Substance abuse is a costly disorder, often affecting more than a person’s finances, including their relationships, overall health, work, and more.
Recovery is possible through treatment, but addiction care can come with a high financial cost, and many wonder if drug abuse services have hidden fees.
Reputable addiction treatment centers are upfront about their costs, but certain factors such as insurance, length of stay, and indirect costs can cause financial surprises.
What Causes Unexpected Addiction Treatment Costs?
With addiction care, certain factors may impact your out-of-pocket costs.
Levels Of Care
Addiction treatment has several levels of care at varying levels of intensiveness. People with severe addictions and those who need structure benefit most from high-intensive treatment.
People with moderate substance use disorders (SUDs) and those with a strong support system may benefit from less intensive levels of care.
Addiction treatment levels of care include:
- medical detoxification (detox)
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- inpatient programs
- residential programs
- partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
- standard outpatient programs (OP)
When you research addiction care options, it can be difficult to understand costs if you are not sure which level of care you need.
For example, if you have researched the cost of inpatient care, and your provider recommends MAT as well, you may not have factored the cost of medication into your initial research.
To avoid experiencing surprises, you can ask an addiction program representative about the availability of free consultations, in which specific treatment services are recommended.
During this time, you can ask questions about the costs of each service that they recommend.
Services Not Covered By Insurance
Many health insurance plans offer coverage for addiction care, but they often set limits on which services they cover.
For instance, some plans may cover the medical aspects of your care without covering non-medical services such as recreational therapy.
Check your insurance plan to confirm which treatment options are covered and how you might maximize your coverage for addiction care.
Length Of Treatment
The length of your addiction treatment can also impact the cost of your care. You may choose to pursue further treatment, such as a longer stay in your treatment facility or aftercare services.
If you have not researched the costs of extended treatment, you may pay more than you expected to pay when you entered care.
For some, insurance also plays a role in these costs. Some programs, for example, may only cover 30 days of treatment when you may require more.
Indirect Costs Of Addiction Treatment
You may also face indirect costs during substance abuse treatment, such as the cost of childcare or taking time away from work.
Childcare And Pet Care
If you have children or pets, finding care for them can become costly, especially if they require overnight care for a significant amount of time.
Certain options, such as pet-friendly addiction care and addiction services for mothers with children, can help alleviate this burden.
Time Away From Work
Substance abuse treatment also often requires time away from work, which can result in lost wages.
While some workplaces may offer paid leave for mental health treatment, this option is not available for everybody.
If you cannot take time away from your job, you might pursue outpatient services.
Some outpatient programs, including several methadone clinics for opioid addiction, offer treatment and dispense medication outside of standard work hours.
Get Help For Addiction
Finding addiction treatment is a complex process, but you don’t have to do it on your own.
If you or a loved one needs substance abuse treatment, contact Addiction Resource today to discover the best options for your needs.
Published on September 26, 2023
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- National Library Of Medicine — The Economic Costs Of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates And Cost Bands For Program Assessment And Reimbursement
- Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Mental Health And Substance Use Disorders