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Rehab Costs and Payment Options

Only 10 percent of people seek treatment for substance abuse. Their main reason: cost. However, whether your insurance company is footing the bill or you’re paying out of pocket, the benefits of rehab far outweigh the costs.

Is Rehab Worth It?

According to the most recent surgeon general’s report on addiction, only one in 10 people receives specialized treatment for addictionand substance abuse. The majority of rehabilitation services are provided by facilities that specifically treat addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The primary barrier to treatment is cost. Most people do not seek treatment because they believe rehab is too expensive. While the price of rehab can be substantial in some situations, the benefits are clear.

The surgeon general’s report made some significant points regarding the effectiveness of rehab treatment:

  • Substance use disorders can be effectively treated, and with comprehensive continuing care, long-term recovery is possible.
  • Medications can effectively treat addiction to certain substances, especially alcohol and opioids.
  • Treatment for substance use disorders is cost-effective when compared to no treatment at all.
  • Evidence-based practices and behavioral therapies are highly effective.

At Advanced Recovery Systems, our team of intake specialists will examine every avenue possible to make sure you can receive treatment. If you’re paying with insurance, we’ll do the paperwork and the billing so you can focus on getting well.

Monetary Costs of Rehab Treatment

Between 2011 and 2014, 40 percent of Americans with a substance use disorder who required treatment did not go to rehab because they could not afford it or did not have health insurance. The two main ways to pay for rehab are out-of-pocket payment and insurance.


As part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” insurance companies are required to pay for drug treatment. The law considers mental health treatment — including substance use disorder treatment — to be essential care.

Medicaid now covers health care for more than 70 million people in poverty, and it is the single largest payer for mental health treatmentin the United States. Medicare provides coverage to seniors in need of treatment.

A 30-day rehab program, such as the residential programs we offer at ARS facilities, can cost thousands. But the cost to our clients may be minimal depending on their insurance plan. When you call us and speak to an intake specialist, you’ll provide your insurance information and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you get the best care possible.


It is also possible to pay for rehab out of pocket. While treatment can be quite expensive, if you have access to the funds to pay for rehab, our intake specialists will be happy to assist you with this.

Our facilities are all unique, and each carries different associated costs. If you are in need of treatment for a substance use disorder, it’s worth calling us to explore the options before deciding treatment is out of the question.

Many variables affect the price of rehab, including:

  • Length of the program
  • Level of care needed
  • Availableamenities
  • Location of the facility

Insurance is the most common way to pay for rehab treatment, and your deductible and copayment will depend on your insurer and your plan.


The majority of Americans who do seek treatment pursue cost-free options such as 12-step programs and faith-based support groups. According to a report by the Pew Charitable Trust, 4.1 million people in 2013 sought treatment for a substance use disorder. Of those, nearly 2.3 million people chose a self-help group as their form of structured treatment.

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide an outlet for addicted individuals to share their struggles with others, gain support from their peers and form healthy relationships that can last long into their recovery. Support group meetings also help people develop tools for coping with cravings and challenges in daily life.

The Costs of Not Attending Rehab

The combined direct and indirect costs of substance use disorders add up to hundreds of billions of dollars each year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Divided by the 20.2 million Americans affected by substance use disorders, the monetary costs are immense, not to mention the cost in lives lost and families broken by the disorder.

“I do not believe people realize the true costs of addiction,” said Dr. Kevin Wandler, chief medical officer for Advanced Recovery Systems.

He added that more than $700 billion is spent annually on costs related to substance use disorders in the United States. Of that, $166 billion is spent on health care costs incurred by addiction — including the price of overdoses and hospitalization for drug-related accidents — and approximately $534 billion in lost work and crime costs.

“The CDC estimates $78.5 billion as the annual cost of prescription opioid abuse,” said Wandler. “But that’s estimated to be only a fraction of the cost of chronic pain.”

Wandler also cites the mental, emotional and physical costs to a family as a result of drug abuse.

“A substance use disorder is a chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry,” he said. “The hidden costs are ones you can’t put a dollar amount on.”

The earlier substance use disorders are treated, the “less financial and emotional burden is put on the individual getting care, not to mention their families,” he said.

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