Opioid addiction in the US has skyrocketed in recent years, primarily due to a massive increase in the availability and potency of prescription opioids. Many people will start using prescription painkillers, get addicted, and then find themselves breaking the law to feed their habit. Drug and alcohol treatment cost has increased, but many options are available to fit every insurance plan and price range.
Of course, addiction to other drugs, including alcohol, has always been in our society. While the drug of choice might be different, the interaction of the addict and their addition is very much the same.
This has caused a rise in the need and interest in drug addiction recovery programs. Most frequently referred to as “rehab”, short for rehabilitation, these programs are designed to help an addict stop their addiction and return to a full, clean and sober life.
The biggest concern for many people is the treatment cost. In this article, we’ll provide you with the best available information.
The most important thing to know is that there is always an option. If you contact a local treatment center, your county health department, or nearly anyone else in the addiction recovery business, you’ll find receptive and caring people who will do whatever they can to get you or your loved one the help that is needed.
Drug Treatment Prices
The prices of drug treatment can vary significantly, depending on the type of treatment being sought and the length of the stay.
Outpatient treatment at a neighborhood treatment center can cost as little as $300 a week. At a luxury facility, it can cost as much as $3,000 per week.
In-patient is more expensive due to the cost of housing and food, as well as 24-hour staff. At a minimal facility, a 30-day program can be as little as $2,500, but a stay in a five-star resort setting can be upwards of $20,000 per month.
It’s important to read about health insurance below. In most cases, health insurance will cover all or a large part of drug treatment. There are also free programs available around the country that those who don’t have other resources.
No matter what, there is treatment available for everyone, regardless of coverage or income.
Read more below to understand the different types of treatment available and the associated costs.
Health Insurance and Addiction Recovery Treatment
Most Americans have health insurance, either through their own or a family member’s employer, through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or through a state-run program like Medicaid or Medicare.
With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or nicknamed Obamacare, addiction recovery became a standard part of health insurance. Every policy is required by law to cover 10 specific areas, with addiction recovery being one of them. That means that if you’re insured, you have access to addiction recovery.
The place to start is to call your insurance company and ask about what types of treatment are covered.
You should ask if they have a network they work with. Many insurance companies have contracts with specific providers. Just like your in-network doctors, it will be less expensive to go to a pre-approved facility. Other facilities might not be covered fully or at all.
Understand that insurance companies would rather pay for addiction recovery than for the much more expensive emergency rooms visits that can arise from an untreated addiction. Overdoses, accidents, and many other emergent problems can impact an addict’s life and can cost the insurance companies money. It’s much less expensive to pay for rehab than for a Medivac helicopter or ambulance ride.
Drug Treatment Cost without Insurance
Even if you don’t have insurance, there are still ways to get help. There are grants, government programs, and more that you can get help from.
Call your county health department for more information. They will have everything you need to find resources that are inexpensive or free.
Addiction Recovery vs. Incarceration
One of the reasons that addiction recovery is required by the ACA, aside from the deaths involved, is the significant criminal justice element.
Many addicts will find themselves in conflict with the law. Some might resort to stealing or selling drugs. Driving under the influence is a common crime that addicts commit.
Paying for drug and alcohol treatment is less expensive for society at large than dealing with these problems from jail.
Types of Rehab and Treatment Cost
Most people think of drug and alcohol treatment as being long-term residency, moving into a facility and staying for months at a time. While that’s an option, and an effective one, there are others. Each has different costs and benefits associated with them.
Here is a brief list of the types of treatment with estimated costs:
Long-term Residential Treatment
This is the type of care that most people think of as being “rehab,” packing up and going to stay some place for as long as a year. Every day is filled with meetings, counseling, meals, exercise and more.
These facilities vary in terms of how “fancy” they are. They can range from a simple house in town to a luxury 4-star resort in the hills of Virginia or a beachfront resort in California or a ranch in Texas. Which facility you go to can depend on how good your insurance is and how much you’re able to spend on treatment.
Many facilities, like Sierra Tucson, will work with an insurance company on an “out-of-network” basis. The staffs at these facilities can tell you how much your insurance will cover and how much you would owe for treatment.
Some luxury facilities can cost over $1,000 per day. These facilities rival four-star hotels, with swimming pools, massage, and large, private rooms.
The “lower” end facilities have shared rooms, less luxury, but the same intensive drug and alcohol recovery treatment.
Most insurance companies don’t cover luxury treatment. There is often a per day or complete treatment limit that they’ll pay. The insured will need to cover all the additional costs.
Long-term Residential Rehab Cost:
The costs of this type of treatment can vary widely. Some better-known facilities can cost well over $100,000 for a six-month treatment program. Other, less luxurious facilities can be as little as $10,000 for a six-month program.
Short-term Residential Treatment
Short-term residential care usually lasts 30 days. It often starts with a few days of detox and then into a month of intensive counseling. This type of treatment is good for someone who has a severe addiction but appears to be well-motivated to get clean. It’s also good for someone who can’t be away from work for too long.
There are, again, many levels of short-term programs.
Many of these programs are designed to accommodate executives who have developed addictions. They can get clean during their vacation and then continue outpatient treatment afterward.
There are several luxury properties in the San Francisco, Dallas, New York, and Miami areas, as well as most major cities. For a 30-day stay, these facilities can be as much as $20,000.
Most cities have smaller, less luxurious facilities that offer inpatient residential treatment. With a little effort, one can find facilities that are as little as $1000 for the month. That includes a place to sleep, therapy, meals, and more.
Short-term Residential Rehab Cost:
As with any other treatments, the costs can vary. The high-end is around $20,000 for a 30-day treatment at a luxury resort with 4-star food, massages, and private suites. For a less lux experience, most facilities are about $6,000 for the month. In places where there are just the necessities, it can cost as little as $1,000.
Outpatient treatment is designed for those who have a mild-to-moderate addiction.
Typically, this treatment will involve detox for a few days then the patient is released from the facility. They stay at home and return to treatment every evening for therapy and group.
This is an excellent way to be treated for those people who want to get clean but can’t afford to leave their job.
Many of these treatments are available from county health departments, as well as from private clinics.
The clients’ evenings, after work, will often go until 8 or 9 pm with individual counseling, group counseling, meeting with a sponsor, and just spending time in a sober community.
For many addicts, their addiction is environmental. They would stop off at the bar in the evening and by 8 o’clock they are drunk. Some people will head home for drinks or to get high. By spending their evening in a sober community, they can reprogram their schedules and their actions.
Outpatient treatment, whenever practical, is the preferred choice of insurance companies. It can cost as little as $300 per month up to about $2000, depending on the level of individual counseling needed and the additional services that are provided.
Many addicts have co-occurring disorders, like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. These mental health concerns need to be addressed to make sure that an addict doesn’t relapse.
Outpatient Drug or Alcohol Treatment Cost:
The costs of outpatient rehab are significantly lower than inpatient. For the local county or city services, it’s as little as $150 per month, with many of them being free. For a more in-depth outpatient program, it can be up to $1500. This doesn’t always include detox, but many services will include it.
Individual drug counseling
One of the best ways to overcome addictions is with one-on-one drug counseling. This is often needed when someone has co-occurring disorders that are severe enough to warrant a personalized program.
For many wealthier addicts, this can include having a drug counselor with them everywhere they go.
Individual drug counseling usually involves a great deal of time in therapy for emotional traumas and, sometimes to overcome an addiction to painkillers, physical therapy.
Individual Drug Counseling Cost:
The cost of one-on-one drug counseling can vary immensely, depending on how much time one spends with a counselor and how long the therapy will last for. At a minimum, a month of meetings with a counselor every day would cost over $1500 and can be up to $20,000 depending on the counselor and the amount of time spent together.
Group counseling, by itself, is very inexpensive. In fact, for those attendance Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, it’s free or by donation.
These meetings are designed to share stories and to share wisdom on how to stay clean. If someone chooses to become part of the 12-step concept, they will also get a sponsor who is there to help out when things get a little too intense.
Group Drug and Alcohol Counseling Cost:
Group counseling can range from free to a few hundred dollars month. If the counseling is part of a larger program, it will be included in the overall price.
Detoxification is a medical process through which one gets a drug out of their system. This means that the actual substance, heroin, cocaine, OxyContin, or alcohol, is out of their body.
The addiction will remain, but the person’s mind isn’t clouded with mind-altering substances.
Detox normally takes a couple of days of round-the-clock observation and medical supervision.
Detoxification can be dangerous. The body can respond by shutting down, causing convulsions, and more. For severe addictions, detox, if not done with an experienced guide, can be deadly.
Many programs, both inpatient and outpatient, include detox with the program. If one doesn’t need it, they will go straight to the maintenance program. Otherwise, they will start their first few days under the supervision of a physician, nurse, or other experienced professionals.
Detox Treatment Cost:
The cost of detox will vary. It’s usually between $1500 and $5000 depending on the severity of the addiction, the need for medical intervention, and the length of the detox program. This is a usual part of any program’s overall costs. It can often also be had at a hospital or clinic that offers outpatient drug or alcohol treatment.
Where to Start Drug & Alcohol Treatment
Please read our article, Beginner’s Guide to Opioid Addiction Recovery in the US. It walks you through the whole process.
In short, though, call your insurance company to see what resources they provide. Every insurance plan in the US should have this option unless you opted out of the ACA protections.
If an addict is in crisis, call an ambulance, the county health department, or a local hospital. They will be able to guide you to making the right decisions and finding the resources you need.