In recent years, there has been increasing concern that those who are in need of drug addiction treatment don’t have access to the services necessary to heal.
Long wait lists, high prices, and a lack of intervention and referrals to effective services seem to keep some people living in an active addiction even when they may be ready to embrace abstinence at a drug rehab program.
Many people feel that there is no hope of finding treatment if they don’t have money in the bank or an idea of how to connect with the right program for their needs. The truth is, however, that a great many strides have been taken to help ensure that all of the 23.2 million Americans who need it can take advantage of the treatment services offered by the more than 14,500 addiction treatment programs in the United States.
What does your loved one need to help him take the leap and connect with the drug rehab program that’s right for him?
Moves to Identify Addiction
A big push has taken place in law enforcement and the medical community to identify those who are living with an active addiction and connect them with appropriate care. Rather than continue to treat people with injuries and illnesses related to drug use or arrest those who committed drug-related crimes over and over again, there have been a number of changes made with an eye toward identification of people in need of drug rehab. Some of these changes include:
- Increasing standard questions asked of patients who are admitted to the ER after drinking or using drugs, followed by referrals to treatment if necessary
- Addition of questions and/or conversations about a patient’s view of alcohol or drug use during the teen and young adult years to address drug-related myths and help young people get help early if necessary
- Increasing the number of programs available to patients in rural areas where there are fewer drug rehab programs
- Use of drug courts that are designed to pull nonviolent drug offenders out of the criminal courts and connect them with treatment rather than jail time
- Changes to laws regarding health insurance and what services must be covered
All of this change has added up to increased opportunities for patients living with addiction to get addiction treatment services on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
If the changes over the past few years have translated into your addicted loved one recognizing that he has a drug problem that requires treatment or if new options have become available in your community for treatment, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many fear that they won’t be able to foot the bill for rehab services, and so they continue in their addiction rather than figure out how to pay for the care they need.
The good news is that it is easier than ever to amass the funds necessary to pay for addiction treatment. Here are just a few options that may be available to you and your addicted loved one:
- Health insurance coverage: The Affordable Care Act has made it mandatory that all health insurance coverage for sale on the Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid provide addiction and mental health treatment services to clients as readily as they provide medical care. With laws requiring all Americans to have health insurance coverage, this change can be of huge benefit to addicts and alcoholics who are in need of help but unsure where to find the money to pay for care.
- Savings: If you have an emergency fund, investments, or savings allocated for a specific purpose like college or retirement, it may be a good idea to put those funds towards drug addiction treatment. Early withdrawals from retirement accounts or using 529 or ESA funds to pay for anything other than education may result in penalties as well as additional taxes, so talk to a financial advisor to discuss your options and to determine if this is the best choice for you.
- Personal loan: If you have out-of-pocket expenses, you may have family members who would like to help pay the cost of treatment as their gift to your addicted loved one. Others may ask that repayment begin after treatment is complete.
- Financing: Banking institutions may be able to offer you financing for drug addiction treatment. Depending upon a number of factors, you may be able to take out a loan to cover most, if not all, of the costs of treatment with a monthly payment plan that makes sense for your family’s budget.
Few people have the money to pay the full cost of drug rehab readily available. Most people will use multiple resources to pay the bill in a way that makes sense for their situation.
What if you have the money to pay for treatment but there’s a waiting list to get into the rehab programs near you? This is an issue facing many people, especially those who live in rural areas where there are few programs to choose from and/or those who require specialized treatment services that will be able to address co-occurring mental health disorders in addition to addiction.
One of the best ways to bypass the waiting list is to open up your options. If you need a certain combination of treatment services and the only drug rehab near you has a six-month waiting list, then consider going out of town – even out of state – to find another treatment program that will be able to assist you. Costs are not usually higher for long-distance residents, and choosing a treatment program that is far from home may offer hidden benefits, including:
- Distance from dealers, problematic relationships, and other stressors at home may increase the ability to focus on recovery.
- The travel time from home to the drug rehab can provide time to prepare mentally and emotionally to begin treatment.
- The change of location can cause a psychological shift in perspective that promotes healing.
- Being in an unfamiliar place may decrease the likelihood of leaving treatment early.
No matter which drug rehab you choose, if your addicted loved one is living with an active addiction, the time to get help is now. The more time one spends in addiction, the more likely it is that they will become the victim of any of the many risks associated with chronic drug abuse. The only way to minimize those risks? Seek professional drug treatment right away.