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Affordable Treatment

Drug and alcohol addictions gradually strip away at a person’s sense of self, direction and purpose. Once addicts reach a point where they’re ready to enter treatment, any financial resources once had may well have dwindled down to barely enough to survive on.

Not having the money to pay for needed treatment help can quickly thwart a person’s motivation to get well. Considering the degree of fortitude required to make the decision to stop using drugs, finding affordable treatment help at this crucial point becomes all the more important. Fortunately, affordable treatment options exist and can be found when you know where to look.

With so many different types of treatment programs to choose from, it’s important to know what kind of treatment a person needs before starting your search. Many treatment programs also receive funding from more than one source, which can also factor into overall treatment costs.

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You can find the treatment you need at the rate you are able to afford.

While those who’ve still managed to hold onto some form of health insurance may have more options available, low-cost and free drug treatment options still exist for people with limited financial means.

Treatment Needs

The first step towards finding affordable drug treatment involves identifying what types of treatment will best meet a person’s recovery needs. For people struggling with chronic addiction problems, the overall recovery process will entail stages of treatment that take place within different types of treatment settings, such as –

  • Detox programs
  • Inpatient programs
  • Residential programs
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Sober living homes

While not everyone coming off a long-term addiction will require all of these services, long-term addictions tend to be the most severe so the recovery process will no doubt take time. Not surprisingly, each of these programs comes with their own sets of costs; however, costs can vary considerably from program to program.

Someone at the early stages of addiction may only require detox and outpatient treatment, in which case costs can run considerably lower. In cases where a person struggles with mental health issues on top of an addiction problem, a more intensive line of treatment may well be necessary.

Cost Factors

Drug treatment programs determine the amounts they charge based on –

  • Staffing costs
  • Overhead costs
  • Available funding sources

While staffing and overhead costs remain fixed, many treatment programs receive funding from outside agencies, such as nonprofit organizations and government-based funding, according to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. Available funding enables these programs to charge lower rates for their services and also offer payment assistance to people who can’t afford to cover their treatment costs.

In general, programs that provide intensive treatment services, such as detox, inpatient and residential programs tend to charger higher rates due to the range of services offered. Likewise, outpatient programs offer a less intensive form of treatment so overall costs tend to run lower.

All of these factors influence how much any one program will charge for their services. Considering how funding sources and treatment intensity factor into a program’s costs, the least expensive programs will be the least intensive, but have access to multiple funding sources.

Health Insurance Provisions

Those who’ve managed to hold onto to some form of health insurance protection may be surprised at the range of benefits available for drug treatment. As of 2014, changes in healthcare law have required insurance carriers to assign the same level of benefits for drug treatment costs as those made available for medical care.

According to, much of the drug treatment benefit allowances fall under the categories of mental and behavioral health treatment. This includes the following treatment services –

  • Counseling
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication therapies (methadone not included)

Not only must insurance carriers cover these services, but also allot the same level of coverage amounts as those assigned for standard medical treatments.

Government-Funded Options

Rates of drug addiction have taken an incredible toll on the national economy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the estimated costs from losses in work productivity, legal system expenses and health care costs amount to $524 billion per year. In an effort to counter these costs, both federal and state governments have made affordable treatment options available to people unable to pay for treatment.

Depending on location and program availability, government funded options may include –

  • Voucher programs
  • State-run drug treatment programs
  • Clinical trials

Some state governments also sponsor the Access to Recovery program, made available through local community agencies. Access to Recovery issues vouchers that can be used to cover most if not all of a person’s drug treatment costs.

Faith-Based Organizations

Long before drug treatment programs came into existence, faith-based religious organizations played a central role in helping people with drug addiction get the help they need. Today, these organizations continue to offer affordable drug treatment options, some of which include –

  • Catholic Charities
  • The Salvation Army
  • Jews in Recovery
  • Local area churches

As these organizations all hold a nonprofit tax status, most if not all of them receive government-funding to assist with providing affordable treatment options. Since funding availability can vary from agency to agency, it’s important to do a little research as some programs may actually offer drug treatment services free of charge.

State-Run Community-Based Options

The Division of Health & Human Services provides funding to community health centers in most every city, county and rural area. In turn, local community health centers can offer drug treatment at reduced cost or free of charge depending on the available funding within any given year.

These programs typically use a sliding-fee scale that’s based on a percentage of each person’s income earnings. Most if not all community health centers also accept Medicaid and Medicare insurance.

Other Places to Look

The availability of drug treatment services can vary from city to city, so it can be helpful to access resources within your local area to get a better idea of what’s available in your vicinity. Resources to look into include –

  • Local area doctors
  • Emergency clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Local online business portals

Ultimately, affordable drug treatment options can be found. Matching a person’s treatment needs with available services in your area offers the best chance of finding the type of affordable treatment that best meets his or her needs.

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