Finding Affordable Treatment For Substance Abuse

Posted by Jackson Bentley on Sep 13, 2018 8:00:00 AM
Jackson Bentley
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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 23 million Americans struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, with only about 10% receiving any clinical treatment. There are many reasons why someone may avoid seeking the help they need for substance dependency, but one of the most common is that they believe they cannot afford adequate treatment. Finding an affordable rehab option can be challenging, and addicts are often forced to overcome addiction on their own.


The cost for treatment ranges anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the quality of the facility and the types of services that they offer. Additionally, there is a wide range of factors that could influence why someone chooses a rehab program. These include the comfortability of the facilities, the types of services (inpatient, outpatient, PHP, etc…), the cost of the program, the availability of specialized services such as dual-diagnosis, and whether or not the program offers ongoing alumni support post-treatment. However, price should not be a barrier to receiving the kind of treatment that you need.


How do I Find Affordable Treatment?

A calculator and sheet with a financial breakdown on it.

Unfortunately, many Americans have trouble affording even the most cost-effective addiction treatment programs. Fortunately, more and more public assistance options have become available to make treatment more accessible to those who need it most. There are also opportunities such as loans, scholarships, and insurance policies that can cover some or all of the costs. Here are some of the ways you can offset the cost of addiction treatment.


Specialized Loans

Most credible treatment centers work hard to find ways for their patients to afford rehab. One increasingly common method is financial support through loans. Today, multiple entities focus solely on funding addiction treatment for individuals. Institutions such as these will offer specialized, affordable packages to help you cover the costs of treatment and will usually have lower interest rates than conventional financial institutions. These organizations can be found online, or treatment centers will refer you to their preferred vendors. Check with your rehab center of choice, but also get quotes from national vendors such as:


My Treatment Lender

Prosper Healthcare Lending


Personal Loans

With personal loans, what you pay in interest will depend on the lender and your credit score, but if you can find a co-signer with a good income and creditworthiness, you will get a better deal. Shop around and see what kind of options are available. If you’re considering a personal loan for rehab, make sure to read the fine print. Interest rates and reimbursement terms for personal loans vary across institutions and generally fixed payment loans are better than variable loans for affording rehab.


Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Another option for financing rehab is a HELOC or Home Equity Line of Credit. This type of loan provides you with a low-interest rate with your home equity acting as collateral. However, if you are unable to make your loan payments on time, you are putting your home at risk.


Health Care Credit Cards

Health care credit cards offer users low-interest rates and sometimes six months to a year of grace period where you aren’t charged interest. These cards are intended to help with short-term payment plans, and interest rates may rise substantially after the grace period ends. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these cards may be used to cover the costs of rehab.



An increasingly popular method for people seeking treatment for chronic illnesses is crowdfunding. Using sites such as Indiegogo and GoFundMe, individuals can gather help from friends and family to help cover some of the costs of treatment. Addiction is a taboo subject, and many people do not wish to discuss their struggles or ask for help, so if you’re considering crowdfunding for someone else, make sure to ask them for permission first.


Retirement Accounts

Another option for paying for treatment is to borrow from your retirement savings. You can take out a loan from your 401k, Roth IRA, or life insurance policy. If you take out a loan make sure to pay it back within the time frame if you don’t want to incur penalties for your own money.


Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

An employee assistance program is an employer-sponsored service that helps employees and their dependents who are struggling with personal or family challenges. Most employers who offer this type of assistance will cover services related to mental health, substance abuse, financial trouble, and legal concerns.


Scholarships and Grants

If you can’t qualify for a loan, one of the best ways to find affordable rehab is applying for a scholarship or grant. Although most do not, there are still many facilities that offer specialized low-income assistance in the form of scholarships and grants to qualifying individuals. Here are the ways you can apply:



If you are a Veteran or a child in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can find grant assistance from the federal government to cover some of the costs of rehab. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can help you find a facility and assist you with applying for any relevant scholarships or grants.



Each state disperses funding for addiction treatment differently. Some states will award scholarships and grants to individuals and organizations while others go directly to funding facilities. Consult with SAMHSA’s Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services to find out what forms of assistance are available in your state.



Some charitable organizations and foundations provide scholarships for individuals to attend rehab. For example, the nonprofit 10,000 Beds awarded more than $2,500,000 in scholarships in 2017. Additionally, religious organizations may also help assist with rehab. The Salvation Army even offers work therapy and group counseling for no fee.


Treatment Centers

Many recovery centers now offer access to partial scholarships for qualifying individuals. These are typically in limited supply and are reserved for low-income individuals. If you’re thinking about applying for any scholarship, always check with your preferred treatment center first to see if they offer any kind assistance or references to organizations that do.



One of the simplest ways to cover the costs of rehab is through health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has made insurance companies responsible for covering mental health and substance abuse issues. ACA requires that state-issued insurance providers offer the same level of care for mental health as they do for physical health, including Medicare and Medicaid.

This also means that companies may no longer classify addiction as a pre-existing condition. If you have health insurance, talk to your provider about the degree of coverage you have available. Also, make sure to research facilities to determine whether they accept your insurance.



Medicare can provide treatment coverage for anyone currently qualified for the program. Medicare applies for both inpatient and outpatient rehab and covers services like medical detox, therapy, and continued care. You can learn more about the coverage options pertaining to addiction treatment in parts A, B, and D of Medicare. It’s important to remember that not all treatment providers will accept Medicare.



Medicaid is a useful option for those who do not have insurance. For most Medicaid insurance packages, however, coverage only applies to the elderly, the disabled, families with young children, pregnant women, and low-income individuals and families. Medicaid coverage also varies from state to state, so you’ll have to check online to see what coverage options are available. You may also want to consider attending rehab in a state with expanded coverage.


State Provided Insurance Resources


Private Insurance Providers


Private Payment

Many addiction treatment facilities and rehabs understand that price can be a barrier for some. While the options listed above are useful, they may not be feasible for everyone. Fortunately, treatment centers have begun to offer private payment plans for under-insured, uninsured, and impoverished individuals who need help treating drug and alcohol addiction. With private payment plans, patients can pay for their treatment in steady increments over time as opposed to paying the bulk sum all at once. If this sounds like the right approach for you, treatment staff can work closely with you to personalize a plan that matches your needs and payment capabilities.


Next Steps

Research has shown that the cost of attending drug and alcohol rehab is actually lower than the long-term costs of leaving a substance use problem untreated. If the price of rehab seems to be too costly, consider the cost of living a life enslaved to substance dependency, including the lost time, lost productivity, lost relationships, and more that you could lose to addiction. At Landmark Recovery, we do everything possible to make sure our patients receive the best possible care. We believe in creating a supportive network of love and access to resources that can help you break free from the chains of addiction. Visit our website to learn more about drug and alcohol rehab.



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Topics: Drug and Alcohol

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