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How to Find Drug and Alcohol Treatment

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Clinically Reviewed by:
Lindsey Rae Ackerman, LMFT

Written by:
Alex Salman, MPH on February 23, 2024

The healthcare industry, specifically in the area of addiction and mental health, is a massive one, and as rates of addiction and overdose continue to climb so will the demand for adequate treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has estimated that the drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a $35 billion industry. It is also estimated that roughly 23 million Americans suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. With the percentage of Americans without health insurance being around 8.6% in 2017, we can assume a good portion of those people are not accessing addiction and mental health treatment.

Only about 11% of people suffering from addiction and mental health issues receive some form of treatment every year, whether it is with the help of insurance or by paying out of pocket. Either way, that leaves millions of people without the care or support they need to sustain recovery and sobriety.

Access to treatment has become financially worrisome, and as demand continues to grow so will the cost. Various avenues exist for the addict and mental health sufferer to acquire treatment, and in this blog we will detail a few of the most common ways these people are funding their treatment process.

Does Insurance Cover My Treatment Costs?

Though there are still many people in the United States who are uninsured, most people enjoy the luxury of having healthcare insurance. This is the most common way that people afford treatment, as insurance companies will help cover the expenses of detox, rehab and counseling in most cases. Whether insurance will cover the treatment that is necessary is a big question as more people are seeking recovery from substance abuse and mental health issues. The answer to this questions is not as straightforward as “yes or no.” Many different factors are at play when we try to determine what insurance will cover and what it will not. First, we have to look at different types of insurance.


Many options for obtaining health insurance are available to the public. Most notably, Medicare is available for those with a disability or over the age of 65, and Medicaid will help those who don’t fall in the prior category, with a few exceptions. These types of programs are funded by the government, and are aimed at providing care for low-income individuals who otherwise would be unable to afford higher premiums with private companies. Though these public programs are great in many ways, they often do not offer the extensive range of care and flexibility that is associated with private insurance. As mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also knows as “Obamacare,” Medicaid and Medicare must cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. But, each individual detox, rehab or other treatment facility differs on whether they accept these forms of public insurance. Government funded programs are cost-effective and amazing for those who don’t make a lot of money, but they often only cover the most basic forms of care.


Private insurance is that which is offered either through employment, or at premium cost to the patient, outside of subsidized government insurance. They often offer a wider selection of treatment options in the substance abuse and mental health sector and will more often cover different varieties of treatment other than the most basic. Unfortunately, private insurance of this nature is often quite expensive, much more costly than public insurance and government funded programs, and not all who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders can afford the monthly costs. Each company is different in what specifically they will cover. For example, some may cover an inpatient stay for only 10 days whereas another may cover much longer. For details on what is available from your provider, contact them directly and they will inform you what kind of treatment they will pay for.

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

Though insurance is probably one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to obtain treatment for substance abuse, it is by no means a requirement. Most forms of treatment are available to people at an out-of-pocket cost and for those with resources, this is definitely an option.

Unfortunately, addiction is a serious disorder, and oftentimes leaves the sufferer broken in many ways. Within the demographic of drug addicts and alcoholics, financial security is seldom a common characteristic. Without money to pay for monthly insurance premiums, many go without treatment for long periods of time. Paying these out-of-pocket costs is usually too expensive for most average people to afford. But, if finances are literally the only obstacle and one is ready and willing to change their life there are most certainly ways to find the right kind of treatment.

Payment Plans for Drug & Alcohol Treatment

Many treatments programs offer payment plans that make their costs affordable on a monthly basis, breaking their overall cost into smaller portions that are much more manageable. There are also state-funded rehabs and detoxes, which will offer free treatment services to those in dire need of help with little to no resources. Information on the specific requirements and qualifications for these centers is easily available and found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration website.

If support is needed, 12-step based programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are available. Opinions on these types of programs vary widely, but success is definitely achievable through this platform. And a major benefit of these types of fellowship based support groups is that they are completely free, and most likely always will be.

There is Hope, No Matter Your Situation

Successful recovery from a life of addiction and mental health conditions requires many things. Regardless of financial situation, insurance or not, treatment in one form or another is absolutely available. And always, if you or someone you know is seeking treatment for substance abuse, contact Clear Behavioral Health  and we will help facilitate finding the best option for you or get in touch with a medical professional who specializes in addiction and mental health recovery.

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