Can I Afford Rehab?

Drug and alcohol treatment is not cheap, so you would not be the first one to wonder how you will be able to afford rehab.

Before we start comparing prices, programs, and packages, though, let's take a few minutes to complete a Cost of Addiction Balance Sheet.  

Addiction Cost Balance Sheet: What Does My Addiction Cost?

Ever wondered how much money you spend on an addiction? Try completing this Addiction Balance Sheet:  

Substance Expense

  • How much do you spend on alcohol or drugs per week $__________, per year $_____________?
  • How many years have you been addicted? ________________
  • Total amount spent on addiction:__________________
  • In three years if you don't get cleaned up, what will your addiction cost you?_______________

Related Expense

Unfortunately, though, addiction often includes more than simply the cost of the substance. Here are some other factors you may not have thought of yet: 

  • How much time and money has been spent to get the drug or alcohol? 
  • How much money has been spent on doctor or ER visits related to this abuse? 
  • How much money has been spent on OTC drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms? 
  • How much money or time has been lost in your career due to substance abuse? 
  • How much time or money has been spent on legal issues as a result of a substance abuse? 

Life Expense

The most difficult expense to measure, actually, probably means the most to us. Some things never add up numerically, but they seriously affect the balance sheet of our lives. For example, consider

  • Your increased risk for premature death, cancer or other diseases
  • The disappointment your friends and loved ones have felt and will continue to feel 
  • You and your family's emotional stress and anxiety
  • Your reputation 
  • Lost opportunities

After completing an Addiction Balance Sheet, the real question might better be--how could you "not" afford rehab? But let's explore rehab expenses now to find out whether it's worth it. 

Rehab Cost Balance Sheet: What Will Rehab Cost Me? 

Many addicts are worried that they will not be able to afford treatment and rehab for their drinking or using. And at face value, rehab--especially in the context of one lump sum--can appear to be very expensive. 

Treatment Expense

Cost of alcohol and drug treatment programs vary by type and length. And your need for a particular type or program will vary too, based on how long you've been addicted and how dependent you are on the substance. 

In general, a 28/30-day residential rehab treatment program can easily cost from $7,000 (usually these are for already subsidized rehabs) to well over $35,000 for luxury rehabs. Some residential rehabs utilize payment plans or accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicad to make paying for rehab more feasible.

Here are some questions to help you calculate the expense of rehab:

  • What is the cost for my selected rehab and program length: _________________
    • If downpayment is required, how much is it:_________________
  • Will detox be a separate payment? If so, how much:________________
  • Subtract the amount your insurance company, Medicare, or Medicad will cover from your total so far:_______________

Related Expenses

Some related expenses to rehab include

  • How much will it cost to travel to rehab:_______________
  • How much unpaid work absences will I miss:__________

Rehab Savings

Despite the fact that rehab will cost you a lump sum, remember that you will also be saving some money. Here are a few ways you will save money in rehab:

  • How much gas money will you save by not driving during rehab: _____________
  • How much food money will you save by eating at your rehab facility: ____________

Life Savings

Of course, don't forget the life savings you will gain by successfully completing rehab.

  • Decreased risk for death, cancer, or other diseases
  • Renewed friendship and relationships with your friends and loved ones
  • Increased self-confidence, awareness, and dependence
  • Reducement of emotional stress and anxiety
  • Opportunities to explore new careers, hobbies, and relationships

Figuring Out the Cost of Relapse

Despite some of the savings and options you have for paying for rehab, chances are, you're probably still not convinced it's worth it. Perhaps you are thinking about cutting more corners on your treatment options. Maybe you've had questions like these:

  • Can't I just detox and be done?
  • Do I really need to go away for rehab? 
  • I'm sure 28-days is long enough, right?

What you might be forgetting is the cost of relapse.

  • Some people detox multiple times but can't seem to get any long-term sobriety. 
  • Others join informal programs close to where they live, but still relapse because they haven't been able to break out of their environment. 
  • And many addicts who complete a 28-day stint in rehab relapse. Which is better--28 or 90 days in rehab?

If you've been thinking of cutting corners--just detoxing or choosing the shortest, cheapest program possible, think again. This is your life. Is it better to pay for a longer time in residential rehab and gain long-term sobriety or go back two, three, or four times? Which will be cheaper in the long run? 

How Can You Not Afford Rehab?

By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what your drug and alcohol addiction has already cost you and will continue to cost you into the future. And at the same time, you should have a pretty good idea of what rehab will cost you, including any potential relapses and addiction rehab.

Which list costs more? Clearly, the cost of addiction is devastating. You cannot afford to put off your recovery; your life is at stake. Can you really afford to continue tearing up the relationships with those around you as you waste thousands of dollars on fleeting highs?

Start recovery before it is too late. If the initial cost of rehab still seems too high, consider it as a wise investment. You will save money in the long run and keep years of your life that addiction would have robbed.

We have to convince ourselves that a life filled with addiction is not even close to the cost of rehab. Take a moment to let these numbers sink in; then start your recovery today.