How much does drug and alcohol treatment cost?

The cost of drug and alcohol treatment depends on a few factors, including:

  • Type of treatment (residential vs. outpatient)
  • Insurance coverage
  • Length of treatment
  • Treatment provider

Residential treatment is almost always more expensive than outpatient treatment, as it is a more intensive program with housing, meals, and additional therapies. While some drug and alcohol treatment programs cost as little as $2,000 for a 30 day program, some cost tens of thousands of dollars a month for treatment. Many high quality drug and alcohol rehab programs charge somewhere in the middle of this range for effective, evidence-based practices.

Because of the Affordable Health Act, health insurance companies are required to cover mental health services as an essential health benefit. This means that most health insurance plans cover some substance abuse treatment services, especially plans that meet minimum coverage requirements. However, what your exact coverage and how much you are expected to pay in terms of copays, deductibles before coverage, and coinsurance will vary based on your specific health insurance plan.

A significant number of Americans do not have health insurance. Many treatment providers offer self pay rates for those without insurance. The facility could also provide financing or payment plans for private pay clients to help make treatment even more affordable.

The length of treatment will have a significant impact on its price. Some treatment programs only last 30 days while others can last up to 12 months. Choosing a shorter program can make the overall cost of treatment less expensive. However, shorter drug and alcohol treatment programs may not be as effective, so don’t let the low cost of a very short program determine which facility you choose.

Each drug and alcohol treatment provider charges a different amount for their program, typically within the bounds of their agreement with insurance companies. Luxury treatment providers charge more than others, while some faith-based programs operate on donations and do not require participants to pay for treatment. These programs often rely on discipleship and evangelism over using evidence-based treatment practices, such as the 12 steps and innovative therapies.

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