Is it possible to get free alcohol rehab? Yes and no.
For the most part, alcohol rehab costs money, and the cost is actually quite high. In the detox phase of treating alcoholism, you need something that is close to a hospital setting, complete with medical staff. For the residential phase of treatment, you are going to need therapists and counselors. If you are looking at long term alcohol rehab, then the major cost is long term housing.
At each stage, there are real costs involved, and you are looking at a least a few hundred per day for detox or residential. Depending on the structure of the long term rehab, the costs for that might be driven down much further, but you are still going to be looking at the basic price of rent and utilities and food.
So is there such a thing as a free rehab? Let’s take a look at each stage of treatment separately.
Detox – This is the most expensive phase of alcohol treatment because you are paying for medical staff, medication, and 24/7 patient care (on top of room and board and food). How can you get this for free? It is pretty hard to do because the costs are so high and the treatment center has to be compensated somehow. So even if you do not pay for it directly, someone most certainly does. Alcohol detox is expensive and it costs real dollars to operate it. Normally they will also have a doctor who at least checks in and consults on the various patients too. No free lunch here.
Residential – This is generally a little bit cheaper than detox but not always by very much. There is still a lot of overhead here and you still need medical staff involved. Again, it is not really free–ever–because someone has to pay the bills to keep the treatment center open. Even if you have insurance that covers the full cost with no copay, you are still paying in a way, because you basically pay for your insurance in some fashion.
Long term – Now this actually has the potential to be “free,” in that some of these places are set up to house homeless alcoholics. Many of them are government funded and require clients who go back to work while living there to pitch in a percentage of their earnings towards rent. So it is not really “free,” but it is set up so that it can be close to free for struggling alcoholics who need a place to live. If you have no home and no income, then you can live in such a place for no cost. If you do go get work, then you start contributing towards rent. It is a fair setup that is designed to get people back on their feet.
So what I would recommend is that if you are serious about wanting to change your life, then call up an alcohol rehab close to your location and ask them questions. Find out what you need to do in order to come to their program and how much it would cost. Find out if there are grants that can help fund you.