Low Cost or Free Treatment Options

low cost or free treatment optionsLow Cost Options vs. Private Treatment

Basically the fundamentals of recovery are the same no matter where you are: abstinence, education, immersion in recovery principles,  group counseling, relapse prevention and aftercare. Similarities may end there, though, and treatment models are not one size fits all. state/county-funded centers often have a sliding scale fee for those who have no insurance, and/or may accept Medicare, Medicaid and other plans for the disabled and indigent. There are also low cost or free treatment options available through churches and community programs or charities such as the Salvation Army. So what are the differences?

It’s all about the Funding

Low Cost or Free Treatment Options would be ideal but like the difference between a Cadillac or a Volkswagen, you get what you pay for.  Government funding is often bare bones and leaves little for extras so the low cost or free treatment options aren’t as abundant. Churches and charities are funded by donations  and again, food and shelter expenses tend to eat up the budget. At a Private Residential Treatment Center, for example, you can expect one-on-one therapy with a quality psychotherapist,  along with  group counseling, diet and exercise education, and family therapy followed by continued individualized aftercare counseling.Read more:

Bare bones treatment, on the other hand, can mean no therapist on board so clients need to make use of peer mentoring. If there is any counseling at all, it’s often limited to 15 minute sessions a few days a week. That’s not much help if you’re facing a mountain of emotional baggage and financial devastation. Problems with family and work? Good luck – you get some background info and instructions to attend AA meetings. Let’s hope you find a sponsor who knows about family issues or you’re on your own.   Another crucial difference is the length of stay. A good, solid foundation ideally happens in 28 days or more. Government funding says too bad, you’d better get it in 10 days. If you are fortunate to have an option that includes outpatient treatment for another 10 days, then you are one of the lucky ones. If you’re used to using on a daily basis, 10 days away from your dealer may not be enough time. And he’s lives right on the way to the treatment center! It can be done if one has a strong desire to get sobered up, but it can be a tough call if you’re dually diagnosed (have mental health issues as well as addiction) or have little outside support. Traveling a distance from home effectively removes that obstacle. Finally breaking through that denial, hard as it is, usually means getting into a rehab ASAP, since that decision may be tenuous at best. Low cost or free options may mean there’s a waiting list – giving one plenty of time to give up that resolve in the meantime.

A major difference can be how much time is devoted to recovery as opposed to what’s required to keep the center open. Salvation Army, for example, will treat addicts and help them get off to a good start, but in order to keep up and running, clients will go on to work for them in some capacity, then money is held back (after food and shelter expenses are deducted) so the client will have something to start with when completely on their own,.  Don’t expect posh accommodations, either, or a much of a job, but many of the clients who are just out of prison or homeless are grateful for that much. Church based-treatments often lack structure and have little or no counseling – they may simply require you to read the Bible and attend church in return for the help. Good news if you only want to snake through and get it over with, not so good if you’re serious about recovery. If church hasn’t been much help in conquering your addiction in the past, it probably won’t be of much help now, either. If we could get clean without rehab, we wouldn’t need to go! Again, some treatment is better than none.

State Funded Treatment

There are four basic examples of the types of people who need to find low cost or free treatment options. Those who have no money, those whose family members will no longer pay, and those who simply don’t want to pay  – maybe they’re fulfilling an obligation and don’t care much about recovery. Whether rehab is court ordered or based on need, there are options. No one should let financial reasons prevent them from getting help. 

Here are some of the most common types of situations where someone is looking for state funded treatment options:

  • Paul suffered a most dismal consequence from his last D.U.I. – jail. It’s finally enough; he’s had it and sincerely wants to change his life. Plus, as a condition of his release, he needs to attend a treatment center. He’s burned through any assets long ago, and his lawyer has taken his last dime and wants continued payments for the next three years. Not only are his cash coffers barren, insurance is a far away dream – he’s been barely employed for years.
  •  Cheryl’s methamphetamine addiction has left her sleeping on friend’s couches and she’s going to try treatment for the fifth time. Her parents have paid thousands to try and help her, but so far, nothing has worked. They’ve washed their hands of the situation. No more money for rehab, since time and time again it’s been of little or no help. Cheryl knows she’s ready this time, but how can she do it?
  • Brian needs treatment but doesn’t really want treatment.  External factors are motivating him to go.  In order to keep his job, keep his girlfriend, keep his family…he must go to rehab. There’s no insurance and he’s not about to drop a few thousand for something forced on him. He’s looking to get in and done for the least amount possible, with as little personal sacrifice as is necessary.
  • Carol got arrested for her third drug offense.  The judge, upon seeing her, decides to give her a way out of jail.  Go to treatment…or go to jail.  He hands her a list of court mandated, state funded treatment options.  She has 30 days to comply.

None of us want to pay more than we have to for anything, so if there are free or low cost options, why pay for a treatment center 300 miles away when there’s a community mental health center down the street  that will take anyone, insurance, or not? Like anything else there are pros and cons.  And treatment is treatment, right? Not necessarily…

Culture Shock of Low Cost Treatment or Free Treatment Options

One of the most important differences between private treatment and low cost is the recovery culture itself. John the lawyer who doesn’t want to spend his vacation savings on treatment may just find himself rubbing shoulders with anyone but his peers. Money issues could mean that many in low-cost treatment are referred there from courts as an alternative to sentencing or people who’s bottom line has left them homeless. And again, many addicts who are financially destitute as a result of their addictions need  help,  but probably won’t be traveling to sunny Florida to address their issues overlooking the bay.

If John is already skeptical about needing treatment at all, he probably won’t gain much from the “peer” counseling he may get.  Without a proper peer group, he may walk out thinking he wasn’t much of an addict at all, since his bottom line came from his wife, and he still has a job, is not nuts, and won’t ever be homeless. Worse, maybe Cheryl from a middle class background, after her stint in rehab,  has learned a bit about gangs and how not to get caught shoplifting by more “experienced” addicts. Plus her peer “mentors” have only been sober for a few weeks with no other formal training, so she probably won’t gain much insight. With a fast turnover, there isn’t much experience to be shared. Her parents are mortified to see her come out of treatment with more bad habits then she began with! Maybe she’ll learn that smoking her cocaine is oh so much better than snorting it! The frustration permeates everyone from the staff on down. Perhaps the only hope to be found is in attending a halfway house or sober living facility afterword.

Aftercare and Outpatient Options

There is something to be said about what goes on after initial treatment. Moving on to a halfway house  can help make up for the lack of professionals by lengthy immersion in recovery principles and daily monitoring. Typically, halfway houses allow a client to stay from 30 days to a year, depending on the place. And there are rules. Clients are often are required to do chores and have a curfew to follow. He must actively look for employment and may be drug tested or breathalyzed at will. He has to sign in and out, requiring accountability. The extra support of his fellow housemates can keep resolve alive, and since attending 12-step programs is usually required, the benefits far outweigh having to room with Buddy who keeps you awake snoring all night. If you’re really serious, this can make the difference between success and failure. There’s no coddling, just recovery, structure and living skills.  And since the stay is longer, at least your peer mentors may actually have something to teach you! Bottom line if you’re commuted to sobriety, this can make a great difference. We believe anything one does to enhance all aspects of recovery, the better chances of success.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

Finding the Right Program

We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. The service is free and you can reach us at 888-205-8608.

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

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