Drug addiction is a chronic disease that changes structures in the brain, especially the reward center, and manifests as compulsive behaviors around consuming drugs or alcohol. People who struggle with addiction have little to no control over acquiring and consuming intoxicating substances, and they typically continue to do so despite physical, mental, and emotional harm. Although most people start taking intoxicating drugs or drinking alcohol voluntarily, for fun, they may lose control over how much they consume at once and come to feel like they need substances to feel normal.
Addiction treatment requires the person to stop using intoxicating substances, stay drug-free, and return to society as mentally and physically healthy as possible. The goal of drug rehabilitation is to provide enough behavioral therapy that someone struggling with addiction can recognize compulsive behaviors and avoid triggers to abuse drugs or alcohol. If you are worried about how you behave around drugs, whether the substances are prescription, illicit, or legal intoxicants, you will benefit from speaking with an addiction specialist and possibly entering detox and rehabilitation.
There were about 21.5 million people in the United States, age 12 and older, who struggled with a substance use disorder in 2014, and there were about 14,000 addiction treatment facilities, ranging from free to luxury rehabilitation. Only 11 percent of people in 2013 who needed drug treatment got that help. Part of the reason many people have a difficult time finding the help they need is concern about cost. There are several options for rehabilitation programs, from affordable to luxury options.
The main focus of any drug or alcohol rehabilitation program should be behavioral therapy. Whether it is once-a-week group meetings or extensive individual therapy during inpatient treatment, evidence-based therapy is critical to understanding addictive behaviors, where they come from, what triggers them, and how to choose healthier behaviors. To ensure everyone gets the type of evidence-based treatment they need, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides a scale showing the range of rehabilitation options. The basic levels are:
A physician, therapist, or addiction treatment specialist can work with you to determine which type of treatment you would benefit from the most. People who are safe at home, have a supportive network of friends and family, and need to be able to work during the day can benefit from outpatient treatment. Those who have serious health needs, have relapsed after treatment before, and who are unsafe in their home lives benefit more from inpatient treatment.
In general, inpatient treatment tends to be more expensive than outpatient treatment because the costs of living space, several therapeutic approaches, food, and any necessary medications are included in the monthly cost.
Insurance will cover some or all of the cost of drug rehabilitation, regardless of whether it is inpatient or outpatient, because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lists substance abuse treatment as a vital component of overall healthcare. However, your insurance will likely only cover one month, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends spending at least three months in treatment.
Your insurance may not cover inpatient treatment or certain treatment approaches that might benefit you.
Before you can get the best kind of drug rehabilitation for you or your loved one, it is important to understand the cost breakdown of treatment.
The average monthly cost of all addiction treatment is around $3,800. This is the average taken from outpatient and inpatient programs, rehabilitation provided for veterans through the Veterans Administration, and long-term residential programs. Luxury rehabilitation, which includes scenic locations and extensive amenities, will cost considerably more.
Medical detox, which for most people requires several days of inpatient treatment for physical safety, starts at around $1,707 per day. Ending your body’s physical dependence on drugs, and getting physically and mentally stable, is a prerequisite for entering rehabilitation. The average cost of an intensive outpatient treatment program – which is about 10 days minimum – is about $6,863 in total. A residential treatment program running about 28 days is about $19,067 total.
Private residential programs start around $7,000 per month, but they can go as high as $10,000 to $20,000 per month for individual rooms, chef-prepared meals, massages, and a spa setting. The most expensive luxury rehabilitation options go as high as $80,000 to $120,000 per month. These costs start at what a bed, food, utilities, therapy, and cleaning services cost for a month, and they go up as additional factors are included.
There are various questions you should ask when you consider the facility where drug treatment will take place as well as the cost of that treatment. Among them are:
The length of treatment also will affect cost. Many people work with their insurance to cover one month of inpatient treatment. They then continue another two months in outpatient rehabilitation, which is much less expensive.
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It is important to know that if your doctor, therapist, or addiction specialist deems it necessary, inpatient treatment is absolutely worth the cost. Outpatient treatment provides solid therapeutic help as well if that solution works better for you. Your health insurance is required to cover treatment costs to a certain extent, and many rehabilitation programs will discuss additional payment options once your insurance runs out. These can include payment plans, sliding scale options, or even financial grants or loans to cover the upfront costs of care.
Every dollar spent on addiction treatment yields a return, even in the most conservative estimates, of between $4 and $7. Overall health care costs, including to you later in life, are reduced. Ultimately, drug addiction treatment can transform all aspects of your life for the better.
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