The cost of alcohol rehab programs vary, depending on the services required.
About 17.6 million people in the United States, which equates to one adult in every 12, have an alcohol abuse or dependence issue, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
The issue develops due to a complex interplay between genetics, environment, and opportunity, and sometimes, it develops so slowly that the progression is difficult to see.
One quick drink with coworkers turns into three or four drinks before bed. A sip with dinner becomes a sip with lunch. And then it morphs into the need to sip alcohol at breakfast. Sometimes, people feel as though they need to drink all the time, or else they feel physically ill with cravings.
Every person with alcoholism has a personal story to share. No two people with alcoholism are exactly alike. In fact, in a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers suggest that there are four different subtypes of alcoholism.1 They vary depending on when they appear, how serious the symptoms are, and how they should be treated.
While alcoholism types, and people who have alcoholism, can be very different, there is one thing that remains the same: People who have alcoholism will need treatment in order to recover. Since these people have different disease paths, they will need different types of treatment programs, and these treatments come with varying price tags.
Here is how costs typically break down for different components that may or may not be part of an alcoholism treatment program.
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Types of Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs
There are several different types of alcohol rehabilitation programs that are available to individuals seeking help to overcome addiction to alcohol. The pros and cons of each alcohol rehab center should be thoroughly evaluated, and the program that best meets the needs of the individual and their specific condition should be selected.
Individuals also suffering from mental illness should look for alcohol rehab centers that offer dual diagnosis treatment. These specialized programs will treat alcohol addiction while also addressing any co-occurring mental conditions.
The most intense forms of treatment are offered through residential programs, which provide around-the-clock care but require moving into the alcohol rehab center and staying for the duration of treatment (typically 30-90 days).
A common form of long-term residential treatment is the therapeutic community, a self-supporting and democratically run residence that supports abstinence and recovery from alcohol use through planned lengths of stay that are often between 6-12 months.2 Members of the staff also usually reside within the community, and according to some surveys, more than half of therapeutic community staff members are in recovery.3
In contrast to residential treatment, outpatient alcohol rehab programs are designed to allow individuals to live at home while they receive treatment. This minimizes the interference to daily responsibilities involving work, school, and family.
What is an Intervention?
Some people with alcoholism are aware of the disease and the dangers it can cause. But some people with alcoholism remain convinced that the disease is not serious, or that it can be handled through willpower and strength. These people may need a conversation about addiction and its consequences before they will agree to get treatment. That conversation is known as an intervention.
Some families hold this talk informally, sitting down as a group without preparation or outside support. But some families hire outside help, so they can both understand what alcoholism is and how to persuade the person to get care. These families may incur costs as they plan.
A flat fee for an intervention may be between $2,500 and $10,000. But there are other expenses the family might be asked to pay, including costs for room and board for the person running the intervention. If the professional running the alcohol intervention is asked to transport the person to care after the talk is through, there may be more costs involved.
What is Medical Detox?
Sometimes, the damage from persistent alcohol abuse can linger long after the last drink has been ingested. Medical detox programs combine medical therapies with physical support, so people can get sober without falling ill and/or resorting to a return to alcohol use and abuse.
As part of medical detox programs, teams look for signs of complicated withdrawal, which the U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests can be characterized by:4
If and when they appear, the proper therapies are provided to alleviate the distress. Once the program is complete, the person is escorted to some form of rehab to continue the healing process.
Families choosing to pay for detox out of pocket might be expected to pay between $500-650 per day, and programs can last for several days.
How Much is Residential Care for Alcoholism?
This form of rehab is designed for people who cannot avoid the temptation to drink when they are living in the community. Many people find that temptation too difficult to avoid.
In a residential program, people move into a facility to get care for addiction, and that facility provides no access to alcohol. In a program like this, people have around-the-clock access to treatment teams that can help. To some, that can be a help that is well worth the price.
Unfortunately, the price for this kind of care can be rather high. Charges for medications, therapy, food, and housing can all add up rather quickly, making this one of the most expensive rehab options available.
Families hoping to pay out of pocket for this service can expect to pay $500-650 per day, and most programs last for weeks.
How Much is Outpatient Care for Alcoholism?
This form of treatment is designed to help people deal with an alcoholism issue while they continue to live at home and attend to their everyday duties. Someone in a program like this might get therapy for hours each week, but there may be no physical monitoring involved, and there may be no need for fees involving room and board.
These programs can seem like a bargain, as families might need to pay just $250-350 per day.
Some families mitigate this worry by using outpatient care as a last step. Once people move through residential and/or hospitalization programs, they then utilize outpatient care. This could be a good idea for people who want to keep costs down while keeping the chances of success up.
What Impacts the Cost of Rehab?
Various factors can influence the ultimate total cost of attending a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. For example, the particular behavioral health provider can impact the overall price of rehab, as well as the length of time that someone spends in their rehabilitation center. Other factors can also influence the cost of rehab, such as their level of care and whether someone attends outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation with their provider.
How to Afford Treatment
There are various ways to afford paying for treatment at your chosen rehabilitation center. One of the most common methods of affording substance abuse treatment includes health insurance. However, if you don’t have behavioral health insurance benefits, you still have plenty of other payment options. For example, you can pay for rehab through payment plans and loans. You also have the option to attend a free rehabilitation center or state-funded rehabilitation center.
Alcohol Treatment Aftercare
At the end of a formal treatment program, some people need assistance with skills associated with sobriety, and they might need continued outpatient assistance with a mental health provider. Some programs can assist with this service, but some refer people to local providers, and costs can vary dramatically.
In addition to using aftercare counseling, some people lean on support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. According to AA World Services, these groups are not run by mental health professionals, so services involving diagnosis and/or therapy are not provided. But the opportunity to discuss addiction openly, and learn from people who have worked on their alcoholism issues, could be useful for some people as they work on their addictions.
The Benefits of Care
While addiction care can be costly, the benefits can be plentiful. For example, in a study in the journal Addiction, researchers found that people who got formal care for an alcoholism issue were more likely to be sober three years later, when compared to people who attempted recovery without outside help.5 Clearly, the costs associated with care can be worth it, if they can deliver results like this. See some alcohol recovery stories from real people.
Investing in health is never wasteful. In therapy, you can tap into a team that will work to understand how your alcoholism developed, and what you will need to do with your alcoholism, so you will have yet more control in the future. With that newfound strength, you could pull together the life you always wanted. You could get that big promotion or pay off your debt. You could avoid late penalties on your bills, and you’ll save money by simply not buying alcohol. In short, your expenses could be paid back quickly, but that investment is required to get the process started. Are you inspired to change?
- Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (1940). Drinking trajectories from adolescence to the mid-forties among alcohol dependent males.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). What Are Therapeutic Communities?
- Dye, M.H., Roman, P.M., Knudsen, H.K., & Johnson, J.A. (2012). The availability of integrated care in a national sample of therapeutic communities. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 39(1), 17-27.
- Medlineplus.gov. (2021). Alcohol Withdrawal.
- Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (2006). Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders.
- Expressing empathy.
- Rolling with resistance.
- Developing self-efficacy.
- Developing discrepancy.
Most addicted individuals need at least three months in treatment to get sober and initiate a plan for continued recovery. Research shows that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Lengthier treatment programs can seem intimidating at first, but they may end up bringing you the best results.Which treatment is most effective in treating addiction? ›
According to American Addiction Centers, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a valuable treatment tool because it can be used for many different types of addiction including, but not limited to, food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction.What are the steps for treatment of addiction? ›
- behavioral counseling.
- medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training.
- evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
- long-term follow-up to prevent relapse.
Most of the studies that measured abstinence found AA was significantly better than other interventions or no intervention. In one study, it was found to be 60% more effective. None of the studies found AA to be less effective.What drug is commonly used to treat alcoholism? ›
Three medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat alcohol use disorder: acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. Acamprosate and naltrexone reduce alcohol consumption and increase abstinence rates, although the effects appear to be modest.How long does it take for brain chemistry to return to normal after alcohol? ›
It takes at least two weeks for the brain to return to normal after drinking. Therefore, this is when the alcohol recovery timeline begins. It is less able to suppress a desire to drink until the brain has recovered. The reason for this is that alcohol has harmed the brain's cognitive function.What's the shortest time you can stay in rehab? ›
A 30-day rehab program is typically the shortest length of stay available. While this may not seem like enough time to recover from an addiction, a 30-day program can be very beneficial. It provides individuals with structure and support while they detox and begin to learn how to live a sober life.What happens to your brain when you stop drinking? ›
Alcohol use overloads the brain with dopamine, while also reducing the brain's dopamine receptors in the process. When you first quit drinking, the lack of dopamine and diminished receptors can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.What medications are used to treat addiction? ›
Medications that are commonly used to treat addiction include the following:
- Naltrexone or Vivitrol.
- Buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Methadone.
- Disulfiram or Antabuse.
- Acamprosate or Campral.
Organs known to be damaged by long-term alcohol misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas.What are the 5 risks of binge drinking? ›
Binge drinking has serious risks.
Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. Sexually transmitted diseases. Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
There are four levels of addiction: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. We will discuss each level in-depth and provide tips for overcoming addiction. Most people who try drugs or engage in risky behaviors don't become addicted.What are the 5 stages of rehab? ›
- Phase 1 - Control Pain and Swelling.
- Phase 2 - Improve Range of Motion and/or Flexibility.
- Phase 3 - Improve Strength & Begin Proprioception/Balance Training.
- Phase 4 - Proprioception/Balance Training & Sport-Specific Training.
- Phase 5 - Gradual Return to Full Activity.
Teaching clients these simple rules helps them understand that recovery is not complicated or beyond their control. It is based on a few simple rules that are easy to remember: 1) change your life; 2) be completely honest; 3) ask for help; 4) practice self-care; and 5) don't bend the rules.How do you stop alcoholism? ›
- Make a plan. Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you're going to drink.
- Set a budget. Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
- Let them know. ...
- Take it a day at a time. ...
- Make it a smaller one. ...
- Have a lower-strength drink. ...
- Stay hydrated. ...
- Take a break.
- Put it in writing. ...
- Set a drinking goal. ...
- Keep a diary of your drinking. ...
- Don't keep alcohol in your house. ...
- Drink slowly. ...
- Choose alcohol-free days. ...
- Watch for peer pressure. ...
- Keep busy.
The half-life of alcohol is four to five hours. A half-life is how long it takes for your body to get rid of half of it. But you need about five half-lives to get rid of alcohol completely. So, it takes about 25 hours for your body to clear all the alcohol.What is the best antidepressant for alcoholics? ›
The antidepressants nefazodone, desipramine, and imipramine were found to have the most robust effects on decreasing depressive symptoms.Is there a pill that works like alcohol? ›
At the current time, there are no drugs that are safe alternatives to alcohol, meaning there are no drugs that provide the same intoxicating effects as alcohol that are not potential drugs of abuse.
Disulfiram works by blocking the breakdown of alcohol in the body. This leads to buildup of a toxic alcohol-related compound that can cause people who drink alcohol while taking this medication to become very sick. This reaction helps encourage people to avoid alcohol while taking the medication.Can you repair brain damage from alcohol? ›
Once brain cells die, the effect of the brain damage is permanent. Thankfully, some of the changes in the alcoholic brain are due to cells simply changing size in the brain. Once an alcoholic has stopped drinking, these cells return to their normal volume, showing that some alcohol-related brain damage is reversible.How do I know if I have brain damage from alcohol? ›
dementia-like symptoms, such as difficulties forming new memories. changes in mood or behavior. increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. changes in blood flow patterns in the brain.What is the fastest way to increase dopamine? ›
- Avoid overindulging in alcohol or recreational drug use. ...
- Maintaining a healthy diet can increase dopamine levels. ...
- Avoid junk food. ...
- Exercise regularly to increase dopamine. ...
- Spend time outside. ...
- Practice healthy sleep habits. ...
- Engage in healthy, pleasurable activities. ...
- Meditate or practice yoga.
According to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the average length of stay for inpatient rehab is 12.4 days, but this includes joint replacement, stroke, and other types of rehab.What does outpatient treatment mean? ›
What is outpatient treatment? Outpatient treatment is when you don't need to stay overnight in hospital for your treatment, but you will still attend a hospital or clinic for any diagnostic tests, treatments or therapies you need.What's the purpose of rehabilitation? ›
Put simply, rehabilitation helps a child, adult or older person to be as independent as possible in everyday activities and enables participation in education, work, recreation and meaningful life roles such as taking care of family.What does alcohol do to your face? ›
Alcohol causes your body and skin to lose fluid (dehydrate). Dry skin wrinkles more quickly and can look dull and grey. Alcohol's diuretic (water-loss) effect also causes you to lose vitamins and nutrients.What can I drink instead of alcohol? ›
- Soda and fresh lime. Proof that simple is still the best.
- Berries in iced water. This summery drink will keep you refreshed and revitalised.
- Kombucha. ...
- Virgin bloody Mary. ...
- Virgin Mojito. ...
- Half soda/half cranberry juice and muddled lime. ...
- Soda and fresh fruit. ...
- feeling sick.
- weight loss.
- loss of appetite.
- yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
- swelling in the ankles and tummy.
- confusion or drowsiness.
- vomiting blood or passing blood in your stools.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol) Naltrexone blocks receptors in the brain that produce alcohol's pleasurable effects. ...
- Acamprosate (Campral) This medication relieves emotional and physical distress caused by alcohol addiction. ...
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and misuse drugs, particularly for young people. Lack of family involvement. Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision.What are three steps you can take to stay away from drugs? ›
- Learn to Set SMART Goals. ...
- Build Habits to Stay Busy. ...
- Sweat it out. ...
- Cut out toxic relationships. ...
- Utilize support systems. ...
- Practice positive self talk. ...
- Adopt a pet. ...
- Walk away from stress.
Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, tremors, sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, restlessness, and possibly even seizures.What are signs that you are drinking too much alcohol? ›
Signs and symptoms include sweating, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, problems sleeping, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, restlessness and agitation, anxiety, and occasionally seizures. Symptoms can be severe enough to impair your ability to function at work or in social situations.What happens when you drink everyday? ›
Long-Term Health Risks. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.What is considered a heavy drinker? ›
For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.What happens during the second stage of alcoholism? ›
Middle Stage of Alcoholism
In the second of the 3 stages of alcoholism, you start to crave alcohol when you're not drinking. Your body depends on alcohol for survival, and you no longer drink for enjoyment. If you try to quit on your own, you soon develop withdrawal symptoms, including pain and discomfort.
Belarus had the world's highest level of alcohol consumption, with 17.5 liters of alcohol consumed per capita. The country's high level of consumption has had serious health consequences on its residents.What are the different types of behavioral therapy? ›
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is extremely popular. ...
- Cognitive behavioral play therapy. ...
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) ...
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
Alcoholics Anonymous, a completely anonymous program, does not offer professional counseling or inpatient rehab. Rather, it provides peer-based support to people who are experiencing an alcohol addiction. Participants in the program work through 12 steps using the 12 traditions of the program.What are the different CBT techniques? ›
- Cognitive restructuring or reframing. ...
- Guided discovery. ...
- Exposure therapy. ...
- Journaling and thought records. ...
- Activity scheduling and behavior activation. ...
- Behavioral experiments. ...
- Relaxation and stress reduction techniques. ...
- Role playing.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a type of talking therapy. It's based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but it's specially adapted for people who feel emotions very intensely. The aim of DBT is to help you: Understand and accept your difficult feelings.What are 5 types of behaviors? ›
- Molecular and Moral Behavior. Molecular Behavior: It is an unexpected behavior that occurs without thinking. ...
- Overt & Covert Behavior. Overt Behavior: It is a visible type of behavior that can occur outside of human beings. ...
- Voluntary and Involuntary Behavior.
Behavioral therapy can be utilized to treat a wide range of psychological conditions and disorders, including: Bipolar disorder5. Alcohol and substance use disorders. Anxiety.What do they do in behavioral therapy? ›
During the therapy sessions, parents learn how to carefully observe their children's behaviors at home and are taught skills to reward their children's positive behaviors by using praise, positive attention, and rewards. They are also taught to use rule-setting, time-out, and ignoring to discourage bad behaviors.What is the actual success rate of AA? ›
Addiction specialists cite success rates slightly higher, between 8% and 12%. A New York Times article stated that AA claims that up to 75% of its members stay abstinent. Alcoholics Anonymous' Big Book touts about a 50% success rate, stating that another 25% remain sober after some relapses.How does AA define an alcoholic? ›
In general, an alcoholic is someone who suffers from alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous defines this as “a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession to consume alcohol,”in which cravings for alcohol are always catered to, even at times when they should not be.Does Alcoholics Anonymous work because it's a form of cognitive behavioral therapy? ›
The truth is, however, that AA probably works because it shares many things with CBT such as thinking differently, acting differently, and actually taking personal responsibility for one's decisions.Can I do cognitive behavioral therapy on my own? ›
Many studies have found that self-directed CBT can be very effective. Two reviews that each included over 30 studies (see references below) found that self-help treatment significantly reduced both anxiety and depression, especially when the treatments used CBT techniques.
- Do some personal “homework” before your first session. ...
- Talk to the people in your life about your upcoming appointment. ...
- Go into your first sessions with an open mind—but also allow yourself to be honest about whether it feels like a good fit.
In some cases cognitive behavior therapy stresses the therapy technique over the relationship between therapist and patient. If you are an individual who is sensitive, emotional, and desires rapport with your therapist, CBT may not deliver in some cases.How long does DBT therapy take? ›
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) usually takes at least six months to a year. However, each person is unique, and mental health conditions are complex. You shouldn't expect to be completely free of symptoms or no longer have problematic behaviors after one year of DBT.Can DBT be harmful? ›
Cons of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in DID Treatment
DBT aims to treat the whole person as an individual, and does not include treatment of multiples. This can be harmful, as the lack of acknowledgment can feel invalidating for both the host and other parts in the system.
Pros – Immediate relief, intense sensation that makes me forget emotional pain, and feeling of control. Cons – Scarring, infection, having to hide the wounded parts of my body, and having people ask questions about my wounds.