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How Much Will Rehab Cost?

How Much Will Rehab Cost?

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 20 million people aged 12 and up suffer from a substance use disorder. Within this group, 14.8 million have an alcohol abuse disorder, and 8.1 million have been abusing or misusing drugs.1

When someone seeks treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, it’s likely that one of the first questions asked will be, “How much will it cost?” The price tag for rehab is one of the main things preventing people from seeking the treatment they need to overcome addiction.

How Many People Seek Treatment For Addiction?

Approximately 21 million people in the US suffer from a form of substance use disease. Yet only about 10% of these actively seek treatment.2

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 58,000 adults died from alcohol-related diseases and from accidents or murders that were directly related to alcohol use or abuse in 2017.3

In 2018, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that 14.4 million American adults (over 11% of the population over the age of 18) suffered from alcohol use disorder. Only 7.9% of those adults reached out for treatment for this disease.4

The truth is that very few Americans with addiction issues actually receive any substance abuse treatment, and still fewer receive the correct treatments to meet their needs. This is especially true for those who need inpatient or outpatient treatment for a particular substance use disorder. Yet the types of specialty treatments and supportive services found in certain facilities can be extremely important to the recovery process.5

Why More People Don't Reach Out for Help?

There are many reasons why people don’t ask for help in dealing with an addiction disease, but money is often the main issue they face. At least 25% of people in need of rehab feel that they just cannot afford the costs involved, so they don’t look into or try to enter a program.6

Average Costs for Drug or Alcohol Rehab Treatment

The actual cost for drug or alcohol rehab can differ depending upon the treatment available, the facility type, whether detox and medications are needed, and many other factors.

On average, however, the price tag for drug or alcohol rehab can range anywhere between $3,000 and $20,000 (or higher) for 30 days of treatment.

Outpatient Rehab

There are different types of outpatient rehab available. These programs let a person continue to live at home while getting treatment for substance use disorder.

One type is an outpatient addiction treatment center, which can cost from $1,000 to $3,500 for 30 days. A person would go to this facility a number of days a week for 4-6 hours to take advantage of some of the following:

Therapy and counseling sessions

Self-help and 12-step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous

Behavioral therapy

Group therapy

Family counseling

Outpatient Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

Some outpatient programs are called partial hospitalization. Patients meet in a hospital or within the rehab facility a few days a week for 4-6 hours at a time. The cost for PHP will depend upon a patient’s medical needs. With this type of program, patients usually have access to:

  • Services and professional providers connected to the hospital or facility (while they are there)
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medication management

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

This type of rehab treatment offers services that can be scheduled around a person’s work or school schedule, meeting 3 days per week for 2-4 hours each day. Its main focus is on relapse prevention.

It typically costs between $3,000 and $10,000 and includes:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Addiction education
  • Medication management
  • Drug or substance monitoring
  • 24-hour crisis help
  • Community support groups
  • Employment training
  • Family counseling and treatment

Residential Inpatient Rehab Options

A person receiving rehab treatment for a substance use disorder in a residential program lives at the facility full-time, with meals and lodging included.

There are different levels of inpatient rehab programs, ranging from the least expensive basic facilities to more standard options.

Levels of Cost in Treatment

Lower-Cost Rehab Facilities

Choosing an inexpensive inpatient facility with few frills will save money. Such facilities will still provide the basics needed to gain and maintain sobriety. A basic residential rehab facility will usually cost between $2,000 and $7,000 for a 30-day period and will include the following:

An intake, assessment, and evaluation session

24/7 safe, supervised surroundings

Shared bedroom with closet/dresser

Daily chores assigned

Three daily meals

Laundry services

Group counseling

Addiction education

Guidance counseling access

12-Step meetings and assignments

Standard Inpatient Rehab Facilities

Standard rehab facilities provide residents with more services and amenities than the least expensive residential options. A standard rehab residence treatment facility will cost between $10,000 and $20,000 for a 30-day stay and will often include the following:

An intake, assessment, and evaluation session

Treatment for a dual diagnosis

Shared bedroom with closet/dresser

Three daily meals

Aftercare planning

Individual counseling sessions once or twice weekly

Addiction education

Exercise room access

Creation of an individual treatment plan

24/7 supervision

Daily chores assigned

Laundry services

Sober living options

Group therapy

12-Step meetings and assignments

Yoga classes

Luxury Rehab Facilities

Rehab facilities in luxurious and very private settings will look and feel more like resorts than substance use treatment facilities. These are the most expensive rehab options, where comfort, beautiful views, and serenity are highly valued.

Luxury rehab can cost between $25,000 and $100,000 for a 30-day period of treatment. Residents can typically expect the following:

An intake, assessment, and evaluation session

Treatment for a dual diagnosis

24/7 supervision

No daily chores necessary

Daily maid service

Daily group therapy

Weekly individual therapy

Holistic treatments such as acupuncture or homeopathic medicine

Outdoor and weekend activities

Lifestyle practices for health and spiritual well-being

Creation of an individual treatment plan

A medical evaluation with around-the-clock access to medical staff

Large private bedroom with furniture

Three meals per day, usually provided by a gourmet chef

Laundry services

Daily individual counseling

Addiction education

On-site and off-site 12-step meetings

Therapies, such as art, music, and equine therapy

Lowest Cost Rehab

There are some very affordable, low-cost, and even free substance abuse programs for drug and alcohol addiction available. Some are funded by state or local government sources, such as free neighborhood health clinics, hospital programs, or non-profit treatment facilities. Some private rehab treatment centers also offer no-cost scholarships to people who cannot otherwise afford treatment at their facility.

These affordable options are often subsidized using:

Sliding scale fees

Low-income limits

Payment assistance programs

Each person’s specific needs, insurance situation, and other sources of funding may help determine both the actual total cost for rehab and the type of facility chosen.

Detox Options

If a substance use disorder is moderate to severe, a person will usually need to undergo a withdrawal process to cleanse the body of the toxins before treatment can begin. Certain medications are often used to provide comfort from the physical and psychological side effects that can be felt during this detox process.

Detox can take place in a residential facility or on an outpatient basis.

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox may be done through a doctor’s office or at a treatment facility or day hospital program. The process can take either a few days or close to a year, depending upon the severity of the addiction.

During outpatient detox, a person can continue to live at home, go to work or school, and perform their normal daily activities. This is usually a less expensive option. The average stay at outpatient rehab is about 30 days.

Drug-Free Inpatient Detox

Drug-free residential detox takes place in a live-in facility with the support of peers and counselors. Since no medications are used to help with withdrawal symptoms, costs are reduced. This may be fine for people recovering from mild forms of addiction. Withdrawal without medication may cause painful side effects in cases of moderate or severe forms of addiction.

The average stay at a drug-free residential facility is about 160 days.

Standard Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox is done under the supervision of medical professionals, often using medication to help with withdrawal symptoms and to reduce cravings. Those who are suffering from addiction to alcohol, opioids, or sedatives are often referred to an inpatient facility for detox for their own medical safety.

Although safer and more comfortable than outpatient detox, inpatient detox is a bit pricier because living, dining, and other costs are involved. The average stay at an inpatient facility is about 70 days.

Luxury Detox

Luxury detox centers are more like resorts or spas. They offer upscale amenities, such as swimming pools and gyms. This is one of the most expensive ways to detox and recover, and is usually the most comfortable type of facility.

Detox Costs and Stay Periods

A seven-day detox program can cost between $300 and $800 or more per day, depending on the type of facility chosen and the medications needed. A week of detox may cost about $2,000-$6,000, with inpatient detox costing more than outpatient, and luxury detox costing the most.

In undergoing detox for opiates such as heroin, for instance, the drug methadone might be used to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. This medication treatment alone can last for up to a year and cost approximately $4,700.7

Detox costs can also be affected by:

Which substances the patient is dependent upon

How much and for how long the substance has been abused

Whether other substances have also been used

The patient’s age

The patient’s general mental and physical health

Any co-occurring disorders the patient may have

Timelines for Detox

Of course, the longer the withdrawal period takes, the more costly detox will become.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin within 6-24 hours after the last drink. The more serious symptoms, like hallucinations, may last up to seven days.

Withdrawal from heroin and prescription opioids can take 3-5 days to subside.

Cocaine withdrawal might take 1-2 weeks before symptoms fade.

The timeline for someone withdrawing from benzodiazepines will vary depending on whether the drug that’s been abused is a short- or long-acting substance. For example, withdrawal symptoms for a longer-acting drug like Valium may take 1-3 days to appear.

Prescription stimulant withdrawal can last for up to a week.

Every individual is different. The time it will take for any one person to complete the detox period will depend upon their particular situation.

Medication-Assisted Detox

Going through the process of cleansing the body of substances can be stressful and very uncomfortable. Some detox programs offer medications to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and lessen the intense cravings for alcohol or drugs that can sometimes occur during detox.

Medications used during detox will increase the cost of rehab treatment to some degree. Some medications that are useful in lessening withdrawal symptoms include:

Methadone, which can cost over $1700 annually, is used to help with withdrawal from opioids of abuse, like heroin.

Suboxone (buprenorphine) is a combination medication that is also used for opioid detoxification purposes. A year’s worth of Suboxone can cost upwards of $5,000.8

Benzodiazepines are useful for more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures and anxiety. Examples of benzodiazepines are Librium, Ativan, and Valium.

Other Factors That Affect Overall Treatment Costs

The cost of rehab is partly determined by facility type, with luxury residential facilities costing the most. Other things about a facility that affect the cost include:

Amenities

While some inpatient facilities offer the basics necessary for rehab, such as medical detox, semi-private rooms, and meals, other, more luxurious settings have swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, spa services, and large private rooms. Therapies can also raise the cost at residential communities. Some upscale facilities offer equine therapy, yoga and meditation programs, massages, and personal trainers, for example.

Location

A treatment center located in a beautiful area with an oceanfront view will be more expensive than a facility in a noisy urban or even suburban setting. However, a facility set in a remote rural area with lower patient care costs will be less expensive than a large-city location where costs are higher in general.

Time

The length of time needed to complete an individual’s treatment program can have a huge effect on the total cost.

Admission Fees

These can vary.

Aftercare

A facility might offer an aftercare plan, which is continued treatment after recovery to keep the patient from relapsing and to help them cope with triggers. These aftercare plans may include 12-step programs, sober living homes, counseling, and support groups.

Alcohol Rehab Options

There are additional program options when it comes to treatment for those suffering from alcohol addiction. Aside from residential care facilities, there are specialized partial hospitalization programs (PHP) for alcohol rehab.

People can continue to live at home when enrolled in a PHP for alcohol abuse. Much of their time, however, is spent in a treatment center where they take part in therapy sessions and get help with any medical issues that were caused by alcohol use, such as dietary deficiencies and muscle weakness.

Participating in a PHP for alcoholism can take weeks and cost up to $350-$450 per day.

Ways to Pay For Addiction Treatment

The cost for the different types of rehab treatment for substance use can be affordable for some but beyond the financial means of others. Different programs or facilities have various methods and options for paying for this type of care.

Private Health Insurance

Many private medical insurance plans that are purchased through an employer will cover all or part of the cost for addiction treatment. Of course, each plan is different, with deductibles, co-pays, and other limits in place. Privately insured patients’ out-of-pocket expenses for rehab may be higher than those of patients with insurance purchased through the government marketplace, but private insurance plans may offer to pay for a wider variety of treatment types.

Call your insurance provider to find out what will and won’t be covered in rehab. Ask which co-pays and deductibles apply to accurately calculate out-of-pocket costs.

Rehab facilities that are in-network for an insurance provider will cost less overall.

Public Health Insurance

Health insurance plans purchased through the federal government marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act may cover most of the costs of a rehab treatment program, though some parts of rehab care might not be covered.

Medicaid, depending upon the state, will usually cover all the substance abuse and alcohol dependency treatment costs, which are incurred in following a doctor’s recommendations. Not all rehab facilities accept Medicaid.

Medicare covers substance abuse treatment under certain conditions:

The rehab center must accept Medicare patients.

A physician must state that treatment is medically necessary.

A doctor must decide what the treatment plan is.

Medicare Part B covers outpatient treatment and alcohol misuse screenings.8

Medicare Part A covers inpatient treatment.

Medicare Part D generally covers medications needed for detox.

Direct Pay Options

It’s also possible to pay for rehab directly. Some facilities have sliding scale fees, income-based fees, scholarships, or installment payment plans.

Other ways to help self-pay for rehab include:

Health Savings Account (HSA) credit or debit cards

Specialized health care loans offered by some financial organizations

Crowdfunding web sites, like GoFundMe, which allow family, friends, and even strangers to contribute to expenses

Credit cards

Personal loans

Savings accounts

Retirement funds

Home equity loans

Recovering from a substance use disorder can mean the difference between life and death in many cases. Finding the funds to pay for recovery can seem daunting, but getting the proper care to overcome addiction is a goal that can’t be dismissed. The cost of addiction is much greater over time than the price paid for healthy, long-lasting recovery.


Resources

  1. Drug Use Estimates,” Drug War Facts.
  2. Josh Hafner, “Surgeon General: 1 in 7 Americans Will Face Substance Addiction,” USA Today, November 17, 2016.
  3. Alcohol,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
  4. Alcohol Facts and Statistics,” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Rachel N. Lipari, Eunice Park-Lee, and Struther Van Horn, “America’s Need For And Receipt Of Substance Abuse Treatment in 2015,” National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, September 29, 2016.
  6. Why Many People Don’t Seek Treatment for Addiction,” Narconon.
  7. Is drug abuse treatment worth its cost?Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide, Third Edition, National Institute on Drug Abuse. 
  8. How Much Does Rehab Cost?” Health.org, August 6, 2019.