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Cost of residential treatment programs


Article Overview: A 30-day residential program can cost around $10,000, while a long-term residential treatment, can be cost twice that much. Costs vary based on services and total time spent in treatment. More here.


  • The Polemic
  • What Residential Treatment is Like
  • A Day In A Residential Rehab
  • Who Needs Treatment
  • Average Cost
  • Factors That Influence The Final Cost
  • No Cost Residential Treatment
  • Low Cost Residential Rehabs
  • Is If For Me?
  • What Is The Best Residential Program?

Treatment Polemic

Residential treatments and medical detox have been accused of costing an arm and a leg, whose relapse rates are similar to those of other chronic diseases. Does this means that going to rehab is trowing your money down the drain? NO!

Addiction is a chronic disease, and relapse doesn’t mean failure. If a patient relapses it means that the program should be evaluated and changed as appropriate to patient’s needs. Moreover, NIDA research has shown that most of the people who get treatment and stay at treatment had stopped using substances, decreased their criminal rate, and improved their overall functioning.

To conclude, residential treatment programs can be very effective at addressing alcohol and drug addictions. Unfortunately, almost half of addicts that needed treatment may not seek it because they believe they can’t afford it. Read more about the cost of treatment programs and your options here. Then, we invite your questions at the end.

What Residential Treatment is Like

Residential rehab, also known as an inpatient rehab, is an addiction program where substance abusers come for detox and treatment, and live at the facility until the end of the program. These programs offer many services including:

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  • Medical detox
  • Psychological treatment
  • Counseling
  • Aftercare referral.

Moreover, residential programs provide supervised and healthy environment where patients focus on their recovery without pressures of the outside world.

There are two types of residential treatments:

  • Long-term residential program – offers a highly structured program that lasts between 6 and 12 months in a non-hospital setting.
  • Short-term residential program – offers 3 to 6 weeks hospital-based program usually followed by extended outpatient therapy.

A Day In A Residential Rehab

Attending therapy in residential rehabs is not the only thing you can do over there. Many programs provide shopping trips and therapeutic appointments, and special events such as visiting recovery-oriented events (AA and NA Meetings) and recovery-group-sponsored charity events.
Relaxation and recreation are crucial parts of any recovery program that is focused on holistic healing.

Below is an example of a typical day in a residential program:

7:00 AM – 8: 00 AM – Wake-up, breakfast, and chores
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Morning medication, and nurse checks
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Time for daily activities
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM – Break
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Group therapy
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM – Journaling time
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM – Clean up, and prepare for lunch
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Individual counseling therapy
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Group exercise, and outdoor time
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Afternoon medication, and nurse checks
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Drug screening
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM – Medication management meeting
5:30 – 6:30 PM – Major daily chores
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Family therapy
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM – 2 Group therapy
8:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Social time, phone calls, etc
9:15 PM – 9:30 PM – Nightly medication and nurse checks
10:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Quiet time, reading, homework, etc
11 PM – Lights out

Keep in mind that this schedule can be changed by off-site meetings, special events, and recreational trips.

Who Needs Treatment

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that an estimated number of 19.9 people who were aged 18 and older needed addiction treatment in 2016. This makes about 8.1% of the adult population…

But how many are getting treatment?

Only one in five people who need addiction treatment received treatment in the past year!

In fact, SAMHSA’s report found out that in 2016, about 3.6 million people aged 18 or older received any substance use treatment in the past year. The numbers break down in two age categories:

  • 624,000 young adults aged 18 to 25
  • 3.0 million adults aged 26 or older.

Moreover, the same report claims that only 2.1 million adults aged 18 or older received substance use treatment at a specialty facility in the past year.

* Specialty treatment refers to substance use treatment at a hospital (as an inpatient), a drug/alcohol rehab (as an inpatient or outpatient), or a mental health center.

Average Cost

The average cost of residential treatment programs that are under 30 days have been estimated to be around $10,000. However, some studies set the average cost for a 28 residential rehab program as high as $19,000.

Long-term residential treatment, can be cost twice that much, averaging $21,404. In 2013, the Betty Ford Center, one of the nation’s most well-known treatment facilities, costs between $29,500 to $39,500 for a 60 to 90 day treatment program.

Factors That Influence The Final Cost

In order to estimate the cost of residential treatment programs, you must look at a few very important factors. By considering these, you may be able to get a general idea of what type of treatment program you can afford.

1. Duration of residential treatment – First of all, the length of time that you spend at a residential treatment program will have a great impact on the cost of the program. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to discover that the less time you spend in a residential program, the lower the cost. This means that short-term residential programs of 30 days or less are usually more affordable than a 3-6 months stay in a residential treatment program.

2. Types of therapies you receive – The services that a particular facility offers and the services that you need during treatment will also have an impact on the overall cost. Detoxification at the beginning of treatment may be crucial for the success of the addiction treatment, but medical detox could cost as much as a treatment for a mental disorder could.

3. Type of treatment program you choose – The type of facility that you choose could also have an impact on how much you’ll pay. Some studies have shown that smaller facilities are usually more expensive facilities than larger facilities. Private facilities are also more expensive than those run by non-profit organizations, more often than not.

Low Cost Residential Rehabs

There are a few ways to identify low cost residential treatment programs.

1. Check your medical health insurance coverage. If you have health insurance, you should also contact your health insurance provider. Some companies will pay for part of your treatment, reducing the out-of-pocket costs for you.

2. Look for sliding scale residential treatment programs. Despite what you may think, low cost residential treatment programs aren’t a myth, nor are they impossible to find. In fact, many residential treatment facilities base their costs on sliding scale fees. These fees are usually based on your income and ability to pay.

3. Seek assistance from government programs. Finally, you may also be able to receive some assistance from your local or state government. To see if your area offers free or low cost residential treatment programs, contact your local government assistance office or search on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

No Cost Residential Treatment

No cost residential treatment programs are also available to many individuals. However, these are usually much harder to find. To find no cost residential treatment programs, your best bet may be to contact local non-profit organizations, such as the United Way or Salvation Army. No cost residential treatment programs can also be found through the SAMHSA website. Simply search for treatment programs in your area, and narrow your search to those that offer payment assistance.

Is It For Me?

Residential rehab helps people who struggle with substance use disorder to break the chains of addiction, and turn their life around. If you are questioning whether you have a problem, start looking for signs. First, get honest with your self and answer these questions:

  • Do you feel alcohol/drug cravings?
  • Do you hide your substance use?
  • Do you have any financial, legal, or family problems due to your substance use?
  • Do you usually find excuses to drink or use substances?
  • Have you failed in quitting?
  • Do you continue to use no matter the consequences?

Still not sure? Take a look into:

What Is The Best Residential Program?

Every effective residential program is made on evidence-based approaches. The best ones are those that create unique programs in accordance with the patient’s needs.

The only thing you need to do is to trust the process. Treatment programs are needed when a person has lost control over their life, and gave in to substances. There are the best option to start over, and learn how to live without abusing substances.

Your Questions Are Welcomed!

If you’re in need of addiction treatment, there’s no better time than now to seek help. If you need more info regarding the cost of addiction treatment in general, or you have any other concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.  We try to respond to all questions personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Free Treatment Available
NCBI: The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and Reimbursement
NCBI: Benefit- Cost in the California Treatment Outcome Project: Does Substance Abuse Treatment “Pay for Itself”?
Child Welfare: Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders
CASA Columbia: Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice
The Addiction Recovery Guide: Residential Treatment Centers

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to “Cost of residential treatment programs
3:34 pm November 26th, 2015

i have recently found out that my 19 yr old daughter is using and addicted to heroin .i have tried everything to help her stop and she does ok for a few days then she is using again , her father died from an over dose and i am scared to death and dont know how or what to do, She has agreed to go to a rehab but i am just in the proccese of signing her up for ohp and i dont think this can wait . any help would be appreciated thank you

7:02 pm November 26th, 2015

Hi Laurie. I’m really sorry for your daughter. I hope she’ll stop using heroin. The first step is already done since she agreed to go to a rehab. Also, I suggest you call call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers who can help your daughter access adequate treatment program. Good luck!

2:25 am June 18th, 2017

I am trying to find a program in the bay area for my father. I need to find something for opiod and alcohol abuse. We are trying to plan an intervention and trying to figure out where to turn for an inpatient rehab. He has medicare and disability.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
6:20 pm June 21st, 2017

Hi Jennifer. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab program for your father.

5:02 am July 16th, 2017

My son is 29 and he is a heroin addict. He is currently homeless, jobless. He has Medicaid for insurance. He has called every drug rehab facility in NH and was either told that was a long waiting list or he would have to pay in the thousands. I am his mother and I have been working three jobs just to buy him food and hotel rooms so he is not on the streets. Where can he go? This is the first time he is asking for help and all he hears is you need money. My fear is he will die before we find a place for him. He needs residential treatment. Thank You

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
7:13 pm July 26th, 2017

Hi Michelle. Call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7.

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