How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Drug and alcohol addiction takes an enormous amount of earning power away, and in some cases, the addiction costs someone a job entirely. Addiction and unemployment are excellent friends. It’s no wonder that so many addicts worry about how they’re going to afford treatment in the first place, and if they can’t afford it, what do they do? Fortunately, for most addicts, health insurance is going to take care of the costs of rehab. Even if you have some financial responsibilities toward the treatment, insurance will cover most of it.

Rehab centers understand the often tragic financial situation of the people who come to them for help. They lend a helping hand by offering financing options as well, so even if you can’t afford a dime upfront, you’ll be able to get help and then pay off the debt slowly over time as you return to health. It’s unlikely that many people could have gotten help without these arrangements. In assessing the total costs of rehab, you’ll need to consider what kind of rehab you’re going in, the duration of stay, and the types of services they offer.


Health insurance is going to be the cheapest way to afford rehab. Most insurances now accept that addiction is a medical condition and a real health issue. You’ll find that your insurance will usually approve at least some length of stay in a rehab. Common types of insurances accepted by rehabs include:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Military insurance
  • Private insurance
  • Any state-funded insurance


There are a few main types of facilities: inpatient, outpatient, and detox. Medication costs will also be factored into the bottom line. Detox costs between $1,000 and $1,500. $6,000 would be the typical cost for a month-long stay in a cheaper detox, but prices can go as high as $20,000. A 3-month outpatient program might be in the neighborhood of $5,000 for a three-month outpatient program. Finally, medications will also cost. Some heroin users will choose methadone to come off heroin, and this type of detox runs about $4,700 a year.


When you consider how much an addict or alcoholic spends a year on their drug of choice, the costs of rehab are pitifully small by comparison. You’ll find that when treatment works, it drastically improves the earning capacity of the recovering addict. Even if you pay out of pocket for some rehab expenses, you’ll find that this amount was an investment to a brighter financial future. You’ll also find that detoxes and inpatient and outpatient programs are incredibly flexible in terms of financing arrangements. Yes, you’re taking on debt, but when you’re sober, it’s a debt you can pay back. The endless parade of dollars that a person throws at addiction is ongoing and devastating to finances.

Heroin addicts especially spend a lot of money on an addiction that must be fed daily, sometimes hourly. Hundreds of dollars a day can quickly spiral down the drain, and you get nothing back from it but misery and possible death. Treatment more than pays for itself when you consider the earning capacity it’s giving you back. A treatment center will also help you slowly regain your health. If you’ve felt terrible for a long time because of your addiction, how much would it be worth to you to wake up tomorrow and feel good again? Do you remember that feeling? If you’re honest, you’d have to admit that at this point, you might pay every dime you have in the world to feel good again without drugs or alcohol. A treatment center will slowly but surely get you back to that state where you can feel good and happy again.


A rehab center will have a host of services that they charge for, and all of those services are then totaled at the end to give you a final cost. Your bill goes to paying for therapy, medications needed, drug testing, and other things that you might use in a facility or outpatient setting. For example, when you’re in an inpatient detox, you get three meals a day, sometimes snacks, and healthy drinks. Your bill is paying for all of those things. The staff that runs group meetings, psychiatrists, nurses, and orderlies all need to be paid, and your bill pays for those things.

Medications inside a facility will also be part of the bill sometimes. If your facility gives out medication, then that will be a charge, too. There are so many little things that go into running an inpatient detox or rehab that it’s difficult to break it all down, but know that sobriety is worth every penny. Those professionals who are working on getting you well always earn their keep.


Hope is just around the corner. When you enter a facility or go to outpatient treatment, remember that either your insurance or you are paying for the opportunity to get better. Whether or not you get your money’s worth depends on how much you put into your treatment. If you value it, honor its principles, and view it as a new chance at life, you’ll get every dime out of your treatment and then some. If you don’t take your treatment seriously and see it as a hindrance, you might end up not getting your money’s worth.

Compared to good health and happiness, what is money really worth? You could have all the money in the world right now, and you would still feel terrible, still crave, and still feel defeated. Likewise, you could go to treatment tomorrow, pay for it yourself and not have a dime left on earth by the end of it, but if you walked out of that treatment center smiling, feeling like yourself again for the first time in a very long time, it wouldn’t matter at all if you had a dime or not. With your newfound sobriety, you can make better financial decisions, keep a job, obtain a place to live, and completely restart your life over, drug and alcohol free.

All of these possibilities are in front of you, and they’re waiting for you to make a decision. If you want help, it’s out there, just waiting for you to take it up on the chance. You’ll find that treatment centers now are places of refuge in times of trouble. Addicts get better in treatment every day, and you can be the next person to get better.

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