How Much Does Rehab Cost – And Is It Worth It?
April 14th, 2015 | By Brittany Meadows
Car. College. House. Kids. Retirement.
According to Forbes, these five areas will cost you more than anything else in your life. But what about the other life expenses? The kind of expenses that make you cling to your wallet and make your blood pressure rise? The unforeseen expenses: car repairs; extra semesters at school; household repairs; medical emergencies; rehab.
No one ever plans to be in a situation where they have to pay for drug or alcohol rehab for themselves or a loved one. No one ever wants to be in those circumstances. But for many families, getting help for an addiction is simply a fact of life.
The Truth About Treatment Costs.
Is it possible for a person to become sober without treatment? Technically, yes – but statistically speaking, they’re a rare anomaly. Participating in a credible and comprehensive inpatient treatment program for addiction is a proven factor that can lower the risk of relapse, and increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.
Many times, rehabs that offer less than a 30-day treatment model come with lower success rates. Lower success rates mean individuals relapse and must return to treatment, which then multiplies the overall cost.
Rehab is about paying for the best programs, not the best ocean view or the highest thread-count sheets. While there are luxury treatment options that charge higher rehab program prices, there are many treatment options across the country to fit the bill for various budgets. The cost of rehab can vary wildly from center to center, which is why it’s important to talk with treatment specialists at different facilities and receive accurate information about costs and the type and level of care available at each location.
How is the Price of Rehab Calculated?
The cost of rehab varies greatly based on the location of the center, types of programs offered, rehab staffing, the duration of treatment, and the source of funding. It’s important that you understand what type of program you’ll be attending, where it’s located, how long you’ll be there, and who will be working with you.
- Geographical Location & Amenities: The local economy often influences the average cost of drug and alcohol rehab. Often times, more affordable drug treatment programs are available in the South or Central U.S., rather than the West Coast. Don’t be lured into paying too much for drug rehab because you feel you need to have 5-star hotel quality accommodations in order to heal from addiction.
- Types of Programs: A center that offers a comprehensive program is one that shows a commitment to your health and well-being, and the dedication to a positive outcome. Look for programs that offer medical detoxification, residential (inpatient) treatment, outpatient treatment, and transitional (sober) living.
- Rehab Staffing: One important factor that is often overlooked in the price of a rehab facility is the cost of quality, experienced professionals. The cost of staffing is one of the most significant expenses for drug rehab centers. The more staff members and professionals available, the more personalized the care of the facility.
- Duration of Treatment: Long-term residential treatment is more expensive than short-term programs: the longer your stay, the more it will cost. However, studies show that long-term treatment programs typically result in longer-term sobriety after rehab, as well as significantly lower relapse rates.
- Source of Funding: There are non-profit treatment centers that rely partly or completely on public funding – and are less expensive than private facilities. If you or your loved one is considering such a facility, keep in mind that these government-sponsored programs do not offer the same one-on-one attention and care that private programs are able to offer. Such programs offer few chances for support groups, family care and counseling, and personal therapy. In addition, there is often a long waiting list for enrollment into non-profit treatment centers.
The Cost of Drug and Alcohol Rehab Shouldn’t Get in the Way of Treatment
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one of the most common reasons people do not receive help for substance abuse, despite wanting it or need it, is a lack of financial resources – or a lack of health insurance.
The reality is, our bank accounts shouldn’t determine whether our loved one gets help for addiction – a life-threatening disease. Just like you would want to pick the best doctors to treat a loved one’s cancer, you need to apply the same to drug rehab.
When Evaluating Treatment Centers, Look Out For:
- Unwillingness to work with your financial situation: A good admissions center specialist will always be able to point you in the right direction for treatment, regardless of your financial situation.
- Reasonable pricing, not just free services: Free services can mean treatment isn’t a priority. Pricing should be a reasonable cost for an important life decision like going to rehab. Don’t go for a free service just because it’s free. Go to the right program for you.
- Work in exchange for room and board: It is important to work. However, most importantly, you need to work on yourself while in treatment. Be cautious of programs that require you to work for the organization in exchange for room and board.
Not Getting Help Isn’t An Option
When it comes to the cost of alcohol or drug rehab, understand that the alternative – doing nothing – is simply not an option. Addiction doesn’t just “get better” – and it doesn’t gradually go away if you ignore it. There is no way to end addiction without addressing the problems, and it is nearly impossible to live in long-term sobriety without addressing and dealing with the underlying issues.
So how much is drug rehab really worth? It’s worth your life, or the life of your loved one. As much money as rehab might cost, the price of not addressing the problem may just cost you everything.