Money is the No. 1 obstacle to treatment, according to families who are in crisis because of addiction. While it can be challenging to find the funds to pay for drug rehab, it is possible with the right resources.

Addiction is expensive. It costs a significant amount for communities to manage higher medical expenses, costs associated with law enforcement and the court system, and the price of managing issues related to addiction, such as child welfare, cleaning up public areas, and homelessness. Addiction is financially devastating to families as well.

Many families with a loved one in addiction lose money due to:

  • Loss of employment by the person living with addiction
  • Theft from family funds by the person seeking to maintain their addiction when they no longer have a cash flow
  • Loss of workdays for the caregiver when emergency strikes
  • Legal fees and associated court costs for drug-related arrests
  • Copays for medical emergencies related to drug use and abuse

By the time they get to the point of enrolling their loved one in an addiction treatment program, their funds are depleted, and they are emotionally exhausted. High-priced treatment programs can feel immediately out of reach. When overwhelmed by the stressors of active addiction, it can be difficult to gather together resources and figure out how to move forward.

The good news is that there are many avenues of assistance for families who are seeking drug addiction treatment, and there are people on standby to assist with the process of securing those funds and enrolling in drug rehab.

What Are The Costs Of Addiction Treatment?

Though it may feel that rehab prices are astronomically high, it is important to note that drug addiction treatment is not frivolously expensive.

The price of care provides for the cost of:

  • Well-educated, highly experienced drug addiction treatment professionals who are trained to provide medical and psychiatric interventions
  • Buildings and estates that are conducive to health and wellness
  • Employees to manage house cleaning, meal prep, reception, and more
  • Drug testing, mental health testing, and testing for medical disorders
  • Private drug treatment programs are more expensive than public facilities because:
  • They do not have access to the same state and federal funding grants.
  • They provide treatment to far fewer clients at a time to increase the one-on-one attention provided to each person.
  • There are far more substance abuse treatment professionals on staff, many of whom have decades of experience and intensive educations under their belts.
  • They offer a wider range of traditional, alternative, and holistic treatment options.
  • They have access to cutting-edge treatments, medical care, and more.
  • They provide for long-term aftercare and follow-up support.
  • They offer the opportunity to return to treatment if relapse occurs since addiction is a chronic medical illness that may require regular re-connection with treatment.

hough some high-end luxury drug rehab programs are expensive because they treat only a select few people at a time, offer gourmet cuisine, and feature enough amenities to be mistaken for an elite resort, many programs invest the costs paid by clients into providing an intensive and comprehensive treatment program tailored to meet their specific needs.

What Factors Impact The Cost Of Drug Addiction Treatment?

The cost of drug rehab is also affected by factors that are unique to the individual as well as to the drug addiction treatment program itself.

Drug of choice

The medical care needed to treat someone breaking free from alcoholism is very different in price when compared to someone going through marijuana detox or a low-dose addiction to any substance. The more intense the addiction, the higher the cost of treatment as it could mean more medical care, a longer time spent in treatment, and expensive medications.

Co-occurring disorders

If someone is living with a co-occurring medical disorder, mental health disorder, or behavioral disorder in addition to a substance addiction, the person must get treated for all issues simultaneously. This can have a big impact on the cost of care. It requires specialized treatment and medical professionals trained in the treatment of addiction and the co-occurring disorder as well.


Metropolitan areas, resort locations, and other expensive parts of the country can tack on a premium cost to drug rehab programs. Because these locations are more densely populated and people may be interested in traveling to their area, they may also offer higher-end amenities and treatment options.

Type of treatment

In general, outpatient care is often less expensive than inpatient treatment programs due to the lack of room and board costs associated with each client. Paying for staff members to stay overnight, the increased burden on the facilities and utilities, and security can add up quickly, making it far more cost-effective in many cases to choose outpatient care. In other cases, however, a bare-bones residential treatment program may be less expensive than a more intensive outpatient treatment program at a high-end facility.

Insurance coverage

Health insurance providers in the United States are required by law to cover the cost of mental health treatment and addiction treatment services as readily as they cover the cost of physiological medical treatment. However, each state has different mandates when it comes to the specifics. Each health insurance company further redefines what is medically necessary for drug addiction treatment and what isn’t on a case-by-case basis.

To complicate things further, not every policy within a company will cover the same types of treatment. While one health insurance policy might cover the cost of residential drug treatment when it is first requested, someone covered under a less comprehensive plan offered by the same company may be told that they will need to attend an outpatient drug addiction treatment program first.

What Resources Are Available To Help Cover Treatment Costs?

No matter where you are, nonprofit organizations are available to assist you in connecting with the resources you need to pay for drug rehab if someone in your family needs it.

It can take a little bit of research and asking around, but there are options. Some possibilities include:

  • Support and assistance from your church or synagogue.
  • Grants provided by local nonprofits, especially that serve the population you represent, such as your ethnicity, gender, or age group.
  • Human resources programs at work.
  • Family members and concerned friends willing to help.

Though none of these is likely to cover the cost of drug rehab entirely, if they and other organizations were able to add any amount to the pot, it wouldn’t take long to save the money needed.

Many people crowdsource funding through online programs to raise money, use credit cards and personal savings, and work an extra job to pull the money together. Why? Because they know that the investment will be worth the payoff when their loved one can be functional, and there is less stress in the home.

Is Free Drug Rehab Available?

While there are programs that are covered by state funding and federal grants as well as grants for different studies associated with addiction, few require no investment from the client.

Even when drug rehab is a mandate of the court, and the state basically covers the cost of  treatment, there are still costs to the individual. In some cases, court fees or a reimbursement for drug addiction treatment services may apply. When drug rehab is residential and covered by the state, clients are usually required to hand over the government subsidies they receive through cash aid and food stamps.

Is Cost The Main Factor In Choosing A Drug Rehab Program?

Though it is at the top of the list of factors that drive the decision behind which drug rehab to choose for a loved one in addiction, it should not be the primary reason. Any money invested in a program that does not have the resources to provide the assistance your loved one specifically needs will be wasted.

In addition to cost, it is important to consider other factors, such as:

  • Medical care to treat chronic pain, hepatitis C, diabetes, and any other ongoing health problem that can impact the ability to stay sober.
  • Access to medication-assisted treatment if needed.
  • Mental health care for co-occurring issues with depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.
  • Access to alternative and holistic treatments to augment traditional talk therapies. These may include acupuncture, yoga, equine-assisted therapy, and aquatic therapy.
  • The ability to extend the time spent in treatment for as long as necessary.
  • The option of sober living or other aftercare services when treatment is complete.
  • Support for family members who are seeking to be a positive part of their loved one’s recovery.

Family members play an important part in an individual’s ability to navigate the details of enrolling in treatment, like figuring out how to foot the bill. The process can begin with a phone call to a treatment consultant to discuss what treatment options will be most appropriate for your loved one and your family.

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