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Are Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Free?

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Are Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Free?

Deciding where to go for addiction treatment can be difficult. The cost associated with treatment can often feel like a barrier to getting help. Paying for treatment can seem exceptionally overwhelming if you do not have health insurance coverage or financial resources. However, there are still options for receiving affordable or even free addiction treatment services.

Cost as Barrier to Seeking Substance Abuse Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that in 2020 alone, over 41 million people needed immediate help and addiction treatment services. Out of this number, only 1.4%, approximately 4 million people, actually received drug rehab services during this time (SAMHSA, 2021).

The most common reason that individuals are unable to seek help is cost. Most of the people who could not afford treatment at rehab centers did not have any health insurance coverage. The lack of knowledge, awareness, and assistance contributes to the insufficient access to insurance plans.

Unfortunately, millions of people are still struggling to access sufficient help to combat the rampant diseases of substance use disorders and behavioral illnesses.

How Much is Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

The cost of outpatient substance use treatment can vary from free to thousands of dollars. There are several factors that influence this cost including the type of treatment facility, level of support needed and the treatment options offered. If you do not have a large budget for treatment, there are resources that can help improve access to low-cost or free addiction treatment programs.

Are there free drug rehab centers and mental health services?

Yes, there are free drug and alcohol treatment facilities for individuals who are unable to afford treatment. Usually, these programs are funded by various organizations or individuals such as charities, donors, faith-based groups, private endowments, government funding, grants, etc.

There are numerous free substance abuse treatment facilities. Nonprofit rehab centers, government-funded programs and faith-based drug and alcohol rehab programs are all great options for those who do not have the financial resources to pay for treatment. These types of treatment programs may offer free services or a sliding fee scale.

There are also groups and organizations that provide aid and scholarships to people who cannot afford substance addiction treatment. This allows individuals to obtain treatment in private facilities.

For both inpatient and outpatient treatment, there are a variety of resources that can help cover the cost of alcohol and drug rehab facilities such as:

  1. State funded free drug rehab programs
  2. Medicare and Medicaid
  3. The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  4. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  5. SAMHSA grants
  6. Faith based groups

Examples of Free Rehab Programs

Government-Funded Rehab Center

There are several government-funded addiction treatment services as well as mental health services that can be accessed for free. These are usually programs that are offered at state funded centers or other government-funded and operated facilities such as public hospitals, and addiction treatment centers. These facilities include state hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Nonprofit Substance Abuse Rehab Centers

All around the country, there are several nonprofit free treatment facilities that partner with people who cannot afford treatment and are in desperate need of help.

Additionally, groups like SAMHSA provide grants to public and private non-profit substance abuse centers so they can directly cover expenses for those who cannot afford treatment.

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Centers

Some faith-based treatment centers provide free alcohol and drug addiction treatment as well as mental health services. These treatment centers will likely have programming centered around various faith belief systems. Most programs do not require participants to adhere to a specific religious belief background. However, there may be an emphasis on encouraging patients to seek guidance from a higher power.

Some of the most well known faith-based organizations are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

In the United States, the Salvation Army runs the largest faith-based free rehab center and provides inpatient as well as outpatient substance use treatment services.

Who can enroll in free substance abuse treatment programs?

Most free treatment centers have specific criteria a person must meet in order to receive free services. An admissions counselor for the program can help provide eligibility criteria to interested persons.

It may be necessary to provide information proving lack of sufficient income, absence of insurance coverage, as well as state residency.

Other programs like the Veterans’ Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Programs are only available to veterans who are in care with the VA system.



Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.