When you’re considering seeking addiction treatment, you may run into one of the most common barriers to addiction treatment: the cost. The price of treatment can be daunting when you’re facing any kind of healthcare need. Like other medical procedures and treatments, drug and alcohol rehab can be costly. Addiction treatment often requires a variety of treatment options, medical care, psychotherapy, and residential stays. However, these treatments may be an important step in getting your life back and getting out of a cycle of active addiction. But how much does treatment usually cost, what costs are commonly associated with treatment, and what are your options in paying for treatment?
Learn more about the costs of addiction treatment.
The cost of treatment will depend on several factors, including the levels of care you go through, the length of time you spend in treatment, and the location of your treatment program. Costs will also vary from one treatment center to another based on things like amenities, therapy options, and staffing. For instance, luxury rehabs, which may have resort-style amenities, may be much more expensive than treatment centers with a more clinical approach.
However, one of the biggest factors in the cost of treatment is the level of care you need. Levels of care are determined by the needs you have when you seek treatment. If you’re likely to go through potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, you’ll need a higher level of care. If you don’t have serious medical needs, but you do need to learn ways to better cope with cravings and triggers, you may need a lower level of care. Your doctors and clinicians may determine the right level of care for you based on the ASAM Criteria, which is a list of important factors to consider in treatment that’s been outlined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
The highest levels of care in addiction treatment involve 24-hour care and residential stays in clinical or apartment-style settings. Medical detox is the highest level of care in addiction treatment, and it may be similar to a hospital setting. You’ll receive medically managed care at all hours of the day that could include the use of prescription medications as needed. The cost for this level of care factors in living expenses, medications, medical staff salaries, and other costs. It may not cost as much as an average hospital stay, which can be several thousand dollars per night. Since detox treatment is specialized in treating addiction-related medical issues, you won’t go through the gamut of tests that are often associated with a hospital visit. Still, detox could cost between $300 and $800 per day. However, that number could fluctuate based on individual needs.
Residential treatment after detox can include medically monitored or clinically managed treatment, 24 hours per day. It may include clinical settings or apartment-style accommodations. It can also include a wide variety of treatment and therapy options in addition to living costs, amenities, and medications. The cost of residential care can vary depending on these factors.
Outpatient treatment includes partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. In these levels of care, you’ll be allowed to live independently while you attend treatment services during the day.
The length of your stay in treatment is a major factor in the cost. However, it can also be a major factor in the success of treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the ideal minimum treatment duration is three months, including everything from detox to low-level outpatient treatment. More time spent in higher levels of care can also increase the final price. However, it’s important not to cut treatment short since short stays in treatment may be less effective. Relapse is a part of recovery for many people, and multiple attempts at treatment may be necessary. But a relapse can increase the overall price of treatment.
Insurance companies do provide coverage for things like mental health services and addiction treatment. In fact, they’re required by law to treat mental and behavioral health treatments as essential medical services. Millions of people are affected by substance use and mental health problems each year. Addiction is a disease that affects the reward center of the brain. Without treatment, addiction can lead to serious medical, psychological, and social complications. According to HealthCare.gov, marketplace insurance plans must offer coverage for behavioral health treatment, which includes things like psychotherapy and counseling. They also cover inpatient services for mental and behavioral health treatment.
Not every plan will offer robust coverage for every service you go through as a part of your addiction treatment. You may have to pay some out-of-pocket expenses, depending on your specific policy. But you may have addiction treatment coverage that’s similar to the coverage you have for other medical services. If you have insurance and you want to know exactly what kind of coverage you’ll get in rehab, you can speak to your insurance representative or review the specifics of your policy. Insurance coverage can be difficult to navigate. In some cases, addiction treatment centers will have staff that can help verify your insurance coverage and help you find out how much of your treatment is likely to be covered.
Insurance is one of the best ways to cover the costs of rehab. Even if you’re not able to have insurance pay for 100% of your addiction treatment costs, it may cover a good portion of it. With insurance, you will still have to pay your insurance premiums, your copay, and any deductibles. Your insurance provider can let you know the specifics of how much each of those may be.
If you don’t have insurance, you can pay for treatment privately. In some cases, people have help from family members to cover the cost of treatment. While this can be expensive, it may be the best option if you don’t have insurance coverage. If private pay is too expensive, there are some low-cost options. Government organizations like SAMHSA can direct you to government-funded options. Government-funded healthcare options like Medicare and Medicaid can also help fund addiction treatment, though many private addiction treatment options avoid accepting these options.
Insurance companies prefer evidence-based treatment options and the facilities that provide them. Evidence-based treatment is a term that’s used to describe approaches to treatment that have been tested in scientific settings and found to be effective and valuable. Evidence-based treatments show to be effective in a significant number of cases, and they’re often able to be reproduced in a variety of clinical settings. Examples of evidence-based treatment include behavioral therapies, certain medications, family behavior therapy, and others. Evidence-based treatments may be supplemented by alternative treatments.
Alternative therapies may be helpful for some people, but they haven’t shown to be significantly effective in scientific studies. This can include things like equine therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and mediation. While these therapies may help increase a person’s interest and participation in treatment, they aren’t known to be as effective as evidence-based approaches.
Insurance companies are more likely to cover treatments that are backed up by evidence. Some insurance companies might have a predetermined list of covered therapy options.
When you enter an addiction treatment program, staff will work with your insurance company to get coverage for the treatments you need.
It’s easy to see with the cost of rehab is often a barrier to treatment for many people. Since treatment can be expensive, it’s difficult for some to make the commitment. Could rehab really be worth that cost? The right addiction treatment for your needs is absolutely worth the expense. Active addiction can be extremely costly, even when compared to high levels of care like residential treatment. Addiction is associated with several different costs, including costs related to crime, job loss, and healthcare.
In fact, addiction is estimated to cost the United States $600 billion annually. But for you, it can mean spending time and money maintaining your addiction, medical bills, and the inability to maintain employment. If you have legal trouble, it may also mean paying legal fees. Even if you’re able to manage your addiction and your obligations now, addiction is progressive and you’ll likely run into those problems later. Addiction also takes away some freedom. You have a compulsion to use that can become difficult to control. You may feel compelled or forced to seek out and buy drugs, despite the harm it can cause to your health, relationships and finances. Addressing substance use issues is essential in avoiding or treating the severe consequences.
Addiction treatment has proven to be effective when people enter and remain in treatment for long enough. According to the NIDA, addiction treatment has been shown to effectively help people stop using drugs, decrease crime, and improve social, occupational, and psychological functions. That means treatment may improve your ability to earn a living and achieve financial stability. You may also avoid some of the high costs of long-term addiction like chronic medical problems. Though treatment can be expensive, it will likely address issues that may otherwise threaten your finances. It can also help improve your ability to manage and maintain financial health.