What to do if you can’t afford rehab

The Hader Clinic
The Hader Clinic
October 9, 2023
minute read

Deciding to seek help for addiction abuse is a courageous step towards reclaiming your life. However, the path to healing can often present unexpected challenges, one of which is the financial burden associated with professional rehabilitation programs. In an ideal world, anyone struggling with addiction would have access to the resources and support they need to overcome their dependencies. But the reality is that not everyone can afford traditional rehab facilities.

In this blog, the team at The Hader Clinic will outline what to do if you can’t afford rehab. This includes finding alternative sources and payment plans, considering government-funded programs, and understanding your funding options. 

I can’t afford rehab - what do I do? 

If you find yourself unable to cover the cost of rehab, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Many individuals face this obstacle, and the good news is that there are alternative paths to recovery that can help you on your journey to a healthier and happier life. 

While professional treatment programs offer comprehensive support and structured environments, there are still numerous strategies, resources, and approaches available that can assist you in your recovery process. From community-based support groups and online therapy options to self-help techniques and holistic approaches, there are various avenues worth exploring. 

Making rehab more affordable 

If you do not have private health insurance and cannot admit yourself or a loved one into a private addiction treatment facility, you can explore a range of other options. Getting the best drug or alcohol addiction services doesn’t have to be so difficult.

We recommend considering some of the following: 

Government-funded programs

In Australia, there are several government-funded rehab programs that aim to provide accessible and affordable treatment options for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. These programs are administered at both the federal and state/territory levels. Here are some examples of government-funded rehab programs in Australia:

Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services (ADATS)

ADATS is a national program funded by the Australian Government that offers a range of treatment services for people experiencing drug and alcohol addiction. These services include residential rehabilitation, detoxification, counselling, withdrawal management, and community-based support.

Public Drug and Alcohol Services

Each state and territory in Australia operates its own public drug and alcohol services, which often include residential rehab programs. These services are typically provided free or at a low cost to eligible individuals. For example, in Victoria, we have the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA).

Community-based organisations

Various community-based organisations receive government funding to deliver drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. These organisations may provide residential rehab, outpatient treatment, counselling, and support services. Examples include the Salvation Army, Odyssey House, and Mission Australia.

Indigenous-specific programs

The Australian Government funds specific programs targeting Indigenous communities to address drug and alcohol issues. These programs are designed to provide culturally appropriate treatment options for Indigenous individuals, focusing on holistic healing and community support.

Community support groups 

Participating in community support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide a network of support and guidance at no cost. These groups offer a peer-led approach to recovery and can be a valuable resource, especially when professional treatment is financially unattainable.

Financing and payment plans 

Inquire about financing options or payment plans offered by local rehab facilities. Some centres may allow you to spread out the cost of treatment over time, making it more manageable. Discuss your financial constraints with the facility and explore if they can accommodate your needs.

Research different drug or alcohol rehab facilities 

Not all rehab centres have the same pricing structure. Explore various facilities and compare their costs, programs, and payment options. Some centres offer sliding-scale fees or financial assistance based on income, so it's essential to inquire about these possibilities.

At The Hader Clinic, we offer affordable drug and alcohol addiction treatment with added mental health services. Our programs are tailored to each individual’s addiction journey, with various programs like cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling, group therapy sessions and more attached to each rehab treatment. 

Will Medicare cover my rehab costs?

In Australia, Medicare does not typically cover the cost of residential or inpatient rehab programs for drug and alcohol addiction. Medicare primarily provides coverage for medical services and treatments delivered by doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals.

However, there are some aspects related to addiction treatment that Medicare may cover:

  • Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS): Medicare may cover consultations and visits to medical professionals such as general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other healthcare providers involved in the management of addiction. These services are typically provided on an outpatient basis.
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS): if medications are prescribed as a treatment for substance abuse disorders, Medicare's PBS can subsidise the cost of those medications, making them more affordable.

It's important to note that the coverage provided by Medicare for addiction treatment is limited, and it does not generally extend to the costs associated with residential rehab programs, detoxification, or intensive inpatient treatment.

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