Each year, 23.5 million people in the United States find themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol. Of these people, approximately 11 percent seek treatment. If you are considering getting treatment to put your life back on track, you might be worried about the cost of receiving care. Forty percent of those with addiction issues do not seek treatment because they think they cannot afford it.
The average cost of treatment is about $18,000. Long term inpatient care, though, can cost upwards of $60,000. That sounds like a lot of money – and of course it is – but the cost of being addicted to a substance can run even higher. Besides the cost of obtaining the substance, you almost certainly will face medical costs, legal costs, payments for property damage, job loss and family issues such as divorce or involvement with child protective services. All of these costs put together can run over $100,000.
Options for Addiction Treatment Payment
Most people pay for addiction treatment out of their own pockets, but there are other alternatives. Some state insurance programs, like Medicaid, for low-income people will pay for substance abuse treatment.
There are also private insurance programs that cover substance abuse treatment. Some of these insurance plans have caps on what they will spend or the types of care they will pay for. Some insurances, for instance, will pay for outpatient care but not inpatient care.
If you are a veteran and receive services through the Veterans Administration, you will probably be eligible for some kind of treatment.
Another option for paying for treatment is to take out a personal medical loan. These loans often have high interest rates and large monthly payments. On the positive side, you often have six months to a year before your first payment comes due.
There are also programs that are available for little money. These programs are generally not luxurious, and many of them have long wait times to get in. If this is your only option, though, it might be worth the wait.
Different Treatments for Different Drugs
Some drug treatments require more costly care than others. Alcohol and opioids, for instance, generally require inpatient detoxification while methamphetamines do not. People who catch addictive behavior early will probably pay less for treatment than those who are trying to get over an addiction of many years standing.
People who are addicted to opioids may need to remain on a maintenance medication such as methadone, often for life. The goal for people addicted to alcohol or methamphetamines is complete abstinence so there is no additional cost for medication.
Costs Associated with Types of Addiction Treatment
Detoxification, or detox, is the starting point of treatment. It refers to abstaining from the drug of abuse until it clears the system. Many symptoms may occur as the body detoxifies itself. These include nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, hallucinations, high fever, racing heartbeat and seizures. In some cases, detox without medical supervision can be life threatening.
Inpatient medical detox can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The cost can range from $1000 to $5000. If you are in an inpatient treatment facility, detox will probably be included as part of the total cost of care. Often, insurance will pay for at least a portion of medical detox.
Another type of detox is known as social detox. Social detox centers are frequently paired with homeless shelters or halfway houses. They do not provide any skilled medical care, but they do provide a safe place for someone dealing with detox symptoms. Social detox centers are often free or available to clients on a sliding scale basis.
Inpatient treatment is treatment provided in a residential setting. You will have access to doctors, drug and alcohol counselors, social workers, discharge planners and other medical professionals.
You will also attend several support groups daily with the other residents. You may also be given chores to do and homework assignments to complete. Counselors will provide one-on-one meetings.
Inpatient treatment usually lasts from 30 to 90 days. Most inpatient facilities cost between $12,000 to $60,000. The price depends on several factors including private vs, semi-private rooms, length of stay, how luxurious the facility is and how many private meetings you require with healthcare staff.
Most inpatient treatment centers have financial offices that you can work with to determine your payment options. Some centers offer scholarships for people who require inpatient treatment but need help paying for all or a part of it. Some health insurance plans also cover the cost of long-term inpatient care.
When you complete inpatient rehab, you may still not feel ready to return to your old life. One option is to move into a sober living residence. This is a dwelling that provides a safe, stable, drug-free atmosphere. You may live in a single room, with one other person or in a dormitory. Rent is usually paid out of pocket and ranges from $450 to $750. You are also responsible for additional costs such as groceries, laundry and a portion of utilities. While you are staying in the sober living facility, the staff will probably require you to attend college or get a part-time job.
The rules at sober living residents are usually strict. They include no drugs or alcohol, no theft, mandatory attendance at support groups and no violence. Breaking any of these rules may result in eviction.
There are several types of outpatient treatment. One is called intensive outpatient therapy. It involves attending three to four hours of treatment such as support groups or counseling. These treatments are held three to five times per week. The monthly rate runs between $1000 and $5000. Insurance may pay at least a part of the cost. If you can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket, you may also qualify for a scholarship.
Another type of outpatient treatment is the support group. Some groups are spiritually based while others are secular. Most support groups request a donation but will allow you to participate even if you cannot afford one.
Finally, a helpful type of outpatient treatment is one-on-one counseling. If you see a private counselor, you can usually expect to pay $50 to $150 per session. Some therapists will make special arrangements to offer a lower rate. Another suggestion is to go to a public mental health center which generally charge clients based on a sliding scale.
Abusing alcohol or drugs can be costly – not just financially but physically, emotionally and spiritually as well. Getting sober isn’t cheap, but the money you spend will be worth every penny to have your life back under control.
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