Even though alcoholism is a legal drug, abuse throughout US populations is widespread. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one in 12 US adults have some level of alcohol dependency, and millions of them regularly drink to the point that they are seriously threatening their health.
Alcoholism is often treated lightly in the media and even amongst our friends – after all, most of us enjoy a cold beer or a few glasses of wine on the weekends. But long-term abuse of alcohol can cost us not only our physical health, but also our social lives, emotional states, finances, and career.
It’s difficult to understand alcoholism because it usually has more to do with the behavior or lack of control around drinking, rather than the type or exact amount of alcohol being consumed. That’s why it’s so important to get help.
There are different types of treatment available, and costs will vary. Here’s a basic breakdown of the types of treatment and how much they cost.
There are some medical support programs that focus on detoxification programs which offer a combination of therapy types to deal with the types of symptoms that can occur during withdrawal, such as anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and on the most severe end, seizures, tremors, hallucinations, and confusion.
Detoxification programs are typically run out of medical facilities, last a few days to a week, and typically cost around $500.
At any given time, some 40% of beds in US hospitals are being used to treat alcohol-related health problems, according to NCADD. Sometimes, in this case, people are using treatment centers in hospitals as outpatients. If they are in the hospital part time they may pay upwards of $300 per day and the programs will last for a few weeks.
Outpatient care refers to the type of treatment that involves patients staying at home and continuing their regular lives while they go to therapy and pursue other types of support. With outpatient care, treatment types can come in different models.
In outpatient care, people learn to cope with cravings, reduce stress, identify triggers, developing emotional balance and creating healthy relationships, just to name a few things. They will be offered therapy in a structured environment, along with drug screenings and aftercare.
Because this type of care doesn’t require a residential stay, it is typically one of the least expensive modes of therapy available, and typically costs upwards of $250 per day.
Individual or Group Counseling
Addiction counseling is core to any program, and, typically, a combination of private and group therapy is beneficial. The main focus of counseling is to change behavior. Whether it’s through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other methods, counseling is integral to pointing out triggers and providing comprehensive tools to deal with past traumas and coping mechanisms to deal with these triggers.
Group counseling is beneficial because it gives people an opportunity to share with others who are going through similar problems. It creates a sense of friendship and provides a strong base of support for those in recovery. Some group counseling programs like AA or NA are free, however, other professional counseling may have a fee attached.
Another benefit of counseling is the fact that, in many cases, counselors can also refer clients to other professionals in the recovery industry such as medical professionals, therapists, sponsors, and more.
Long- or Short- Term Residential Care
Often people need an entire change in environment in order to effectively get clean. In a longer-term residential care, patients can receive extensive 24-hour care from a variety of professionals. Residential recovery spaces are non-hospital settings that are sometimes resort-like and include a variety of activities to promote well-being.
Typically, residential facilities offer a variety of treatment types in a structured format. Activities are meant to socialize people and allow them the opportunity to fully experience their lives in a social setting but without alcohol.
Once charges add up this is an expensive option at about $500 per day, especially if a person is there for several weeks or months, which is usually needed.
Sober Living Communities
Sober Living Communities are the same types of living spaces that were once called “halfway houses.” Today, they tend to have a focus on healthy recovery and reintegration into the community. The idea behind these communities is to get people away from their “normal” environment which often includes triggers or other factors which tempt them to relapse.
Sober living communities are sometimes good options for people after they have completed medical rehabilitation. In these types of communities, regular meetings and other therapy are usually available, and individuals live full-time in the community, paying rent and going about their normal daily routines. Often, they are run by former addicts.
The cost of rent in these types of communities can range from $400 to thousands of dollars per month for upscale ones. Once all costs are added up, they are likely to be over $1000 per month.
Some people may choose to go into a certain type of treatment program and then need continued support at the end. Alcoholics Anonymous is an example of a free support group that people do use to conquer their addictions. However, it’s worth noting that this option is not run by medical professionals and there is no formal care involved. Thus, it’s often more effective as a form of aftercare.
The truth is that alcohol addiction typically requires a deeper and more thorough treatment plan than is offered via these support groups. But since Alcoholics Anonymous and similar organizations offer free services, they can still be extremely useful resources for those in need.
The Bottom Line
Many people need help recovering from addiction, and this may be especially so if a person has co-occurring disorders, a family history of alcohol abuse, and/or are genetically predisposed to severe addiction.
Alcoholism is actually the 3 leading cause of death in the USA amongst death causes that are tied to lifestyle. If you know someone with alcoholism, you must remember that it’s a disease and that professional rehabilitation support will likely be necessary in order to save the person from physical and mental destruction.
The cost of a person’s entire recovery will vary depending on the treatment center and the type of treatment they need. Various forms of treatment may be available, but will typically include a combination of group therapy, professional counseling, medical supervision, individual counseling, and holistic programs such as meditation and massage.
Though treatment may appear unaffordable, this is nothing if you consider the longer-term costs that a person may incur via insurance, health care and the cost of the alcohol itself. If you’re worried about whether or not you or your loved one can afford rehab for alcohol addiction, you should know that rehab may be covered by insurance.