How much is alcohol recovery really worth? Estimating the value of sobriety and its importance to your life may not be possible, but the financial costs of alcohol detox are easier to calculate. When you enroll in a detox program, there are a number of services that you’ll be paying for. If you detox at an inpatient facility or hospital where you stay overnight, you may pay more than a client at an outpatient detox center. But regardless of the costs of detox, choosing the right level of care can make all the difference in the world in your chances of recovering from alcoholism.
Costs of an Inpatient Detox Program
The setting of an alcohol detox program is the most important determining factor in the cost of detox. Inpatient detox at an addiction recovery center will be more expensive than detox at a public detox facility, community hospital, emergency room or jail. But the quality of care you receive through a specialized rehabilitation program is likely to be superior to the supervision you get at facilities that don’t focus on the complexities of alcohol withdrawal and rehab.
What makes inpatient treatment more costly than outpatient detox? Inpatient detox is often recommended for current heavy drinkers, long-term alcoholics or substance abusers with co-occurring physical or mental disorders. According to the Alcohol Health & Research World, the medical complications of severe alcohol withdrawal can raise the price of inpatient treatment significantly. These costs may include:
- Pharmaceutical therapy to manage symptoms like delirium tremens (DTs), prevent seizures, and relieve the agitation and anxiety of withdrawal
- Intravenous fluid replacement and nutritional supplementation to stabilize the patient and restore hydration
- 24-hour medical supervision by doctors and nurses
- Facility costs associated with an overnight stay at a residential treatment center, such as personnel, housing, food and housekeeping
At an inpatient detoxification center, you may have the option to transfer directly from detox to the rehabilitation phase of recovery. In the rehab stage, you’ll go through intensive counseling and have the opportunity to participate in group meetings, holistic therapies and behavioral modification classes.
Costs of Outpatient Detoxification
Depending on how long you spend in detox and the facility you choose, the detoxification process may cost several hundred to several thousand dollars. At an ambulatory detoxification center, you can enter detox as an outpatient and receive many of the same services that you would receive in an inpatient program, such as ongoing medical evaluation, pharmaceutical therapy and counseling. However, you don’t have to pay for round-the-clock staffing, meals, or high facility costs at an outpatient treatment program.
A study published in European Addiction Research found that participation in an outpatient detox program was a safe, cost-effective alternative to inpatient detox. Out of the study participants who entered an outpatient detox center for five to seven days, 94 percent graduated from the program. Sixty percent received medications to help them with the side effects of alcohol withdrawal. Psychosocial strategies were also used to reinforce the benefits of detox and motivate the clients to continue to the next stage of rehab.
Is Detox Worth the Price?
Only you can determine how much sobriety and recovery are worth to you. For many alcoholics, the personal costs of losing close relationships, jobs and financial assets — not to mention personal integrity and physical health — are so severe that the price of detox and rehab seem minimal by comparison. Talk with one of our addiction counselors about how our supportive detox program could start you on the path to a new life in sobriety.