What To Do If You Can’t Pay For Addiction Treatment

By on June 16, 2022
addiction treatment

Substance abuse and addiction is a mental health disorder that affects millions of Americans every year. Some have the luxury of being able to pay for treatment out of pocket or through their employer’s insurance. Unfortunately, there are many who can’t afford addiction treatment or don’t have coverage. This can lead to further issues with a substance use disorder (SUD). However, you don’t need thousands of dollars or insurance to find treatment. You can search for free rehab near you, obtain loans, and find sliding-scale programs that allow you to pay based on your financial situation. 

Below we’ll discuss several ways to get addiction treatment for whatever financial state you or a loved one are in. 

5 Ways to Get Treatment if You Can’t Afford It

In a study published by the American Medical Association, 90% of people who need substance use treatment don’t receive it. One of the main reasons is affordability.  

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Five ways to receive treatment without financial means are:

  • sliding scale 
  • grants
  • loans
  • subsidized coverage 
  • fundraising 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options. 

Sliding Scale

Rehabilitation centers across the nation understand how financially straining treatment can be. There are many treatment facilities that allow patients to create a personalized pay arrangement. This option allows you to set up a payment plan that is dependent on your current income and overall financial status. 

For example, an addiction therapist may typically charge $150 per session. With a sliding scale, you might be able to pay anywhere from $10 to $150 per session based on your income.

Subsidized Coverage 

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, low-cost or free insurance plans are required by law to cover the costs of mental health services, such as addiction treatment. Even if you have low-income levels and savings, you can get treatment through these plans. 

There is also the option of state-funded rehab centers. These treatment services are funded by the state or federal government to provide equitable access to addiction treatment for all income levels.

Grants And Scholarships

Similar to funding for higher levels of education, there are grants and scholarships available to those seeking help for addiction. There are several ways to receive grant funds. You can look up local treatment centers around you and ask if they offer grants. There are also grants set up by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. These grants are generally available to specific groups, so check to see if you qualify to receive funds. Many treatment centers are funded by SAMHSA grants and can offer free or low-cost treatment.

Another way is to find organizations online that provide money for treatment. Even though it requires a little more work on your end, grants and scholarships are great options, because in most cases you will not have to pay back any funds. 


Loans are perhaps the fastest way to receive funds for addiction treatment. Money is sent quickly, and you can start treatment as soon as the center receives it. Many loans offer payment plans that are fixed according to your income after treatment is done. Payments will not be expected until you are done with treatment, and in some cases until you are making income. 

It’s important to carefully look through a loan offer, evaluating interest rates, payment schedule, and how the money will be allocated. It’s best to allow a trusted family member or friend to read over a plan with you. 


In order to get the required treatment needed, one may need to sell off items, or ask friends and family for assistance through crowdfunding. Social media has made crowdfunding easier than ever. You can start a campaign through websites like GoFundMe, Crowdfunder, or RallyUp and invite friends to help you to reach your goal. It may be difficult to ask those closest to you for money, but when it comes to substance use disorders, the perceived embarrassment will often pay off in the long run. Nothing is more important than your health and well-being.

Once you’re in a better financial standing post-treatment, you may offer to pay back the people who loaned you money. However, with crowdfunding, this source of money is typically offered without any expectations of reimbursement. Accepting help can be a challenge, but your recovery will be worth it.

Rehabilitation centers are known for being pricey, but by incorporating one, or several, of the above options, you or a loved one can find affordable treatment. Explore free and state-funded addiction treatment options and gather help from the people who love you.

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What To Do If You Can’t Pay For Addiction Treatment