Does Affordable Drug Treatment Really Exist?
Does affordable drug treatment really exist? Yes. There are facilities that do provide affordable treatment to patients. Often, these facilities are government run. As stated by the NIDA, “Because drug abuse and addiction are major public health problems, a large portion of drug treatment is funded by local, State, and Federal governments.” This is where most of the affordable treatment comes from, though not all of it.
How Many Facilities Are Actually Affordable?
Based on the N-SSATS report, SAMHSA breaks down the amounts of the different costs for drug treatment centers (including inpatient and outpatient). They are as follows:
- 23.7% of facilities are not free without a sliding fee scale (the most expensive type of facility)
- 24.0% of facilities are not free with a sliding fee scale
- 10.5% of facilities are partially free without a sliding fee scale
- 37.8% of facilities are partially free with a sliding free scale
- 4.0% of facilities are all free
As you can see, there aren’t many facilities that are completely free to patients. Although the hope is that more of these facilities will be created over time, there are still many lower cost options for those who need them. In fact, there are more facilities which are partially free with a sliding fee scale than any other type of facility.
How Do I Find These Facilities?
Finding these facilities can be tricky, but they do exist. One way is to search an Internet database of facilities near you. Or you can even use SAMHSA‘s treatment locator, which lists facilities nearby and breaks them down based on all manner of criteria, including price and whether or not they work on a sliding fee scale.
Other ways to find these types of facilities are:
- Getting your friends and family involved in the process
- Discussing your needs with your doctor
- Visiting a free clinic and talking with the doctors and nurses there
- Calling your local or state government and asking about local, government run rehab facilities in your area
What Do These Facilities Generally Cover?
These facilities often cover as many treatment options and needs as those which cost much more. Although private rehab facilities sometimes offer amenities like a gourmet menu, private, hotel-like rooms, swimming pools, and relaxing spas, these are not necessary to help you get through your addiction. Sure, they can make the experience much more relaxing, but if you cannot afford them, don’t worry. Low-cost treatment facilities usually cover the basic needs of the patient, including:
- Medically-assisted detox and medication treatment (if necessary)
- Therapy, counseling, and group
- Friendly and caring doctors and nurses
- A treatment plan that fits your specific needs as an individual
Is It Getting Better?
Sometimes, patients are able to receive treatment that lasts only a short while based on their insurance. According to the NIDA, “Unfortunately, managed care has resulted in shorter average stays, while a historical lack of or insufficient coverage for substance abuse treatment has curtailed the number of operational programs.”
With health care reform, there have been some changes that are attempting to make it easier for patients to find affordable, long-term treatment, but there are facilities, physicians, and other possibilities available to patients which allow affordable care.