San Diego Freedom Ranch in Campo, CA

Overall Rating

(4.2 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
1777 Buckman Springs Road
Campo CA 91906

San Diego Freedom Ranch Philosophy

San Diego’s Freedom Ranch is a 120-day residential addiction treatment program rooted in the foundations of the 12 Steps of Recovery. Clients receive highly structured care, featuring activities such as daily study groups, one-on-one staff discussions, assigned chores, community service, and more. Freedom Ranch offers a no-frills social-model for recovery, providing clients with the tools to maintain lasting sobriety.

Areas of Specialization

  • Residential Treatment
    Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.

  • 12-Step
    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.

Facility Highlights

Individual Counseling

Group Meetings

12 Steps of AA 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


For more than 40 years, San Diego Freedom Ranch has provided residential treatment for adult men dealing with substance abuse. The Ranch is located on 300 spacious acres of land in the town of Campo in San Diego County.


Admittance into San Diego Freedom Ranch begins with an interview. The ranch requires a four-month long stay. Treatment is highly structured and is rooted in the 12-steps. Clients will attend five hours of group classes centered on 12-step topics and one Alcohol Anonymous meeting daily.

Clients will engage in one-on-one meetings weekly with staff as well as group meetings with counselors. Group topics may include anger management, family wellness, and changing thinking patterns.

Residents will complete chores around the campus like cleaning, gardening, maintenance, and construction as long as they are physically able. They will also participate in community service activities at local churches, schools, and other organizations.

Clients will have relapse prevention training and are expected to compile an aftercare plan prior to leaving treatment. The ranch offers alumni activities as well.


San Diego Freedom Ranch's website indicates that many staff members are in recovery themselves. The executive director of San Diego Freedom Ranch has a master's degree and more than 20 years of working in substance abuse treatment. The facility also employs certified alcohol and drug counselors, certified addiction specialists, and a cook.


San Diego Freedom Ranch is settled on 300 acres of secluded land perfect for recreational activities like horseschoes, hiking, and meditation. If residents are physically able to work, they will cultivate fruit and vegetables in gardens. Clients can also enjoy miniature golf, weightlifting, and movie nights.

Residents will live in bunkhouse-style quarters. They will also have the opportunity to engage in community service.

Alumni and loved ones polled by to date gave the center four and five stars for accommodations.


Six alumni polled by at this time of writing gave overwhelmingly positive ratings to San Diego Freedom Ranch. Several alumni noted that while there were minimal recreational activities the facility changed their lives. “Don't get the wrong idea, these residence will also teach you to always have fun in life while we remain sober,” wrote Richard.

Alum J.G. wrote: "This place gave me exactly what I needed a since of self and fellowship and also a family." George added: "I love what the Ranch has done for me. I now work in the recovery field…Coming up on 12 years of recovery."


Loved ones polled by to date gave San Diego Freedom Ranch high marks. D.B. commented: “They are a strong team. It's far out of the way in a space that feels sacred. A great start to a new way of living.” Another anonymous loved one felt that "came home a different person who has been clean for two years” following treatment at the ranch.


San Diego Freedom Ranch does not turn clients away based on inability to pay. For San Diego County residents, costs are determined through a sliding scale based on income. The average wait time for men needing assistance is four to six weeks. Those from other areas of the U.S. must pay fees in full.

Published on January 2018

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
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This place is a dumpster fire. Its nowhere near as good as they make it sound. If youre a convict trying to kill your paper then go there. Because thats all its good for. And thats 99% of the "patients." Do not pay to go there. Its a dirt farm. Theirs no livestock or garden. Their trails are a big dirt circle and the food is on par with county jail. Avoid at all costs. I actually paid to go there. Worst mistake ever. And when I expressed thoughts of leaving early they marooned me with no money at a high desert casino with no way back into san diego. And I had come from new england. Its run by heartless condescending peoples. And they never get beyond the first four steps in AA because the entire place is a revolving door


The Freedom ranch basicaly saved my life. Three staff members in particular showed my stupid butt to a be new way of life .without alcohol! Loose u guys thank you for your help!


  • Accommodations & Amenities
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My role in my loved one's recovery was not enabling any further, supportive of his steps being taken.


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A loved one was addicted to iv heroin and cocaine for over three years, had tried countless inpatient and outpatient programs including methadone, he spent three months at freedom ranch and came home a different person who has been clean for two years.


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The Freedom Ranch saved my life and showed me a new way of life through love and service.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
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They take good care of this place and the men inside. They drive us out to meetings and I made close friendships with other guys who I'm still close to six months later. The staff are very serious about recovery and this place changed my life. I lost everything and was really serious and ready to live sober and they showed me how. It's far out of the city so it was a challenge for friends/family to visit but it was also a plus because it took me away from old "people, places and things" I had problems with.


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This is a men's program and there are a lot of men who support each other here. Men who have been through the program and return to help others. They are a strong team. It's far out of the way in a space that feels sacred. A great start to a new way of living. They have a couple of fun events like the chili cook-off, where others in recovery can come support each other. They encourage men to grow, heal, stay sober and become useful members of society again. Great place!


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
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This place gave me exactly what I needed, a sense of self, fellowship and family. I made a friend for life at this facility that I still speak with and support. If I were to relapse I would go there, but I don't plan on it. They changed my life.


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Saved my life. Period!


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This is a great facility for MEN ONLY. There is not much Leisure/Extracurricular Options because we are not up there to be distracted from our primary purpose, to get and remain sober. Don't get the wrong idea, these residence will also teach you to always have fun in life while we remain sober.

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