Drug addiction, more properly known as substance use disorder, is rampant in the United States. Based on the data, more than 20 million Americans are addicted to at least one substance. Of that number, a mere 10 percent receive treatment.
Why do so few people seek treatment? The reasons vary, but one of them is the cost of drug rehab. The entire rehab process can cost a lot of money, and most people opt to skip treatment for financial reasons.
How expensive, really, is drug rehab? Let’s take a closer look.
What goes into the price of a drug rehab program?
Drug rehab programs are comprehensive, covering detox, medications, behavioral therapies, and accommodation costs for inpatient rehab.
Each rehab center also has its own pricing. Those that have more luxurious amenities like sports facilities, spas, saunas, swimming pools, and the like are much more expensive than others. Rehab centers in locations with higher costs of living tend to be more expensive as well.
The number of treatment programs offered by the rehab center also influences the cost of a rehab program. If a center offers more therapies and a wide variety of therapists, the price is higher.
The length of rehab is another huge factor that determines price. The longer patients have to stay in the program, the costlier it becomes.
For patients going through inpatient rehab, the costs of food, housekeeping, and other related services add to the price.
The costs of aftercare may also be factored into the price. Aftercare is a series of follow-up therapies performed after patients have completed their rehab programs. Aftercare programs are important as they are highly effective in preventing relapse.
How much does a typical drug rehab program cost?
Generally, inpatient rehab programs cost much more than outpatient ones. Detox and medications also add to the cost. Here are a few estimates:
- Many outpatient rehab programs total $5,000 for three months. For patients who have mild cases of substance use disorder, they may do well in a shorter program, so the cost is also lower.
- Most inpatient rehab programs are about $6,000 for one month. More severe cases require longer stays — anywhere from 60 to 90 days. These programs range from $12,000 to $60,000 for the entire duration of the program. Popular rehab centers may charge higher — as much as $20,000 for a 30-day program.
- Detox goes anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 if it’s outpatient. Inpatient rehab programs usually include the cost of detox in their pricing. Detox costs vary depending on the severity of the addiction and the type of substance.
- The costs of medication vary, as different substance use disorders require different kinds of medication. Some cases require none, while others can cost thousands of dollars a year. For example, treatment of heroin addiction often requires methadone, which costs around $4,700 per year.
For cases of substance use disorder that require a lot of special attention, the total cost of rehab may easily go up to more than $100,000 in all.
What are the options to help pay for drug rehab?
Many health insurance policies cover drug rehab, and this is one common way of paying for it. Not all insurers cover the entire cost, though. Patients must first check with their insurance providers to see how much of their treatment is covered.
Rehab centers also give options for financial aid to patients, especially those who do not have health insurance. Some accept Medicaid, Medicare, and state-financed health insurance as well.
There are also charities and rehab centers that cater to low-income individuals.
Many patients are hesitant to take on financing for rehab because they think they will get into debt. However, rehab is best considered an investment, saving them more money in the long run.
For one, they will not spend a fortune on drugs once they have recovered. Not going through rehab will cost more because of the consistent urge to buy drugs.
Also, legal costs can stack up if users get involved in crimes because of drug use. Bail, damages, fines, lawyer’s fees, and many other costs can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s even more than the cost of a long-term inpatient rehab program.
The biggest financial impact will be felt when patients can get back to fulfilling careers. By this time, they will have been living a drug-free lifestyle and earning an honest living. The net flow of cash is positive — none of their money will be spent on drugs, and they earn money to buy more useful things like housing, clothes, food, and education.
Are there free drug rehab providers?
For individuals who are short on cash, there are rehab centers that cater to low-income individuals. There are even centers that offer free rehab services for the less fortunate.
However, there is a catch to the low cost. These centers usually lack the appropriate facilities and staffing to properly cater to addiction recovery. That means the rehab process may not be as effective as those in private rehab centers.
The lack of facilities and staff may also cause stress to patients. The environment in those rehabs may not be ideal for recovering individuals. The added stress may trigger relapses or discourage patients from fully committing to the recovery process.
Because of demand, these centers may have long waiting lists. Patients who sign up for a free or low-cost rehab will have to wait weeks, or even months, before they can begin their rehab programs.
How can patients find drug rehabs within their budget?
The first step is for patients to talk to their primary care doctors, who will formulate a plan of treatment appropriate for the case of each patient. The doctors will recommend treatment providers, then the patients can choose which one fits their budgets and insurance providers.
Patients must first ask the rehab centers if they accept medical insurance. If they do, patients must additionally check with their insurers to see how much of the drug rehab program is covered.
If there are remaining costs to be paid, patients may look to financing options provided by the rehab centers.