Finding Free Drug & Alcohol Rehab & Addiction Help
For some individuals, the cost of rehab is one of the most common obstacles to getting treatment. Nearly one-third of those who wanted but did not obtain addiction treatment cited a lack of health insurance or a financial inability to pay for treatment.1 Many of these people would benefit from free drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
That is why SAMHSA conducted a nationwide survey in 2018 to assess how many addiction treatment facilities provide free care and 14,809 facilities around the country responded. The survey results showed that 45% of those who responded said they offered free or low-cost treatment for people who couldn’t afford rehab. Private facilities accounted for nearly a quarter of these rehabs.2
Furthermore, 58% of facilities said they have a sliding fee scale, which means people would pay whatever amount they could afford.2 Although not all drug treatment centers are able to provide free addiction treatment options, free and low-cost programs do exist.
Types of Free Drug Rehab Programs
Free drug rehab programs strive to help individuals who need professional help with substance abuse but do not have the financial means to seek drug or alcohol treatment. These programs are available across the nation and provide medical services to help people struggling with substance abuse disorder (SUD) to recover. The following are some of the different forms of free addiction treatment facilities:
Government Funded Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs
People struggling with an addiction can access a variety of free government-funded rehabilitation services. These include programs provided at state-funded treatment centers and federally funded facilities, such as hospitals and recovery centers that are managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).3
SAMHSA also offers grants to public and private non-profit recovery centers to directly fund the expenses of free alcohol and drug treatment for those who cannot afford it.4
Non-Profit Drug Rehabilitation Centers
Many non-profit organizations either run rehabilitation centers or provide funds to facilities that provide free drug rehab to those in need. These non-profits also provide support to individuals who are struggling with addiction, spread awareness, and advocate for supportive legislation.
Many nonprofit organizations specialize in offering care and rehabilitation services to vulnerable populations. The following are a few of these organizations: To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), Gearing Up, The Amy Winehouse Foundation, Phoenix House, Rosecrance, and many others.
Free Faith-Based Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs
Several faith-based organizations provide free drug and alcohol rehab that incorporate religious principles. However, many of these programs do not require participants to adhere to certain religious values. Individuals struggling with addiction seek support from a higher power to help them remain strong during their healing process in this form of treatment programs.5 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are two of the most well-known substance abuse recovery programs for addicts with a strong religious outlook.
These free support groups follow a 12-step program that includes:6
- Acknowledging your powerlessness.
- Accepting that you can only be helped by a Higher Power.
- Giving your will and your life to God.
- Doing a moral evaluation.
- Accepting responsibility for your mistakes.
- Being willing to let God remove your weaknesses.
- Making amends to all who have been hurt.
- Prayer and meditation as a way to improve your conscious contact with God.
- Spreading the word.
One of the largest faith-based addiction recovery facilities in the United States is operated by the Salvation Army. This faith-based organization currently operates 119 adult recovery facilities throughout the country that provide spirituality-based residential alcohol and drug treatment programs.7
All these free programs typically offer accommodation, group and individual therapy, spiritual guidance, employment, and learning life-coping skills.
What Is Included in Free Drug Rehab Programs?
Free drug rehab can range from inpatient treatment to basic outpatient medical care, depending on the provider and funding sources. State-funded programs are more likely to provide a full range of treatment options, including detox programs and interventions, though they may not have access to the most cutting-edge treatment technologies or treatment center amenities that certain private programs may have.8
Despite the fact that these state services are typically more likely to provide more basic or traditional rehab settings, they also offer comprehensive care and significant post-treatment care.
Pros and Cons of Free Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers
When deciding whether to undergo treatment at a free drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, it’s important to consider both benefits and possible drawbacks.
What Are The Benefits of Free Drug Rehab Centers?
The cost of treatment is a major benefit of free recovery facilities. Since these facilities offer drug and alcohol rehab for free, people who would otherwise be unable to afford rehab can get the care and help they need.
Free treatment centers often provide their services in a secure setting that isolates program participants from the outside world, which is a vital aspect that ensures protection and encourages rehabilitation.9
Another benefit of free treatment centers is the opportunity to access services that are run by qualified, caring, and properly trained professionals. The experienced workers at free treatment facilities can, for the most part, offer quality care using proven approaches and evidence-based behavioral therapies.9
What Are the Disadvantages of Free Drug Rehab Centers?
Even though free rehab centers are an important resource for many people suffering from addiction, there are some disadvantages to these programs, especially when compared to the care and services provided by paid rehabilitation facilities.
- Free rehabilitation centers may not use the most up-to-date addiction science technologies. Instead, they may rely on traditional approaches that may not be as successful as the most recent therapies in private facilities.8
- Many free treatment centers are unable to meet the high demand for their services. As a result, the majority of free treatment facilities are almost always full. Also, another disadvantage is a lack of obligation. That means that people with substance abuse disorders who attend free or state-funded recovery services normally do so voluntarily. However, it is important to know that treatment can be successful even if users are not there voluntarily.9
- Free recovery services have a significant disadvantage in the form of waiting lists. People who undergo addiction treatment after being on a waiting list have worse treatment outcomes than those who receive treatment right away. A delayed start to treatment can lead to more severe addiction and an increased risk of medical issues like an overdose.10
- Another downside to free rehabilitation is the scarcity of treatment options and amenities. Despite the obvious advantage when it comes to the cost, these programs may typically offer basic treatment and limited services. This is particularly true when compared to personalized treatment plans, modern facilities, and a wide range of luxury amenities available at private rehab centers.
Who Qualifies for Free Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs?
Most states provide support for drug and alcohol recovery programs through public mental health or substance abuse treatment facilities, making addiction treatment more available.
Individuals without insurance and income can typically access these facilities and their services. However, patients may need to qualify for free addiction treatment by demonstrating that they meet the following criteria:7
- Official residence in the state
- Lack of insurance and income
- Legal residence in the United States
- The severity of the addiction and the need for treatment
Depending on the state, there might be some other criteria before a person is accepted into a free drug or alcohol rehab program. If the state determines that the client is unable to pay after gathering all the necessary information, they may offer treatment on different levels through various types of centers or treatment facilities.
How To Go to Drug and Alcohol Rehab at Low Cost?
There are other ways to receive funding that can reduce the cost of alcohol and drug rehabilitation if it is not available for free, if a person does not qualify for free drug and alcohol rehab, or if they require a treatment type that is not available for free. You can find free treatment options at https://findtreatment.gov/.
There are many ways to get free drug and alcohol addiction help:
Scholarships or Grants for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
When looking for a treatment facility, it’s always a good idea to ask about any scholarships or grants that may be available for low-income individuals. Some rehab facilities offer grants or scholarships to help cover the cost of attending. However, not all of these will cover the entire stay and some may withdraw funding if a patient does not complete the program. Before accepting any grants or scholarships, ensure to inquire about any possible conditions regarding the financing options.11
How to Pay for Drug Rehab with Insurance?
Many kinds of insurance cover the cost of addiction treatment and rehab. Insurance providers must fund mental health and substance abuse treatment programs to the same degree as they cover all healthcare services under the Affordable Care Act. The ACA requires at least partial coverage of these programs for individuals with private insurance or those insured through their employers. However, keep in mind that the policies may not cover the whole cost of the treatment.12
Loans and Financing Options for Addiction Treatment
Not all insurance plans can cover all required medical facilities, and some rehabilitation programs may be self-pay only, meaning they do not consider insurance as a means of payment. Other than insurance, there are many other options for financing treatment programs, including private loans and payment plans.13
Sliding Scale Treatment
Sliding scale treatment is a type of treatment that is priced according to a person’s income and dependents. This fee structure was created to make treatment more accessible for low-income individuals.14
Friends and Family Financial Support For Drug Rehab Programs
Patients who cannot afford treatment may consider reaching out to their family and friends for support or personal loan. This is also an opportunity to involve loved ones in treatment recovery and strengthen social support.
Admission navigators at American Addiction Centers can check insurance coverage for you or your loved one if you decide to reach out. All you have to do is fill out the required information on the form to find out whether you’re in the network or not.
One of the easiest ways to get information about addiction, treatment, and rehabilitation is to call our hotline. While you’re on the phone, a representative will assist you, answer any questions you may have, and check your benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
- There are numerous addiction treatment facilities that provide free treatment. You can begin the search for a free alcohol and drug rehab facility near you with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Using SAMHSA’s Directory of Single State Agencies for Substance Abuse Services, you can find a local resource in your state to contact and learn about free or affordable rehab options.
- To learn more about services that might be available to you, you may begin your search by contacting professional rehab centers that offer alcohol addiction treatment directly. Even if you are not religious, faith-based groups might be worth considering. Many faith-based services are free of charge and patients are not required to adhere to any religious beliefs. However, if faith-based rehabilitation and professional rehab centers are not feasible options for you, you can research state-funded treatment solutions. Another option is to look for local support groups in your area, the majority of which are free to join. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), for example, will help you recover by providing a supportive group of like-minded, recovery-focused peers.
- Recovery environments designed to address needs specific to women may offer mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual help to women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Rehab centers that offer women-focused programs can be found in many locations around the country, making it easy for those seeking care for an addiction to find a welcoming and supportive environment during their recovery.You can inform yourself about possible free drug rehabs for women by researching the Internet, using the SAMHSA treatment finder tool, or contacting the hotline number of treatment facilities near you.
- Addiction and mental health disorders can sometimes go hand in hand. Either addictive drugs are used to self-medicate or the use of addictive substances may trigger mental health problems.15 There are a few organizations that can provide guidance and resources to people who are dealing with co-occurring disorders. Some of them may provide a sliding scale as a payment option and some may even offer their services free of charge. You can check if you are eligible for a free treatment program by contacting any of the mental health hotline numbers.
- Outpatient substance abuse treatment lets people remain at home while receiving treatment, reducing the impact on schoolwork, work responsibilities, and other everyday tasks.16 Some of these programs are free or affordable as treatment options. You can find out if there are any free outpatient drug treatments near you by researching the Internet or calling a hotline number.
- Depending on the severity of your addiction, you can get admitted into a treatment facility after the initial contact with them. After you’ve confirmed your eligibility for a free rehab, you may need to gather all of the documents in order to complete your application to verify your income, insurance, and residence.
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019).Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019).National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2018.
3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Health Services Research & Development.
4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Funding Opportunities.
5. Narcotics Anonymous. (2021). Information about NA.
6. Alcoholics Anonymous. (2016).The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
7. The Salvation Army. (2019).Combat Addiction.
8. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. (2006). Contrasting faith-based and traditional substance abuse treatment programs.
9. The National Institute On Drug Abuse. (2019). Principles of Effective Treatment.
10. Chun, J., Guydish, J.R., Silber, E., Gleghorn, A. (2008). Drug Treatment Outcomes for Persons on Waiting Lists. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse, 34(5), 526-533.
11. FindTreatment.gov. (2019). Paying For Treatment.
12. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2016). Health Care Systems And Substance Use Disorders.
13. Alcohol.org. (2020). Loans, Insurance or Finance – How to Pay For Alcohol Rehab?
14. American Psychological Association. (2018). Using a sliding fee scale: What to do, what to avoid.
15. HealthCare.Gov. Mental health & substance abuse coverage.
16. The National Institute On Drug Abuse. (2019). Types Of Treatment Programs.