You’re curious about the cost of drug and alcohol rehab. But first consider this: You have a problem (substance use disorder) and need drug and alcohol rehabilitation when you don’t have control. It’s that simple.
Don’t try to pretend you’re not like other people who are out of control because you are. No control equals addiction. Lapse of control equals addiction. Frequent lapse of control equals addiction.
There’s no difference between drug addiction and alcohol abuse. They are both addictions.
Most addicts are confused about what recovery is or isn’t. If you have an addiction, recovery requires you to become a different person because the person you were wasn’t working.
Recovery requires you to become totally honest.
What is the cost of addiction and alcohol abuse?
Many addicts will spend thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars a year on their addiction. If you add it up over the years you could probably have bought a house.
If you buy 1 bottle of wine a day at $5, which is probably the very cheapest, you spend $1,825 per year. You buy cheaper than that, you’re drinking vinegar. Possibly a month’s mortgage payment. It could even be the cost of a year’s private health insurance.
If you buy drugs from $200 to over $1000 dollars per week you’re moving towards the cost of the deposit for a house.
One in four Australians will struggle with drugs or alcohol. The loss to the economy every year is estimated at $80 billion (1). Some of that is your loss of wages and work-related performance.
The cost to your health?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 3 million people die from alcohol each year (2). The World Drug Report stated that worldwide 284 million people aged 15-64 used drugs (3).
We have to remember these are very conservative figures and the number is probably 10 times higher because most people don’t acknowledge their use.
Where it also really hurts is the medical bills, practically in your later life. It costs the USA emergency departments $13 billion dollars a year to deal with drug and alcohol emergencies (4). That cost is so small in comparison to the medical cost that each individual will have to pay later in life from damage to organs.
Governments frequently won’t pay these costs and it comes down to you to foot the bill. So many people die early because they can’t afford those medical costs.
Are you getting your money’s worth from drug and alcohol recovery programs?
Many drug and alcohol recovery programs fail (5), and you’ll have wasted your money, and this is why:
- You don’t accept you’re an addict.
- You want to cheat recovery, so you look for the cheapest residential options. Big mistake because you get what you pay for in life.
- You go into rehab but don’t do what you’re asked to do and don’t want to change who you are. Residential rehabs post-rehab relapsed can be up to 60%.
- You find a therapist and expect them to do all the work in changing you.
- You get angry with the professional helping you because you think you know better than they do but you don’t because you are the addict.
- You fail to take responsibility for your own life and want to stay acting like a small child – co-dependent. Only this time on substances.
Going into a government rehab may get the costs paid for you but there may be a waiting list for years. And, unless you’re on the verge of psychosis you may not qualify for the funding.
Also, government facilities have limited funds which are largely taken up by boundless administration costs that eat into their budget. Private facilities, on the other hand, tend to cut back their administration costs and have more funds for treatment.
You may have health insurance that might pay for the rehab stay but again recovery will fail if you’re doing one of the above reasons recovery fails.
If you cover the cost yourself, you can expect to pay a minimum of around $12,000 to $15,000 for a 28-day stay. Some rehabs charge up to $50,000. If you stay for 60 days, the costs are pro rata.
Add to that the cost of loss of income from being unable to work and pay your bills. This should include the strain that it will put on your family, work colleagues or the damage to your business.
If those facilities help you, that’s fine. However, if for one of the reasons above, recovery fails, you’ve burnt your money.
You can often be talked into residential care when it’s not necessary and very expensive. If you’re serious and 100% committed to stopping using the substances, you can quit while carrying on with your life.
Millions of people before you have done that. Thousands of people in my clinics have quit while living their daily lives (6).
Not taking addiction seriously
So, you may decide to take none of those options and keep your addictive behaviours for years. Then one day your health fails, and you become sick with cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, kidney failure, brain damage, heart failure, cancer, or early-onset dementia.
It’s not a case of if, but when you’ll get ill, and you probably won’t see it coming.
You may decide recovery isn’t that important and you have more important things to do. But addictive behaviours are damaging your body and life now, not just in the future.
The better way to manage your costs for recovery can be to find a therapist who is an expert in addiction recovery. Pay the fees, without complaining, and do exactly what they tell you to do – when, how and where.
As specialists we’ve trained for years and probably seen hundreds, if not thousands, of addicts, helping them recover during our career. It’s what we do day in and day out. You might not even like everything we ask you to do but you do it anyway.
What you can get for your money
As therapists our job is to get you clean and sober as soon as possible. So, stay in therapy until the job is done, because you also need to learn to remain clean and sober.
Recovery can be fast with the right treatment, particularly hypnotherapy, which teaches you and doesn’t do it for you. You must learn to do it for yourself.
Don’t use the excuse of lack of money for treatment so you can spend more money on drugs and alcohol.
Engage 100% and the cost of recovery will be dramatically reduced. Also, with the money you save by not being an addict, you might even buy yourself a home.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND is an addiction specialist and published author, clinical naturopath, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and PACFA-registered mental health professional. She has helped more than 10,000 addicts. You can consult her in the office or by Zoom from anywhere in the world.
Call our central booking for your FREE telephone consultation with Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH. Phone 0403 398 808. Health funds.
(1) The $80 billion dollar cost of addiction to Australia: Understanding the cost of addiction in Australia, a joint report by KPMG and Rethink Addiction. https://kpmg.com/au/en/home/media/press-releases/2022/11/the-80-billion-cost-of-addiction-australia-22-november-2022.html
(2) Alcohol. (2022, May 9). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/alcohol
(3) UNODC World Drug Report. (2022). World Health Organization. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/unodc-world-drug-report-2022
(4) Peterson, C., Li, M., Xu, L., Mikosz, C., & Luo, F. (2021). Assessment of Annual Cost of Substance Use Disorder in US Hospitals. JAMA Netw Open, 4(3): e210242. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7936257/
(5) Klingemann, H. (2020). Successes and failures in treatment of substance abuse: Treatment system perspectives and lessons from the European continent. Sage Journals, 37(4). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1455072520941977
(6) O’Keefe, Tracie. (2019). Clinical Hypnotherapy for Stopping Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Building Resilience in Clients to Reduce Relapses and Remain Clean and Sober – Guidelines. https://tracieokeefe.com/clinical-hypnotherapy-for-stopping-drug-and-alcohol-addiction-building-resilience-in-clients-to-reduce-relapses-and-remain-clean-and-sober-guidelines/