Free Drug and Alcohol Rehab
What are Free Rehab Programs?
Free rehab programs are designed to provide treatment and rehab services to people who are unable to otherwise afford it. In most cases, these services are funded by taxpayers, federal and/or state programs, private donations, and grants.2
Eligibility requirements and limitations may vary by a wide range of factors, including the type of grant, allocation of funding, and who administers it. There are numerous state funding sources and different states have different requirements.2
Additionally, there can be limits based on demographic considerations that are stipulated in grants, such as programs that receive funding specifically for pregnant women, or the requirements based on the types of treatment and services offered (i.e., whether a person is eligible for childcare or residential care/housing due to homelessness, etc.).2
Different options are available to help cover the costs of inpatient and outpatient treatment. This can include:1, 3,4,5
- Medicare. This is an option for people aged 65 and older, as well as people who are eligible to receive it due to disability. Generally speaking, Medicare Parts A and B cover inpatient and outpatient treatment, brief interventions, and screening, and part D typically covers medication.
- Medicaid. Individuals with low income may qualify for medicaid. It covers substance abuse treatment services at a level equivalent to regular health care services. You can check the Medicaid eligibility website to see if you qualify.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) block grants. These are different types of grants provided to states to help cover the cost of rehab for people in need, such as those without insurance or those whose coverage has been terminated.
- State and locally funded addiction treatment programs. These programs receive different federal and state grants to help people who cannot afford to pay for the costs of treatment.
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA). This stipulates that insurance providers must offer an equivalent level of coverage for substance abuse and mental health services as they do for medical and surgical care. The majority of health plans and insurers need to offer services like prevention, screening, brief interventions, and other forms of treatment for substance use disorders.
- S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA’s healthcare program covers a wide range of rehab services for veterans enrolled with the VA’s health care or who meet other eligibility requirements.
How do I Find Free Rehabs for Drugs and Alcohol?
If you or someone you care about are struggling with addiction, you can use SAMSHA’s online Behavioral Health Treatment Services locator, where you can search for rehab facilities by location and then see additional information, such as type of care, setting, payment, insurance, and funding accepted, by clicking on the name of the specific facility.
You can also use SAMHSA’s FindTreatment.gov website and enter your ZIP code to see a list of facilities in your area. It also offers different information, such as types of programs, services offered, and payment options, but by clicking the section on the left that says “payment options,” you can narrow down your search to facilities that accept insurance or Medicaid, offer free or no-cost care, offer sliding scales, and more.
When applying for financial assistance for free drug rehab or free alcohol rehab, you should be prepared to provide financial details that can include an estimate of your yearly income, the number of people in your family, and insurance information, if applicable.6
State-Funded Rehab Centers and Programs
State-funded rehabs receive government money to provide substance addiction services to people who cannot afford it. The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant program is the main source of funding for these services. Services under the SAPT program typically include prevention services as well as inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, detox, and follow up support.7 ,8
States receive SAPT funds to implement specific programs. Eligibility requirements vary and are determined by SAMHSA.8 SAPT is geared toward the following populations and services:8
- Pregnant women and women with dependent children
- Intravenous drug users
- Tuberculosis services
- Early intervention services for HIV/AIDS
- Primary prevention services
SAMHSA advises contacting your state agency for more information about eligibility requirements for state-funded rehab centers and programs, as every state has a different process. You can access SAMHSA’s state directory for contact information in your state using this link.
Faith-Based Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
Faith-based rehab programs incorporate religious and spiritual beliefs into their treatment program and philosophy.9 Programs include:10 ,11,12
- Salvation Army. Their addiction program incorporates holistic therapy, group and individual counseling sessions, spiritual direction, and life-skills development, and helps people learn to depend on God rather than substances.
- Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS). This is designed for Jewish people in New York City who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and their families, friends, and associates. It offers a resource center and information clearinghouse in a “nurturing Jewish environment.” It also offers JCS Recovery, an addiction and recovery support network for Jewish people with addictions.
- Alcoholics Victorious. This is not a rehab center but rather a network of Christian support groups for people with addictions. It is based on the 12 steps of recovery and the Alcoholics Victorious creed; it is not intended as a replacement for treatment centers.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are free mutual support groups that are not affiliated with specific religions or a set of religious beliefs, but are based on the concept of spirituality and reliance on a higher power (whatever that may mean to you).9 Both of these groups involve the support of others who are also in recovery and the guidance of a sponsor, who helps you work through the 12 steps of recovery. The 12-step model is based on acceptance, surrender, and participation in groups.13
Additional Options for Addiction Treatment
State-funded programs may have long wait times and limited availability, but you have options if you’re not able to get into a free program. As previously mentioned, you could apply for Medicare or Medicaid if you’re eligible, or use insurance if you have it.1 You could also check the FindTreatment.gov website to see about programs that offer sliding scales, scholarships, or grants. You can also directly contact programs you’re interested in to see what types of financial assistance they might offer.6
Financial difficulty should not be a reason to avoid taking charge of your health and well-being. Research has shown that rehabilitation treatment can be very effective in helping individuals maintain a life of sobriety. 13
- S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of the Surgeon General. (2016). Facing addiction in america: The surgeon general’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2000). Integrating substance abuse treatment and vocational services. Chapter 6 –funding and policy issues. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 38.). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2000.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). National survey of substance abuse treatment services (N-SSATS): 2018. Data on substance abuse treatment facilities. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021, September 27). Substance abuse and mental health block grants.
- gov. (n.d.). Veterans alcohol and drug dependence rehabilitation program.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019, October). Paying for treatment: If you don’t have insurance.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment [Internet]. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45.) 6: Financing and organizational issues. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020, April 16). Substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant.
- Grim, B. J., & Grim, M. E. (2019). Belief, behavior, and belonging: How faith is indispensable in preventing and recovering from substance abuse. Journal of religion and health, 58(5), 1713–1750.
- Salvation Army. (n.d.). Rehabilitation.
- Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. (n.d.). Jewish alcoholics, chemically dependent persons and significant others (JACS) and JCS recovery.
- Alcoholics Victorious Headquarters. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions about Alcoholics Victorious.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, January). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (Third edition): 12-Step facilitation therapy (Alcohol, stimulants, opiates).