The Cost of Alcohol Rehab

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If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

For families struggling with alcoholism, rehab programs provide a helpful path back to good health. In rehab, individuals with alcohol problems can learn more about their struggles and develop skills to avoid returning to alcohol use and abuse.

While rehab provides undeniable benefits to people who participate, many people are concerned that the cost of alcohol rehab will be much too high for them to bear. This article may help to relieve those concerns.

Understanding The Real Costs of Alcohol

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about two-thirds of people aged 12 or older reported that they drank alcohol in the past 12 months. In addition, 6.4% of these people met the criteria for having an alcohol use disorder.1 Alcohol abuse is a widespread problem that leads to missing work, illness, lost productivity, early mortality and other health problems. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows our national drinking habit costs society $249 billion a year.2

It is clear that the price of drinking is very high. The worst consequences of drinking — fractured relationships and the loss of life — cannot be stated in dollars. The price of alcohol rehab is not the same for all individuals; in some cases, your insurance will pay for treatment. In addition, the price of treatment can vary from one location and the different services available. Outlining the cost of an alcohol rehab program isn’t as easy as it might seem. Rehab programs are highly customized to address the specific causes of a person’s addiction and provide a personalized path back to healing.

Inpatient Care

Some people decide to participate in inpatient programs, where they’re provided with food and lodging, as well as therapeutic interventions for alcoholism. These programs might be more expensive than outpatient programs because the room-and-board costs are bundled into the cost of treating the addiction.

Finally, addiction programs can differ based on the treatments they provide and the surroundings they offer.

Some programs offer a bare-bones experience based on therapy only, while others throw in amenities such as:

  • Professionally decorated living spaces
  • Lush and landscaped grounds
  • Gourmet meals
  • Recreational activities

These additional services are designed to keep people engaged in their care, so they will not drop out of the programs before the work has been completed. As a result, they can be incredibly helpful in retaining people in the programs they need in order to beat back their alcoholism. However, these services can also drive up costs and make generalizations about costs all the harder to perform.

Baseline Assumptions

According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, detox averages around $1,000 per day, inpatient or residential treatment is around $700 per day and outpatient treatment is approximately $100 to $500 per session.3 Please keep in mind that these are just estimates and some insurance programs will defer the cost families are asked to pay for addiction care. These programs might set limits on the type of care the person can accept or the length of time that the person can be enrolled in addiction care, but the insurance coverage can help families who need assistance in paying for the care their loved ones need. Many rehab facilities are willing to work with insurance programs to smooth the path for the family and ensure that they’re receiving the full benefit entitled to them by their insurance plans.

Families who do not have insurance coverage might also be encouraged to work with private facilities and enroll on a needs basis. Some facilities work with families on payment packages, allowing the families to pay for care based on household income, not a standardized enrollment fee. This can be an excellent option for those who need care but who simply can’t afford to pay the premiums or who don’t have insurance programs that can assist.

Finding The Care You Need

Before you look for an addiction rehab program, families often call their insurance providers to check their coverage.

Good questions to ask include:

  • What is my yearly benefit for addiction care?
  • What forms of treatments are covered?
  • Is there a specific facility or provider I must use?
  • What is my copayment?
  • Do you need medical authorization to approve this care?

This information helps families move forward in their search for the appropriate providers that can help the alcoholic person in need. It might be the best way to prepare to pay for this lifesaving help.

Janis M., shares her story: “My advice to those seeking recovery is to not be scared. I was scared to death and feared working the steps. But I am so glad that I found this program. Recovery is great, and your life can be so much more than you ever imagined!”

Like Janis, you can get your life back. If you’re not sure how to navigate these waters or need more information about how to pay for alcoholism care, please give us a call. We will do all we can to help.

At Michael’s House, we have an extensive amount of experience in dealing with insurance companies. We are happy to explain all of your options in detail. We pride ourselves on providing affordable care for those in need while maintaining one of the highest staff-to-client ratios in the alcohol addiction field. Please call us at 760.548.4032 today to find out more.

Start the Journey Today!



1Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs.” SAMSHA. 20 September 2017.

2 Ingraham, Christopher. “The Hidden Cost of Your Drinking Habit.” Washington Post. 16 October 2015.

3 French, M. T., Popovici, & Tapsell. “The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and Reimbursement.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 21 February 2008.