How To Pay For Residential Treatment

Once a person has made the decision to go to residential treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, one of the first questions often asked is: How? Here we will examine the options for residential treatment and how to pay for them.

Paying for Addiction Treatment

The first step in treatment for a drug or alcohol problem should be a medical detox. This is assuming that there is a need for medical attention. Typically, a person who is dependent on opiates, alcohol, or benzodiazepines will require this stage of care. Stimulants like methamphetamines and cocaine may not have severe or dangerous physical withdrawal symptoms. But that doesn’t mean that a stay in detox isn’t warranted. The point of detox treatment is not only to alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms but also to assess overall health. Drug or alcohol abuse often exasperates or obfuscates other health problems. Issues ranging from dental health to heart disease may be neglected. The detox phase of treatment is generally the most expensive, particularly on a per-day basis. Health insurance is usually the first place to look for payment. Thankfully, since the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 and subsequent legislation, coverage for treatment has been easier to find via health insurance. (1) Particularly in the case of medical detox for alcohol, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates, with which withdrawal symptoms can be potentially deadly.

Once a patient is through the detox phase of care (or not in need of it), the options for residential care become a lot broader. The most intensive type of care would be an inpatient stay at a drug and alcohol treatment center. Often this will be at the same location as the drug or alcohol detox and the patient simply changes phases. This consists of living at a facility 24 hours a day and the majority of the day will be filled with a variety of therapeutic activities. Group and individual therapy, grief and loss counseling, and other specialized tracks are usually offered. Treatment in an inpatient facility typically lasts 3-4 weeks minimum and the out-of-pocket costs without insurance can range from $15-30,000 or more. With health insurance, the only responsibility is for the deductible and out-of-pocket costs, which are usually more manageable. The good news is most facilities have very reasonable options for payment and may even work out payment plans for a portion of what is owed. Another option to pay for treatment has appeared in recent years. That is medical loans that are specifically designed for drug and alcohol treatment clients. Several companies such as Vertava Health offer these. A third option for raising the needed resources is crowdfunding. Sites like GoFundMe have been used by thousands of people to successfully raise millions of dollars collectively for medical needs.

Finding the Right Solution for You

As mentioned earlier, the options for care after detox is no longer needed are broad. One shouldn’t feel that a private inpatient treatment center is the only option if it is not financially practical. A new range of options that utilize Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) in combination with sober living offers much more affordable treatment for longer lengths of stay with or without insurance. These programs can range from $5-10,000 a month or much less. There are also sober living homes that work directly with state-funded treatment programs that are accessible to virtually anyone regardless of means.

In summary, looking for treatment and deciding how to pay for it can seem daunting. But it is important to understand that there truly are options for almost anyone now. The first step is really understanding the options for different types of care. Understand what is needed in your case and what you have in terms of resources. There are people who can provide help and guidance. If you’re like to contact us to learn more about our programs, feel free to call us at (954)-IN-TUNE. To learn more about state-funded programs and resources in your area, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) 24-hour hotline at (800) 662-HELP or visit their Substance Abuse Treatment Locator at


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