Addiction Treatment Costs: How Much You Should Pay & How to Save on Quality Care

Costs of addiction treatment should never hold you back from seeking sobriety.

However, addiction care can seem expensive for those with plenty of other financial burdens.  Many individuals with addictions stay away from treatment for this reason.

Understanding the cost is an important first step to feeling ready for recovery.  That’s why we’d like to help you see how addiction recovery can fit into your budget.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of costs to expect in addiction treatment.

Along the way, we will answer questions like:

  • How much does addiction recovery treatment cost?
  • Is addiction treatment worth paying for?
  • What services should I expect to pay for in addiction care?
  • Will I still have costs after completing rehab?
  • Does insurance cover addiction rehab?

To begin, we always like to unpack the basics.

How Much Should You Pay for Addiction Treatment?

The average cost of long-term addiction treatment is anywhere from $7,500 to over $20,000.  In this broad range, different addictions and intensities of care may change your costs.  Costs also vary as you progress through treatment programs.  Government support and insurance can offload some of these costs. 

Costs of treatment allow providers to upkeep operations and give you quality care.

Your unique situation will determine what treatments you receive and how long you are in addiction care.  Medications, therapy, and housing arrangements are all factors.

However, other services and fees can inflate your costs beyond affordability.

You can decide on some costs before entering care, like luxury amenities.  Others may appear after you’ve begun, like extended treatment periods and relapse detox.

Your costs for addiction treatment will be based on:

  • Type of substance abuse: alcohol, opioids, cocaine, etc.
  • Severity of your addiction: determines the level of care intensity.
  • State of your general health: other health conditions require additional care.
  • Safety risks to yourself or others: protective services may be needed.
  • Where you choose to be treated: each treatment center has different costs.
  • Your insurance: at the discretion of each program and insurance provider.

Choosing a program should be based on your recovery needs above all else.  Quality of treatment is the priority, with amenities and other offerings as a bonus.

Costs of Addiction versus Costs of Treatment

Many people hesitate to enter rehabilitation because of the costs.  However, they might not consider how much their addiction is costing them.

Costs of addiction can be upwards of thousands of dollars every year.  Abused substances alone can cost you +$3000 annually.  Addicted individuals may also have work instability leading to income issues, on top of legal issues and healthcare costs.

Costs of treatment for addiction are a front loaded cost for long-term savings.  It may run thousands of dollars for a few months of treatment.  However, treatment will save you from lifelong issues with your finances, relationships, and jobs.

If you avoid treatment, you pay for the harm done by addiction for the rest of your life.  Getting help will slow down your problems and start to mend the damage.

Costs of Addiction Care Explained

Addiction care can be affordable if you focus on the services you need most.

Sorting through the costs begins by understanding how recovery programs are priced.  Here are some of the main aspects that affect addiction care prices:

Duration on average includes a few months of rehab and outpatient services, followed by aftercare.  Relapse and complex addictions may need extended care.

Program types at a minimum include stages of outpatient rehab and related care services.  More intensive care may also involve inpatient care and residential living.

Amenities included in rehab and residential situations will be fairly standard for most clients.  Some luxury programs offer comfort perks that will cost you extra.

Location may raise costs if in a large metropolitan area or one with a higher cost-of-living.  Areas with unique natural features might vary your costs as well.

Program size can run anywhere from very large to small and intimate.  Your costs may inflate if you are receiving more individualized care, but not always.

Treatments received usually involve therapy, coping skills lessons, and education on addiction.  You may also need detox, medicated care, and an on-site residence.

Additional costs may apply. For example, some rehab centers charge admission fees. Other programs also provide child care, or medical care for other health issues.

Be mindful that true recovery involves a lifetime of many addiction care services.  A rehab center is one step among many programs, some with lower costs than others.

To explain, let’s explore how each personalized addiction care timeline is formed.

How The Continuum of Addiction Care Affects Your Treatment Costs

Continuum of Care InfographicTreatment costs fluctuate as you engage in various programs to reach sobriety.

Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey.  So, the costs will include more than just one 30-day rehab program.  Fortunately, some programs will be low-cost or at no cost to you.

The continuum of addiction care keeps you on the path to recovery with no gaps.  This system of care allows you to get uninterrupted treatment to avoid relapses.

Levels of the continuum of addiction care (CoC) are tiered by the NCBI:

  • Level 0.5: early intervention services
  • Level 1: outpatient services
  • Level 2: intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization services
  • Level 3: residential or inpatient treatment services
  • Level 4: medically managed intensive inpatient treatment services

Once you’ve been entered your appropriate care level, you’ll be stepped down over time.  On the road to recovery, challenges may occur and cause a step-up in intensity.

The continuum adjusts care as needed for a natural, honest approach to recovery.

Each level of care has its own set of treatments and costs.

Exploring costs of common treatments and levels can help you understand.  Your custom CoC plan may overlap treatments between levels, so your costs may vary.

Intervention Costs

Intervention, a dialogue about a person’s addiction, may be the start of treatment.

Professional interventions may fall anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.

Addiction is a chronic, incurable disease that cannot be “controlled” or faced alone.  People with addictions might not believe that they have a problem to confront.

Loved ones of the affected person can hire a professional to guide this discussion.  Helping the person understand the risks can get them to embrace treatment.

The typical intervention cost range can include:

  • Flat-rate professional intervention session.
  • Room and board for intervention provider.
  • Client transportation to the treatment center.

Intervention is not always necessary, and professional help is not the only choice.  Some families choose to start this conversation directly and privately.

For those committing to recovery care, the next step is rehabilitation.

Medical Detox and Medically-Assisted Therapy Costs

Medicated detox rids you of abused substances and helps to overcome withdrawal.

Medically-assisted therapy (MAT) uses medication to prevent cravings and relapse.

Detox can run between $250 to $800 daily for roughly a month.  MAT can be $6,000 to +$14,000 a year depending on medications and associated services.

At the onset of rehab, you’ll need to start with getting sober.  Some addictive substances like alcohol and opiates can cause life-threatening withdrawals.

Medications support your biology as you move through the process of getting clean.  They keep you stable as your body readjusts to the lack of addictive substances.

Detox starts the medication routine for around 30 days depending on the substance.  MAT may then extend your medication term along your course of care.

Costs of medicated detox and MAT generally cover:

  • Addiction recovery medications—like Vivitrol, Suboxone, and Sublocade.
  • Drug administration (if it must be given by a professional).
  • Related psychological therapy services.
  • Medical monitoring and healthcare.

Medication treatments are not limited to a specific level of care.  This means more intense care might extend the treatment timeline and increase costs.

Residential Inpatient Care Program Costs

Residential care is used to distance yourself from triggers or to get 24/7 care.

Expect to pay in a range of $500 to $650 for each day of a residential program.

Inpatient care ranges from intensive and medically-managed, or less intense on-site support.  Intensive care is used if you’re at risk of grave harm to yourself or others.

If you have a dual diagnosis, you may be more likely to end up as an inpatient.

Due to the additional costs of on-site living, these programs will have a higher bill.

Inpatient program costs tend to include the following:

  • Detox and MAT medication routines.
  • Psychological therapy sessions—such as DBT, CBT, and brainspotting.
  • Health and nutritional services.
  • Support group meetings.
  • On-site residence.
  • Facility-provided meals.
  • Medical monitoring and 24/7 safety watch (in intensive care).

Before starting, be aware that weeks of treatment are common for inpatient treatment.  Footing this bill is no light task, but is necessary for some clients.

Partial Hospitalization Program Costs

Partial hospitalization (PHP) offers “residential” care without living on-site.

PHP slims down treatment costs to a range of $350 to $450 daily.

Similar to residential programs, this still keeps you in rehab care all day.  PHP clients seek to regain basic stability from deep addictions, but can safely live at home.

Typical features of a partial hospitalization program include:

  • Detox and MAT medication routines
  • Psychological therapies
  • Health and nutrition assistance
  • Support group meetings
  • On-site meals

Consider this lower-cost option if your addiction has deep control over your life.

Intensive Outpatient Program Costs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provides less restrictive, part-time rehab care.

IOP care charges anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for a month-long program.

As a clear step-down from inpatient rehab, IOP treats clients for a few hours a week.  Outside of care, you’d apply lessons in coping to continue your work and home life.

IOP treatment centers don’t have to feed or house you, so they cost less as a result.

You may find the following services offered in an IOP:

  • Medicated detox and MAT treatments.
  • Psychological therapy sessions.
  • Addiction coping courses.
  • Alternative therapies—such as adventure therapy, yoga, and meditation.

Living off-site helps you get real-world feedback on your treatment progress.  However, you may be exposed to risks for relapse due to a lack of structure.

Relapse can send you into a step-up of treatment, incurring more costs.  The ultimate goal is independence, so you should embrace self-imposed structure.

Just be sure you are honest with yourself and seek higher care if you need it.

Outpatient and Aftercare Costs

Outpatient care programs provide light support and individual services.

Aftercare serves as maintenance and upkeep of sobriety after finishing treatment.

The term “outpatient” tends to be used in a step-down or as a primary treatment stage.  Aftercare is technically outpatient care, but defines post-treatment services.

All outpatient programs are the most cost-effective at around $250 to $350 a day.  Transitional sober living homes may be even less at $1,500 to $2,500 each month.

Outpatient programs are the most flexible among the continuum of care levels.  You may be in a transitional home or living at home, but you are mostly independent.

This is often used as the last stage to fully autonomous sober life.  Other people use outpatient care for less disruptive addictions or sobriety upkeep.

Transitional homes use micro-steps along the CoC as you move into independent living.  You’re reintroduced into the real world gradually to maintain sobriety.

Outpatient care like psychotherapy and support groups overlaps with aftercare.

Individual programs you might find in outpatient services include:

  • Psychological therapy sessions.
  • Support groups—like 12 step programs.
  • Sober living homes.
  • Medication-assisted therapy.

Cost savings are appealing, as some services like support groups are free to attend. However, outpatient services increase relapse risks if used as a primary intervention.

Using the full continuum of addiction care will help you move safely into outpatient care.  This can help you avoid future costs that result from relapse care.

What to Know Before Paying for Addiction Treatment

Costs along the full continuum of care can add up, but help is available.

As you browse addiction treatment programs, consider the following:

How much of my addiction care is covered by my insurance?  Your coverage may pay for some but not all of your services and medications.

Is this treatment center located in an area with a high cost-of-living?  Some cities and regions will likely raise your costs for treatment based on location alone.

Is there any payment assistance available?  You can offset the immediate burdens of addiction care with financing payment plans or discounts.

Does this provider offer sliding fee scales?  Some programs may take your financial situation into account when they price your treatment.

Are there cost-free alternatives?  State tax-funded programs are available.  However, they are likely to put you on a lengthy waiting list.

Have I chosen my program based on my needs?  Luxury amenities may provide a more relaxing place to recover, but might also incur debts that you don’t need.

When You Should Spend More on Addiction Treatment

Sometimes, more expensive treatments can be your best chance at recovery.

As you decide what’s worth paying for, consider avoiding:

  • Free programs that lack quality facilities and certified staff.
  • Programs that disregard you because of your financial needs.
  • Massive out-of-pocket costs that make treatment difficult to pay for.
  • Programs that don’t match the severity of your condition.
  • Choosing a program just because it’s local and convenient.

Remember, a lacking or ill-fit program will raise your risk of relapse.  Those costs will outweigh any short-term savings and make treatment appear ineffective.

Always choose the right program for your needs above all else.

Takeaways on Costs of Addiction Treatment

In summary, addiction treatment costs may be more manageable than you thought.

To recap, you’ve started your journey by learning:

  • Addiction recovery can cost a range of $7,000 to upwards of $20,000.
  • Treatment is much cheaper than leaving an addiction untreated.
  • Therapy, medications, and addiction education are common costs.
  • Aftercare costs are minimal, or free if you’re just attending support groups.
  • Insurance may cover some services in rehab, but varies based on the program.

Ultimately, shopping around your needs will save you money and peace of mind.

Know someone who needs to know about the costs of addiction treatment?  Please like and share this post with them.  Or, leave your questions or comments affording treatment below!  We’re always looking for ways to keep the conversation about recovery going.  Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight addiction.

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