The costs of addiction are high. That we know for sure. Unfortunately, far too many people shy away from treating addiction because they are worried about the cost. Addiction treatment will require an investment of time, resources, and often money. Get to know what impacts the cost of addiction treatment.
Type of Addiction Treatment Program
The biggest thing that impacts the cost of addiction treatment is what kind of program patients choose. There are two major options to consider: Inpatient programs and outpatient programs.
Inpatient programs are often considered to be the most effective way to overcome an addiction. These programs offer 24/7 care. Patients will be able to access medical professionals, counselors and addiction experts.
Of course, the cost of 24/7 care is going to be a factor for some patients. Inpatient programs offer three meals a day and accommodations, which will increase the price. However, some patients would have to pay for these expenses anyway, which might make residential care the smartest option regardless of price.
Outpatient programs are those that offer a daily or weekly schedule of treatments and therapies. Patients don’t spend the night on the premises, and instead go to their own homes or a local, prearranged accommodation. Outpatient therapy, or intensive outpatient therapy, can be a good choice for those who have busy schedules. Students, parents or executives don’t have to sacrifice their recovery in order to maintain their lifestyles.
At the cheapest end of the spectrum are free outpatient programs. These are typically limited to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These programs can be incredibly beneficial, but they don’t offer the same results as more intensive, custom programs with individualized care.
Duration of Addiction Treatment Program
Another important factor that influences cost is the duration of an addiction treatment program. It might seem obvious, but a week of detox is obviously going to be more affordable than 60 days of residential care.
At an absolute minimum, patients should expect to spend a week in detox. Detox is an important part of recovery, but it is only the first step. While it might seem cheaper to stop treatment after detox is complete, that would be unwise. Detox gets you sober, but it doesn’t teach you how to prevent relapse and actually remain sober for a lifetime.
After detox, residential or outpatient treatment can begin. The most common length for treatment is 28 days. However, patients can choose the length that best suits their needs.
Some patients might do well with six months of outpatient treatment. Others will need a full 60 days of intensive, inpatient care. Others might want a short inpatient program followed by a year in a sober living community. Whatever the choice, remember that program lengths will certainly impact cost.
Quality and Comfort of Addiction Treatment Program
There is a staggering range between the cheapest programs for addiction treatment and the most upscale. This is done intentionally, and it offers a suitable price point for all patients. For many patients, however, the cheapest rehab will also be the least comfortable.
In rehab, comfort is more than just a luxury. It is also a way to reduce stress. People who are comfortable will sleep better, see an improvement in their mood and feel more capable when considering the risk of relapse.
Clearly, a luxurious rehab facility is an advantage on the road to recovery. Investing in health and sobriety is well worth the cost for the majority of individuals.
In a high-quality, upscale facilities, there is also typically a high caliber of medical professionals. Patients will have access to cutting-edge treatments. Plus, they can relax, courtesy of extras like housekeeping services, massage therapy and nutritional experts on staff.
Is it possible to get sober without the extras of an upscale facility? Absolutely. Is it as enjoyable, comfortable or successful in the long term? Often, the answer is no.
The Role of Health Insurance
The cost of addiction treatment and the amount patients actually pay can be very different. Often, this is because health insurance covers all or some of the expense of treating an addiction.
The ACA, or Affordable Care Act, stipulates that substance abuse disorders are an essential element of health care treatment. This means that every health care plan in America needs to cover at least some of the costs of addiction treatment. Ultimately, each plan is different, and patients have to read the fine print. However, insurance will often cover a significant portion of treatment costs.
Location of Treatment Facility
Addiction treatment is a service offered to patients. Like any other service, rates can vary depending on the location. Treatment facilities located in more expensive areas tend to be more expensive than those in very affordable areas.
If cost is the only factor, then prospective patients might choose to attend rehab in a very rural area. Of course, cost is rarely the only factor. Many patients opt to attend treatment programs in a convenient location. Sometimes, that means paying a premium to be in a desirable area.
The Opportunity Costs of Skipping Addiction Treatment
In economics, opportunity costs are an important part of the equation. An opportunity cost is the loss of gain from an alternative choice. If you opt not to invest in addiction treatment, the opportunity costs will be astronomical.
Sometimes, patients balk at the cost of treatment. Even after considering the many factors involved, and the role of insurance, some patients still decide to skip treatment. It is dangerous to think of recovery in a dollar amount. After all, continuing an addiction costs so much more in the long run.
Financially, continuing substance abuse means reducing income potential, losing work opportunities and likely spending more on health care in the future. Other costs include fewer meaningful relationships, reduced cognitive function and a lack of purpose in life.
The cost of addiction treatment varies for each individual. Many different factors contribute to the final expense. Whatever the cost, the investment in health and lifelong sobriety is always worth it.