely determines eligibility by the nature of the charges, with input from judges and public defenders. Once defendants are deemed eligible, they are charged, convicted, and sentenced with a referral for assessment and treatment. Most non-violent drug offenses deem a person eligible for SACPA. Clients with convictions for violent crimes, sexual offenses, or drug sales within the last 5 years are not eligible.
​Clients may participate for as little as 90 days and as long as 18 months. Most clients will be involved for 2-6 months.
​Clients are on probation and must comply with requirements such as court reviews, drug testing, fines, and participation in recommended treatment and education services.
​All fees are based on the ability to pay.
​Yes. A client may decide to receive services in the county of residence and will be referred to services in that county. Likewise, they may be convicted in another county and receive services here.
​Psycho-education, Outpatient Treatment, and THUs are located throughout the county. Other services are more centralized in the San Jose area.
​Family counseling is considered an Ancillary Service and will be made available to those who need or want it.
​Yes, clients must be at least 18 years old.
​They will return to court and the judge will determine what is next for them. They may be given another chance, or they may spend some time in jail.
​Yes. Drug testing (urine analysis) is done randomly at designated sites.
​Current DADS clients may remain in treatment where they are. Their treatment provider will complete paperwork identifying them as a SACPA client, and they will need to comply with the other court requirements mentioned above. This also applies to clients who receive Medi-Cal, who will be able to continue services in a Medi-Cal-certified program.
​Yes. Residential and Outpatient Treatment programs must be licensed and/or certified. THUs which serve SACPA clients must be certified by the Santa Clara County District Attorney.
​Yes. Services are available in several languages.
​No. After being deemed eligible, SACPA clients go to the Outpatient Assessment Center on Julian Street (adjacent to the Terraine Courthouse). Once in-custody clients are deemed eligible, they are referred to the Jail Assessment Coordinator (JAC). The only time a prospective SACPA client will go directly to Gateway is for pre-eligibility (Pre-Trial Services, self, or another referral that sends them to Gateway); i.e., before they are deemed eligible for SACPA by the District Attorney and judge.
​A SACPA client, once deemed eligible, must:
  • Go through the SACPA Assessment (either in or out of custody), unless going immediately to Detoxification;
  • Attend at least one Orientation session (either in or out of custody);
  • Attend the scheduled intake and begin determined services either before or after sentencing. If the client refuses a recommendation for Residential Treatment, the assessor will make the treatment recommendation and send it to the judge in the form of a treatment status report. The client is told to go to the Orientation and sentencing appointment and to tell the judge why he or she disagrees with the recommendation. If the client can negotiate this situation with the judge, we will place them in a lower level of care.
  • A client who is referred either to Residential Treatment or a THU may need to comply with the wait-list criteria (i.e., daily contact) if no Residential or THU beds are available immediately.
​SACPA offers a combination of the following: Assessment, Orientation, Education, Residential, Detoxification and Outpatient Treatment, Transitional Housing Units (THUs), Case Management, Job Readiness Training and other Ancillary Services, and Aftercare Education.