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Navigation: Types of Substance Abuse Treatment and Their Costs, How to Pay for Rehab, Factors that Affect the Cost of Addiction Treatment, The Long-Term Cost of Addiction


Alcohol is still one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. The fact that it is legal and widely celebrated only makes things more complicated. In fact, it is often difficult to tell apart someone who is just having a good time and someone who actually has a drinking problem or alcohol use disorder (AUD).

It is widely available and consumed in a lot of social settings. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is the reason many people have conditions like liver cirrhosis and heart problems. Being intoxicated even increases a person’s risk of accidental injury or fatal accidents.

Every year, alcohol claims the lives of thousands of people in the US. Once a person is addicted, it is extremely difficult to quit without proper assistance from medical professionals. But most of the time, those people who need addiction treatment do not seek it out.

Only a portion of those in need of addiction treatment actually receive treatment. Around 15 million Americans had an AUD back in 2017, but only a small percentage received and completed treatment. This is due in part to the fact that there is still a stigma surrounding alcohol addiction and rehab. So even if someone is in desperate need of help, they won’t go to rehab because they are afraid of being judged by the people around them.

Once you do get around this obstacle, you may want to find out how much treatment costs. Aside from the massive roadblock that is the stigma surrounding addiction, another potential roadblock is the financial aspect of treatment.

The good news is that treatment is available for everyone. Even those who are struggling financially still have plenty of options for alcohol rehab. There are non-profit organizations and even private rehab centers that support various payment methods. Patients can even apply for scholarships. If they qualify, they can receive financial assistance based on the specific qualifications of an organization or facility.

One example, according to is 10,000 Beds, an organization that provides substance abuse treatment scholarship opportunities that can cover the entire cost of addiction treatment. There are even more organizations out there that can offer their assistance. Just contact their facility and talk to the treatment providers to get more information.

If you do have the ability to pay for rehab, understanding the cost of addiction treatment can go a long way. You have to know that the cost will vary from one rehab center to another. While some addiction rehab programs are completely free, others may cost thousands of dollars. The cost of alcohol rehab will also change depending on the person’s specific needs, as well as other factors which we will discuss later on.

Another thing to keep in mind is that treatment is available regardless of your budget. While the cost may seem overwhelming at the moment, it is always possible to find an appropriate level of care. Let’s take a closer look at the cost of alcohol rehab centers, inpatient treatment programs, outpatient alcohol rehab programs, and medication assisted treatment.

Types of Substance Abuse Treatment and Their Costs

One of the biggest factors that determine the cost of rehab is the type of care being offered. This means that the patient’s needs will directly impact the cost of treatment. Most of them need medication assisted treatment or medical detox, along with behavioral therapies. This combination is commonly used for the treatment of addiction and alcoholism. Medical detox and therapy together can help a person get sober and learn how to maintain their sobriety for the long term.

Below, we have listed some estimates that are based on costs reported by individual facilities and certain addiction studies.

Medical detox, according to, may cost $250 to $800 per day. This is the estimated price range for a 30-day drug detox program. However, some outpatient programs range from $1,000 to $1,500 in total.

Inpatient programs usually include detox in the comprehensive treatment plan, so that is usually included in the cost. The exact cost will vary from rehab to rehab.

Inpatient rehabilitation requires staying in a treatment facility for the duration of the program. There are 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day programs, but the duration may be adjusted depending on the patient’s progress and needs. Because the facility provides food and accommodations, inpatient programs are normally more expensive. However, these programs are highly structured and intensive, allowing the patient to focus on getting better. These programs tend to have a lower relapse rate.

A 30-day inpatient program may cost around $6,000, but other facilities may charge up to $20,000. The more expensive facilities, such as luxury rehabs, are more expensive because they offer top notch amenities that make the rehab experience much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Longer rehab programs like 60-day and 90-day programs are even more expensive. They can range from $5,000 to $80,000 depending on the length of stay, the amenities provided, and the severity of the addiction.

Outpatient rehabs are generally more affordable. And while they are not as intensive as inpatient treatment, they can be just as effective, especially if used on the right patients.

Outpatient treatment does not require the person to stay in a rehab center. This means they get to go home in between treatment sessions, but they have to drive back and forth for scheduled treatments. These programs are cheaper because food and accommodations are not provided by the facility.

Therefore outpatient treatment is ideal for those who want to go to work, attend classes, or take care of their family while still receiving treatment. However, this approach is only recommended for patients who have mild to moderate cases of AUD. It is less intensive than inpatient care; therefore the risk of relapse is a bit higher. But patients are still required to stay sober throughout their treatment.

A three-month outpatient program may cost around $5,000, making them a lot cheaper than inpatient rehab. There are even cheaper outpatient programs that only cost $1,400 for 3 months. On the other hand, there are also more expensive options out there, which can reach up to $10,000. The price may depend on how often the patient visits the center and for how long.

How to Pay for Rehab

Just like with drug rehab, certain insurance cover rehab for alcohol use disorder. In fact, insurance is one of the most common ways people pay for alcohol rehab and even drug rehab. Of course, your insurance coverage will depend on the insurance provider and what kind of insurance the health provider accepts.

These are some of the most common types of insurance that can cover addiction treatment: Medicaid/Medicare, private health insurance, state-financed health insurance plans, and military insurance.

It is because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that health insurance plans provide coverage for drug and alcohol addiction. In certain states, people with alcoholism may even qualify for disability insurance.

You need to understand your policy so you know all about your insurance coverage. There are usually guidelines that insurance companies and rehab centers follow when it comes to addiction treatment coverage. For example, a lot of companies that offer health insurance will only cover up to 30 days of inpatient or residential treatment. This is usually not enough for anyone with a severe addiction or alcoholism.

Your insurance coverage may even affect the kind of addiction treatment your receive. Insurance often determines what type of treatment a patient can get. So this means patients are usually covered for traditional treatments like behavioral therapies, medical detox, and residential care, but alternative treatments like yoga, acupuncture, music therapy, and art therapy may not be covered despite being beneficial for patients in recovery. Patients may have to pay for these services out of pocket.

Not everyone has health insurance. But with that said, there are still plenty of options for getting treatment. You may be shocked by how much rehab costs without insurance at first, but you just have to find the right treatment programs that are cheaper or even free.

Your state or local government may provide free alcohol treatment. Alternatively, you may seek support from 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) which are free. You can also look into SMART Recovery, faith-based support groups, and other organizations that support recovering alcoholics for free or for a very low cost.

Other rehab facilities and programs offer financial aid and alternative financing options. They may set up convenient payment plans that will allow patients to receive treatment and pay for it without breaking the bank. There are various financing options, payment arrangements, and even discounts that you can discuss with your clinician or treatment provider.

You can also look into securing a scholarship. These options make treatment available for those who can’t afford it. Some alcohol rehab centers will use a sliding scale fee model in which the cost of rehab will be based on your income.

The price of rehab is usually the thing that keeps people from seeking treatment. But you actually have plenty of options even without insurance.

At the end of the day, you have to start thinking of rehab as an investment. Over time, this investment will pay off. It will give you the tools you need to get your life on track and keep yourself on the right path.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Addiction Treatment

There is no single answer to the question “how much does rehab cost?” because it is influenced by so many different factors. It’s impossible to predict how much money you are gonna have to pay for alcohol rehab. The type of treatment and your health insurance coverage are the two main factors that will determine the cost of treatment.

However, the severity of the person’s condition will also determine the length of treatment, which will also dictate how much time they will have to spend in rehab. The same can be said about the presence of co-occurring health disorders and mental health conditions.

A person struggling with a mental illness will have to go through specialized treatment that will tackle their alcohol abuse and mental health condition at the same time. These programs are called dual diagnosis programs and they are specially designed for people with these co-occurring disorders. This is much more common than you may think, as addiction and mental health tend to have a close connection.

Some patients need medications while others don’t. The type of medications used in rehab affect the price of treatment. Medications are most commonly used for the treatment of alcohol addiction. The cost of medications will depend on the type of medication prescribed and duration of the prescription.

The location of the rehab facility may also factor into the cost. For example, you may have to spend more on transportation if you choose an outpatient program in a facility that is far from you. Another example of location affecting rehab cost are rehab facilities that are located in more secluded areas. These rehab centers may offer hiking and exposure to the great outdoors as part of the treatment experience. These are generally more expensive.

In fact, the more amenities that are offered, the more expensive a rehab program tends to cost. There are luxury rehab facilities that focus on giving the best possible rehab experience through high-end amenities. Going to these luxury rehab centers is just like going to the spa for a relaxing weekend. They offer gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs. They also offer more alternative treatment methods alongside traditional treatments.

While amenities are nice to have, they don’t come for free. Some rehab centers have swimming pools, tennis courts, and large individual rooms, but these affect the overall price of treatment. This is why luxury rehabs are popular among the rich and famous. These facilities may cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.

If a facility is offering lots of amenities, you can expect to pay a much greater amount for these services.

The Long-Term Cost of Addiction

In the long run, staying addicted to alcohol or drugs is more expensive. This is because the costs of alcoholism only increase over time. As the person’s health declines, their hospital bills only stack up.

Maintaining an addiction is also more expensive because of how much you have to spend on the substance you are addicted to. People struggling with alcoholism spend a lot of money on drinking. The same goes for those who are addicted to drugs, whether it’s illicit or prescription medications.

Rehab is not nearly as expensive as alcohol addiction. Addicted people spend most of their days thinking about drinking, seeking situations where they could drink, and then recovering from their binge drinking. It’s a destructive cycle that keeps them from being productive. So while they are spending on alcohol, they are also spending less time on work and their relationships.

Their career may suffer as well as their relationships with other people. Addiction affects the people around them as well. In fact, addiction affects every aspect of the person’s life. They may suffer from health issues, mental health disorders, loss of productivity, and even legal problems. All of these pile up and overwhelm the person, making them feel hopeless and unable to make the necessary changes in their life. Addiction doesn’t just lead to financial problems; it leads to a downward spiral that is hard to get out of without professional help.

Rehab is a worthwhile investment because you are basically spending on your own health and your future. Even luxury rehabs are investments because these expensive amenities only seek to improve the treatment experience and increase the person’s chances of maintaining their sobriety.

But the best part is that there are options that range from free to low cost. You don’t have to flush cash down the drain just to get the treatment you need.

Once you are ready to seek treatment, look into treatment centers that are close by and ask about their residential treatment programs as well as their partial hospitalization programs. More importantly, ask them about their insurance coverage and payment plans.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides plenty of resources about drug abuse and addiction treatment. There are many other resources out there that you can use to learn more about addiction, its effects, and how it is treated.

You can take control of your addiction. Recovery is possible. You should take comfort in the fact that there are several options out there for funding your addiction treatment. Get started on the road to recovery today.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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