Rehab Options for Addicts on Public Assistance

January 24, 2018

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State-Funded Rehab

Treatment of alcohol or drug addiction can seem overwhelming. A stay in a qualified rehab facility is the most direct course to long-term success, yet the cost of a stay in rehab can be out of reach for those with low incomes and/or no insurance. To make sure that treatment is available when it is needed, there are public assistance options like state-funded rehab that can offer these people the financial support they need to detox and begin the recovery process. These options range from government grants for care to state-funded rehabilitation centers that provide effective treatment programs.

State-funded drug and alcohol treatment centers provide excellent care for those battling addiction. Private rehab institutions are known for providing amenities which state institutions typically cannot afford. However, the basic services, detox process, addiction counseling and long-term outpatient treatment are the goals of both types of agencies.

The Benefits of State-Funded Rehab Treatment

A study conducted in New York State on the effectiveness of the State paying for drug treatment for those convicted of minor drug offenses as an alternative to prison showed that there was almost $9 in savings for every $1 invested in substance abuse treatment programs. This makes it very attractive for states and municipalities to invest in drug and alcohol rehab programs as an alternative to prison.

The bottom line is state-funded treatment saves government resources and taxpayer money.

Finding State-Funded Rehab Centers

One of the best ways to find a state-funded rehab is through the government. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a search tool that can find nearby treatment centers based on an individual’s address. Search options allow certain requirements to be notated based on the individual.

Different states have different requirements and offerings when it comes to rehab funded by state and local governments. It is a good idea to locate the specific state agency that manages these programs and find out how to qualify in that particular state. The Directory of Single State Agencies for Substance Abuse Services provides contacts for agencies in each state.

State Funded Drug Rehabs

States are able to set up and provide treatment through their own rehab centers with the help of federal financing and other available funds. Just like more expensive, luxurious treatment centers, state centers can provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment, and they can offer or refer clients to follow-up support services.

SAMHSA grants are another source of funding for state rehab facilities. As described on the SAMHSA website, these annual grants are mandated by Congress to help state behavioral health and substance abuse agencies fund and provide technical assistance for their programs. Specifically, the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant is targeted for drug and alcohol misuse prevention and treatment.

State-funded rehab centers often have specific requirements in order for an individual to be accepted into a treatment program.

These can include:

  • Proof of residence in the funding state
  • Demonstrated inability to afford other treatment
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residence in the US
  • Information about the degree or level of addiction and history

The biggest challenge addicts face with these treatment centers is that there are often waiting lists to get into the program. Certain people are given priority for spaces – such as pregnant women. However, many of these centers have outpatient services that can help support individuals while they wait for a space in a more intensive program.

What to Do if You Are on a Waiting List

Some state-funded rehab programs require you to wait until a treatment spot opens up. If you’re asked to wait, you might be given medications to help ease your cravings while you wait for your counseling to begin. This can be a helpful intervention. According to a study in the journal Addiction, opiate addicts given buprenorphine while waiting for inpatient care showed an increase in well-being and life satisfaction, compared to people who did not get the drug, and they were less likely to abuse substances as they waited. While it’s best to enter treatment for addiction right away, using medications could help to make the wait easier.

How Does a State-Funded Program Compare

There are obvious pros and cons to attending a state-funded rehab. Simply by nature, these types of rehab centers are hugely popular even for those who can afford paid treatment. Most people will actively choose things that are either free or lower cost than alternatives.

Two of the major advantages of state-funded programs are price and quality care.

The cost of a state-funded drug rehab program is an obvious advantage. Drug rehab is quite expensive, even for those who can afford it. It is certainly a big relief for those who can’t afford paid care to be able to access this type of alcohol or drug addiction treatment. However, this advantage may not be as alluring if someone has a more robust insurance which covers treatment in the case of drug abuse. With insurance, private care can be as cheap as state-funded programs.

The other major advantage is the relatively good quality of care received by those who are involved. This is because they can expect the minimum standard of care which sometimes is all that is needed to make a full recovery. The personnel are highly trained and skilled individuals who make the best of the very limited resources available to them.

Due to limited funding available, state-funded rehab is not necessarily able to provide the most current technologies and treatments, compared to private treatment centers. However, this doesn’t mean that the therapies offered won’t be effective. Studies have shown state-funded rehabs help lower crime rates and are more cost-effective than minimal intervention or prison. In this way, treatment from public rehab centers is just as valuable and can create the same positive outcomes as private treatment centers. That said, state-funded rehab relies on traditional, evidence-based treatment and is not necessarily going to keep up with the latest trends in treatment.

State-funded rehab programs also may not have in-house counseling or other support services. Some of these facilities provide detox or medical management only but will refer the client to counseling services and self-help groups after the fact. State-funded rehab centers are not likely to be as comfortable in terms of accommodations as private organizations. State funding generally does not provide for the comforts of home that are available through a private residential treatment facility. The public programs are more utilitarian and focused solely on treatment rather than on providing a spa-like atmosphere. Still, individuals who are determined to overcome their addictions should not find this to be an impediment to their progress.

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