Drug rehab on the cheap-er

Originally Published: January 5, 2007 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 19, 2015
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Dear Alice,

If you have little resources (i.e., money) left, can you get some help in drug rehabilitation centers?

Dear Reader,

It may be more difficult for a person with less dough to access drug rehabilitation centers. Nevertheless, help is available, even with a limited budget.

State and Federally Funded Drug Rehabilitation Facilities
There are drug treatment facilities that are funded by state and federal agencies. Many of these facilities operate on a sliding fee scale (people pay what they can afford) and/or are open to arranging payment plans. Also, these facilities often participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. To find one close to you, check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator. Contact facilities directly to find out specific information about payment options.

In addition, the federal program Access to Recovery provides individuals vouchers to pay for treatment in several states. Keep in mind that not all states participate and most of the treatments are faith-based. To see if it is available in your state, check with your state's department of health.

Clinical Trials
Another option is to look into clinical trials. Clinical trials look into new counseling and/or medication treatment approaches. These treatments are often still in the investigational phases. The great thing is that these trials are often free for qualified participants. To locate a clinical trial, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Clinical Trials Network.

Also, although you didn't mention insurance, it's important to note that many insurance companies provide some sort of drug treatment. However, there's wide variation in the amount and type of coverage. Specific coverage for a given individual could depend on factors like addiction severity, how long the person has been addicted, what the drug of choice is, past treatments, and the different relationships that insurance carriers have with treatment centers. For someone who is privately insured, a best bet would be to check with the insurer to figure out specific benefits.

There are places to turn for drug rehabilitation, even when the pockets are empty, but it might take some searching to find the best fit. You might try speaking with a trusted friend, religious leader, case worker, or health care provider for referrals to treatment programs and further support. Also, it's likely that there will be paperwork to fill out and phone calls to make and return. This can all be daunting for someone in the midst of an addiction, so it'd probably be helpful to request the help of family or friends during this trying process. Best of luck,


April 4, 2008


To the reader:

When I needed help I went to my local welfare office. They helped me out and I got on medical insurance and went to rehab and detox for free. There are also places that will...

To the reader:

When I needed help I went to my local welfare office. They helped me out and I got on medical insurance and went to rehab and detox for free. There are also places that will help you by paying for your trip to rehab and they will find you a bed there. They will also give you help afterwards with medication and therapy. It is all confidential too, of course. I do not know where you are from.

BUT there are probably one or two organizations around you that provide free treatment! Why not try calling your local hospital for a recomendation? Or look in your phonebook or look online. Remember there ARE places that will help you for free. Good Luck!! You can do it!!