Going to rehab can be hard. Paying for rehab can be even harder.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

When the time comes to make the call and enter a drug and alcohol treatment center, there are many payment options available, some of which are not obvious.

Understanding the Financial Challenges of Entering Rehab

Many people ask: Why is rehab so expensive?

Rehab works best when the person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction undergoes an extended stay at a safe, secure, and reputable treatment facility. In some cases, it is recommended that a client remain at the drug rehab facility for longer than the standard 28 days.

Those seeking help for an addiction require hands-on attention. It takes a team of trained specialists of various disciplines, with years of experience in their chosen fields, to properly assist individuals who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

Medical treatment, counseling, therapy, and specially designed recovery programs – not to mention the expenses of room and board and the associated clerical work – are all part of the equation. Costs can add up quickly.

Financial Realities for Families Looking at Drug Treatment Facilities

Many times, families do not have the financial resources on hand to pay for drug rehab. They may not have health insurance, or their insurance doesn’t cover rehab.

An unfortunate reality is that some people require multiple rehab stays, particularly after a relapse. Alcohol and drug addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful foe, and relapse is often part of the recovery landscape. However, many families struggle to afford even one rehab treatment, much less two or more. This is especially challenging if the visits occur within a short time of each other.

Even if a person does have insurance, it may have been exhausted on previous rehab stays. Different insurance plans cover addiction treatment to different degrees, so if a person has already been to treatment, their insurance may be unwilling to cover another round.

If all that weren’t enough, the primary caregiver for a family may be the one who needs to go to rehab, causing an additional strain on a family’s financial resources.

This may seem like a bleak picture, but fear not. There are many options available to those who cannot afford to pay for rehab upfront.

Putting Options on the Table for Rehab Payment

It’s crucial to understand how important rehab really is. It can be the difference between life and death.

When viewed in that light, it becomes essential to look at as many options as possible, because neglecting to send an addict in need to rehab should never be an option.


  • Insurance is always the best bet.
  • If you have medical insurance, talk with your provider about the best way to go about using health insurance to pay for rehab. They may have specific stipulations, which will be important to understand before entering a drug rehab program.
  • Many treatment centers will also work with your insurance provider to help you get the most out of the benefits that are part of your plan. The admissions team often has tons of experience dealing with insurance companies and can speak their language to advocate on your behalf.


  • There are institutions that specialize in providing loans for extended stays at drug and alcohol treatment centers, such as My Treatment Lender.
  • Many financial institutions, like your local bank, will provide low-interest loans for rehab, especially if the family has been a good customer of that bank for an extended period of time.
  • Friends or family members are always a great resource when a loved one needs life-or-death drug abuse treatment. Some family members, or even close friends with the necessary resources, will often be willing to either lend a family the money they need, or pay for the rehab in full. There are many ‘miracle’ stories among recovering addicts along these lines. You never know until you ask!


  • Websites like www.gofundme.com can help raise small amounts of cash from individuals in anyone’s extended network of acquaintances, which can add up to thousands of dollars.
  • This can work well when combined with social media. When rehab becomes necessary, this is no time to feel embarrassed about admitting that there’s a problem – or admitting that help is needed to pay for addiction treatment.

In-house Financing

  • Many drug and alcohol recovery facilities offer some kind of financing to those who cannot pay for rehab entirely up front.
  • The financing is usually in the form of simply spreading out payments over time. Call a rehab center directly to find out what they offer.

Credit Cards

  • While not the best option, credit cards can be used to help pay for rehab. When all else fails, why not use every resource available?

Tax Deductions

  • The current Federal Tax Code allows for drug rehab payments to be tax deductible.
  • Certain criteria must be met; most importantly, the person entering the rehab facility must be a dependant of the person making the payments. Contact your local tax professional for more details.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call Cornerstone Recovery Center today at 1-888-711-0354 or contact us for a confidential discussion about the many options that are available to help pay for treatment.