Financing Options for Rehab: Rehab Scholarships, Grants and Loans

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Rehab is a wonderful place for someone struggling with addiction. At a professional rehab center, people facing a substance use disorder can benefit from a safe drug and alcohol detox program and learn how to stay sober for the long term. However, the high costs of rehab often discourage addicts from pursuing professional treatment, and this is the need that rehab scholarships fill.

A common scenario for many people is that having finally reached the decision to work on their addiction and attend rehab, they then realize that the cost is prohibitive, and they cannot afford it. Although there are other options such as the hospital and 12-step programs, these solutions are short-term and the person struggling with addiction may find themselves in a horrible cycle of relapse. The good news is that there are different options available such as grants for rehab, drug rehab scholarships, and other financial assistance for recovering addicts so that they can recover completely from the addiction and move on to lead happy, drug-free lives.

Qualifying for Rehab Scholarships and Grants

The scholarships and grants available are prioritized for those struggling with SUD (Substance Use Disorder) who cannot afford drug rehab, but are serious about and committed to working through the program fully to recovery. Some drug rehab scholarships cover the full cost of the treatment, while others only cover the treatment partially. Some rehab facilities require the recipient of the scholarship to complete the full program until recovery, otherwise they do not apply the scholarship and the person struggling with addiction will have to pay up the treatment that they received up until the point when they stopped the program.

Benefits of Scholarships and Grants for Rehab

While the benefits of a scholarship for a person struggling with addiction is obvious, people who do not struggle with a substance use disorder may not understand the benefit of assisting our local community with providing funds for those who need it for recovery. The fact is that the whole society gains when more people are able to get the help that they need to get sober. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, every dollar invested in drug rehab centers saves the country $4 in healthcare costs and $7 in law enforcement and criminal justice costs [1]. Whereas it can cost around $1,583 per person for drug recovery treatment, the country could potentially save on average $11,487 per person, a benefit-cost ratio of 7:1.

In the long term, helping people finance treatment to a rehab center saves government resources and taxpayer money, making it beneficial to invest in providing scholarships and grants to people struggling with drug addiction.

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Different Forms of Drug Rehab Financing

Here are several different options to help you pay for rehab:


There are many different insurance companies who provide scholarships for recovering addicts, including Medicaid, Medicare and ABA (the Affordable Care Act). Medicaid or Medicare may cover inpatient or outpatient drug rehab, medications used in the treatment process, partial cover for hospitalizations, different therapies and medication. The Affordable Care Act is a policy which Medicaid and the state health insurance may sell as an insurance policy which covers the recovery from substance use disorder. This policy includes psychotherapy, inpatient health services and other forms of substance abuse treatment. If in any state, Medicaid expands to include the ACA, they offer more forms of recovery and support for SUD.

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The main funding source for people struggling with SUD is grants available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a government agency [2]. The SAMHSA provides funds, known as ‘block grants’, to many rehab centers so that they can make their rehab affordable for people who want to attend. Some government grants for recovering addicts are specifically aimed at IV drug users, people at risk for HIV/AIDS, or pregnant and postpartum women. You can ask your local drug rehab center if they can offer you grants for substance abuse treatment through their SAMHSA funds.

State and Local Government Funding

Many states have a substance abuse agency which may be included under a large municipal health and human services department or behavioral health department. These agencies will manage the state, federal and other funds as government grants for recovering addicts, to assist people in funding their stint at a rehab center. Other agencies that distribute these funds are the CPS (Child Protection Services), drug courts, corrective systems, and other drug prevention programs.

State-Funded Drug Rehab

Using federal and state financing, some states are able to provide free rehab treatment within local rehab centers for anyone who can’t afford treatment. Often these programs are in centers that offer less amenities, use less up-to-date methods, or they offer mostly out-patient services. In order to qualify, state-funded rehab also demands proof of residence in the state, proof of citizenship or legal residence in the US, information on the degree of addiction, and inability to pay for treatment. There is also often a waiting list to get approved for a state-funded slot at a local rehab.

Non-profits Foundations

There are organizations that help to fund rehab scholarships for people recovering from substance use disorder. An example is 10,000 Beds, an organization that provided $1,000,000 in scholarships in 2016 [3]. They partner with facilities that have some openings and they convince them to donate the openings for people who are unable to afford rehab.


If you don’t have the required funds upfront, but either don’t qualify for- or prefer not to receive- a grant, you can look into the option of a loan.  The bank can sometimes loan you the funds, or you could ask around. Your family and friends are likely affected by the drug addiction and they may be very happy to loan you the money for recovery at a rehab center. If your family and friends are afraid that you’ll use the money to continue purchasing drugs, you can ask them to transfer the money directly to the rehab center. This is very unpleasant and even possibly humiliating but remember that you have to try everything so that you can recover and earn the trust of your loved ones again. You can also consider using a credit card to pay for the treatment.

Treatment Centers that Offer Scholarships

There are many residential treatment centers and intensive outpatient programs in every state who offer full or partial scholarships for people who have disabilities, are in difficult financial shape or are serious about recovery but do not have the necessary funds. Ask your local rehab center if they accept your insurance, or if they can offer you a grant or scholarship.

Financial Assistance for Recovering Addicts at Avenues Recovery

Making the decision to ‘get clean’ and work on your drug addiction is a huge step. It’s most likely the wisest decision you’ll ever make. If you have some funds that you’ve saved over time, consider using this money to cover your treatment as this is the best investment to use your money for at this point. If you don’t have the funds, don’t let the cost of rehab scare you away - there are many other options available. Ask your therapist, counselor, the bank, your insurance provider or local rehab center about different financing options that can help you cover the cost partially or fully.

At Avenues Recovery, we accept many different insurance plans - ask if your plan is on our list. Additionally, we sometimes offer scholarships for people who are serious about, and dedicated to, recovery. Contact us now to find out more about available funding options.

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