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Paying for Treatment: How to Qualify for a Drug Rehab Scholarship

Paying for Treatment: How to Qualify for a Drug Rehab Scholarship

“Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals.” ~ Henry Ford When you finally make the wonderful decision to get help for your substance abuse problem, then practical questions start to arise in your mind. For most people, the biggest question I have is – “How am I going to afford drug treatment?” Obviously, your first, best option is private insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act, insurance companies are now required by law to offer coverage for addiction recovery. But what happens when your insurance doesn’t cover the whole cost of drug rehab? Even worse, what happens when you don’t have ANY insurance? Enter the drug rehab scholarship…

What Is a Drug Rehab Scholarship?

A drug rehab scholarship is when the rehab program waives a portion – or even all – of the treatment costs for a person who cannot otherwise get help. There are four important considerations to keep in mind:

  • FIRST, rehab scholarships are generally need-based. They are only offered to those people with absolutely no other alternative – no insurance, no credit, and no resources or assets.
  • SECOND, most rehabs set aside a certain portion of their income to offer scholarships every year. If that money has not already been used up, and if you qualify, you may be in luck.
  • THIRD, even if a program cannot offer you a full scholarship, they may be offer you a partial one. For example, if you do have insurance, and it only covers 75% of the treatment cost, the rehab facility may be willing to pick up the other 25%.
  • FOURTH, not all rehab programs offer scholarships. This means that you have to do your homework.


How Do I Find Out Which Rehab Programs Offer Scholarships?

There are two steps to finding a drug rehab scholarship:

  • Do an online search for “drug rehab scholarships” in your state
  • Once you have that list, actually call the facility to see if they do, in fact, offer rehab scholarships and if they still have money available for the year

How Do I Actually Apply for a Drug Rehab Scholarship?

Actually applying for a drug rehab scholarship will depend upon the specific program. Some programs have an intake person who be able to take your information/application over the phone, some will allow you to do it online, and some will even require that you come in and apply in person. In any case, there are few things to keep in mind:

  • Be prepared to tell your story and explain your situation. Scholarship funds are always limited, and he programs want to make sure that they are distributing them to those people who are truly in need.
  • You will have to share personal, financial, and insurance information.
  • You will have to demonstrate that you are truly committed to your recovery.
  • As with any scholarship application, be prepared for rejection. You may have to apply numerous places and hear several “no’s” before you get a “yes”.

Remember to Look into Charity Options

There are nonprofit organizations that often have funds available to provide addiction treatment to those without other options. You can do a search of local charities by going to GuideStar or CharityWatch and start making connections there.

What about State-Funded Programs?

There’s good news and there’s bad news about state-funded drug rehab programs. The good news is for many people who have no other alternative, state-funded drug rehab programs get them into life-saving treatment. The bad news is that the demand for the services is usually much larger than the supply. Sometimes the waiting list can be extensive. Also, people using state-funded services usually do not have the luxury of choice – it’s first-come-first-serve and you have to take whatever is offered. For anyone who is truly committed to their recovery, there IS money out there. All it takes is a little patience and a willingness to look for. If you can keep an open mind and a positive outlook, you WILL be able to get into a drug rehab program that will give you the help you need.