This is a valid question and a good topic because the idea of a free drug rehab makes a lot of sense given the target demographic and their typical financial standing.
In other words, drug addicts are usually poor.
So it frequently comes up that there is a huge gap in the treatment industry between what the average addict can afford to pay for rehab, and what they rehab experience actually costs in dollars. Treatment is expensive, and like all health care in this country, will probably continue to become even pricier.
Now depending on where you live, drug rehab might be free for you, depending on a number of factors. Let’s take a look.
First of all, the truly wealthy people are not concerned with the price of treatment, as they generally have excellent insurance and could pay cash if they had too. So for this section of people, the cost of rehab does not much matter.
Second of all you have the working class people, who generally have insurance based on their jobs. This is private insurance and it used to pay for 28 days of rehab without too much problem or copay involved. Of course that has changed drastically and even with pretty good insurance these days you are probably not going to get 28 days of rehab for free. Most private insurances will require large copays and require you to jump through various hoops in order to get treated. In addition, there will likely be serious limitations on the length of stay. In fact, I don’t think any insurances pay for 28 days anymore. The best insurance seems to only pay for up to 21 days, and most seem to pay for much less than that. This is all in the U.S. of course based on my experience.
Third, many drug rehabs have funding at the state level, and of course this will depend on what State you live in (or which country if you are outside the U.S.). But basically, each state can budget money for substance abuse and set up grants for people to attend treatment with. I happen to live in Michigan and this money has been there for many many years now but it recently seems to have dried up due to a down economy. It is not certain right now if this state money will come back at some point or not. Without this money from the state, the treatment industry will probably change quite a bit in the coming years.
Of course the wild card is going to be what happens with health care at the national level. There is a strong argument that some form of treatment needs to be provided at any cost, because the alternative of not treating addicts is actually more expensive in the long run.
What you should do if you are truly seeking help is to call up local rehabs in your area and start asking them questions. What would it take to get you into treatment? What are your options? Are there any solutions for someone who has no insurance and no money?
Be polite but persistent and you can probably get the help that you really need.