Affordable Inpatient Drug Rehab Costs and OptionsAccording to research into the principles of effective treatment, no single type of treatment program will work for every person struggling with a substance use disorder.1 Evidence suggests that the most effective treatment uses the types of services that best meet the unique requirement of the person seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction. Finding a facility that offers individualized care lets the treatment program be customized to meet the specific needs of each client.

Most treatment programs last 30-60-90 days, with longer stays usually correlating to higher success rates and lower chance of relapse. Inpatient care is beneficial in many ways, but it is also costly. Finding inpatient drug rehab that’s affordable can also be challenging.

How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Cost?

Inpatient rehab is treatment for a substance use disorder in which the client lives at the facility where he or she is receiving care. This allows the client to focus fully on treatment while living in a safe environment that includes constant clinical and medical monitoring. Inpatient care also allows a person to benefit from the support of their peers and to get access to a variety of group therapy sessions and other treatment options.

The cost of round-the-clock care, medical care, room and board, and access to treatments therapies and things like nutrition, education and fitness is reflected in the higher price for inpatient rehab compared to outpatient programs. The cost of a full course of treatment in an inpatient setting varies by facility. Costs may increase with factors such as the location, the number of staff available and the types of programs offered.

While the price varies by facility, inpatient treatment almost always costs more than outpatient care. One study of costs and outcomes of inpatient drug and alcohol rehab compared to outpatient treatment found that the difference could be as great as ,592 for inpatient rehab and ,964 for outpatient services.3 With all costs of follow-up care included, the prices rose to $22,977 and $12,428, respectively.

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What to Look for When Choosing Affordable Inpatient Rehab

Cost of treatment can be a major barrier to getting adequate treatment for a substance use disorder. In fact, not having health insurance coverage for treatment and not being able to afford the cost out-of-pocket was listed as the number one reason that people who need treatment do not get it, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.4

Cost should not be a barrier to treatment, and people with substance use disorders can look for lower-cost programs and factors that will reduce the overall cost, while still getting good outcomes. Some important things to consider when looking for a reputable facility that is cost-effective include:

  • The length of the treatment program
  • The size of the facility and the client-to-staff ratio
  • The types of services and treatments offered
  • The location of the facility
  • The total cost of treatment, including any extra costs not included in the basic plan

Finding Affordable Inpatient Rehab

The first, most important step in looking for the most affordable option for inpatient rehab is to check on health insurance coverage. Some plans cover a certain length of stay in a residential facility or a partial hospitalization program. Knowing exactly which services will be covered can help a person make the best choice for an affordable program. A health insurance plan may even specify what treatment facilities are covered, which can also make the choice easier and give the client a starting point.

There are also some specific places to look for low-cost or even free treatment for substance use disorders. Veterans, for instance, may be able to receive treatment at a VA facility at reduced or no cost. Community and non-profit organizations may offer assistance with treatment programs, completely free programs or treatment that charges clients on a sliding scale.

Government programs can also be a good source of affordable rehab. A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that there are many free and low-cost substance treatment programs available around the country and that more than half of the programs that are free offer inpatient care.5 SAMHSA can help people find those services through the online treatment locator service.6

For many people, the costs of intensive, round-the-clock care lead them to assume they could never afford it. There are options to find affordable inpatient drub rehab, from low-cost programs, using the services of non-profit organizations or reaching out to government agencies to find low cost or even free treatment services.

Many centers, such as Transformations, have patient advocates that work with clients, and their family, to help them navigate the insurance process or work out a payment plan to fit their budget. A partial hospitalization or inpatient program is often followed by transition to an intensive outpatient program before stepping down to a less intensive outpatient treatment program.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction: A Research-Based Guide.
  2. Assessing the Evidence Base Series. Residential Treatment for Individuals with Substance Use Disorder: Assessing the Evidence.
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Health Services and Research Development. Comparison of Cost and Outcomes of Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.…/HECSpr2008-061808.ppt
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
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