In the United States, an estimated 1 in 13 people (7.8%) of the country needed treatment because of an addiction to drugs or alcohol.1 If you fall into this category and are ready to seek professional help, you may consider entering a professional drug detox program. Detox is an important first step on the road to recovery and can help you manage a potentially difficult withdrawal period and overcome other obstacles in the way of getting sober. Additionally, detox programs facilitate your transition into a longer-term substance abuse program for ongoing recovery.
However, due to the high costs associated with detox, many people forego getting the help they need. In fact, studies show that not being able to afford the cost of care is one of the most common barriers to both substance abuse and mental health treatment services. Although improvements in public insurance have made it possible for more adults to receive services, cost remains a major concern for those entering treatment.2 If you are considering entering a detox program and are concerned about the costs, there are many resources available to you.
Detox programs can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000 per day and may last between several days and a few weeks, depending on the substance or substances used.6
Program prices vary based on other factors, including:
Abusing certain substances may lead to distressing withdrawal symptoms that can, in some cases, be fatal. Professional detox programs can provide the medical and psychological supervision and care necessary to minimize your risks and facilitate your ongoing recovery.
Most private insurance companies cover substance abuse treatment services, but they don’t always cover all of it. If you have one of the following private insurance providers, visit their website for more information about what drug and alcohol detox programs they do and do not cover:
According to economic projections, the amount that the United States is expected to spend on addiction treatment will increase from $24.3 billion in 2009 to $42 billion in 2020. The amount of money spent by private insurance companies for addiction treatment is projected to increase from $5.1 billion to $8.5 billion during the same time period.3
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) insured an additional 16 million people by dramatically expanding Medicaid and creating federal- and state-based health insurance marketplaces.4 Under the ACA, addiction treatment is included as an essential health benefit, so if you are not currently enrolled in a private insurance plan and you want to sign up, visit HealthCare.Gov to see if you qualify for coverage.
Medicaid is now the largest payer for substance use treatment since the ACA’s expansion provided more people with the opportunity to access treatment, including detox services.4 It is a joint federal and state program that provides free or low-cost insurance coverage to people who meet low-income requirements and are:
Although every state is different, all Medicaid plans cover behavioral health services for people with substance use disorders (SUDs). To apply online, learn more about coverage, or for more information, visit Medicaid.gov.
Not all rehab facilities accept Medicaid, so to find a treatment center that does, use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator tool.
Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides insurance coverage to people:
To see if you qualify for Medicare, visit Medicare.gov. There are different enrollment periods throughout the year, but the most common enrollment time is around a person’s 65th birthday. Other open enrollment dates include:
Researchers have found that insurance coverage policies act as barriers to treatment. For example, a study found that 24.6% of single mothers who receive welfare and wanted substance abuse or mental health treatment cited cost or lack of insurance as a reason for not accessing treatment.5
Nothing is more important than your sobriety and health, and there is always a way to get the help you need. If you do not have insurance, you can finance detox through several methods, including the following:
Scholarship programs may be available to cover your detox costs. Research your options online, getting started with these options:
While it may seem expensive to enter a drug detox program, this cost is minor compared to the price you pay for an untreated substance addiction. Nothing is more important than your sobriety and health—there is always a way to get the help you need.