“In other words, for every dollar not spent on drug prevention and treatment, we would have to spend $7 on reducing the supply of drugs. The question is not whether we can afford to pay for treat. Rather, how can we afford NOT to?” ~ Richard Isralowitz, Drug Use, Policy, and Management When a person makes the decision that they are ready to seek addiction treatment for their substance abuse disorder, the next steps usually all deal with practical considerations –
- Where should I go for drug rehab?
- When can I go?
- Can I afford drug treatment?
The first two questions are answered pretty easily. Where? The drug rehab you choose should be accredited, meaning it meets established professional standards. They should employ an Evidence-Based Treatment strategy that combats the disease of addiction on multiple levels by focusing on the total wellness of the person, rather than just their symptoms. When? The best time to start drug treatment is always RIGHT NOW. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it only worsens over time. One more high is one too many, and tomorrow may be too late. As for affordability, that requires a little more explanation.
What Factors Influence How Much Drug Addiction Treatment Costs?
There are four main factors that determine how much your drug rehab costs and how much you might be expected to pay out-of-pocket –
- The level of care you need/choose to help you fight your addiction,
- The duration of your addiction treatment,
- The size and qualifications of the staff at the facility, and
- Your insurance coverage.
Factor #1 –What Are the Different Levels of Care for Drug Rehab?
Before drug treatment can truly begin, it is recommended that a person undergoes a drug detoxification first. Only when a person is free from the physical influence of their drug of choice can their mind be clear enough to receive the message of recovery. Drug Detox Drug detox can cost $500 per day or more, and will usually last 3-14 days, depending upon the abused substance. The lowest level of care is an intensive outpatient drug rehab program, also referred to as an IOP. The person in recovery is able to live at home with their family and continue working or going to school. Typically, they will attend 3-5 group therapy sessions per week, covering such topics as:
- Coping skills
- Interpersonal relationships
- Trigger avoidance
- Stress reduction
- Relapse prevention
This level of addiction treatment is best suited for someone with a mild substance abuse disorder and who has not previously made unsuccessful attempts at recovery. Ideally, outpatient drug rehab can be used as a long-term support system for someone who has “graduated” from residential drug rehab. Outpatient addiction treatment can cost upwards of $10,000 per month. Residential drug rehab is for moderate-to-severe substance abuse disorders, and provides a safe, supervised, and monitored environment providing round-the-clock support, 24/7. Participants are immersed in a highly-structured sober-living facility with scheduled therapy and activities. In addition to everything that outpatient drug rehab offers, inpatient programs will typically include:
- One-on-one counseling
- Medication-assistance to ease cravings
- Nutritional programs
- Exercise and personal training
- Holistic therapies such as massage, yoga, and mindfulness meditation
- Alternative treatments such as pet, equine, art, or poetry therapy
- Treatment for any co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD
The cost for an inpatient drug rehab program can vary quite widely, from as low as $6000 per month, up to $32,000 per month. Luxury inpatient addiction treatment programs with upscale amenities can cost as much as $80,000 or more per month. Patients addicted to opioids such as heroin may require long-term methadone maintenance therapy, which can cost $5000 per month.
Factor #2 – How Long Does Drug Rehab Take?
Obviously, your personal history and the severity of your addiction will determine how long you may need to be in drug treatment. Although some people may respond well to a program lasting 1 to 3 months, most research shows that the greatest success is achieved by people who participate in addiction recovery programs lasting longer than 90 days. A Los Angeles Times article reported a key comparison:
- 35% of individuals who remain in drug treatment for less than 90 days will relapse within the first year.
- Only 17% of those participating in addiction treatment for more than 90 days will relapse within the same time period.
- A different study indicated that individuals who leave drug rehab before 90 days will relapse at a rate similar to those who only remain in treatment for a few days.
The duration of addiction treatment is significant. Just as it took time to develop a substance abuse disorder, it will take time to re-learn how to achieve lasting sobriety. The head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch, Lisa Onken, says, “The more you have treatment that can help you become continuously abstinent, the better you do. You have to figure out how to be abstinent. You still have cravings. You still have friends offering drugs. You still have to figure out ways not to use. The longer you’re able to do that, the more you are developing skills to help you stay abstinent.”
Factor #3 –The Staff at the Addiction Treatment Facility
It is hard to over-estimate the role that the professional addiction treatment specialists will play in your eventual successful recovery. These are the people who will help craft your individualized treatment plan, assist you in the implementation of that plan, interact with you on a daily basis, and support you every step along the way of your journey of recovery. The best drug rehab programs will have a low patient-to-staff ratio, thereby facilitating more individualized treatment and care. They will also have a greater number of addiction specialists holding professional degrees, rather than just state certifications. This ensures that you receive the most –to-date treatment that is in line with the industry’s best standards and practices.
Factor #4– Your Insurance Coverage Will Determine Your out-of-Pocket Expenses
The bad news is that good quality drug addiction treatment is expensive. The good news is that with the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, the likelihood is greater than ever before that you have insurance coverage, and by law, insurance carriers are required to pay for drug rehab for individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders. In many cases, that coverage pays for the entire cost of addiction treatment, and if that is the case, your only out-of-pocket expense will be any applicable co-pays or deductibles. It is easy to find out if a particular drug rehab facility accepts your insurance. You can either look on their website or inquire during your initial phone call.
Why Do I Need to Pay for Drug Rehab? Can’t I Just Get Sober on My Own?
If you’re asking if it is possible to overcome your drug addiction by yourself, then the answer is technically, yes. There is a tiny percentage of people who can return to sobriety without professional help. If you’re asking if it is probable, then the answer is an unequivocal – NO. Addiction is a disorder that is characterized by changes in the brain’s biochemistry. Good intentions, willpower, and best wishes aren’t enough to overcome such a cunning and powerful disease. To safely detox and recover your sobriety—and to STAY clean and sober—you need the strongest possible support system. Trained and experienced doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists provide that. Professional addiction treatment works. The Drug Abuse Treatment Outcomes Studies (DATOS) determined that only about 25% of cocaine abusers who enrolled in a long-term drug treatment program reported regular use of the drug five years later. If you have decided to get help for a problem with illicit or prescription drugs, Northpoint Recovery in Boise, Idaho, may be your best option. Northpoint Recovery is regarded as the premier substance abuse recovery facility in the Pacific Northwest, offering the region’s lowest staff-to-patient ratio and a multi-layered, total wellness treatment strategy based on empirical evidence. Best of all, because most major insurance plans are accepted, you CAN afford the best drug treatment available anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
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