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Substance Abuse Treatment Costs: Is It Worth It?


Substance Abuse Treatment Costs: Is It Worth It?

When it comes to getting substance abuse treatment, cost can be a major deterrent for some from getting the help they need. If you are dependent on your family for financial support, you might feel like asking them to pay for rehab would be too much of a burden. If your budget is tight, you might feel like you need to invest your resources elsewhere. Or, perhaps you simply worry that it’s not worth it—or worse, that you’re not worth it.

The truth is, substance abuse treatment is one of the most important things you can invest in if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction. It can be the difference between change and devastating loss. At the same time, it’s understandable that you need to be realistic about your resources. Before you write off treatment completely, let’s look at your options for paying for treatment—and the value you will receive in return for investing in yourself.

Will My Insurance Pay for Addiction Treatment?

If you have health insurance, chances are good that it covers mental and behavioral health services—including addiction treatment—at least in part, if not in full. In fact, legally speaking, all insurance plans are required to include these services in their coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

If your insurance carrier refuses to cover addiction treatment, be sure to contact your state insurance department, state health department, or the attorney general’s office for help.

If you’re not sure to what extent your plan will cover you or what exactly the terms of your coverage are, contact your insurance carrier for clarification. You can also talk to a rehab center for help; typically, the staff of a reputable treatment facility will be willing to help you understand your plan and the options available to you.

Not every treatment center will accept every insurance carrier, so when evaluating your treatment options, be sure to verify which facilities accept your insurance. If your addiction rehabilitation center of choice does not fall into this category, see if they can recommend alternatives—either other payment options, or other facilities that do accept your insurance.

Covering Substance Abuse Treatment Costs Out-of-Pocket

If you’re without adequate health insurance, you’re not alone. Over 27 million people in America reported that they had no insurance whatsoever in 2018. Additionally, not all people with insurance have enough coverage to take care of all of their medical costs, and not every treatment facility will accept every insurance carrier.

If you’re not able to rely on insurance for support, don’t give up. You may have other options, rather than paying substance abuse treatment costs out-of-pocket. 

  • Double-check your employee benefits. If you are currently employed, it is possible that you can get health insurance through your job. It may be that this simply was not communicated to you, or that you waived coverage and forgot about it. In any case, it never hurts to check.
  • Look into state and local government programs. You may qualify for a state-run, federally funded program that could minimize or even completely cover the cost of addiction treatment.
  • Discuss your options with prospective rehab centers. Some may offer scholarships or alternative financing options for lower-income clients. In many cases, the staff may also be willing to help you sort through third-party options, such as government programs and loans.
  • Evaluate your level of need. In many cases, residential treatment may not only be preferable, but necessary, to build a solid foundation for recovery. However, for others,  an outpatient program (which will typically incur fewer costs) may be all the support you need to get back on your feet. Be sure to look up local criteria for inpatient rehab for more clarification.
  • Consider a loan. Depending on the costs you need to cover, a reasonably sized loan may be a good solution. This can allow you or your loved one to focus on health first. Paying back the loan will be easier once things are more stable.
  • Don’t rule out crowdfunding. While you may find it unpleasant to ask others for help—particularly of the financial variety—remember that it is not inherently bad to need extra support from time to time. An online fundraiser gives your family, friends, and even kind strangers an opportunity to give what they can and help out someone they care about. You can always plan to do something special for them to show your gratitude once you’re fit to do so.

Additionally, there may be some nonprofit treatment programs in your area, such as those offered by the Salvation Army or Teen Challenge. However, be sure to do your research to make sure any nonprofit facilities you’re considering are legitimate and funded well enough to provide an adequate level of care during your or your loved one’s treatment.

Ultimately, your best option is to use one or more of the strategies in the list above to cover the cost of treatment at a specialized addiction treatment center. Look for a facility that is both well-funded and staffed by empathetic, well-trained nurses and clinicians. A good rehab center should have the resources and dedication necessary to provide an optimal treatment experience and maximize your or your loved one’s chances of lasting recovery.

Investing in Addiction Treatment Means Investing in Your Future

The sooner you or your loved one can enroll in the right addiction treatment program at the right facility, the better. Comprehensive, compassionate programming can give you the medical and emotional support you need to stop using and improve your overall health.

When you’re paying for substance abuse treatment costs, you’re not just investing in the present. You’re paving a path to a future in which you (or your loved one) is healthier, happier, and most importantly, alive. More than 67,300 people died of an overdose in 2018; it’s possible that this year may result in an even higher number. The best way to prevent yourself or your loved one from being among that number is to find an appropriate treatment program sooner rather than later.

Even if you find your first choice isn’t feasible, don’t give up. There is always hope for recovery; as the saying goes, as long as there is life, there is hope.

Substance abuse treatment costs can be intimidating—but your future is worth investing in. At New Choices Treatment Centers, we’re dedicated to helping people find their best path to addiction recovery. We accept most insurance carriers, but even if we don’t accept yours, feel free to call us at (726) 888-7003 or contact us anyway to discuss your options.