Maggie dropped the ketchup. At 27 she had been a waitress for most of her life. A “party girl” from an early age, she married at 17, dropped out of high school and had two children before she turned twenty.

Today she was nervous. Tomorrow she was entering addiction rehab. She didn’t know how she could cover the cost. Her below-minimum-wage server job barely paid the rent and put food on the table. Maggie was lucky. With the help of a friend and basic Google search skills, she discovered a way to enter rehab without facing the prospect of being a homeless, single mom.

Is Addiction Treatment Worth the Cost

Substance abuse hits America’s billfold for over $600 billion annually according to Treatment helps reduce the costs and has been proven to reduce connected medical and social costs by more than the cost of rehab.Treatment is less expensive than alternatives. For instance: the average cost for one year of methadone maintenance is roughly $4,800 per client. One year of imprisonment, by comparison, costs $31,000  per person.

According to conservative estimates, each dollar invested in drug rehab returns, on average $5.50 in reduced drug-related crime and its related costs. If healthcare savings are included, the total savings exceed costs 12:1.

Paying for Rehab

Maggie was facing frightening expenses when she was ready to seek help. She found both inpatient and outpatient treatment was effective but expensive. Inpatient rehab costs average approximately $700/day while outpatient averages  $140/day.

Investing in addiction rehab is worth it in the long run. Treatment can save a person large sums of money that would be otherwise spent on:

  • Buying substances
  • Medical problems stemming from substance use
  • Relationship problems
  • Legal troubles and
  • Job loss

Rehab is an investment. To protect the investment remember there’s no sense in paying for it if there’s not a commitment to follow through.

A few tips to make rehab successful:

Ask for help. Everyone needs some help occasionally, and a support system during treatment and recovery gives the extra boost in confidence needed.

Avoid. Avoid places where substances are apt to be abuse. Also, avoid people who don’t understand your decision to get clean.

Make plans. Make arrangements to repay any money borrowed for rehab and honor those commitments.

Not overnight. Getting clean and sober won’t happen overnight. It takes time and determination.

Financing Rehab

Even with insurance, there’s a chance there will still be out-of-pockets costs. There are a few ways rehab can be financed as well as increased affordability.

Personal Savings

Tap into personal savings. While many people won’t have personal savings, those who can dig into savings will find it one of the easiest ways to finance rehab. Money was withdrawn from savings, money markets, retirement accounts and life insurance policies is the cheapest way to fund addiction treatment.

Pay Direct

Many facilities are willing to help persons who can’t afford rehab. The rehab center may offer sliding scale fees based on income and payment arrangements can often be worked out. The sliding scale option is often provided to encourage persons with a lower economic status to seek out needed treatment. The facilities’ medical claims processing  department should be the first stop to learn more about repayment schedules.


Search for assistance through a local community center. Foundations often sponsor individuals during rehab and might pay for all, or part, of time spent in rehab. Many rehab centers have various scholarships they can tap into to provide for patients who can’t manage financing recovery on their own.

Need Help Paying?

There are multiple places which can help pay for rehab such as family and friends, an employer and even employee assistance programs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has grants for individuals without insurance. Visit their website to see criteria for qualifying.

Enter Rehab Without Insurance

Few persons have the cash to pay the entire cost of drug addiction treatment themselves. Often, this means that any health insurance policies have long since lapsed — if the person had one in the first place.

Significant savings to society — and the individual — mean fewer interpersonal conflict, greater workplace productivity, and fewer drug-related accidents.

Getting help with the cost of drug rehab is putting Maggie on a new path. A path from which she, and society, will benefit.