The Cost of Detox: How Much Does Drug Detox Cost?

3 min read · 5 sections

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, rates of drug abuse are on the rise in America with 9.4 percent of the population ages 12 and older reporting past-month illicit drug use in 2013, an increase from the 8.3 percent rate in 2002.1

What is the Cost of Drug Detox?

The cost of detox varies depending on a number of things, including insurance coverage, type of addiction, treatment facility location, amenities offered, and prior history of recovery attempts. In general, outpatient care is less expensive than inpatient care, but inpatient care might be more effective for some people.

Some substances, including alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids, can cause unpleasant and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms during the detox process. Medically monitored inpatient detox programs for these patients may be more costly, but they are also lifesaving.

More on Paying for Treatment

While all these individuals won’t end up hooked on the drugs they are abusing, many do end up with addiction. For most, the path out of addiction starts with detox.

During detox, the body processes out the substance it has become accustomed to abusing. This process is known as withdrawal, and it is often referred to as detox, but the two are not one and the same. Withdrawal is what your body goes through while detox is the process that facilitates it.

What is Medical Detox?

Inpatient medical detox involves slowly weaning an individual off drugs and/or alcohol in a controlled manner under the supervision of medical professionals. Outpatient care differs in that clients come to treatment for scheduled visits and then go home to sleep at night. There are no overnights spent or residential requirements with outpatient detox. Thus, outpatient treatment is generally less expensive merely because it doesn’t involve round-the-clock care or lodging expenses. This financial difference is likely the deciding factor for many who opt for outpatient treatment over inpatient care. In 2013, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported 90.2 percent of clients in rehab on a given day were there on an outpatient basis.2

Various medications are sometimes used during detox to mitigate the effects of withdrawal, and these medications come with a price. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed during detox to mitigate the symptoms of sadness that frequently occur.

Benzos are sometimes used to calm individuals during detox and relieve anxiety and paranoia. In one year, the average cost of prescription benzodiazepines for Medicare beneficiaries was $190, per the journal of Psychiatric Services.3 Sedative hypnotics and other drugs commonly used to treat clients during detox can cost more on top of the price the facility itself charges.

NIDA reports some 2.1 million Americans were hooked on prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012, and another 467,000 were addicted to heroin.4 Withdrawal side effects from opiates can range from sleepiness and mood swings to seizures and coma, but medications like methadone and Suboxone can limit the occurrence of these symptoms. SAMHSA reports there were 313,921 people in medication-assisted opioid treatment programs in 2012, and 98 percent of them received methadone.2 Over the course of one year, which is the minimum recommended time individuals are encouraged to stay in medical detox treatment for opiates, methadone maintenance treatment costs around $4,700 per person, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.5

The use of medications for any detox experience is assessed by medical professionals and determined on an individual basis.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Mental illness must be treated at the same time as substance abuse and addiction issues for the best shot at a full recovery. Most individuals will benefit from combined treatment that utilizes prescription medications (if needed), therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have both shown great results for those who are troubled by co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems. With a combined approach toward treatment that reaches past detox to incorporate therapy and long-term support for people in recovery, abstinence can be reached.

Find Drug Detox Centers Near Me

Ways to Get in Contact With Us

If you believe you or someone you love may be struggling with addiction, let us hear your story and help you determine a path to treatment.

There are a variety of confidential, free, and no obligation ways to get in contact with us to learn more about treatment.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (N.A.). Trends and Statistics.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Data Files.
  3. Benzodiazepine Use and Expenditures for Medicare Beneficiaries and the Implications of Medicare Part D Exclusions.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?
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