Low-Cost and Affordable Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs

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A lot of people in the U.S. suffer from some type of substance abuse disorder or have a loved one battling addiction. This issue impacts many Americans, and its consequences go beyond individual drug use and alcoholism. This is a problem that affects the entire society, and it should be treated as such.1

There are a multitude of reasons why someone may decide not to get help. Availability of treatment and the stigma attached to addiction are only part of it. Those who want to escape their addiction may find that there is a significant barrier blocking them from getting help – money. This is particularly important for young adults, who are at a point in life where they should be taking their first steps toward establishing an independent future.2

Since so many Americans don’t take steps to get the help they need, it’s difficult to determine the exact number of people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Studies show different results, depending on the way research was conducted. It is, however, very likely that the actual numbers are much higher than the official ones because they include only those who get some sort of help for their substance abuse disorder.2

Still, many people remain invisible. Treatment may not be available to them because of where they live, or because they lack the financial resources to enroll in one of the substance abuse programs. To make things worse, there’s also the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction, and of going to rehab. But the cost factor remains the most important one.2

Types of Low-Cost Drug Rehabilitation Centers

Fortunately, there are many low-cost and affordable rehab options available for someone who wants to recover from addiction. As reported in the 2018 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, there are options when it comes to choosing a treatment facility in most states.3

Aside from the private for-profit rehab organizations (36%), there are also:3

  • Private non-profit rehabs facilities (53%) 
  • Government-funded rehab options that include:
    • Local, county, or community-funded ones (5%)
    • State-funded facilities (2%)
    • Federal (2%),  funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Indian Health Service, and others
    • Tribal-funded rehab centers (2%) 
  • Low-cost faith-based rehab centers.

Medicaid is accepted in 64% of all facilities included in the above-mentioned report, Medicare in 35%, different types of state-financed health insurance in 47% of facilities, while 34% accept federal military insurance.3

When it comes to low-cost drug addiction help or completely free rehabilitation programs, the sliding fee scale is accepted by 59% of all facilities, and completely free treatment is offered by 44% of all facilities. Patients who can’t afford treatment can get help at no charge in 19% of private for-profit facilities and as many as 78% of facilities operated by tribal governments.3

What Is Included in the Low-Cost and Affordable Alcohol and Drug Rehab Program?

All evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs consider a range of factors before determining the appropriate program for each individual. People battling addiction come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyles, and support systems. These factors are all taken into consideration when choosing the right kind of treatment.4

Some patients have co-occurring physical or mental health conditions that also need to be considered. These factors will determine the use of pharmacotherapy and the type of addiction counseling or psychotherapy that substance abuse patients attend. For example, there are specific programs suitable for military veterans, while others cater to patients whose emotional issues require attending gender-specific programs. There are also programs specifically designed for couples that want to fight their addiction together and work on improving their relationship at the same time.4

Is There Low-Cost or Free Inpatient and Outpatient Drug Rehab Near Me

Regardless of cost, all evidence-based substance abuse programs follow the same best practice standards. After a thorough assessment, and according to each person’s individual needs, patients usually go through medically monitored detoxification, followed by an inpatient or outpatient program. The choice between these types of programs is usually made according to the severity of addiction, potential co-occurring disorders, or a history of relapse.5

Inpatient programs are the most effective way to achieve lasting sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse, particularly in the case of severe addiction and previously unsuccessful rehab attempts. The short-term programs last for about a month, but some cases require longer stays at the facility, usually 3 to 6 months, up to a year.6 

This gives patients enough time to address the underlying causes of their addiction, usually through individual counseling sessions. The most commonly used type of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients adopt better coping skills to reduce the chance of relapse when they complete the program and return to their everyday lives.6

Pros and Cons of Low-Cost & Affordable Drug Rehab Centers

Enrolling in a low-cost or affordable drug rehab program has several advantages:7

  • The lower price. The perceived cost-prohibitive nature of substance abuse rehab is what prevents a lot of people from even exploring their options. Not having sufficient financial means to pay for the needed treatment is one of the main reasons why people who need help never receive it.
  • Greater availability. Affordable substance abuse programs are available to a larger number of people battling addiction. Being aware of the existing options is the first step toward getting treatment. Most people can’t afford to travel far from home or to take time off from work to attend rehab. This is where low-cost outpatient drug rehab programs can make all the difference.
  • Level and quality of care. Affordable or free substance abuse treatment programs may not have all the amenities of a private luxury treatment center, but they still provide a full continuum of care, evidence-based treatments, and FDA-approved pharmacotherapy.

Disadvantages of Low-Cost & Affordable Drug Rehabs

Naturally, low-cost or free rehab programs have some disadvantages too:8

  • Long waiting list. These low-cost drug treatment centers don’t usually have sufficient resources at their disposal, and since a large number of patients need this kind of help, the services they provide might not be as readily available and they may sometimes involve longer waiting times.
  • Outdated facility or equipment. Some of the low-cost drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers may not have the most modern equipment and amenities, due to limited resources, and some of them may not provide certain specialized programs that are available at higher-end facilities.
  • Lack of obligation or personal commitment. Since most of the affordable substance abuse programs generally focus on outpatient care, patients spend only several hours per week receiving treatment. This may not be enough for some of them, as they may lack the commitment and willpower to adhere to the program after they leave the facility and go back to their everyday environment.

Who Qualifies for Low-Cost Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs?

To qualify for one of the free or low-cost substance abuse programs, you need to provide certain documentation that proves that you are eligible for this type of affordable addiction treatment. Eligibility criteria include:9

  • Proof of US citizenship.
  • Current income statement and household size.
  • Proof of residence.
  • Lack of insurance coverage.

How To Find an Affordable Inpatient Drug Rehab Center?

Fortunately, there’s a growing number of resources for people from various backgrounds, and some of the historically more expensive types of rehab programs are becoming available to larger numbers of people. This is the case with residential drug rehab centers, which offer programs that require living at the treatment facility. Since the importance of getting the appropriate type of SUD program has become more evident during the last decades (particularly due to the opioid epidemic), there are various options for treating severe addiction, commonly accompanied by one or more co-occurring mental health conditions.4, 10

To find the best low-cost or completely free inpatient rehab centers, you should start your search with the most reputable agency that deals with addiction and mental health issues – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Their website offers a directory of agencies and information about local rehab centers and resources in each state, which will help you find suitable and affordable options near you.11

You can visit SAMHSA’s website FindTreatment and simply fill in the online form. You’ll get a list of affordable drug treatment and detox centers with their respective phone numbers, addresses, and websites. The distance from where you live is also listed, so you can locate those closest to you. Make sure to call the facility first and find out if the services you need are available at that location. Additionally, you can use Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator for the same purpose.12

The different ways you can pay for treatment include:13

  • Sliding scale payment.
  • Help from your community, family, friends, or church group.
  • Loans you can get from a bank.
  • Rehab scholarships, usually provided by certain institutions, and awarded on a case-by-case basis. Some non-profit foundations offer scholarships too.

You can easily get all the necessary information by calling one of the addiction helplines that can direct you to the most suitable treatment center whether you’re looking for low-cost inpatient drug rehab centers in Florida or affordable rehabs in California. You can get advice about the best low-cost alcohol treatment centers and ask how to prepare for a substance abuse program. A nationwide network of highly rated rehab facilities, American Addiction Centers (AAC) can verify your insurance coverage during a simple phone call to their helpline. Make sure to have your health insurance card with you when you call so AAC’s admission navigators can check your benefits and provide you with guidance and advice about the admissions process, or answer any additional questions you might have.

Frequently Asked Questions