Drug And Alcohol Rehab With No Insurance

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Accessing drug and alcohol rehab with no insurance can be achieved via the NHS or local community funding, crowdfunding, or grants from charities [1]. 

drugandalcoholrehabwithnoinsurance abbeycare

How To Access Rehab Without Insurance

  • NHS/ADP teams - free treatment accessed in the community
  • Sliding scale plans - rehabs that charge based on income or financial situation
  • Religious-based rehabs - religious charities offering inpatient rehab, counselling and aftercare
  • Community-based programmes - outpatient care from the NHS or mutual aid
  • Government-based initiatives for treatment - the government has allocated £421 million to drug and alcohol services [2]
  • Crowdfunding - asking for money through online sites such as GoFundMe
  • Scholarships - Funding from a charity or private company to pay for treatment
  • Community fundraising - asking for donations or raising money through events in the community
  • Grants - non-repayable and accessed through NHS or charities
drugandalcoholrehabwithnoinsurance abbeycare

Creative Methods For Self-Funding Rehab

Crowd Funding

Crowdfunding means asking for small amounts of money from multiple private individuals, usually online using a site such as GoFundMe.

This may be beneficial for those who do not have, or do not wish to ask family or friends for money.


Scholarships are funding from a charity or private organisation to pay for addiction treatment, and are available if the provider believes:

  • The candidate is a good prospect for addiction treatment - demonstrating a commitment to the recovery process (usually applies to charities or government-funded treatment)
  • The candidate will be beneficial to study/work with the provider of the scholarship after treatment (applies to private funding)

Community Fundraising

Community fundraising includes asking friends, family, club, association, or other members of the community to raise money for rehab costs.

Raising money can be achieved by asking for donations, sponsorships, or through fundraising events.


Grants are non-repayable and are accessed through charities, the NHS, private rehabs and companies.

Examples of providers offering grants include:

  • The National Lottery Community Fund - a charity or the community can apply for funding on behalf of the alcoholic [3]
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation - a registered charity must apply for funding on behalf of the alcoholic [4]

Accessing Rehab Without Insurance In Specific Circumstances

Reasons For Seeking
Rehab Without Insurance

Solution That Enables
Access To Rehab

Treatment Provider For

Disallowed insurance due to multiple previous treatments/exceeding annual treatment allowance

Directly paying for treatment

Private rehab

Disallowed due to
(i) chronic pain; or
(ii) untreated schizophrenia

Resolution of untreated
issues before accessing

NHS or private treatment

History of chronic relapses

Therapy that resolves underlying issues


Concerns for privacy/confidentiality

Ask rehab admissions team for further options

Private rehab

Enabling/co-dependency issues

Attending rehab away from the local area and making new social connections

Private, NHS or charity-funded rehab

Concerns about child custody

Pooling financial assistance from friends and family

Private rehab

Wanting a greater choice of providers, assessors or treatment plan

Researching reputable
rehabs via government
directories such as rehab
online [5]

Government, charity or 3rd sector rehab

Denial or shame about alcoholism

Outpatient support groups

Insurance policy has lapsed

Crowdfunding or family funding

Private rehab

Accessing Part Of A Rehab Programme Without Insurance

Based on our firsthand experience at Abbeycare, health insurance providers often only consider the detox elements of treatment as eligible to be paid through insurance.

This reduces access to addiction treatment when an alcoholic wants to admit to the full rehab programme, but the insurer will only subsidise the detox elements of care.

A possible solution to this is that the insurance providers pay for the cost of the detox elements of treatment, whilst the alcoholic pays for the remaining rehabilitation, therapeutic and aftercare elements of the full rehab programme via other means.

Primary vs Secondary Care Without Insurance

Most insurers will only pay for primary care rehabilitation (a traditional rehab programme) at the point of crisis, and will not pay for secondary care (aftercare).

As patients may discover that they require secondary care after being admitted to a primary care setting, using the funded detox and then paying personally for secondary care needs may be necessary.

Does Accessing Rehab Without Insurance Compromise Programme Quality?

Whether or not a patient has secured funding indirectly or through the creative methods mentioned above does not affect the quality of care from a rehab programme. 

However, quality of care may change based on whether accessing treatment without insurance has meant that the nature of the treatment has had to be changed. 


Reasons For Seeking Rehab Without Insurance


Care planning

Wanting a greater choice of providers, assessors or treatment plan

Care plan restricted to one
provider’s programme only
via insurance


Disallowed treatment via insurance due to multiple treatments or exceeding annual treatment allowance

Accessing detox via the
community, then accessing
the remainder of the
programme in a clinic,
reduces continuity of care


Concerns about child custody

Restricted communication
with third-party health and
social care partners during


Concerns about confidentiality/privacy

Inability to access group
therapy means slower
progress and fewer positive social connections


Resolving enabling or co-dependency

Not able to access local


Denial or shame about addiction

Not engaging in treatment

What Accessing Rehab Without Insurance Does NOT Replace

Accessing rehab through insurance provides access to psychiatric assessment for the purpose of admission, taking into account any:

  • Co-occurring addictions
  • Physical health concerns
  • Psychiatric conditions

The psychiatric assessment is only used for admission purposes, and no other aspects of rehab treatment differ between insured and non-insured patients.



Alcoholics Anonymous

Call 0800 9177650

Contact via email at help@aamail.org

Find a local meeting via alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk [6]

Salvation Army

Call (020) 73674500

Contact via email at info@salvationarmy.org.uk

Find a local Salvation Army at salvationarmy.org.uk/map-page [7]

Betel UK

Call 01215940650

Contact via email at info@betel.co.uk

Find a local Betel UK centre at betel.uk/contact-us/ [8]

Crowd Funding Websites

Justgiving.com [9]

Gofundme [10]

Crowdfunder UK [11]

Kickstarter [12]

Grants And Scholarships

The Henry Smith Charity [13]

The National Lottery Community Fund [14]

The Garfield Weston Foundation [15]

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

About the author

Harriet Garfoot

Harriet Garfoot BA, MA has an Undergraduate degree in Education Studies and English, and a Master's degree in English Literature, from Bishop Grosseteste University. Harriet writes on stress & mental health, and is a member of the Burney Society. Content reviewed by Laura Morris (Clinical Lead).

Last Updated: March 24, 2024