How To Get Into Alcohol Rehab Without Insurance

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If you do not have insurance you could go to rehab by privately funding your treatment, using your own money, or money from family and friends. You could raise money via crowdfunding, apply for a rehab grant, approach charities and the NHS. A good rehab clinic will help you with payment plans and options. 

Alcohol rehabilitation clinics covered by health insurance policies have the highest success rates, but not everyone can afford private alcohol rehabilitation treatment. 

What should one know about free rehab clinics?

In the UK, free rehab clinics are offered through NHS, and it is essential to know what you should expect with this addiction treatment option:

A long wait

The nature of free programmes is that they are attractive to many people, and for this reason, they tend to have a very long waiting list.

Unfortunately, time is of the essence of alcohol treatment, and a waiting list only makes things get worse with time.

The government does not provide enough personnel or funding for this addiction treatment option, hence the delay.

However, the number of people desperate for help keeps rising by the day, and the NHS addiction treatment services cannot help them all at the same time.

Additionally, these government-funded private residential clinics are hard to come by.

It was much easier to get into such programmes in the past, but money to run them ran out. So nowadays, when seeking free substance abuse treatment facilities, you will most likely get referred to community-based programmes instead.

A significant role to play

With free clinics, you will have a much bigger role to play. This is the role of taking complete responsibility for your substance abuse treatment throughout the process.

It will start with you contacting the clinic for the initial assessment.

When the addiction treatment program rolls out, you must commit to it every day and honour all the appointments.

There are no exceptions to this rule, and unlike paid treatment programmes, free clinics do not have control over you for 24 hours a day.

You are allowed to go home at the end of each session, which means that the responsibility of ensuring that you do not relapse falls on you.

The next thing is that you must do everything that you are asked to do. Whether private or free, no inpatient rehab programme can help you break the addiction unless you are willing to put your best foot forward.

In this particular one, you must take full responsibility for your treatment to conquer your problems, and until you come to grips with the depths of the addiction, it will be hard to succeed with the treatment.

A lot of hard work

Free rehab treatment entails plenty of hard work. These government mental health services administration programmes typically come with lots of paperwork to be filled in and plenty of interviews for you to attend.

If you do not jump through the many government hoops, the officials may see it as a lack of commitment on your part, and they may withdraw you from the programme in favour of someone else on the waiting list.

Can I enrol in a community-based service?

Yes. Many community-based and mental health services administration programmes are available to people dealing with alcohol and drug addiction and cannot afford private in-patient care.

It should be noted that they do outstanding work on behalf of those in need. If you are looking for free substance abuse services as you wait for the NHS clinic to free up, then these can be the best options.

They include the following:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Alateen (Al-Anon for teenagers)

These groups offer various services, such as group support, fellowship meetings, organized activities, and group counselling.

These can help you learn how to manage your addiction and some vital life skills.

The group support offered by these organizations is invaluable during the waiting and after you have undergone the NHS treatment.

What about drug and alcohol charities?

One may find themselves in a position where they ultimately cannot afford private treatment, and neither can they wait for the free NHS clinics. In this case, the other option is drug and alcohol charities.

Usually, there are several organizations, both secular as well as religious, that offer rehab services for free to addicts.

They operate as generous gifts from corporate grants and individual donors. From time to time, they will receive some government funding.

The main advantage of these charities is that they offer the same services as private clinics.

This features residential in-patient treatments, and all the services they offer usually are free – no questions asked.

There are, however, some downsides to this programme; the charity programmes are limited to a specific number of patients seeking addiction treatment.

So, again they cannot handle all of the cases they receive.

They can only operate according to how much funding they receive. If they do not have enough donations in a specific year, they cannot provide any help.

So, is it better to pay for treatment?

It is always better to pay and enrol in an alcoholic rehabilitation centre. Of course, this would mean leaving some families struggling financially as a result, but this has the highest levels of success.

Some people usually take out overdrafts and loans to pay for drug or alcohol rehab. You may wonder whether this is wise at all.

If paying for rehab will eventually leave you in debt, is it worth paying for it? Shouldn't you wait for the free rehab?

You need to evaluate the adverse consequences of not getting treatment, not just any treatment, the proper treatment.

As such, most families are usually ready to pay what needs to be paid for their loved ones to receive treatment.


What are the benefits of paying for alcohol treatment?

A safe and supportive environment

This is one of the benefits of rehabilitation. The patient is in a safe and supportive environment around people who understand them and their struggles.

When you are an addict, access to peer support is necessary to maintain your sobriety in the long term.

A stability, structure, and routine

When you develop alcohol and drug addiction, you need to establish some structure and routine in your life to start dealing with it.

This is one of the keys to replacing the self-destructiveness of alcohol abuse and dependency.

The structure protects the patients  seeking addiction treatment and prevents them from falling back into negative and old habits.

Days filled with a routine including chores, regular meals, and a regulated mealtime will provide the structure with the addict needs.

Access to multiple therapies and treatments

When one is recovering from an addiction, one needs to have both physical and psychological therapy.

Different people need different treatments, and it is essential to know the different therapy options available out there.

This helps the individual know what is best for them.

Around the clock support

Clinics offering in-patient rehab provide 24/7 clinical and medical support. This is vital in preventing the patient from relapsing at any time.

Withdrawal from alcohol is sometimes painful, uncomfortable, and dangerous, and this patient certainly needs a lot of care.

Monitored treatment and enforced abstinence

When one enters a rehab without health insurance clinic, they are looking for help to overcome their drug or alcohol addiction.

As such, the alcohol rehab without insurance treatment centres have professionals who enforce abstinence and ensure monitoring of the treatment.

You cannot leave the drug  addiction rehab to find alcohol.

New habits and goal setting

Drug or alcohol addiction goes hand-in-hand with poor decision-making about your physical, mental health and a lack of discipline.

Inpatient treatment programs offer the addict an opportunity to build new habits and develop new goals they can work towards.

The building of new habits seems almost impossible initially, but according to researchers, it takes around 66 days for one to learn a new practice and stick to it.

This is the reason why drug rehab without insurance clinics are crucial for recovering addicts. They enable them to find time and space for instituting new ways of living their lives.

Physical health programmes

Most addicts tend to be malnourished as they do not take care of their physical health.

Alcohol rehab without insurance coverage clinics are aware of this, and they tend to have in-patient treatment providers to help the addicts with nutrition and exercise programmes.

Alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of physical and mental disorders, and this is why drug rehab without health insurance  coverage treatment centres need to have this kind of programme.

Continued support

The benefits of drug rehab without insurance coverage stretch beyond the treatment period. When the patients are released from rehab, they are not just thrown into the world to take care of themselves.

Instead, they are provided with on-going aftercare comprising support groups and programmes that help them integrate back into society and implement what they learned in the drug or alcohol treatment facility.

How much does rehab treatment cost?

How much a rehab treatment costs will depending on the drug treatment provider, and if you require immediate help, you might have to accrue immediate financial burden emanating from the substance abuse treatment.  

It varies from one  drug rehab without insurance clinic to the next, but, generally, a 28-day treatment programme costs between £6,950 and £11,950.

Some treatment costs are even more depending on the luxury level and reputation of the clinic.

At the same time, not all treatment facilities support private insurance providers. Mental health treatment, drug addiction treatment or rendering medical advice can lead to additional charges. 

In short, the amount you pay for the treatment depends on the clinic you choose and the length of the programme.

How long is inpatient drug rehab for alcoholics?

How long inpatient rehab last will depend on the severity of the addiction and substance abused.  Most behavioral treatment facilities, however, offer a standard 30-day programme. 

Although, some people would benefit from more extended programmes of around 60 – 90 days and even longer outpatient treatment programs for further developing and maintaining a steady path for recovery.

While determining the right amount of time an addict can stay in the drug rehab clinic, there are a few specific issues to consider, such as:

  • Does the patient have a co-occurring condition?
  • Does the patient have any medical emergency or conditions?
  • Does the patient suffer from mental disorders?
  • Does the patient suffer from behavioural health conditions?
  • Does the patient have any previous treatment experiences?
  • Does the patient have any mental, physical, emotional, social or cultural, and spiritual needs?

The history of the addict and the severity of the addiction are used to determine the length of stay in the substance misuse treatment center.

According to research, however, most people battling substance abuse will need at least three months of drug rehab without insurance to reduce or stop their alcohol dependence.

The longer the treatment period, the better the outcome.

This is because the longer programmes afford them the opportunity to entirely focus on the root cause of the problem and the reason behind the addiction.


With drug or alcohol addiction, there isn't an outright cure, and the process can be complex. What needs to be done is to manage the drug  and substance abuse addiction effectively.

Regardless of what kind of treatment one receives or how long and intensive it is, recovery does not happen when one completes the drug and substance abuse rehab without insurance programme.

Recovery from substance abuse is an on-going process, even a life-long one.

Managing one’s addiction requires a lot of hard work on a personal level to navigate through life without the need to get high all the time.

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

Last Updated: January 31, 2022

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.