Selecting a Treatment Provider in Alabama

Selecting a Treatment Provider in Alabama

Overdose deaths for 2018 numbered 775 in Alabama and the mortality rate was 16.6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[1] To help reverse this trend, American Addiction Centers continues to focus on its mission to help people find treatment regardless of whether or not it is at one of our facilities.

This page is a comprehensive resource of information about addiction treatment in Alabama. We detail the different types of rehab in Alabama, how to pay for private rehab, how to find state-funded resources, and where to look for accreditation information.

Types of Rehab Available in Alabama

There are three different types of treatment for those seeking help with substance abuse: detox, inpatient care, and outpatient care.

People struggling with addiction are vulnerable to the dangers associated with withdrawal. Detox is often the first step before moving to longer-term treatment options.[2] Detox includes medical support and guidance for an individual who is in withdrawal so they can physically stabilize before engaging in long-term, therapy-based treatment.

Inpatient care involves a residential setting where patients receive around-the-clock care. Outpatient care is for those who have already completed inpatient care or for people who may not be able to take time away from work obligations or family responsibilities.

The table below showcases the number of rehab facilities in Alabama that offer each level of care:

Type of Care, by number and percent
Facilities
No. %
Outpatient 105 79.55%
Regular 86 65.15%
Intensive 50 37.88%
Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization 7 5.30%
Detoxification 14 10.61%
Methadone/buprenorphine maintenance or naltrexone treatment 35 26.52%
Residential (non-hospital) 29 21.97%
Short Term 14 10.61%
Long Term 19 14.39%
Detoxification 3 2.27%
Hospital Inpatient 6 4.55%
Treatment 2 1.52%
Detoxification 6 4.55%
Total 132 100.00%

The majority of care facilities in Alabama (80 percent) are outpatient. Among outpatient facilities, the majority are regular (65 percent), followed by intensive (38 percent) and methadone/buprenorphine (27 percent). Residential facilities outside of a hospital represent 22 percent of facilities; 14 percent are long-term, while 11 percent are short-term, which gives people almost equal options about where is best for them to stay.

Paying for Detox or Rehab in Alabama

The expense of paying for individual treatment can be daunting for people seeking enrollment in an addiction treatment program, especially for those who do not have health insurance coverage. Most people in Alabama attending treatment either use private or state insurance plans.

Addiction treatment can be costly. Projections anticipate that healthcare costs will rise to $6 trillion by 2027.[3] In 2020, Alabama received $6.3 million in federal funding to fight opioid addiction. The grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded community health centers that offer low-cost or free treatment services. A portion of the grants was directed to schools to improve access to substance abuse treatment.[4]

How much treatment costs in Alabama depends on several factors: the type of care required, whether it is inpatient or outpatient, the type of facility, the amenities, and more. Costs also depend on the type of treatment centers you choose, either state-funded or privately-funded.

The Difference Between State-Funded and Private Treatment in Alabama

Facility Operation, by number and percent
Facilities
No. %
Private Non-Profit 80 60.61%
Private for Profit 38 28.79%
Local, county, or community government 6 4.55%
State government 2 1.52%
Federal Government 6 4.55%
Tribal Government 0 0.00%
Total 132 100.00%

As you can see, More than half (61 percent) of the number of treatment centers in Alabama are private non-profit while just a third (29 percent) are private for-profit, which means people with lower incomes have more opportunities to seek affordable treatment as well

Treatment in Alabama by Payment Option

While 89 of the total 132 treatment facilities in Alabama accept private insurance, 120 also accept cash or self-payment. Eighty-two accept Medicaid, but only 38 accept Medicare.

About 10 percent of people in Alabama are without health insurance.[5] While not having a private insurance plan might limit your options, always remember that there are several treatment facilities that will serve your needs regardless.

The table below breaks down the typical payment methods used and how many facilities in Alabama accept each payment type.

Facility Payment Options, by Number and percent
No. %
Cash or self-payment 120 90.91%
Private Health Insurance 89 67.42%
Medicare 38 28.79%
Medicaid 82 62.12%
State-financed Health insurance 44 33.33%
Federal military insurance 52 39.39%
No payment accepted (free treatment for all clients) 4 3.03%
IHS/Tribal/Union (ITU) funds 6 4.55%
Other payments 1 0.76%
Sliding fee scale 83 62.88%
Treatment at no charge or minimal payment for clients who can’t pay 77 58.33%
Total 132 100.00%

Treatment is possible in Alabama for those with the least resources. Cash represents the majority (91 percent) of payment options in Alabama followed by private health insurance (67 percent) and Medicaid (62 percent). For clients who struggle with their finances, more than half of the facilities (63 percent) accept patients on a sliding fee scale, but only 3 percent provide treatment at no charge or for minimal payment.

Treatment Center Accreditations in Alabama

Now that you understand the types of care available, the differences in facility types, and how to pay for treatment, the last thing you’ll want to consider about a facility is its accreditation.

There are three levels of certification for substance abuse counseling in Alabama: State Certified Addiction Counselor, National Certified Addiction Counselor I (NCACI), and National Certified Addiction Counselor II (NCACII). All levels of certification require that counselors have met the previous requirements for lower levels of certification.[6]

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredits operators worldwide at the request of health and human service providers and can be a good reference point when looking for accredited drug and alcohol treatment facilities. The Joint Commission Accreditation for Addiction Treatment Providers (often referred to simply as the Joint Commission) also provides accreditation to service providers.[7]

Below is a table outlining the typical types of accreditations or licenses so you can understand what number of facilities have these and how common they are.

Facility Licensing, Certification, or Accreditation, by number and percent
No. %
Any listed agency/organization 128 96.97%
State substance abuse agency 108 81.82%
State mental health department 110 83.33%
State department of health 24 18.18%
Hospital licensing authority 5 3.79%
The Joint Commission 23 17.42%
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) 22 16.67%
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) 3 2.27%
Council on Accreditation (COA) 3 2.27%
Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) 1 0.76%
Other national organization or federal, state or local agency 3 2.27%
Total 132 100.00%

The good news is that there are a number of reputable providers with accreditations serving the state of Alabama. Almost all agencies (97 percent) have some kind of accreditation, are licensed by the state mental health department (83 percent), or are an accredited state substance abuse agency (82 percent). You can rest assured there are many reputable options available no matter your individual circumstance


[1] “Drug Overdose Mortality by State,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 29, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/drug_poisoning_mortality/drug_poisoning.htm
[2] Emily Guarnotta, “Drug & Alcohol Withdrawal Information,” Withdrawal.net, https://www.withdrawal.net/treatment/information/.
[3] “Healthcare Costs For Americans Projected to Grow at an Alarming Rate,” Peter G. Peterson Foundation, May 1, 2019. https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2019/05/healthcare-costs-for-americans-projected-to-grow-at-an-alarmingly-high-rate#:~:text=Healthcare%20Costs%20Continue%20to%20Rise,to%20%246%20trillion%20by%202027.
[4] “Alabama Getting $6.3 Million to Fight Opioids,” Associated Press, August 12, 2019, https://www.apr.org/post/alabama-getting-63-million-fight-opioids.
[5] “Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population,” 2018, KFF.org, https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/?activeTab=map&currentTimeframe=0&selectedDistributions=uninsured&selectedRows=%7B%22states%22:%7B%22rhode-island%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22desc%22%7D
[6] Substance Abuse Counseling Certification in Alabama, HumanServicesEdu.org, https://www.humanservicesedu.org/alabama-substance-abuse-counselor/
[7] “Evolving With Care,” The Joint Commission, https://www.jointcommission.org/.