According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2016, of the 21 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment, roughly 3.8 million sought and received treatment of any kind in the 12 months prior to surveying; only 2.2 million people accessed such treatment through a specialty facility (i.e., as an inpatient in a hospital, at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility, through the services of a mental health center). State-funded rehabs may be a good option for some of those who are left out of these figures.
While some people may view some stigma attached to accessing public assistance resources such as these, for those who are ready to take control of their addictions, it is still possible to use these clinics and treatment centers to obtain evidence-based medical detox, behavioral therapies, post-treatment counseling, and other important support systems that make long-term recovery attainable.
Individuals or their families and friends who want to seek out state-funded options may not know how to get started. With the right knowledge and resources, and a little preparation, the answers to the following frequently asked questions can open up the path to finding the right treatment center.
Quite simply, state-funded rehab centers are organizations that use government money, distributed by the state, to support people in recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs. For those without a lot of income or with inadequate or no insurance, these centers provide detox, treatment, and support services.
Programs come in various forms, including inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization, as well as follow-up support.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publication, Integrating Substance Abuse Treatment and Vocational Services, the money that states use to fund these centers comes from various sources. Some is provided through SAMHSA in the form of federal grants and from reimbursement through Medicaid, and some comes directly from the state budget. A challenge for those seeking treatment is that the amount and even the type of state support varies depending on the state – as do the requirements to qualify for this type of treatment – so it’s important for each person pursuing treatment to research and become aware of the offerings of their state.
Often, these centers are included as part of other state services, such as child social services, criminal justice and prison provisions, and other areas of state government, meaning that funding is provided specifically through an individual’s connection with those programs. Still, there are options for people not involved in these programs, as long as they qualify for services.
Again, different states have different requirements and offerings when it comes to rehab funded through state and local governments. Therefore, it’s 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 (SSAs) for Substance Abuse Services provided by SAMHSA provides contact information for these agencies in each state.
Completing the requirements to qualify for these programs can take a little time and effort. Generally, those who wish to enroll in state-funded treatment centers are asked to provide the following:
Once this information is provided, and the individual is qualified and the need for addiction treatment services is verified, treatment can be provided.
Because funding for state treatment is limited and must be distributed among potentially large numbers of individuals, sometimes there is a waiting list to get into these programs. In addition, certain people may be given priority for spaces, such as pregnant women, and are therefore moved to the top of the list, moving others down in priority.
This can sometimes deter people from getting help because they don’t want to wait, and they may then simply decide not to pursue treatment anymore. As noted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction treatment is more likely to be pursued if it is readily available when an individual is ready to seek it. As a result, many of these state-funded rehab programs provide outpatient and medical maintenance services for those who are waiting for more intensive treatment.
“The facility that I went to will always be a part of my heart…it saved my life.. I wouldn’t be here today without it.”
Again, due to limited funding, state-funded rehabs aren’t always 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 that treatment in general – any level of treatment – is better at providing positive outcomes in lowering substance use, improving personal health and social relationships, and increasing public health and safety than no treatment. Other studies show that public funding of drug and alcohol addiction treatment helps lower crime rates and is more cost-effective than no treatment or minimal intervention. In this way, treatment from public rehab centers is just as valuable and can have the same positive outcomes as private treatment centers. That said, state-funded rehab relies on traditional, evidence-based treatment and may not be able to offer the latest in complementary therapeutic offerings or other treatment trends.
State-funded 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, while private treatment centers may offer these services in-house. State-funded rehab centers may not be as comfortable in terms of accommodations as private organizations. State funding generally does not provide for all the comforts of home or other desirable amenities that might be available through a private residential treatment facility. Public programs may be 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.
Treatment through a state-funded program can range anywhere from free to several thousand dollars, depending on the individual’s qualification for the program and the required intensity of treatment – such as inpatient, outpatient, medication maintenance treatment, and so on. Depending on circumstances and state policy, it may be possible for an individual to be fully subsidized for treatment; for example, there are grants for these centers to support addiction treatment for pregnant women, veterans, or other specific groups.
Private treatment, on the other hand, can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The level of comfort, amenities, and activities of these private facilities account for much of the difference in cost. In many cases, a percentage of this cost can be covered by insurance – sometimes even most of the cost. While there is usually still some amount to pay out of pocket, including co-insurance payments, deductibles, and other costs, those with insurance would do well to look into these types of treatment.
In general, as with most things, it can be expected that the higher the cost, the more services and amenities are available to help make the detox and treatment process more comfortable and to provide a network of support beyond treatment without as much effort on the part of the client.
Once an individual is ready for treatment, there are a number of resources to help find state-funded rehab programs. As listed above, the Directory of Single State Agencies (SSAs) for Substance Abuse Services provides contact information for each state’s agency governing substance abuse policy, funding, and services. Contacting a specific state agency could be the best way to find out more about what that state offers, and how to go about obtaining their services.
Another good way to search for treatment facilities is through SAMHSA’s treatment locator. This interactive page enables a visual search of state and municipality centers as well as other regional treatment resources. It allows site visitors to narrow their options based on location by using a physical address, which is then completely deleted from the system following the search.
Finally, there are a number of websites that offer support in searching for treatment centers. These include sites like rehabs.com.