People actively abusing alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs face many challenging obstacles. They must endure the damaging influence of substances on their physical, psychological, and social health, and if they attempt to quit using the substance, they will likely encounter intense, often dangerous symptoms as the drug leaves their body.1,2
Because of these hazards, anyone who wants to stop using drugs should find ways to access formal, detoxification treatment to safely and effectively-being on their path to a drug-free life.1,2 Unfortunately, certain barriers to treatment, like a lack of health insurance, discourage people from professional treatment and drive them toward riskier options.
Although many variables determine the correct method of treatment, there are a handful of recovery options that have been shown to effectively help individuals detoxify and go on to live drug-free lives. The cost of professional detox can vary depending on the type of detox program, the length of the program, and the type of services and amenities offered.
Generally speaking, the cost of detox treatments varies widely from inpatient to outpatient, with most inpatient detox programs being more expensive than outpatient options. However, they also differ greatly within each type because the price is influenced by a number of additional factors. Read More
Factors affecting the price of detox treatment include:3
This information suggests that a program on the higher end of the price spectrum would be an extended detox program with intense, varied services, provided in a desirable location with many staff members treating few clients.3 Based on data from many detox programs, prices can range from $600 to $1,000 per day, which means that detox can be as inexpensive as $4,000 for the program if it is very short duration, and as expensive as $14,000, if the program lasts two weeks.4 There is little evidence to support that higher costs are strongly associated with better care, so make sure to do your research when investigating detox options.3
Detox treatment is effective in providing comfort and reducing risks in several ways. For example, in the case of opioid detox, treatment providers can administer medications to relieve the distress and cravings associated with opioid withdrawal including:1,2,4
The sheer magnitude of the need for detox services becomes hard to ignore when you consider that in 2017, there were more than 20.7 million people in the U.S. needing treatment for substance use, including:5
The most troubling aspect is that of the 20.7 million people needing treatment, only 4.0 million received care—such as detox—from a specialized facility. Of the 20 million people who needed but did not receive treatment, about 37% report that lack of insurance and inability to pay for treatment were barriers.5
Given the life-threatening risks of continued substance abuse and, in some cases, those associated with abruptly quitting those same substances, emergency treatment should be considered regardless of cost or coverage.
The physical health and wellbeing of you or your loved one is too important to gamble. Overdose, severe depression, aggression, loss of consciousness, or unexpected symptoms are signs of acute events that require immediate treatment.2,4
Accessing emergency treatment will vary based on your location, so always seek out reputable information from trusted sources as you explore available options that include:
Always provide an honest and complete description of your status to find the appropriate treatment because people with special concerns like homelessness, pregnancies, and medical issues may require a different type of treatment or detox than someone without such considerations. Depending on the care you need, you may begin treatment the same day.
Remember: Your life or the life of a loved one is too valuable to risk. Be sure to seek treatment rather than put a life in jeopardy.
In a non-emergency situation, you will still need to figure out a way to pay for detox if you don’t have insurance.
Many detox facilities will work to help you afford your stay in treatment.Ask about options like:
Don’t assume you can’t pay for your treatment because you’re currently uninsured. Always ask a potential facility about any options they have to make your care more affordable. It might help to have documentation of your income, such as a recent pay statement, prior to calling.
The loss of a job can bring worry about maintaining your health insurance coverage, but there are options out there. If you lose your job-based coverage, your former employer may offer you COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) continuation. COBRA gives people who have lost their jobs the chance to temporarily retain the group health coverage they had under their employer’s group health plan—for themselves and their families.
To be eligible for COBRA, you must have insurance that is covered by COBRA, a qualifying event (including job loss), and be a qualified beneficiary. Your former employer should let you know if you are eligible to maintain your insurance through COBRA, and you will have at least 60 days to decide if you would like to continue your coverage. Once you have decided to continue your coverage, you will sign up for COBRA, and you will be responsible for paying the entirety of your premium (what was previously covered by you and your employer).
Once you are enrolled in COBRA, you will have the same coverage you previously had when you were employed. That includes any mental health and substance misuse treatment that was covered through your insurance plan. If you are looking for addiction treatment while covered by COBRA, you will be responsible for paying your premium. Although it might be slightly more complicated than it was when you were employed, losing your job does not have to mean that you cannot receive the substance abuse treatment that you need.
If you are interested in signing up for insurance, consider contacting your county assistance office or perform a quick online search regarding insurance. For people who are not offered insurance through their job, there are several options for insurance including:6,7
Each plan will vary in their coverage, but Medicare, Medicaid, and many plans under the ACA will provide partial or full coverage for professional assessment and detoxification, as well as many other substance abuse treatments, such as:8
Treatment for substance abuse requires a long-term commitment since detoxification is only the first step on the road to recovery. If you are interested in obtaining insurance, please consult:
A professional assessment is a great way to have your needs, wants, symptoms, and goals evaluated by a treatment expert.
Although many variables determine the correct method of treatment, there are a handful of recovery options that have been shown to effectively help individuals detoxify and go on to live drug-free lives. Read More
Many screenings use a SBIRT format, which stands for:9
For people wanting to manage their substance dependence and end their addiction, there may be a great deal of pressure to find the “right” detox program, but many programs offer effective, evidence-based treatments to help manage the withdrawal process, including:
Substance use, abuse, addiction, and dependence are affected by many aspects of your past and current experiences like:1
Many people attend support groups once they complete detoxification and continue to need community support as a form of relapse prevention. When your affairs are in order and things are running smoothly, you are more likely to experience higher levels of support and other protective factors to aid in your continued abstinence and promote long-term recovery from substances.
When these same issues and supports are lacking or chaotic, they may create increased levels of stress and instability that adversely influence your progress toward a drug-free lifestyle. Professional detox programs facilitate your recovery by helping you transition to an ongoing addiction treatment program, which then uses a comprehensive approach to address each area.1
Professional detox programs facilitate your recovery by helping you transition to an ongoing addiction treatment program, which then uses a comprehensive approach to address each area.
There are a number of free and widely available support groups that can expand the benefit of professional treatments and complement your recovery progress.1 Many people attend support groups once they complete detoxification and continue to need community support as a form of relapse prevention.
Other 12-step groups are available for the friends, family, and loved ones of people with addictions including Al-Anon and Alateen.
Some people in recovery prefer support group options that exist outside of the 12-step model, such as:
Support groups can be very helpful, but they should not be used as a replacement for specialized professional detox and addiction treatment, especially if you are addicted to a substance with potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.