About this website
This website is to provide information on free/low-cost public health resources for youths transitioning out of the foster-care/probation system.

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Drug, Alcohol and Smoking Banner
In This Section:

Drugs Alcohol Smoking icon   What Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking Won't Do for You

As a teen who is about to transition out of the foster care system, you experience a lot of stress and are exposed to higher risk. You’ve got a lot of important things to do and think about before you age out. You might be tempted to use alcohol, drugs, and tobacco to relax or reduce stress but it could actually make your life harder and add to any problems you might already have.

You might have seen people around you who couldn’t cope with their problems, couldn’t get their life organized, or were often in and out of trouble. Drug and alcohol use may have had something to do with their difficulties.

If you are using alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, you can stop.

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Drugs Alcohol Smoking icon   Alcohol

Alcohol affects your central nervous system and your brain. When you are intoxicated, you may think you are moving properly and in character but your reaction time is dramatically slower and you may be acting more talkative or aggressive. You might have seen people do embarrassing things like fighting, throwing up, or peeing on themselves.

Drink regularly can:
  • Damage your ability to focus and get decent grades or perform well at sports
  • Make it more likely that you will have unsafe, unprotected sex, which might result in pregnancy or STDs
  • Increase the risk that you will be involved in an accident, rape, assault, car crash, homicide, or suicide
  • Damage your liver, heart, and brain
  • Make you fat and give you health problems like high blood pressure

Do you think you might need treatment for alcohol? The CAGE test is used internationally to identify problems with
alcohol — take the CAGE test:
  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning (eye-opener) to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may be need of treatment for alcohol addiction. Talk to your doctor or contact a treatment agency to see if you need treatment.

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Treatment for Alcoholism
Drug and Alcohol Treatmentpdf icon

This Medi-Cal service provider list sorts by city. Before you make an appointment, call and check that they still accept Medi-Cal. You can also call the number and find a provider near you.

Phone: (800) 564-6600

Alcoholics Anonymous

You might have heard of AA. It’s one of the best known organizations that helps millions of people recover from alcoholism.

Go to the LA County AA site or call the police number to find a meeting near you.

Phone: (323) 936-4343

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Drugs Alcohol Smoking icon   Drug or Substance Abuse

Drug addiction is a brain disease that causes a person to seek out drugs, despite the harm they cause. The first time a person uses drugs, it’s usually a free choice they’ve made. Repeated drug use causes the brain to change, so a person will seek out and use drugs over and over. Addiction has many negative effects such as stealing, losing friends, family problems, or other physical or mental problems brought on by drug use.

LA County Department of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control offers treatment programs for abuse of drugs among youths and young adults. There are options for different kinds of treatment, including both residential and non-residential treatment centers for youths.

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Treatment for Drug Addiction
Drug Facts

Understand how drugs affect the brain and body.

Map of Youth Services Providers: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse and Control pdf icon

Find a residential or non-residential drug abuse program near you.
: (323) 936-4343

Drug and Alcohol Treatment pdf icon

Medi-Cal service provider list by city. Before you make an appointment, call and check that they still accept Medi-Cal.
You can also call the number and find a provider near you.

Phone: (800) 564-6600

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous started from an Alcoholics Anonymous program in Los Angeles. The focus is on the disease of addiction instead of any particular drug.

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Drugs Alcohol Smoking icon   Smoking

Quitting smoking will improve your physical health, save you money, and can lead to better social interactions. There are many resources to help you quit!
Give Smoking a Kick in the Butt
LA Quits

Call the hotline for free nicotine patches and to speak to a counselor about how to quit smoking:

  • English: 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887)
  • Cantonese: 1-800-838-8917
  • Mandarin: 1-800-838-8917
  • Korean: 1-800-556-5564
  • Vietnamese: 1-800-778-8440
  • Spanish: 1-800-45-NO-FUME (1-800-456-6386)

Local Smoking Cessation Listings pdf icon

Resources to help you quit smoking in Los Angeles County

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Links: More HealthyTransitionLA.org Resources
Transition Planning icon   Need Medi-Cal coverage?
Need help getting healthy food?

Click here to download the Transition Planning Resource Sheet pdf icon.

Mental Health icon   Are you thinking of seeing a therapist?
Are you depressed or feeling like you can’t cope with your problems?

Click here to go to the Mental Health page of this website and read more.

transportation icon   Need help getting to your appointments?

Click here to go to the Transportation page of this website and read more.

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