“It is important to understand that rehabilitation is an essential part of treatment for most people who struggle with drug-and alcohol-related problems. This is in clear contrast to most people’s belief that rehab is an optional (luxurious) extra, and that it is only for those who are in even worse state than they are… THIS IS NOT TRUE.”
~ Dr. Volker Hitzeroth, The End of Addiction
“I NEED to get sober, but I just can’t afford to go to drug rehab!” In Colorado, which typically ranks among the worst US states for drug abuse, this is a commonly-heard refrain.
On the surface, some skeptics will find it difficult to believe that statement. It seems impossible that the same addict/alcoholic who somehow had the money to pay for their drinking and drugging now complains that addiction treatment in Colorado is just not feasible?
In another light, however, there just might be a modicum of truth in those words, at least in the addict’s mind. Substance abuse, especially drug use, is often supported and financed by other illegal or criminal activities, such as manufacturing, distribution, burglary, prostitution, or identity theft.
Drug rehab in Colorado, on the other hand, costs money, and often, quite a lot of it.
It looks like an unequal equation, because the people who need drug rehab most – suffering substance abusers at their “rock bottom” – are usually the same people who are least able to pay for it.
But in reality, that line of thinking might also be inaccurate.
What Are the Real Costs of Drug Addiction?
Substance abuse takes a tremendous economic toll on society as a whole. Every section of the country, especially Colorado, is impacted by alcoholism and drug addiction. According to recent statistics disseminated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- Substance abuse in the United States–alcohol, smoking, and illegal drugs– costs more than $700 BILLION per year:
- Alcohol Abuse– $224 BILLION
- Illicit Drugs and Prescription Medication Abuse– $193 BILLION
- Cigarettes– $295 BILLION
- Those figures are comparable to other chronic diseases– $245 billion for diabetes, $125 billion for cancer, and over $300 billion for heart disease/strokes.
The cost in human lives is just as horrific. Although the Federal Government does not track specific death rates for every individual drug, the statistics are available indicate that:
- 2001-2013, overdose deaths in America linked to prescription pain medication increased by a factor of three. During the same timeframe:
- Fatal overdoses of benzodiazepines quadrupled.
- Deaths due to cocaine overdose rose by 29%.
- Heroin overdose fatalities quintupled.
Obviously, Colorado is not immune to the negative societal impact of drug abuse.
Then there is the damage that drug abuse does to families, especially children, in terms of multi-generational addiction. Children of addicts are approximately 80% more likely to abuse drugs within their lifetime than the rest of the US population.
Addiction Costs to the Individual
Substance abuse is an expensive habit to maintain:
- Moderate heroin addiction can cost over $50,000 per year
- Vicodin, oxycodone, or hydrocodone abuse can cost $40-50 thousand annually
- OxyContin abuse can be more than $100,000 per year
- A serious meth addict will pay more than $30,000 per year to support their habit.
- Heavy users will spend approximately $10,000 per year on marijuana in Colorado.
- Even alcoholics who stick to cheap beer pay more than $3500 annually.
The Cost of Addiction Treatment in Colorado
Speaking very generally, it is possible to estimate the cost of professional drug rehab in Colorado. Because individual detox and drug/alcohol rehab facilities each use their own treatment programs and provide their own service plans, these approximations should only be a point for further research.
Call a local program and find out how much the right program for your specific situation might be.
Most addiction recovery specialists agree that a combination of inpatient/outpatient drug rehab in Colorado lasting a minimum of 90 days is necessary for treatment to be effective.
It can be much longer.
- One year is the minimum acceptable duration for a methadone maintenance program.
- Opiate addictions can require years of medication-assisted maintenance
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the typical costs for drug rehab in Colorado are:
- Drug/alcohol detoxification– a medically-assisted detox can cost $500 per day, and last anywhere from 3 to 14 days, depending upon the drug of choice in the severity of abuse.
- Outpatient addiction treatment –$10,000 for a 12 to 24 month program
- Residential alcohol or drug rehab–between $8000 and $30,000 per month, depending upon the level of services or care needed
- Methadone Maintenance plans – as much as $5000 annually
- Luxury Drug Rehab Programs may charge up to $80,000 per month
How to Pay for Drug Treatment in Colorado
There’s no two ways about it – drug rehab in Colorado is expensive.
But there’s also no escaping the fact that drug addiction costs even more.
Here are some options that many individuals and their families use to afford proper treatment:
- Private Insurance – The Affordable Health Care Act means that more people than ever have coverage to help them with chronic health conditions, including addiction.
This is the best case scenario, because it means that the only real out-of-pocket obligation would be any deductibles or required co-pays.
The only major caveat to using private insurance to pay for drug rehab in Colorado – besides actually having it – is that many insurance plans have a hard cap as to a dollar amount for services that they will pay for, both in the calendar year and lifetime.
For that reason, it might be necessary to speak to your insurance provider to determine your coverage limits, and then “shop around” to determine which rehab facilities accept your insurance and their expected costs.
- Outpatient rehab – For many people, this is the route that they take when they are just starting out on their own personal “journey of recovery”. Across the country, 9 out of every 10 people in treatment are seen on an outpatient basis.
As listed above, outpatient drug treatment in Colorado costs a fraction of residential treatment, and it typically is covered by private insurance.
- Sober living houses – When inpatient drug treatment is the only initial option, some people make drug rehab more affordable by opting to finish treatment in a sober living house. Also called a “halfway house” this is a less expensive option, because the staff provides fewer services.
Sober living houses are an excellent way for a person in recovery to “transition” back into the real world. They are expected to pay rent, do chores, and follow certain rules in order to stay there, and the overall atmosphere is one of abstinence and cooperation. This helps the recovering addict/alcoholic to maintain a sense of “structure” while their sobriety is still new and fragile.
- Self-pay – Even families who do not think that they can afford drug treatment on their own may have more resources than they realize. When the mindset is “whatever it takes”, there are a number of options still available –
- Bank loans
- Borrowing from other family members
- Second mortgages
- Cashing in retirement or life insurance plans
- Selling excess property
While some people might feel that those are extreme measures, families who have long suffered because of the disease of addiction understand that any financial sacrifice made today buys a chance for a better future.
When all the factors are looked at, the question of “how can I afford to go to drug rehab?” becomes “how can I afford NOT to go to drug rehab?” In Colorado, there are enough options and resources available that any person who truly desires recovery from addiction can find the help they need.
AspenRidge Recovery offers both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab, and offers one of Colorado’s premier recovery programs. Accepting most major insurance plans, as well as self-pay, AspenRidge Recovery can provide proven, evidence-based treatment programs that can restore serenity, sanity, and stability to your life.