Getting Into Rehab Without Insurance

Last Updated: April 9, 2020

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Struggling with a substance abuse problem is trying enough on its own. Add to that worries about how to find alcohol rehab without insurance or drug rehab without insurance, and getting the help one needs can appear to be an insurmountable problem. It isn’t.
It is true that very few people have the money to pay the full cost of inpatient drug or alcohol rehab “out of pocket.” This is even more true if the addiction is long-term, and has left one financially compromised. But that’s not the whole story.
Thankfully, there ARE ways to pay for the cost of rehab without insurance. In this article, we list a number of strategies that can help anyone find the treatment they need, even if someone doesn’t have health insurance.

First Step – Double-Check The Insurance

Before we get into the “meat” of this article – how to go to rehab without insurance – we should provide a few words for those who have insurance but who believe that it won’t cover their recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.An individual may be reading this article, in fact, because either one has assumed that rehab is not covered, or because they have been actually been told by the insurer that it’s not covered. This may not be the case.
If a person is insured through the Affordable Care Act, for example, coverage of alcohol and drug rehab as an integral part of its ten essential health benefits is required of all participating insurers. They simply can’t tell the person it isn’t covered. The questions anyone needs to research are how much rehab care is covered by the policy, and in what circumstances.

Effective Strategies To Pay For Rehab Without Insurance

For many trying to overcome addiction, the cost of inpatient rehab without insurance can make getting the help they need seem impossible. It isn’t. Options exist to provide drug addiction rehab with no insurance and rehab for alcoholism with no insurance. In the following sections, we list some of these options.

State-Funded Rehab

State-funded rehab centers use government money, distributed by the individual state, to support people who are in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. These centers provide detox, treatment, and support services for those without a lot of income or savings, or with inadequate or no insurance. Some of the money that funds these programs is provided in the form of grants or reimbursement through Medicaid, and some comes directly from state budgets.
To qualify for such programs, the person will have to provide proof of residency in the state and in the US, proof of their income status, and personal information about the history and degree of their addiction.

Faith-Based Rehab

A number of Christian and other faith-based groups provide drug and alcohol recovery programs. The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Harbor Light detox and residential centers can be found nationwide. Other such faith-based options include the Orthodox Jewish Chabad movement recovery program and its residential treatment center for men in California, or JACS, a Jewish community addiction resource group in New York. Many, but not all, of these programs are free of charge. Finding them is often just a matter of talking to the leaders of your own faith tradition.

Free Health Coverage at Community Health Centers, Clinics and Hospitals

Non-profit organizations such as the United Way often can be a great resource to those seeking no-insurance rehabilitation. In addition, some local communities as well as national organizations offer grants to those who need them.

Scholarships or Grants

An individual can apply to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for grants that help people find alcohol or drug addicition treatment. These grants are specifically targeted to those who don’t have insurance and can’t find other ways to pay for the care they need. It is possible to find out whether one qualifies for such grants by reviewing the application requirements on the SAMHSA website.
In addition, a person can make a list of centers in the area that are experienced in treating one’s specific addiction. Then an individual can contact those facilities to ask whether they offer any scholarship opportunities. Many do.

Subsidized Coverage

People with low incomes who are unable to pay for rehab themselves can receive subsidized treatment from State governments. These subsidies can sometimes cover no-insurance alcohol rehab or no-insurance drug rehab, and/or provide financial assistance to those with a low socioeconomic status who are seeking treatment. A person can find out whether their income is in the range covered by these programs from the Income levels & savings page at the website.

Sliding-Scale Payments

Many addiction treatment programs are very aware of how difficult it can be to finance the recovery. Because they feel strongly about making sure their treatment is accessible to anyone who needs it, many of them are willing to create a personalized cost for their services. Payment plans are based on the income, and based on what one can realistically be expected to pay. These programs are designed to encourage those with lower incomes to seek treatment.

Financing – Rehab Now, Pay Later

One of the best alternatives for those who need immediate treatment for their substance abuse problems but don’t have the money to pay for it is financing. Banks, Savings & Loans, and in some cases even the residential rehab facilities themselves can offer loans or payment plans that provide the full cost of treatment now, when a person needs it.
Payments on such financing don’t come due until after an individual is out of treatment. Some plans even offer a grace period of several months to allow them the time one may need to get settled and find a job before payments begin.

Borrowing Money From Friends Or Family

Although people struggling with addiction are often reluctant to ask friends or family members for help, the truth is that often they are often in the best position to offer it. They, after all, may be willing to help to make positive changes in the addicted person’s life. Sit down with them and explain how much rehab without insurance costs, and they may be willing to help.

Personal Savings

People who have worked all or for a large portion of their lives to accumulate savings may be reluctant to dip into them to finance their addiction treatment. But quite frankly,  one’s savings are going to be no use to them if they’re dead, and following the path of both alcohol and drug addictions is pointed firmly in the direction of an early death. Nothing is more important than taking the steps towards recovery and being able to live a normal life, freed from compulsive substance abuse. So if a person is committed to turning their around, remember that investing savings in one’s own recovery is well worth it.

Raise Money

Many people inspired to seek treatment but without the money or insurance to pay for it have successfully raised the money they need. Some do this by selling off personal items, or by asking for donations via GoFundMe or IndieGoGo or other such sites. If an individual has valuable skills or services, they can offer them as incentives to those who donate to their cause.

Consider Alternatives To Inpatient Rehab

If none of the above strategies work out, don’t lose hope. There are many alternatives to inpatient care, and many of them cost much less than staying in a residential facility.

Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient Care

Although inpatient treatment in a residential facility has higher success rates, if someone is sufficiently committed, outpatient treatment may be a viable option. In no insurance outpatient rehab programs, the person attends short sessions 3 to 5 days a week to see a counselor and take any medications they have prescribed. At a slightly higher level up, intensive outpatient rehab programs allow the person to continue his or her normal daily schedule while spending several hours at the center several days a week.

Partial Hospitalization

In partial hospitalization programs, patients spend at least three days a week at the clinic or treatment center, for about five hours each day. While there, they receive therapy, learn about addiction, and work on developing coping skills.

12-Step Programs and Non-Religious Self-Help Groups

While these groups are usually not recommended as the only source of treatment for addiction, they can provide a strong means of support after rehab, and during one’s ongoing recovery. Most such programs are free.

Page Sources


Published on: May 4th, 2018

Updated on: April 9th, 2020

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


Leave a comment

  • Alicia J cannon
    I desperately need help finding a treatment center that either offers a scholarship or will finance me. Please help me.
  • angeo
    hi my name is Angelo I am in dying need to get into a inpatient rehab program I am struggling with the Xanax and crack I have two beautiful kids and a wife she does not make enough money to pay all the bills while I am going to be away and I’m in desperate need to get myself right because if I can’t get myself right I am no good to my kids or nobody else and they depend on me as I was Sole provider so if somebody can find it in their heart to help me with some kind of scholarship I would do anything I mean I am a great worker my hands are gold I have a heart of gold I just need the help before it’s too late if there’s anybody out there that could help me please get back to me as soon as possible thank you much have a blessed day
  • April fritsche
    About 7 yrs ago my Dr started prescribing me Norco. I never knew addiction until now. I can’t go without them now or my body goes insane and very painful. I suffer with chronic pain and it’s horrible in itself. But I heard that Norco can add to the pain and not let ur body heal. I want off of them. I told my Dr several times. He told me that I’m a strong woman and I can do it myself. Hahaha. I told him there’s no way. U don’t understand that my body is dependent on these now. And I have to have rehab to get off. This addiction was not by choice. I feel my Dr should help me get off of them since he got me addicted to them. Instead of taking care of my medical needs, when I had insurance at the time. Now I’m unable to work. Trying to get on disability which is hard to do. I just want to deal with my pain in other ways more healthy for my body. I’m 53 and I’m sure they aren’t good for me either. Thank u, April
  • Dawn
    I have a 19 year old that has been struggling with drugs (pot,meth and tried heroin once) since 15 when he ran away. He is trying to get life in order but still having difficulty. Father and other relatives given up on him. I am in a situation where I am unable to help him (caring for boyfriend who is a paraplegic and does not trust my son) and he may end up back on the streets soon. I feel trapped and lost on how to help him.
  • Tina
    Im my state, WV, it is much easier to get rehab for someone leaving jail. I don’t know how long she will be there, but I spoke with our public defenders office. There is a lady that handles drug related crime issues, rehab, etc..
  • Janie Herrera
    I need help my husband is addicted to crack, we have no insurance and at this moment I had to move out from our home and living with my mother, my husband is lost and out and about in the streets I need help for my husband. I cannot afford rehab for him. He is a wonderful father but cannot be around the kids because of his addiction. He needs help it has taken over his life I’m from San Antonio Texas and don’t know where to start to help my husband. I cannot afford rehab I have our children to support. He lost his job due to his addiction. Please help me help my husband.
  • Heidi A Sterner
    I am in desperate need of help. I’ve prayed everyday, so many times a day for help. I have been on methadone and 2mg klonipin for almost 15yrs. A doctor prescribed me methadone after 3 shoulder surgeries, the last one was a complete rotator cuff and ball joint rebuild and I came home on a pain pump an after that he put me on 60mg of methadone and 4mg of xanax per day. He went to prison for life because a bunch of his patients died from him prescribing them the same thing as me, so then I went through horrible withdraw and someone told me about methadone clinics and I’ve been going ever since and am up to 110 mg of methadone and I have epilepsy and severe anxiety and I’ve tried detoxing myself and had such bad seizures that I’ve broken my nose twice, split my head open so many times. Also broken so many teeth from falling forward during a seizure and put a tooth completely through the top of my lip and so many other injuries. I lost my job of 7 yrs on Dec 22nd 2017 because I had so many seizures at work. I’ve had 2 while driving, so I dont drive anymore. My seizures are pretty much under control now from a new medication that I’ve been taken for the last year. I’ve had a couple breakthrough seizures because certain things can trigger them, like going through withdrawal or lack of sleep etc. When I lost my job, I lost my insurance, my dad helps me, and I’m right in the middle of waiting on a ruling for disability. This is killing me. My liver enzymes are double what they are supposed to be, I have type 2 diabetes right now and I’m not overweight, I’m sinking into a depression that I know if I dont get help to get off of this, I’ll give up. If there are any treatment programs that are inpatient out there that would be willing to take me on a scholarship or any other way, I promise I would never use anything again. It would be the best gift I have ever gotten. My family doesnt have the money to help me and I need medical supervision during the withdrawal process because I’m scared of having seizures and dying during one of them, but I’m almost to the point that I would rather be dead than chained to a drug of any kind. Please,please someone find it in your heart to take a chance on me, I would be willing to do side work, like cleaning and other jobs in return for a good facility that can help me. I’m praying this will touch someone and they will really feel how much I want and need this. I dont wanna give up on life, but if i dont get help, I’m afraid i may. God bless.
    • Penny
      I am trying to find a dual diagnosis center for my son. I read your story and my heart aches for you. Although I can’t offer treatment or even advice on that matter, I do want to encourage you to not give up. Keep looking for treatment. Maybe go to an ALANON meeting and see if anyone can advise you where to turn. Good luck to you!!! Your pain is palpable. Someone out there has the answers so don’t give up. There is something more out there, but you gotta keep fighting. You can do this!
  • LeeLee
    Oh, dear God!!! This article gives us information on how to get help. Leaving comments asking for help is imbisilic. No one is going to call or respond with a better answer for our issues. You have to do the research yourself. This was a very well written article with actual advice, but for those who comment it seems trite. It is not! I am an alcoholic (from a long line of alcoholics), and I will utilize the information in this article to get the help I need.
  • maggie decaro
    Do you accept medical? And can you help us get a family member on medical? He needs inpatient rehab for meth asap. He detoxed in the hospital for 10 days
  • Daphnie
    My 40 year old daughter came to my house last night begging me to help her get off of drugs, of course I want to help her, but financially I cannot afford a place for her to go to for I am on disability, and she surely cannot afford it. Well, I guess my question is – Is there a place near me where she can get help and I need help because I am so dumbfounded when it comes to drugs, like what do I say to her other than “I know you can do it”? Please help me someone.
    • Sunny
      Daphnie, I pray that you have found the help that your daughter needs but, if you have not please get in touch with your local Substance Abuse center. or a State facility. I don’t know what state you are in but, call your Substance Abuse hotline and ask them for A State Funded Substance Abuse Center. They can direct you to the help you need. Please please tell your daughter to get Medical help while she detoxes and then extensive Rehab especially if she is a long term abuser. I don’t mean 30 days but, longer than that. There are some Churches that offer programs that are longer but, your daughter would need to be detoxed and stable before she could enroll in those. After she does that I know that Teen Challenge has an adult program. Praying for all the best for your daughter.
  • Joy F Nilson
    I desperately, I mean desperately need help in finding a free rehab or a scholarship offering rehab for my 38 year old alcoholic son. I have prayed and prayed for the day when he would say he needs help and wants a new life. ( He has been an alcoholic for over 20 years.) And that day came! He’s been calling around in Utah to find a place that would take him ( he has no insurance and is about to be fired again from his job). I (his 65 year old mother can barley make our rent and utilities each month) We have no money for rehab. I haven’t stopped crying because he wants help NOW. And after him calling a few places yesterday, he got discouraged because they just want to take those with insurance. He has started drinking again! Why is so hard to get them help!! PLEASE CAN SOMEONE HELP US!
  • Kiwona L King
    My name is K.L.L,I’m looking to get help for myself and I’m H.I.V positive, I’ve been smoking Crack every since I found out my condition, it was the only way I could deal with the truth, I was 21 at the time and now I’m 44 and I have gotten over it but I still use I need help because I’m trying to get right ,I’ve just started my own business and I want to be able to handle my finance’s the right way,please help so I won’t disappoint myself and my customers customers, thanks
  • Sherry Lewis
    My daughter is a single parent of three. No insurance but needs help with alcohol. I dont know where to turn to help her
  • Andrian danielson
    Sad how many people are begging for help. Is there an answer? Pleading for your life. Begging to live. At some point self crontol is lost anr some how it took over. It cant be explained but it sucks you in. 1 gram of meth in my arm ive been surviving on thats just been the last yr. Going on 3. I dont know how to stop it its been goihg on for so long its just to feel normal. Im living day for a fix thats not living. State funding im still waiting. Keep waiting im told. My life my kids arent put on hold. My days are numbered ive done everything i can to get help i have no money so isurance. Ive never faught so hard its to get help. Im losing my will to fight. Im thinking im never going to get it. To most addicts soberiety is a gift that most dont get to recieve
  • Zena Addison
    My addiction has gotten out of control. Its i mportant. For me to remove myself from my living situation.. So seeking a inpatient facility, that way I will be around people who want to get clean and stay sober. I don’t have any insurance.. Can I still get the help.. I need With
  • Clara Contreras
    My son is having a really bad time with addiction, as a mom is hard to see him like this, he stopped for a couple of days and then keeps drinking, he is loosing jobs because of this problem, try to help, but if he doesn’t want to che he is impossible, when he doesn’t have no more liquor he gets so bad, and then is when he started to call for help. It’s any possibility he can get some treatment without insurance or any money to pay for it, can you guide please. Thank you
  • Dana Carroll
    I’m in need help paying for rehab I need a dual diagnosis center and I would like to get in a faith based inpatient and hopefully out of town and state!! I need help and a fresh start please let me know what anyone knows of or about God bless