Financially in Addiction Rehab

“For me, money is not my definition of success.
Inspiring people is a definition of success.”
- Kanye West, U.S. musician

Addiction rehab is a time and a place for limiting the pressures of modern-day living - to absolutely, where possible, remove anything that could hamper your treatment, your emotional well-being, and your desire to begin abstinence, and then to continue to remain that way, in a new happy and positive mindset. And I mean anything.

This is your chance, your best chance. It’s your opportunity to find recovery from substance abuse - mentally, physically and spiritually - and ensure that recovery lasts, day in and day out. For the rest of your life.

“For the rest of your life.”

Sounds one enormous pressure bang right there, doesn’t it? And you’d be right. It is. But it’s also the most important thing you’ll need to face in the days, weeks and months ahead. Everything else “can go swing,” as they say. So let it.

This will take planning. And I should know.

Just over 6 years ago, I was right where you are now (well, probably not exactly right where you are - for me, it was rehab in Nampa, Idaho). Approaching that rehab, trying to remain positive, and trying not to be too scared. But I was. Real scared.

I’ve never been so apprehensive about the future. Many things were worrying me, and very high on that list was money, that necessity, and that simple (and yet... undeniable) need to make sure my particular world, as it was then, would continue to go round.

However, I had to turn my back on it, for my own good, (reasonably) safe in the knowledge that my particular world was safe, such as it was. And it wasn’t much, just an apartment I had only just managed to keep hold of (unpaid rent was piling up), and a part-time job I’d only just managed to keep (unpaid leave was piling up too).

This article is designed to help you maintain what you have left if what you have left needs money to keep it going - your “5 Ways to Survive Financially in Addiction Rehab.” Read on.

#1. Paying for Rehab

First off, if you are in dire need addiction rehab, but you have no means of paying for it, you still have options:
  • Check Your Health Insurance: Always check what you are entitled to, even if you think you have little or no entitlement. You never know. There’s also the possibility that your parents have a “family plan.”
  • Angel Funds: Many organizations can raise “Angel Funds” specifically to help pay for treatment services for those unable to pay themselves.
  • Scholarships: Many addiction treatment centers offer scholarships to help people pay for rehab or pay for ongoing living expenses while receiving treatment in their facility. Always ask about this when doing research on potential rehabs.
Furthermore, if your rehab costs are covered, you will have more funds freed up to pay whatever your other bills are while in rehab.

#2. Personal Loans

If you’re still creditworthy (unlikely for an addict, but, again, you never know), consider using a personal loan to cover your expenses while a resident. If banks aren’t an option, ask friends and family. If you ask for either of these for money, you can suggest they give directly to the treatment facility (so they know it’s not going towards your addiction).

#3. Employment Benefits

If you’re still employed, benefits through your work may be available. Additionally, do you have any vacation time saved up? Or personal days? Perhaps your employer offers long-term or short-term disability coverage? All of these are worth checking. Furthermore, look into your employee assistance program, which often can provide free counseling, referrals to rehab facilities or other assistance.

#4. Medicare & Medicaid

These are both government programs that may also cover the cost of your treatment, again freeing up cash to cover your other bills and expenses - you can check your eligibility here.

And, finally…

#5. Employment: Know Your Rights

If you have real concerns about keeping your job, you need to understand that, as an employee, you have certain legal rights, which will protect your employment status while you are in rehab. They are as follows:
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: Also known as ADA protection, this Act protects the employment rights of those who choose to attend rehab. Under the Act, your employer is required to allow you to get treatment, and, importantly, they cannot dismiss just you because you decide to attend rehab.
  • Family & Medical Leave Act: FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of medical leave. Therefore, while you are in rehab, your job is again protected.
  • Confidentiality: If your employer receives any information about your treatment, eg. proof of attendance, they are required to maintain complete confidentiality. Your colleagues should not know you are attending addiction rehab unless you tell them.

Your Opportunity to Find a Lasting Recovery from Addiction

This is your best opportunity to find recovery from substance abuse, so, by following the information given above, any fears you have regarding finances should be removed, or, at least, somewhat abated. To summarize:

1. Paying for Rehab

  • Health Insurance
  • Angel Funds
  • Scholarship
2. Personal Loans
3. Employment Benefits
4. Medicare & Medicaid
5. Employment: Know Your Rights
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Family & Medical Leave Act
  • Complete Confidentiality

Furthermore, you could also consider attending rehab as an outpatient. Considered less effective than inpatient rehab, you will still be exposed to your normal life (though the life of an addict is far from normal), including going to work and being able to purchase drugs or alcohol.

However, outpatient care does offer advantages - the flipside - you can continue going to work, so you will be able to continue to meet your financial obligations. Remember, if you can make actually attending rehab work for you, practically speaking, it’s proven to be more effective in the long-term.

This is not a definitive list, but the primary information you need to get financial help and security during your rehab residency. Have you experienced rehab and were concerned about your finances once you entered? What measures did you use?

Please share a comment below for other readers - thank you.

Lastly, look upon rehab as a necessary step that you need to take to be able to live without the huge burden of addiction. Good luck on your journey.