24/7 HOTLINE. We are always here to help.   510-792-help or 510-792-4357

F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions


Click on any of the questions below.  If you have other questions or need more information, we are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Just call 510-792-HELP (4357).


How do I sign up for services at Second Chance?

If you’re “coming on your own”, call 792-HELP or (510) 886-8696 (our Hayward location) and say you’d like to start treatment services. You’ll be told when the next group is (that same day!).  We will have you come in a half hour early for a brief orientation where you can be screened, be given basic info about our various services and how to become a participant, and sign a confidentiality form.
If you’re being sent here by Courts or Probation or some other official agency, call (510) 792-HELP (4357) and ask to speak to the Registrar’s Office. They’ll answer whatever questions you have about fees, available classes, etc.

How much do services cost?

Most people wanting recovery services pay nothing. People needing Court Ordered Services are charged a fee. We try to assist low income participants.

What is the usual waiting period for services?

You can come in for voluntary recovery services the same day you call. There is never a waiting list for these. Court Ordered Services participants are scheduled for the next available class, usually within a couple of weeks.

Do you offer drug testing?

Yes. We do drug screenings for anyone who wants them, for a small fee. Occasionally, official agencies (such as CPS) who mandate drug screening will pay for it.

Can I come into the program if I’m still drinking or using?

Yes. We are an abstinence based program, so the goal is always to stop drinking and drugging. But some of us took a while to “skid to a stop”. If you say you want to quit, we’ll work with you as long as you work with us.

How long is the program?

Court Ordered Services last either a specific time (such as DUI, which comes in 3 month, 6 month and 9 month versions) or a period set by the Judge or Probation Officer who refers you.

“Regular” Recovery Services aren’t measured in time, but in progress. You and your counselor will agree on treatment goals (such as stable sobriety, clean and sober coping skills, etc.) You are “done” when you meet these.

What if I drop out or leave the program early? Can I ever come back?

You are free to stop coming any time you wish. You are welcome back any time you wish. Some of us dropped in and out of recovery for quite a while until we got the hang of living clean and sober. (If you were sent by the Courts, your leaving or returning is between you and them.)

What if I’m on Medical Marijuana?

We treat medical marijuana the same way we treat any other doctor-prescribed medication. You can participate in services as long as you aren’t “loaded”. We also ask you not to smoke right before you come and to change your clothes if you’ve smoked recently. This is because the smell of marijuana is a “trigger” to some participants.

Is what I say during groups and counseling confidential?

Yes it is. We can’t disclose anything we hear without a signed Consent form. The exceptions are information about child or elder abuse or threats of serious harm to someone; we are required by law to alert the proper authorities in these cases.

The fact that you are coming here—not what you talk about—is entered into electronic records that the county, state and federal agencies who fund us have access to. These agencies may also collect demographic data (age, gender, race, etc.) and keep track of the number of services you receive. Demographics track what kind of people come to Second Chance for quality control (such as checking to see we don’t discriminate against any class of people). Counting services tells them how much to pay us.



We are always here to help.

(510) 792-HELP

(510) 792-4357