Deciding to enter rehab addiction treatment can seem like the difficult part of getting help for a substance use problem—until it comes time to consider how to pay for it. For many people, this alone is the only obstacle that will make them back out and possibly consider not getting help at all, which is a mistake. Still, footing the bill for addiction treatment is a valid concern.

There are many reasons why the price tag is a consideration many people pause when considering rehab. Rehab costs vary for many reasons. The person’s condition, where they receive treatment, and what treatment they require to recover from their substance use disorder are just a few factors that can affect how much rehab costs. advises that rehab could cost up to $1,000 a day. This amount includes costs for medical detox and outpatient care. Reviewing one’s financial situation is important when considering which rehab to go to. A person must also consider their personal obligations, as well, when researching how treatment programs are set up. Some people will need flexibility in their program, while others can afford to spend a full 30 days or more in a facility.

The Costs of Addiction Versus the Cost of Rehab

Paying for rehab can be challenging to do, but the cost of keeping up an addiction is much higher. A person using has a lot to lose, including their job, family relationships, and even their freedom if they run into legal problems that could land them in jail or prison. It can be expensive to maintain an addiction. It is no exaggeration that thousands of dollars can be spent on alcohol and other substances. 

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance abuse costs the U.S. more than $600 billion a year. It also says treatment can reduce these costs. It says, “Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive than its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons.”

So, if you are considering rehab treatment and how to pay for it, think of what you’re spending now to use substances versus what you’ll spend to leave sober. You would restore and save a lot more than just money if you choose to get help now.

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The U.S. has more than 14,000 substance use treatment facilities. While it’s nice to have options, having many of them can complicate the search for the right one, especially when it comes to finding the one that you can afford.

It can take time to shorten the list of possible places. You may want to enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member who can help you narrow down your choices. 

As you consider which places to consider, remember to look at the facility’s credentials to see if it is accredited. Look at the kinds of treatment plans offered and if they could help you. You can look for testimonials from past or current clients that speak to the facility’s effectiveness or staff’s knowledge. You should also check for reports or complaints about the facility if possible.


If you have a health plan, this is a good place to start your research for rehab. Still, you must look closely at your plan to see what it covers and does not cover. Health coverage plans are designed differently, and not all will pay for the services you require for your program.

Although many places fall under the umbrella term “rehab,” facilities are also set up differently and offer different kinds of treatment. Some may offer only holistic approaches to treatment while others offer only evidence-based treatment based on rigorous scientific studies; some may offer a mix of both. 

Two main factors to consider are affordability and finding a program that meets your specific needs. You also will want to find a program that values your input in your program. Other things to consider are:

  • What kind of treatment you require (residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient)
  • The location of the treatment facility is located (is it in your state or out of town?)
  • The length of your treatment program
  • What amenities and services the facility offers

Keeping these questions in mind should help your search. A person with a severe substance use disorder (SUD) will likely need a longer stay in treatment. You will have to determine how long you can stay in treatment, which can occur in different settings. 

If you are wondering about treatment length guidelines, the NIDA says studies indicate that most people recovering from substance addiction need at least 90 days (three months) to “significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.” 

In short, rehab is going to look different depending on your situation. There are various kinds of treatment centers to meet different needs. As the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) explains, recovery falls along a continuum, and with the help of professionals, you can find the right one for you.

As you look, keep in mind what your rehab setting will cost. If you are staying in a residential program at a facility, you should expect and plan for higher costs. In this setting, you will have housing, meals, medication service, and other services and amenities 24 hours a day for a month or longer. 

If you are doing an outpatient program, your costs would be lower since you would be living on your own off-site. While your costs would be less, you should still research the facilities you’re interested in. You must receive the right level of care to address your needs, regardless of the program or facility you enter.

The type of facility you go to will also matter to your pocketbook. You can expect private rehab facilities to cost more than public ones. Private facilities offer various kinds of accommodations and can afford to give clients personalized attention due to lower clinician-to-client ratios. They are not publicly funded, which is one reason that they cost more. 

Public rehab facilities, which do receive funding from the government, are less expensive for various reasons. They also take a person’s financial situation into account. This could lead to offering rehab services on a sliding scale according to a person’s ability to pay, or it could result in a person not paying at all. A public rehab facility may have many clients to treat at once, or they may offer only certain types of treatment programs. Both situations could mean a client won’t get the personalized care they need.

Public rehabs can help people who do not have insurance to cover addiction treatment. If you are using insurance, you will want to make sure what expenses your policy covers and which ones it doesn’t. It is possible for your expenses to exceed your policy’s maximum limits. In that case, you will need to find another way to pay the costs that your plan does not cover.

Despite the cost, everyone who needs addiction treatment services is encouraged to get them. Pay arrangements can be worked out. Here, we briefly look at some ways a person can pay for rehab services.


Health insurance plans offer coverage for substance abuse treatment. The first thing you must do is check your insurance policy to see what services it covers. Sometimes, policies may not be clear. Call a representative at your insurance company who can explain your options as well as what’s covered and what’s not.  

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) views substance dependence and addiction as treatable conditions.  Insurers must offer Essential Health Benefits, which also cover substance use and therapy, and counseling. Mental health treatment services are covered under the ACA, as well.

After you determine what your plan will pay for, you will need to figure out how to pay for the rest. Find out if you must pay a deductible upfront. If you do, this usually happens before your coverage starts. It is important to know that public insurance, private insurance (PPO, HMO), and group insurance all vary as to what they will cover.

Depending on your health plan and the facility you choose, you may be able to have insurance cover the following at an approved facility:

Having a list of rehab centers in-state and out-of-state can be helpful in case you learn that your insurer is willing to cover care at a facility that is in your state. Going away for rehab treatment usually will add to your costs, and an insurer may not want to pay for out-of-state treatment. If that happens, you can find other ways to pay for it.


If you want to finance your rehab treatment with a credit card loan, you can do that, as some facilities accept credit cards for payment. You must have enough on your card to cover the charges made to it. Interest fees are also important to consider. Your balance will grow in interest if the balance is not paid in full by the card statement due date. Other kinds of loans are also available. 

Some people take out personal bank loans to pay for treatment, or their family members help by taking out a loan on their loved one’s behalf. Some people also cosign a loan so a person can pay for treatment. If you accept a family member’s offer to help via a loan, make plans to repay the person as a good-faith effort.

Private Payment Options

If you have determined that you can pay your rehab costs with cash or a check, that option is open. Doing so allows you to bypass dealing with health insurance or taking out interest-bearing loans. It also gives you more flexibility. Financing your own rehab program without insurance can reduce the time you have to wait to get into a facility and expand your options at the facility you choose.

Many addiction treatment facilities want to help people achieve sobriety and are willing to work with them in paying their bills. You can ask about scholarships or grants to the facility that can help cover rehab costs. The facility you are in touch with may also know about area programs that can offer insight into financial resources that can help you cover the cost at the rehab facility you’re interested in.

Give California Highlands Addiction Treatment (CHAT) a call today to learn more about the programs and financing options we have. We may be able to help you find the treatment programs you are looking for at a cost you can afford. We want to help you get on the path to recovering from addiction, so we are willing to work with you as much as we can.

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