The Cost of Addiction Treatment Vs. The Cost of Addiction

Addiction VS addiction treatment

The financial aspect of substance use disorder is a portion that doesn’t frequently get discussed. Everybody is usually so focused on the physical and health-related aspects of the disorder that they don’t think about the finances until it’s an issue. Did you ever wonder, “How much does it cost to rehabilitate a drug addict?” It is a loaded question, but the answer may surprise you. 

Many people think that the cost of addiction treatment, rehab, and therapy is very high. It’s common for many people to think of rehab and treatments as a luxury service that will be expensive or unaffordable. The ideas you have in your head may just be a result of media exposure. 

For the most part, a standard inpatient rehab program is more practical than it is luxurious. Still, this isn’t something the general public thinks about unless they’re engaged in a related situation or hear about it on the news or through the grapevine. One thing you may not take into account is what you hear may only be the highest end of the treatment costs.  


How Much Does it Cost to Rehabilitate a Drug Addict? 

RETAWThere’s no way around it… There is a cost to substance abuse and mental health treatment. This money ends up going to the therapists, facility maintenance, taxes, etc. Some treatment centers, and most likely the treatment centers you’ve heard of, come at a higher cost and may not take insurance.hand holding money in front of a flag

For instance, specific treatment centers in some of the most desirable places in the country, like Malibu, you may find particular addiction treatment centers that compare their inpatient program to a resort-style vacation. Their services include options like multiple hot tubs, acupuncture, yoga, and sound therapy.  These programs can cost upwards of $98,000 for a 30-day program! Additionally, if you sign up for a month and then check yourself out three days later, you still would have to pay the total amount. Programs like this are the ones you may hear about on tv, or endorsed by celebrities.

While these options may make your time in treatment more comfortable and enjoyable (which may work best for some people, no judgment if they do.) In the mental health industry, whatever works for you is what’s best – however, some of these options may not be necessary. 

For the people where cost is an essential factor, the Mental Health Services Administration has made great strides in ensuring that addiction and mental health services are affordable and easily accessible. You may not be looking at options like yoga and hot tubs. Still, the bare necessities of treatment – such as therapy, support groups, sober living communities, etc. – will be accessible to anyone in need. You may be able to utilize these services for as low as your insurance’s copay fee, or possibly even for FREE. 


The Cost of Addiction Treatment Varies Based on


Type of Center 

There is a big difference between the price of inpatient and outpatient programs. The costs of inpatient programs are higher because the costs of housing and intensive care are higher. The cost of these programs also depends on the duration of the program and the location of the rehab center. 


Type of Treatment

Some people don’t need medical detox when they first start rehab. But alcohol and heroin users often experience intense withdrawals during detox and usually need medication. Those requiring more medical care tend to pay more for rehab. 


Geographic Location 

Geographic location is often a critical factor in determining the cost of rehab for drug addicts. The best rehab for you may simply be the one that is most accessible. Luxury rehabs typically located in posh areas and frequented by the rich and famous are generally expensive.


Amenities Offered 

The amenities offered by a rehab are often not included in the cost of addiction treatment. Amenities may include massages, acupuncture, swimming pools, tennis courts, large individual rooms, or award-winning chefs. 


Types of Treatment and Costs Without Insurance

  • Detox can range from $300-$800 per day. Detox can vary in price based on the level of care provided, the medications prescribed, and the risks associated with detox, among other things.  
  • Inpatient rehabs can range from $2,000-$25,000 for a 30-day program. The cost of inpatient is typically higher because, beyond food and housing, patients receive medical care and treatment in an environment that allows them to focus fully on their addiction.
  • Outpatient can range from free to $10,000. Outpatient is usually less expensive because it does not involve room and board and does not provide 24/7 care.


Cost of Treatment vs. Cost of Addiction

It’s common when a person initially goes for treatment, especially if they don’t want to get treatment, to claim the costs for treatment come from a greedy place or claim not to have the funds to afford to pay anything for treatment. Meanwhile, these are the same people who were spending thousands of dollars a year maintaining a drug habit.

Sometimes it’s just the disease talking and trying to justify using drugs or turn you against getting help. A person who isn’t ready to accept help will do many mental gymnastics and try to find any excuse for getting help being either a bad idea or not for them. 

In the long run, the cost of rehab for drug addicts is not nearly as expensive as drug and alcohol addiction. 


arrm extended out holding a roll of money


According to the data reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the estimated cost of drug abuse in the United States, including illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, is more than $740 billion a year, and it keeps growing with each passing year. Substance abuse in the United States costs society increased healthcare costs, crime, and lost productivity.

The monetary value of rehab and therapy to the individual is approximately 7 to 1, spending on substance abuse versus rehabilitation costs. On average, the cost of addiction treatment is $1,583 per patient; most individuals will spend this on abusing substances in a few months. However, there’s no one answer to the question of how much money you can expect to pay for drug and alcohol rehab.

Despite the expense, it’s possible to find ways to afford alcohol addiction treatment cost of care. There are several alcohol rehab options. Your state or local government may offer free treatment. 

You can also get free or low-cost support from a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and social support groups. You may also want to check in with your health insurance to see if it covers the cost of addiction treatment.


The Cost of Drugs

Drugs cost money. Some more than others, but They all have an initial cost. 

Let’s explore some of these costs using math and real figures:


Alcohol (Beer)

According to The Washington Post:  The top 10 percent of American drinkers – 24 million adults over age 18 – consume, on average, 74 alcoholic drinks per week. That works out to a little more… three 24-can cases of beer. In one week… Or, if you prefer, 10 drinks per day.” 

Doing that math…

The average cost for a case of beer in the United States is approximately $20. 

$20 x 3 x 52 = $3,120 a year. 

That is just domestic, average beer bought in a store. This doesn’t include bar prices, tips, car services, damages… or even the costs of fees involved when you get a DUI, which usually averages around $10,000 for your first offense. 



Cocaine has short-lived desired effects; after use, you may only feel its influence for 15 – 30 minutes. Cocaine users will primarily be dosing multiple times throughout a night to maintain its effects, and each time you dose, you require more and more cocaine to feel the same effect as the first dose. Typically a gram of cocaine is purchased for approximately $150, and a user with a moderate cocaine habit can quickly go through a gram of cocaine in a night. An intermediate user may only buy one gram each night on the weekends. 

Doing that math…

$150 x 2 x 52 = $15,600 a year

However, a person with a severe cocaine habit may spend thousands a night. 



Even drugs that are addicting but not illegal still come at a high cost. 

In California, a pack of cigarettes costs, on average, $11.18 (with tax). A person who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day is considered a “moderate smoker.”

Doing that math…

11.18 x 2 = $22.36 a day x 365 = $8,161.40 a year!


Costs Related to Substance Abuse

Realizing how much treatment facilities and residential programs cost may seem surprising initially, but don’t let the price discourage you – The total societal costs for substance abuse go beyond the treatment options


Cost of Addiction


Societal costs include

  • Crime, unemployment, domestic abuse, divorce, and homelessness
  • Deaths from overdose
  • Effects on children
  • Spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C


The Human Cost

“The human cost” refers to the general costs involved when a person is addicted to drugs. These are factors that play into one’s lifestyle when actively using. 

  • High highschool and college dropout rates amongst drug users
  • Lower paying jobs
  • Poor job performance (missing days, making mistakes, getting fired)
  • Unemployment
  • Legal Fees
  • Medical Bills
  •  Divorce 

The price of drugs and liquor, legal problems, health issues, and loss of productivity at work all add up over time.

Whether it’s alcohol or drug addiction, substance-dependent people commonly overspend to maintain their habit. Reaching out and seeking recovery can be the best next step for anyone suffering from addiction. Reach out and take the first step. Speak directly to a professional to get help.

If you’re tired of throwing your money away on addiction and still wondering, “How much will it cost for addiction treatment?” contact our care coordinators to help you find affordable treatment today. At Opus Health, if you have private insurance, there is a good chance most (if not ALL), your treatment costs will be covered by your insurance. 

More To Explore

Help Is Here

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start the journey of recovery. Make that call today and take back control of your life!

Begin Your Path to Recovery

Speak with our dedicated Recovery Advocates to find the right personalized treatment approach for you.

All calls are 100% free and confidential

A photo of the Opus Health Rehab Detox Center logo.