While you may look at your bank account and wonder how you can possibly afford your loved one’s stay in a drug treatment center, you know that there is little question as to the value of the proposition.
The thought of seeing a familiar smile, no matter how faint, or an inspired spark in their eyes about some long-buried dream tends to trump budgets for most.
An Objective Look at the Cost of Drug Rehabs Vs. the Cost of No Treatment
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported, as of December 2012, that substance abuse costs the nation more than $600 billion annually; further noting that treatment might help to reduce these costs. Part of the reason for the high costs attributed to drug abuse is the ancillary illnesses, conditions and injuries that those addicted incur while taking drugs.
In addition to the cost of deteriorating health, those who suffer from drug addiction also suffer from social maladies, such as homelessness, lack of proper nutrition and secondary addictions, such as smoking.
Becoming a Cost to Themselves and Society
People who become addicted to drugs often lose the ability to properly pay attention to their health and social circumstances, so they sometimes end up becoming part of the social system, increasing those nationally reported costs while decreasing their well-being.
The cost for drug rehabs is high on both sides. However, when looking at proactive measures, such as a one-year methadone treatment program for those addicted to heroin, the social aid programs make sense since a methadone treatment program can cost $4,700 per year while it costs $24,000 to imprison one inmate for one year. The cost of prevention, in this case, wins out, by far, over seeking retribution for crimes possibly committed while addicted to drugs.
A Personal Look at the Cost of Treatment Versus the Cost of No Treatment
While no one wants to face their loved one’s addiction to drugs, a time comes when the truth is undeniable. You don’t want to imagine all the frightening scenarios that your loved one might encounter, but if they are using drugs and are out of control, you might not have a choice. You might worry that you will enable your loved one by helping pay for a drug rehabs, but the fact is that they will need to do the hard work and heavy lifting.
The hope is that you recover the loved one you have always loved and watch them grow and flourish with the right program. Since success rates run pretty high for most drug rehabilitation programs, you can consider it a worthwhile investment in the future2.
Additionally, you might find help for paying for a drug treatment plan. If your loved one still works, their business might offer drug treatment therapy as part of their insurance plan. Also, depending on the age of your loved one, you might contact your health insurance carrier to see if they are still eligible under your coverage3.
Work With Your Loved One to Create Solutions
It is important that you discuss the realities of your loved one’s situation, as far their care, the cost of their care and your hopes and expectations for the outcome. Letting them know that you want your healthy and thriving loved one back in their lives might help them take the next difficult steps with some guiding principles in mind.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2012, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/drug-addiction-treatment-worth-its-cost
- Therapist Unlimited, http://therapistunlimited.com/rehabs/Articles/Drug+Rehabs/How+Do+I+pay+for+a+Drug+Rehab
- National Institute on Drug Abuse, http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment-research/if-teen-or-young-adult-has-