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Paying for Drug Rehab

Paying for drug rehab shouldn’t be an obstacle to recovery, but in fact, many people who suffer from drug addiction hesitate to get help because they’re worried about the cost. Addiction can undermine your sense of self-worth and make you second-guess your need for rehabilitation. When you’re weighing the costs of a professional treatment center against the benefits, you may wonder if you really deserve to spend money on your own recovery.

Attending an intensive drug rehab program is well worth the cost when you think about how rehabilitation can change your life in the future.

Consider these long-term benefits of a comprehensive recovery program:
  • Getting into rehab can reduce your risk of developing a costly health condition in the future, such as heart disease, kidney failure, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS.
  • Living a clean and sober life will eliminate the expenses of illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Stopping behaviors like compulsive gambling can help you avoid the devastating financial consequences of addiction.
  • Rehab may make you a stronger, more confident person, helping you make positive changes in your professional life that could eventually increase your earning potential.

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?

The cost of drug rehab will vary depending on the type of facility, the length of your stay and the extent of the treatment you need. At a publicly funded agency or non-profit treatment center, you might lower the cost of rehab, but the quality of care may not be comparable to a privately funded facility. Outpatient treatment is less expensive than inpatient care, because the costs of 24-hour staffing, overnight housing, meals and maintenance are eliminated. But an outpatient program may not offer enough structure or supervision if you’re struggling with a serious addiction.

The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) provides ongoing estimates of the average costs of addiction treatment in the United States. According to statistics from the 2003 cost study:

  • The mean cost of an admission for treatment at an outpatient center was $1,433.
  • The mean cost of a treatment admission at a residential facility was $3,840.
  • The mean cost per day for a residential addiction treatment program was $76.13.
  • For methadone treatment, the average cost per visit was $17.78.

These statistics can be misleading, because they don’t necessarily reflect the length of treatment, the credentials of the staff, the quality of the facility or the level of care that the clients receive. The costs of rehab are determined by a number of important factors, not all of which are represented in this report. Recovery at a luxury rehab facility may be much more costly than getting sober at a non-profit treatment center, but you probably won’t have the same staff-to-client ratio or be offered the same range of services.

When you’re calculating the costs of rehab, your own recovery should be your top priority. Given the devastating effects of drug addiction on your body, your mind, your emotions and your personal relationships, the price of an effective recovery program seems insignificant by comparison.

Using Health Insurance for Rehab

paying for treatmentMany drug rehab centers accept health insurance for rehab. If you have insurance, you can contact your carrier directly to find out which services are included in your policy. When you talk with your provider, ask these important questions:

  • Does my policy cover drug and alcohol rehabilitation?
  • Is inpatient treatment covered as well as outpatient services?
  • Is anti-addiction medication, such as naltrexone, buprenorphine or acamprosate, covered under my policy?
  • How long is treatment covered?
  • Are there network restrictions on my treatment options?

Many insurance companies have networks of providers or facilities that have contracted with the insurer to provide their services at a specific rate. If you go outside of the network for drug rehab, you may pay more for treatment. With the more restrictive policies, out-of-network treatment may not be covered at all. Insurance providers may also limit the length of time that you attend rehab. Some companies will cover rehab for up to 90 days, while others may cover treatment for 30 days.

If you’re covered by health insurance through the company you work for, it’s natural to worry about how your employer will react if you go to drug rehab. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects your right to seek recovery by prohibiting most employers from firing you under these circumstances:

  • You have graduated from an addiction treatment program and are not using illicit drugs.
  • You are enrolled in a monitored rehab program (an outpatient, inpatient or Employee Assistance Program should qualify) and you’re not using drugs.
  • You were falsely believed to be using drugs, but you are actually clean.
  • You have a problem with alcohol dependence that does not affect your ability to do your job and does not endanger others.

Employers must also make accommodations for employees who need to adjust their work environment after rehab. For instance, if your job required you to work with controlled medications, you may be transferred to another position where you don’t have contact with potentially addictive drugs. If job stress contributed to your substance abuse, your duties or hours may be modified to reduce your level of anxiety in the workplace. Employers also have the obligation to respect your privacy and to follow federal regulations regarding the confidentiality of your personal health information.

When you’re still under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have difficulty focusing on the payment process or making the right decisions about how to cover your treatment. Admissions specialists at many facilities will work with you to determine the extent of your insurance coverage and counsel you on any concerns you might have about using insurance for drug rehab.

Seeking Help From Family Members

FamilyAddiction can take a tremendous toll on your finances, leading to unemployment, overwhelming debt and bankruptcy. If you don’t have the funds to pay for drug rehab, family members may offer to help. Asking for financial assistance from your parents, grandparents, siblings or other relatives can be difficult, especially if you’ve had personal conflicts in the past. But if your family supports your decision to enter rehab, they may be more than willing to help you cover the costs.

For many addicts, asking for help is the single biggest obstacle to recovery. Denial may lead you to believe that you don’t really need rehab, so why should you bother other people for assistance? Pride can also be a hurdle, making you reluctant to admit that you can’t handle the situation yourself. Remember that addiction isn’t a matter of moral strength or willpower; it’s a disease that requires treatment.

Considering Personal Assets

Selling personal assets, such as a car, a boat, a vacation property, jewelry or a recreational vehicle, may be an option if you don’t have the liquid funds for rehab. If you take an inventory of your belongings, you might be surprised to find that your items have more value than you realized. When it comes to choosing between an expensive possession and your physical and mental well-being, your recovery should take priority. Financial assets like insurance policies, investment funds or retirement accounts may also be resources for treatment.

In the end, your single greatest asset is your life. Drug addiction can literally destroy that gift. If you’re ready to make the commitment to recovery, we can help you take that step. During the admission process, we’ll discuss your options for payment and help you find a solution that accommodates your needs.

Further Reading