Drug use is prevalent in the United States, with 23.5 million Americans struggling with addiction—yet only 2.6 million (11%) of them receive treatment. That means that approximately 1 in 10 Americans continue to live with untreated addictions.1
We, as a country, feel the financial impact of even those who do seek treatment, as evidenced by the fact that in 2003, 77% of the $21 billion dollars spent on substance abuse treatment was paid for by federal, state, and local governments.2
Additionally, the staggeringly large, untreated population of people who struggle with the ravages of often-daily substance abuse are likely to experience a drain on personal finances, accrue high medical bills, and, as a group, contribute to pervasive societal costs.
Getting help for your substance abuse can minimize both medical and social costs. For example, many people who use drugs or alcohol end up facing legal problems surrounding their substance abuse, such as going to jail. By entering treatment and absorbing rehab costs, you can prevent these social consequences and get sober.
1 year of methadone maintenance therapy costs roughly $4,700 per person compared to 1 year of jail, which costs $24,000.
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
If you’re ready to get the help you need and enter a drug treatment program, you may wonder what the costs are and how to cover them. While these figures are not the same across the board, since each facility has different pricing, the ranges represent the average costs of typical substance abuse treatment programs.3
General Payment Ranges by Treatment Type
|Type of Program||Cost||Length of Program|
|Detox||$600–$1,000 per day ($4k–$7k total)||7-day minimum|
|Inpatient and Residential||$400–$900 per day ($14k–$27k total),
$300–$800 per day ($24k–$45k total),
$200–$700 per day ($33k–$58k total)
|Outpatient||$100–$500 per session (total price varies by length/frequency of treatment; generally discounted with longer treatment plans)||Varies|
|IOP with Housing||$3,500–$5,000 per week||Varies|
Variables that Affect the Cost of Rehab
Rehab costs vary depending on setting, available amenities, and treatment offerings.Before you buy a car or a house, you must determine your budget, and the same goes for rehab. The amount of money you can spend on treatment plays a key factor in your decision of where to seek care. If you have a good idea of your finances beforehand, it can be helpful to create a budget and find an appropriately priced facility.
Your preferences also play a role in determining your treatment costs. For example, some people may want to attend a treatment program that is in the mountains or on a beach, and facilities located in desirable locations often cost more.
Rehab costs vary depending on setting, available amenities, and treatment offerings, including:
- Location: Rehab facilities located in beautiful surroundings cost more than those located in less-desirable settings.
- Facility type: More immersive treatment settings or intensive care offerings, such as residential inpatient and detox, cost more than outpatient programs.
- Pool/spa access: Most people would like to have access to a pool or spa, and because of the high demand for these amenities, centers that offer this perk charge more.
- Food: Some rehabs have chef-prepared meals for their residents, while other facilities offer private kitchens where you can prepare your own food.
- Private or shared rooms: In treatment, you pay for privacy. Since most rooms are shared, if you would like to have a single-bed room, you will likely pay more.
- Types of therapy offered: Some facilities specialize in specific types of therapies and treatment approaches. For example, if you know you want a program that offers art therapy, horse therapy, or music therapy, your costs may differ from programs that do not offer these particular therapies.
- Pet policy: Every facility has different policies about whether your pet can live with you. If the rehab center does allow pets, you may have to pay more to cover your pet’s stay.
Cost of Treatment
For every $1 you invest in your own addiction treatment, society saves between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime and criminal justice costs. If you include healthcare, the amount saved exceeds a ratio of 12:1.1 Going to treatment can help prevent further problems that can cost you and society a great deal, including:
- Interpersonal hardship with a spouse or loved one.
- Job loss.
- Drug-related accidents.
- Overdose or death.
How to Pay for Treatment
Many Americans say that the cost of rehab and their lack of or incomplete insurance coverage prevents them from accessing treatment. But there are other options, including:3
- Obtaining Insurance: You can apply for public insurance through Medicare or Medicaid. Both cover substance abuse treatment, but to qualify you must meet certain eligibility requirements. If you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you can still purchase a private insurance policy through the health exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
- Loans and Credit Cards: You can also apply for a healthcare loan from one of the many lending agencies that specialize in helping cover healthcare costs, including addiction services. Or you could apply for a low-interest credit card to finance the cost of treatment. When researching loans and credit options, be sure to look for one that offers payment options that meet your current financial needs and fits your addiction treatment timeline.
- Family and Friends: Loved ones are often happy to contribute toward your treatment and may offer to put money toward the costs.
- Scholarships: There are scholarships available to help people like you get the treatment you need. Apply for a scholarship at the 10,000 Beds Scholarship Program website or the Sobriety Optimization League.
If cost is preventing you from seeking treatment, remember that there are plenty of ways for you to get the finances you need.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?
- French, M. T., Popovici, I., & Tapsell, L. (2008). The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and Reimbursement. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 35(4), 462–469.
- American Addiction Centers. (2017). Payment Information.