How Expensive is Rehab?

If you just came off a two-week bender, which came after two months of constant boozing and alienating pretty much everyone around you, then it’s probably time to hang up the drinking habit.

Or, if you’re close to someone who’s added five screwdrivers to their daily breakfast routine, insisting that they’re just getting their daily vitamin C intake, then you may want to think about drying them out.

While there are plenty of places to send someone with a drinking problem to get help, you’re probably wondering just how expensive is rehab? Especially since when most people hear the word “rehab” they think of some troubled celebrity stepping out of their stretch limo to check into a facility that makes the Taj Mahal look modest.

Although going to rehab can get pricey, the good news is that are ways to get help, regardless of a person’s financial circumstances.

Who Should Attend Rehab?

Of course, before someone starts worrying about how much rehab will set them or their friend back, determining whether they have a drinking problem is probably a good idea. If you’re feeling shame today because you got drunk for the first time last night, and proceeded to take your shirt off while dancing to “I’m Too Sexy”, you probably don’t need rehab just yet…

If you can’t make it through the day without downing a case of beer, however, or your personal “happy hour” starts daily at 9:30 a.m., then rehab is probably a good idea. Some of the other signs that it’s time to evaluate your drinking include: lying to others about how much you’re boozing; needing to have a drink, or three, anytime you encounter something stressful; and, of course, putting yourself in dangerous situations like having a few cocktails while you drive.

Then there are the physical indications that your drinking has gotten way of out hand. Some of the more serious and obvious ones include suffering withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, shaking, sweating, fatigue, and loss of appetite. That can’t be good.

Are All Rehab Centers The Same?

Not only are there different types of rehab facilities in terms of size, décor, and price, but some take different approaches than others in terms of getting someone’s life back in order. The type of rehab someone needs can also depend on how serious their drinking problem is. In other words, if you’re still holding down a job and keeping your life reasonably together, you may not need the same level of care as someone who can’t function unless they’ve downed a 40 of gin.

For example, some people head to rehab centers that provide residential treatment, whereby the person could stay for up to three months and will receive constant supervision. In addition, rehab facilities like this offer intensive treatment and counseling on a daily basis.

There are also out-patient rehab programs that require the person to come several days a week, for a few hours each time, for counseling and treatment. These programs are often utilized by people who have already gone through rehab before, and they use them to stay on track with their recovery.

Other people may find that voluntarily attending counseling sessions and help groups a few times a week, or daily, may be enough to keep them off the sauce. Again, it depends on the person and their specific situation.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of rehab predictably depends on the type of help a person requires. You don’t have to be a Wall Street trader to figure out that entering a long-term, residential treatment center is going to cost a lot more than an out-patient program. Especially if a patient requires a detox program and extensive medical attention; then the cost of living at a residential facility for a few months is far from cheap.

Depending on the residential center, where it’s located, and whether it offers filet mignon for lunch, the cost could range between $6,000 and $30,000 each month. The 30-grand-a-month pricing, however, is more in line with what the Betty Ford Center charges its wealthy clientele.

Out-patient programs, on the other hand, are typically much cheaper, and might only cost $1,000 or $2,000 over a month or two. The price of going to see a counselor can vary. However, it won’t be nearly as much as going to a residential treatment center.

What’s important to remember through all this though is that going to rehab could save your life or the life of someone you know. It’s not the kind of thing you look for in the bargain bin.

Will Health Insurance Cover Rehab?

The good news is that, if you work for a fair-sized company that has a group medical plan, then a good portion of, or maybe even all of your rehab bills could be covered. It’s all thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

If you work for yourself, or have private insurance, then chances are not as much of your rehab costs will be covered. Some rehab programs do offer sliding scale billing options, however, and there may also be a more affordable, non-profit facility in your area.