If you do not have health insurance coverage, you can still seek financial help for substance use disorder treatment. There are a range of services available that may allow you to get treatment at a reduced cost—or even at no cost at all. In the long run, the cost of an addiction will outweigh the cost of treatment. Don’t let a lack of insurance stop you from getting treatment.

Payment Assistance

To make it easier to afford treatment for a substance use disorder, many facilities and organizations offer financing options. These include everything from grants and scholarships to sliding scale plans or monthly payments.

SAMHSA Resources & Grants

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has many resources that can help you find treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder. The site’s free facility locator shows treatment services by location that offer payment assistance programs, so you can find programs that suit your needs and then contact them about financial assistance. You can also call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to speak with an addiction specialist about your specific situation.

Payment Plans

Individual treatment facilities often offer payment plans for substance use disorder treatment. They’ll work with you so that you can make payments every month to finance your program. Your payments will be for a predetermined amount and you’ll pay a designated amount of money until the balance is paid off.

Sliding Scale Programs

Some substance use treatment facilities also offer services on a sliding scale basis. This means they have a fee structure that determines how much you’ll pay based on your income. Fees are set up so that people with lower incomes will pay less than those with higher incomes, and you’ll only pay what you can reasonably afford.

Rehabilitation Scholarships

Some inpatient and outpatient programs have scholarships that will cover some or all of the costs for treatment. These scholarships are offered directly through each individual facility. Contact the specific treatment center you are considering or call programs in your area to find out if they offer any kind of financial assistance.

Stabilization Programs

If you can’t afford an inpatient treatment center that provides detoxification, consider a stabilization program as a lower-cost alternative. Focusing on making progress toward recovery day-by-day, these programs usually last two to six weeks and help the person with substance use disorder get through the initial detoxification and “stabilize” before leaving to pursue other treatment options.

Financing Options

If you’re unable to pay for your substance treatment plan, you can look for outside financing, just as you would to buy a car. These options include:

  • Personal loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Credit cards
  • Health care credit cards

You can get more information about these alternatives by contacting your local bank.

Free Resources

If you simply do not have any money to pay for treatment, you still have options to get help. There are programs in every community that support recovery from substance use disorders. Check in with state drug agencies, local churches, and community centers to find free resources to get help.

Free Community Rehabilitation Programs

There are organizations that offer free treatment for substance use disorder. Religious organizations sometimes include drug rehabilitation as part of their ministry, and there are nonprofit rehab organizations that may be able to help with recovery from addiction at no cost.

State Funded Rehabilitation

Many states offer assistance for substance use treatment, and in some cases, those programs are fully funded and patients pay nothing. You’ll most likely have to meet certain requirements, such as proving state residency and lack of income, and there may be additional criteria for acceptance into these treatment programs. You can review SAMSHA’s Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services or contact your state’s local substance abuse agency for more information.

12-Step Programs

12-step programs are a free resource that can help to support a person in recovery’s efforts to stay substance-free. These programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), use peer support to keep participants accountable and often incorporate a spiritual element, teaching participants to accept that they’re powerless over addiction. The SAMSHA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator can help you find 12-step programs near you.

SMART Recovery

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a free program that teaches participants cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that are proven to help with recovery from substance abuse. Based in science, SMART recovery groups encourage members to look at their own thoughts and behaviors to make long-term life changes. These support groups are free, and you can locate one in your area with the SAMSHA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator or at the Smart Recovery website

There are ways to get help for a substance use disorder. In addition to the options above, you can call SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), available 24 hours a day, to get free and confidential information about substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery.