No Insurance Drug Treatment Centers

If you’re suffering from a drug addiction but have no insurance, seeking drug treatment may seem impossible. However, there are a number of resources that you can use to get the help you need. You may even be able to find reduced cost or free drug addiction treatment. More here.

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ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Getting help for drug addiction is possible, even without medical insurance. In fact, you have several options for free or reduced cost drug treatment. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of these options and give you an idea of how you can find help…on a budget. Then, we’ll invite your questions at the end.



Who Needs Treatment?

Rehab stay can help people who have substance use disorders regain their life and start over. But you might be feeling all alone. We know. We’ve been there. We’re here to encourage you to NOT be scared of getting into treatment. First, you are not the only one! Second, treatment is effective.

In fact, the 2016 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health reported that about 22.5 million people aged 12 or older had substance use disorders in the past year. 15.1 million people deal with alcohol use disorder, and 7.4 million were struggling with drug use disorder. This means that 1 in 13 Americans aged 12 or older need addiction treatment.

This report showed that an estimated number of 21 million people need addiction treatment. Further, the numbers break down into age groups:

  • 1.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 need addiction help.
  • 5.3 million young adults aged 18 to 25 need addiction help.
  • 14.5 million adults aged 26 or older need addiction help.

And if you don’t get help…it only gets worse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that in 2016, about 64,000 people lost their lives due to drug overdose.

Why be a number?

Rehab can really turn your life around.

Is Treatment For Me?

Rehab treatment is structured to help people who deal with addiction problems. It is most successful for those who are willing to change.

If you suspect that you may have addiction problems, here are some symptoms that can help you identify substance use disorders:

  • Decreased work or school performance because of drug use.
  • Increased health problems related to drug use.
  • Legal problems related to drug use.
  • You cannot control how much or how often you use.
  • You cannot stop (or stay stopped) using your drug of choice.
  • You have relationship and family problems due to your use.
  • You spend a great deal of time thinking about, using, trying to find, or recovering from your drug of choice.

How many symptoms do you have? If you have EVEN ONE OF these symptoms, consult with an addiction specialist to diagnose the severity of your addiction.

Still not sure about your addiction problems? Test yourself with the help of this NIDA drug screening tool.

REMEMBER THIS: A drug addiction is often a very difficult problem to overcome on your own. In order to increase the chances of success, a stay in a medical center can help. If you have no health insurance, however, it can be quite scary wondering what your options. Keep reading or jump to the section at the end for ways to finance rehab.

Social Costs

Addiction treatment can cost thousands of dollars, and no one can guarantee 100% effectiveness. However, when we look at the numbers…even a little investment goes a long way,

On one hand, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and tobacco is costing our society more than $740 billion annually. These costs are related to:

  • Criminal activity.
  • Lost work productivity.
  • Health care costs.

On the other hand, NIDA states that evidence-based addiction rehabs have shown to be effective. People who complete a rehab program:

  • Stop using drugs.
  • Improve their psychological and physical state.
  • Decreased criminal activity.

Also, NIDA reports that every dollar invested in rehab programs will return between $4 to $7 in reducing criminal activity connected with drug, theft, and court costs.

The Average Costs

Rehab programs vary in price depending upon the services you choose. For example, a long-term inpatient program is more expensive than a short-term outpatient program. Not only do inpatient programs provide living accommodation and constant medical care for their patients, but the duration of time spent in rehab increases the the pricetag.

The most common addiction services include:

Detox costs between $6 to 12K.
Psychotherapy costs from almost free to $150 or more per hour.
Outpatient Rehab ranges between $50-$135 per day.
Inpatient Rehab ranges between $235-700 per day.

Find more information on the costs of addiction treatment here.

Factors That Influence The Cost

Final rehab cost can vary drastically. Some of the factors that go into your invoice include:

1. Services provided.

A rehab program can offer many services: from animal therap to aroma therapy. Services can include massage, yoga, or spa treatments. Some rehab even provide private rooms with a specific meal plan and a personal chef. But, most of these services are extra, so always consult with the staff on pricing options before the start of your program.

2. Length.

A long-term rehab program (of up to one year) is more expensive than a short 30-day program. Common durations for rehab can be 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days. Then, tratment usually goest in 3 month intervals: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or one year.

3. Location.

Rehabs located on a far-away islands, beaches, or resorts are usually far more expensive than a locally-based rehab program. Avoid destination rehabs in order to lower the final cost of treatment.

4. Type of rehab. 

As mentioned before, inpatient programs are more expensive than the outpatient programs since they don’t offer 24/7 medical supervision and a living space.


At the moment, many private insurance plans cover addiction detox and rehab programs. You can always consult with companies about the coverage for addiction treatment. However, there are also additional federally funded options available to you.

Launched in 2013, the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) is an online marketplace for policies where you can buy private health insurance plans. In order to be placed on this market, companies need to cover mental health and substance abuse services including:

  • Behavioral health treatment (psychotherapy and counseling)
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Mental and behavioral health inpatient services.

Find more information about the marketplace, click here.

Passed in March, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was created to reduce the cost of healthcare by helping everyone get access to ‘affordable’, quality health insurance. An individual’s plan is based on their income: those with lower income pay less than those with higher income. With the help of this law, many uninsured people will qualify for affordable health insurance.

How does this Act help addiction treatment?

  1. Addiction will no longer be considered as per-existing condition for policies, and therefore companies will have to cover addiction as medical condition.
  2. Companies that are listed on the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) must provide mental health and addiction treatment services.
  3. Medicaid programs are to be expanded. Created by the federal government, but administered by the state, Medicaid is a health care program that offers free or low-cost medical coverage. Check out this link to find out whether you qualify for Medicaid. Also, contact your local healthcare office to get more information about Medicaid and addiction treatment coverage.

Read more about the Affordable Care Act and substance use disorder treatment here. Keep in mind that many federal health insurance packages cover part of addiction treatment. Moreover, in June 2018, the House of Representatives passed the most expansive legislation to address the opioid crisis, approving a bipartisan package that combines 58 bills. The final package will address:

  • Expanding access to addiction treatment and recovery services.
  • Opioid alternatives for pain management.
  • Intercepting illegal opioids.
  • Restricting use of fentanyl.
  • Allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid addiction treatment in inpatient facilities that address mental health issues.

Still No Insurance?

What can you do to get into drug rehab without being insured? Seeking drug rehab without insurance is certainly intimidating, but you shouldn’t let this stop you from getting the help you need. There are several different resources out there for anyone who’s seeking drug rehab without a plan to back them up. A handful of the most common ones are listed below.

Consider a personal loan. 

Borrowed money can also be used to pay for drug rehab. Some sources of borrowed money include credit unions, banks, friends, and families, as well as your own retirement accounts and life insurance policies. If you borrow money, however, make sure that you have the means to pay it back; otherwise it could result in legal, financial, and personal problems down the road.

Establish a payment plan.

Many drug rehab facilities will be willing to let you make payments toward the cost of your treatment if you are not insured. This makes paying for drug rehab much easier and more manageable.

Investigate drug rehabs with sliding scale fees.

If you need drug rehab, facilities that offer sliding scale fees are one of your best options. These types of drug rehab centers calculate your fees based on your income. Typically, they will only charge you as much as you can afford, and in some cases, you may be able to get free or very cheap drug rehab.

Seek non-profit groups and government programs for drug rehab.

Some non-profit groups offer free or treatment at a reduced cost. Other may also offer monetary grants to help pay for your treatment. Medicaid is a government program for low-income individuals without health coverage. If you qualify for Medicaid, you will most likely also qualify for free or almost-free drug rehab.

Finding a Rehab

Drug addiction treatment centers that do not require insurance are not usually difficult to find at all. In fact, the majority of drug addiction treatment centers accept clients with no medical insurance package. So how can you make drug addiction treatment affordable?

1. Many of these facilities also offer reduced fees, such as sliding scale fees, to individuals who are unable to pay for the exorbitant cost of treatment out of their own pockets.

2. One of the best resources to locate addiction treatment centers is your own doctor. Medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, will typically be able to refer you to a drug addiction treatment facility that works with uninsured clients.

3. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has a facility locator on their website ( Using this locator, you can find rehab centers in your area. You can also narrow the list down to those that offer payment assistance and sliding scale fees.

Do You Have Any Questions?

Getting the help you need for your drug addiction is possible, even if you are uninsured. However, when looking for a rehab center, questions will inevitably pop into your head. Fortunately, we’re here to help all of our readers throughout every step of their journey.

Feel free to leave your questions and concerns in the comments section below. We’ll try to answer any questions you might have as soon as possible.

Reference  Sources: SAMHSA: Free Substance Abuse Treatment
SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
NCBI: Chapter 5. Outpatient Treatment Financing Options and Strategies
SAMHSA: Acceptance of Private Health Insurance in Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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