Drug and alcohol rehab with no insurance

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It is possible to get addiction treatment with no insurance. Treatment centres accept financing options; for instance, you can self-pay for treatment or seek grants or scholarships.  

The cost of medical detox can be around £2,000 [1]. Of course, the price you pay varies with each rehab centre. You may pay about £1,500 per week for inpatient rehab or £6,000 for a typical 28-day programme. 

The price of outpatient programmes also varies depending on the facility, it can cost about £1,000 a week [2]. 

Most people are concerned about attending drug rehab without insurance because of the high costs.  

Not everyone can make out-of-pocket payments. The growing unemployment rate means that many people lack an active insurance policy.

Problems that may result from the addiction, for instance, bankruptcy, job loss, or criminal conviction, make it difficult for people to access rehab treatment with insurance. 

But there are ways to cover rehab costs. You can combine different strategies to pay for drug treatment. 

Most alcoholic treatment services have an admissions team who can help you discover the best treatment options depending on your budget. 

How to get Help for Addiction without Insurance 

People seeking addiction treatment without insurance can get help from public rehab programmes and detox addiction treatment programmes.

These rehab treatment centers are government-funded to support people seeking addiction treatment. 

The centres offer various treatment options, from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and follow-up support. 

SAMHSA reports that the money to fund the centres comes from various sources.

Some of the funds are from Federal grants [2]. The issue for those seeking substance abuse treatment is that the amount and type of community support vary depending on the location.

Furthermore, different areas have different requirements for qualification. 

You can find a centre near you by checking out the Directory of Single State Agencies for Substance Abuse Services.

There's also the national addiction treatment rehabilitation directory that offers a listing of over 700 drug rehab facilities. 

Those who wish to enrol in a public substance abuse programmes will be asked to provide the following [3]: 

  • Proof of residence 
  • Proof of income status 
  • Proof of legal residence. 
  • Personal information on addiction history (e.g., duration, severity) 

Treatment can be provided once you deliver this information and the need for addiction treatment is verified.

The only disadvantage with this option is that there are long waiting lists as many people want to get into these programmes.

In addition, certain groups of people may be given high priority, for instance, pregnant women. 

The long waiting period may deter people from seeking drug addiction treatment.

However, the National Institute of Drug Abuse notes that people are more likely to seek treatment when readily available [4]. 

When faced with the challenge of seeking rehab for alcohol addiction without insurance coverage, exploring available grants for alcohol rehab becomes crucial.

Many individuals may find themselves in this situation, unsure of where to turn for help. 

However, it's important to note that there are grants specifically designed to provide financial assistance for alcohol rehabilitation programmes. 

NHS Rehab  

NHS rehabs are the main option for those in need of drug or alcohol rehab but have no insurance.

Mostly, the NHS offers outpatient services and treats substance abuse in a community setting. You can also get funding for inpatient treatment but it's very difficult and you'll have to wait for months.  

The NHS understands that anyone who struggles with addiction has a right to rehab without insurance.

The official NHS website on drug addiction getting help states "If you need treatment for drug addiction, you’re entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else who has a health problem." [5].  

The issue, however, is that public funding for residential rehab has been significantly cut. As a result, only a few number of people can access treatment. The process for getting NHS treatment involves: 

a). Go to a GP or social worker and ask for assistance  

The GP or social worker will conduct an assessment to determine the best treatment option. Next, they'll assign you to a drug and alcohol team (DAAT) to follow up on your case and assign you community treatment.

Only after you've tried community treatments will they consider inpatient care.  

In the UK, every district and city council has a team of addiction experts who work under the council's social work department. Each council has a different way of managing their drug and alcohol team.

Although they have different policies on residential rehab, they all work with the NHS to offer treatment services.  

Local addiction treatment services by the NHS offer residential rehab as a last resort. This is because of the limited budget. Generally, for you to be considered you need to: 

a). Keep good records  

You should keep a printed copy of every appointment, meeting, assessment, correspondence and every relevant document.

The reason for this is because the decision about public funding for substance abuse treatment will be carried out by different experts.

What they will do is examine the individual's case history to see whether it includes any relevant notes that will help their case.  

You should purpose to keep a copy of all activities including notes of individual therapy sessions. Handwritten notes would work, for instance, records of phone calls to a treatment provider.

Also, letters from the different authorities involved could help the individual tell their story.  

b). Get referred into the system  

With NHS, the patient without health insurance must be referred into the system. What this means is that the person is referred to a local council addiction experts who will handle their case.  

The individual struggling with the addiction may be referred to by:  

  • A GP  
  • A social worker  
  • A hospital or other institution  
  • Self-referral (a person may refer themselves) 

Initial referral may take longer than expected as it's difficult to get hold of the local authorities.  

c). Follow the recommendations of the local addiction expert.  

Your local addiction expert will open a file to write down your case. They will take into consideration your drug use history, criminal activity, housing situation, family situation or social circumstance.  

The local addiction expert, or as they are popularly called the key worker, will recommend a treatment facility where you can get detox and therapy.  

You can find out what is available in your area by checking out your local council's website. Search online using the name of your local council plus the phrase "addiction services."  

For you to be accepted for residential rehab, you need to prove: 

  • That you've respected your GP's recommendations and followed all their treatments  
  • Show sustained commitment, discipline, and determination to get sober  
  • That all locally available drug and alcohol rehab have proven to be ineffective-despite the best efforts on the part of the individual.  

In most cases, your GP or the local addiction expert would recommend local 12 steps programmes.

Twelve steps groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous are free and offer a treatment programmes for overcoming substance abuse.  

Before residential rehab is considered, the individual must show that:

  • They've tried all community-based treatments, including detox without success  
  • Proof of a desire to change  
  • A proven willingness to engage in detox and other locally provided treatment options before enrolling into residential rehab.  
  • The GP or key worker considers that the individual is capable of achieving abstinence.  

If all the steps above are taken, the key worker will apply for funding for residential rehab.  

Inpatient Alcohol Treatment with no Insurance 

Inpatient alcohol treatment with no insurance is possible as there are various financing options to choose from. There are many ways to afford treatment, and they include: 

Loans and credit 

Some financial institutions specialize in providing loans or credit for inpatient programmes. Healthcare loans generally have a low-interest rate and can cover the full cost of your alcohol addiction treatment. 

Medical loans are an expensive way to cover for treatment. Also, you must have an excellent credit score to qualify for the lowest rates offered by lenders. 

Some of the companies that provide medical loans include: 

Norton finance: The loans are available as secured or unsecured borrowing. The company's website states that they can give you a medical loan regardless of your credit history [6].  

Freedom finance: Freedom finance lets you borrow as much as £25,000. However, how much you get depends on your personal circumstances [7].  

Nuffield Health: Nuffield offers a flexible payment option for their loans [8].  

If you don't qualify for a medical loan or a personal loan, you can request a family member to take one on your behalf.  

Corporate funding arrangements  

Since alcohol addiction is a leading cause of unproductivity in the workplace, some employers may be willing to facilitate treatment solutions for their employees.

Funding may be agreed directly from your employer or through a private medical insurer.  

Also, you can check if your employer's group health insurance covers addiction treatment. There are instances where the cover partially pays for treatment.  


There are rehab scholarships out there that can help you get alcohol addiction treatment without insurance.

 Some of the options available include: 

  • 10,000 beds scholarship programme. A non-profit organization that provides scholarships to cover inpatient treatment at selected centres. You can apply on their website [12]. 
  • Sobriety Optimization League. A foundation that helps those without health insurance coverage get the care they need. You can apply online [13]. 

You can seek scholarships on sites such as help.com or Grantwatch.com. 


Fundraising is another option if you have no health insurance and have a poor credit score. You can take advantage of social media to raise funds.

Alternatively, you can create a campaign to raise money on crowdfunding sites such as: 

  • GoFundMe 
  • YouCaring 
  • CrowdRise 

Payment Plans 

Many treatment centres are open to a flexible payment option. For example, you can find a treatment facility that allows you to pay a sliding fee. Others accept monthly payments. 

People who need treatment urgently can get treatment first and pay later. Immediate treatment gets them in the door and gives family members time to gather the right funds.

The facility can retain the client's financial information to deduct the prearranged amount directly from the client's bank after a set period of time. 

The client can agree with the facility on the exact amount to be deducted through a repayment plan crafted to fit the client's budget after treatment has been completed. 

Most facilities can give the patient a grace period of up to 6 months after treatment. This is because the client looks for a job and starts saving up to pay for rehab.

Still, you should watch out for interest and only go for this treatment option if you can afford to make the payments later. 

Don't shy away from asking as most treatment facilities are flexible. 

Personal savings

Alcohol addiction is a costly habit. Therefore, although the option to use your savings may sound unattractive, it may be a viable option when you consider all the funds you lose by drinking.

You're better off using your savings to pay for treatment and working post-treatment to rebuild those savings.  

Rehab Programmes Through Hospitals, Clinics, and Community Health Facilities 

Hospitals, clinics, and community health rehab programmes offer options for those seeking treatment with no insurance.

Drug rehab centres tend to offer more treatment options than rehab hospitals. They also offer more amenities and specialized care. 

Rehab hospitals, clinics, and community facilities are mostly behavioural treatment facilities.  

They render substance abuse education, counselling, and behavioural therapy. These programmes are a good option for people concerned with the cost of treatment. 

Hospital rehabs have different levels of care that may include: 

  • Inpatient rehab programmes 
  • Partial Hospitalization Programmes 
  • Outpatient rehab programmes 
  • Intensive outpatient care 

Most of these programmes are short-term, lasting about 30 days to several months.

In addition, some hospitals and clinics offer detox prior to treatment as a standalone programmes. Others have residential programmes in place. 

Outpatient Alcohol Treatment with no Insurance 

Outpatient alcohol treatment with no insurance can be accessed through support groups, faith-based centres, and NHS or locally funded programmes. 

Support groups that offer outpatient care include: 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous 
  • Al-anon 
  • Narcotics anonymous 
  • Celebrate recovery 
  • SMART Recovery 
  • Women for sobriety 
  • Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, And Significant Others (JACS) 

Faith-based centres such as the Salvation Army's treatment centres, Catholic Charities, and other faith-based facilities also offer free to low-cost options. 

Outpatient programmes are popular because people get to go for treatment while at the same time taking part in their daily responsibilities like school or family obligations.  

Although each outpatient programme is different, their services generally involve detox, alcohol counselling sessions, different types of therapies, and support groups. 

Outpatient is less intensive; therefore, it's better recommended for those with a severe drinking problem. Many of these programmes involve daily meetings for a few hours. 

The three most common types of outpatient care include: 

  • Day treatment. It's one of the most intensive outpatient care programmes. Typically, patients take part in full or half-day programmes five to seven days a week. The treatment programmes are more structured and include medically assisted detox, counselling, and therapy. At the end of the session, the patient gets to go home and be with their loved ones. 
  • Intensive outpatient. This option is more flexible than day treatment. It includes meetings times during the day or evening which is convenient for those with other responsibilities. The meetings are frequent at the onset but may decline as the patient achieves their recovery goals. 
  • Continuing care groups. Continuing care groups are the final step in recovery. These help individuals maintain sobriety and provide a place to discuss the challenges as well as accomplishments. Most of the meetings take place once a week for an hour or two. 

Outpatient is cheaper than inpatient. Yet, it may not suit your treatment needs. Remember that numerous studies show inpatient treatment is more effective.

Still, if you're looking for outpatient care, your first step is to list down your priorities.  

What do you want during treatment? This could include the type of amenities, therapies, and activities.

Once you compile a list, you can look for the treatment centre that meets your needs. 

Some facilities offer financial assistance and sliding payment scales to help cover the initial costs. 

How to get into Alcohol Rehab without Insurance?

Alcohol rehabilitation is critical in sobriety, and equally expensive. So what do you do when you cannot afford the cost of rehab, and your life is at the mercy of alcoholism, the fourth most common cause of preventable death?

The best option is for you to learn how to get into alcohol rehab without insurance. 

For example, state or local government programmes offer free rehab programmes to people who cannot afford them. 

Similarly, you can also take advantage of non-profit rehab facilities or faith-based inpatient centres if you are a non-secular person in need of rehab.

You can explore the different payment options discussed here. 

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?

Health insurance covers treatment either fully or partially, depending on the type of insurance coverage. Your insurance provider will look at various factors when it comes to paying for drug and alcohol treatment.  For instance, some insurance plans may cover only in-state treatment. 

Therefore, you need to consult your carrier to ask how does insurance covers alcohol rehab when you’re choosing the rehab programme to enrol in.

You may discover that you’re entitled to even more benefits when you consult your insurance carrier. 

For example, while some insurance covers only inpatient care and detox, others may include the cost of outpatient care, co-occurring mental health conditions and after-care counselling. 

Insurance is a popular way to pay for treatment. The American Addiction Centres is in-network with many insurance companies.  

This means that they've made agreements with several insurance companies to offer care for lower rates than other providers.

As such, members with specific insurance plans are liable for discounted rates. 

Most treatment centres have an insurance specialist on staff to help you understand the specifics of your policy.

Alternatively, you can contact your insurance provider directly to learn the specifics of your insurance coverage. 

Final Remarks 

Most addicts and their families find addiction treatment as an immediate financial burden. However, it doesn't have to be, as there are various ways to cover treatment.  

For example, many facilities offer flexible payment options depending on what's comfortable for you. Alternatively, you can take a medical loan or use credit to pay for treatment.  

Although most people find treatment to be expensive, the cost of failing to go for treatment is higher. 

Attending a rehab centre increases your chance of achieving long-term sobriety.

Whether you're looking for inpatient drug rehab or standard outpatient treatment, you can get it by attending state-funded rehab options.  

NHS rehab centres also offer treatment at affordable rates, and there are free options from groups such as aa, faith-based centres, and community health programmes.

You can reach out to your preferred substance abuse agency to discover what options are available for you. 

About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: November 8, 2023