Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. The substance is legal, and anyone at least 21 years of age can buy alcoholic beverages. There is no limit to how many bottles one can buy at a time.
Because of how easy it is to get alcohol, many people develop addictions to the substance. In professional circles, alcohol addiction is better known as Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD. Even children as young as 12 years old can get AUD. Based on statistics from 2019, nearly 15 million Americans aged 12 and over suffered from AUD.
To treat AUD, individuals must go through alcohol rehab programs. These usually cost money, so many people with AUD are turned off by the expenses. Some would choose not to go through rehab at all because of it.
Is there a way to access alcohol rehab for free? Read on to find the answers.
How does alcohol rehab work?
Alcohol rehab involves several different treatments, all with the goal of removing dependence on alcohol. At the end of rehab, the hope is that patients can lead sober lives again, just as they did before developing AUD.
The different aspects of alcohol rehab are:
- Screening: Individuals with AUD first consult with their doctors for a proper diagnosis. The doctors will create personalized treatment plans for each individual.
- Detox: This step aims to flush out all traces of alcohol from patients’ bodies. Also, detox involves managing withdrawal symptoms, which are uncomfortable conditions that show up when people with AUD try to quit drinking. Detox may also involve taking medications to help manage the discomfort of withdrawal.
- Behavioral therapies: These are treatments that address the effects of AUD on patients’ minds. There are different kinds of behavioral therapy that work for AUD, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and membership in Support Groups.
- Aftercare: After patients complete their rehab programs, they still need regular follow-up treatments to keep them sober. Otherwise, they can be more prone to relapse (going back to their old drinking habits).
Also, there are two major types of rehab: either inpatient or outpatient.
For inpatient rehab, patients have to live inside a rehab facility for a number of months. They will have their therapy sessions there, with scheduled activities every day. The goal is to help them create healthy habits, which in turn will encourage them to stay away from alcohol.
In outpatient rehab, patients do not have to stay inside a rehab center for a long time. Instead, they will go to therapy sessions a few times a week. They may still continue working, studying, and doing their normal activities.
All of these aspects of alcohol rehab have associated costs. They can involve a lot of money, which not too many people with AUD can afford out of their own pockets.
Is there a way to get alcohol rehab services for free?
Getting alcohol rehab without having to spend any money is a huge challenge. For one, even those with comprehensive health insurance, which covers alcohol rehab, may still have to pay for deductibles, copays, and other fees before starting the rehab process.
Free services do exist, but they are often reserved for low income individuals. Also, these free providers have limited budgets. With that, their facilities are often lacking, and they do not have enough trained personnel to handle AUD cases. Moreover, these free rehabs often have extra long waiting lists.
Some groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), offer their services completely free of charge for anyone. AA groups are famous for people recovering from AUD, and there are lots of AA groups scattered across the US. Even those under paid rehab programs go to AA.
AA is certainly an option for individuals with AUD who have no money to spend on alcohol rehab. But it does have limitations.
Can I recover from AUD with free alcohol rehab services?
While it is possible to make successful recoveries with free rehab services, it doesn’t come without challenges. For one, free rehab services have limited resources, so patients may not get the best services for their cases. Also, recovery may take longer and may require more effort on the part of the patients. They might not get the fullest level of support.
Free support groups like AA also have their own set of limitations. The biggest one is that most AA groups are run by people who are not mental health professionals. Most of them are not trained in evidence-based methods to handle addiction cases. Knowing that, recovery is not guaranteed.
In summary, the chances of successful recovery are smaller with free alcohol rehabs. The best way to ensure recovery is through more comprehensive treatments.
What is the best kind of alcohol rehab?
The best alcohol rehabs are those administered by addiction recovery professionals. If people with AUD enrol in a full rehab program, they increase their chances of recovering fully. It may be expensive, but it’s a good investment for the future.
In many cases, the costs of not going through rehab may be higher. If individuals get involved in crime, for example, bail and legal fees will easily stack up to thousands of dollars. If it goes on for a long time, those expenses will accumulate more.
Also, other factors like lost income add up. If people with AUD get fired from their jobs, and could not get jobs because of their addiction, they would lose a tremendous deal of income. Had they continued with their jobs, they could have earned that money.
Knowing these, spending on alcohol rehab is worth it. The sooner individuals with AUD can recover, the faster they can get back to normal life. They will soon be able to work properly again and earn decent incomes.
Alcohol rehab may cost a lot, but there are many ways to help pay for it. Private health insurance is one big thing that can assist. Different insurers have different rules on coverage, though, so checking with them first is needed. Some insurance plans have full alcohol rehab coverage, but their premiums are much higher. Most others have partial coverage, but can still significantly reduce the overall cost of rehab.
Medicare and Medicaid, especially under the Affordable Care Act, also provide coverage for alcohol rehab.