How to find rehab in South Carolina
Finding detox in South Carolina can be difficult. Here's everything you need to know about SC rehab options and how to find local treatment as soon as possible.
Takeaways from this article:
Types of rehab in South Carolina
How to pay for detox in South Carolina
State-funded-rehab in South Carolina
If you’re battling addiction in South Carolina, you’re not alone.
About 230,000 South Carolina residents have an alcohol use disorder, and 137,000 had serious thoughts of suicide. In fact, addiction took the lives of over 1,100 South Carolina residents in 2018 alone.
However, that doesn’t have to be your story.
Addiction may seem overwhelming, though there are medically proven ways to treat it. Statistics show that while there is no overnight success, addiction treatment is just as effective, if not more effective, than treatments for other diseases like asthma.
If you’re overwhelmed, this resource will walk you through what kind of treatment you need, how you can afford treatment, and how to evaluate a treatment center’s program.
Can I Afford Withdrawal Treatment in South Carolina?
The first question about treatment is usually the cost.
Addiction treatment is a sizeable investment, though it’s not as much as other medical investments.
For example, the average cost of cancer treatment is about $150,000, while the average cost of inpatient rehab ranges from just $5,000 to $16,000. However, addiction can be just as deadly as cancer (and even lead to cancer) if left untreated.
Therefore, it is worth the investment.
Some 103 of 114 total treatment centers in South Carolina accept self-payment, so if it’s possible, this is probably the most straightforward option. This also gives you a range of options, as most private for-profit treatment centers have immediate availability.
Nonetheless, if you need some assistance, your private insurance should pay for at least some of the costs of treatment. The Affordable Healthcare Act now requires insurance companies to cover addiction treatment costs and “to be offered on par with medical and surgical procedures.” 
About 74 percent of treatment providers in South Carolina accept private health insurance, so check with your insurance plan to see what coverage they offer.
Unfortunately, about 10.5 percent of South Carolina residents still don’t have health insurance. If this is your situation, consider Medicare or Medicaid.
Both of these government programs are free to eligible applicants, and while Medicare is generally available to those with low income aged 65 and older, Medicaid is available to low-income residents of any age.
To apply for these programs, you have to fill out an application and prove that your income does not exceed their limits (which tend to change annually based on the Federal Poverty Limit). You can read more about their limits on their website.
In fact, Medicaid and Medicare combined covered about 32 percent of South Carolina’s total population combined in 2018.
Fortunately, 23 percent of treatment facilities in South Carolina accept Medicare, while 64 percent accept Medicaid.
Below is a further breakdown:
|Facility Payment Options, by Number and percent|
|Cash or self-payment||103||90.35%|
|Private Health Insurance||84||73.68%|
|State-financed Health insurance||56||49.12%|
|Federal military insurance||42||36.84%|
|No payment accepted (free treatment for all clients)||8||7.02%|
|IHS/Tribal/Union (ITU) funds||4||3.51%|
|Sliding fee scale||50||43.86%|
|Treatment at no charge or minimal payment for clients who can’t pay||69||60.53%|
State-Funded Rehab vs. Private Rehab in South Carolina
If you still fear that you won’t be able to afford rehab, you may be eligible to enter a state-funded treatment center.
A state-funded treatment center is funded by tax dollars and therefore free for patients to attend. Given that it’s a free program, it’s typically much more competitive to enter, and you’ll usually have to fill out an application proving lack of insurance, a minimum income, proof of US citizenship, and proof of South Carolina residency.
If you are accepted, you’ll be put on a waiting list to enter a program, which can be several weeks or months. This waiting period can be detrimental for people in need of urgent care, and it is one of the biggest drawbacks of state-funded treatment centers.
Therefore, many people turn to privately funded treatment centers. Fortunately, several non-profit privately funded treatment centers operate on generous donations. They are usually either free to attend, low cost, or operate on a sliding scale.
These treatment centers usually have limited resources and are available by application only. However, their programs are effective, and you’ll still receive high-quality professional medical attention.
South Carolina has eight treatment facilities that are free to attend, 50 that operate on a sliding scale, and 69 that offer treatment at a minimal charge.
Below is a thorough breakdown of payment options for treatment centers in South Carolina:
|Facility Operation, by number and percent|
|Private for Profit||31||27.19%|
|Local, county, or community government||23||20.18%|
Withdrawal Treatment Options in South Carolina
Now that you have options to afford treatment, your next step is deciding what kind of treatment to receive.
Regardless of whether you choose inpatient or outpatient treatment, the first step will be detoxification.
This process is perhaps the most challenging for addicts as both the body and mind have to relearn how to live without alcohol.
Physically, the patient will feel anxious or stressed during the process. This is because alcohol and other drugs are depressants, and the body is therefore accustomed to working in overdrive just to function at a normal level. Therefore, when the depressants are removed, the body doesn’t immediately relax from overdrive, and the patient will become anxious. This is known as the withdrawal state.
In more serious cases, the patient may experience Delirium Tremens (DT) two to three days after their last ingestion of the substance.  While this only occurs in about 5 percent of patients, it can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Therefore, it’s essential to experience the detoxification process under medical attention, particularly for those heavily dependent on a substance.
Fortunately, South Carolina offers 31 detoxification programs throughout the state in outpatient, inpatient, and hospital facilities.
Once you’ve completed the detoxification process and are stable, you’ll transition to either an inpatient or outpatient facility.
Inpatient treatment is an option where people live at the facility, and it’s proven to be one of the most effective treatment options available.
During inpatient treatment, you’ll experience a very structured day with meetings in the morning that follow the 12 step program, a healthy breakfast, and meditation.
The afternoons usually focus on therapy sessions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, family sessions, and even group sessions, depending on your needs. There are usually a few hours of free time, and then the evenings finish with more 12 step meetings.
Given the intensity of the program, it’s not surprising that this form of treatment is often successful.
However, if you can’t attend inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab is another option.
Outpatient rehab varies drastically in intensity, though the patient lives at home while driving to therapy sessions. Therefore, given that the patient will be unsupervised at night, it’s generally only recommended for those with a mild addiction who have never tried treatment.
Some outpatient treatment is as simple as a few meetings per week, whereas others are more intense with therapy sessions throughout the day.
Most outpatient treatment programs last longer than inpatient programs (which are typically 30 to 90 days) as it is less intensive.
Fortunately, South Carolina has a wide range of options with almost 100 outpatient programs, 20 inpatient programs, and 14 intensive hospital inpatient programs.
Here’s a further breakdown:
|Type of Care, by number and percent|
|Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization||13||11.40%|
|Methadone/buprenorphine maintenance or naltrexone treatment||32||28.07%|
Withdrawal Treatment Center Accreditations in South Carolina
If you’ve narrowed down your options to a handful of treatment centers that accept your form of payment and ideal program, which one should you choose?
The best place to start is by looking at their accreditation. An accredited treatment facility means that a third-party organization has thoroughly inspected its program, facility, and staff to ensure that the treatment offered is effective.
The first accreditation you should look for is the South Carolina Department of Health. You can find the list of facilities accredited with them here.
The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services is another South Carolina government-supported organization that also offers a list of treatment centers they’ve accredited.
These two organizations alone accredited 76 and 68 percent of South Carolina treatment facilities, though few other government-funded organizations also offer accreditation.
In addition to these government-related organizations, there are also a number of third party organizations that offer accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is perhaps the largest of them all, with 62 percent of South Carolina treatment facilities holding accreditations from them.
If you want to dive deeper, you can see a list of all reputable accreditation organizations below:
|Facility Licensing, Certification, or Accreditation, by number and percent|
|Any listed agency/organization||107||93.68%|
|State substance abuse agency||78||68.42%|
|State mental health department||7||6.14%|
|State department of health||87||76.32%|
|Hospital licensing authority||12||10.53%|
|The Joint Commission||23||20.18%|
|Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)||71||62.28%|
|National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)||8||7.02%|
|Council on Accreditation (COA)||4||3.51%|
|Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP)||2||1.75%|
|Other national organization or federal, state or local agency||5||4.39%|
SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2014 and 2015. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHsaeStateTabs2015B/NSDUHsaeSouthCarolina2015.pdf
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Casarella, Jennifer. “Delirium Tremens (DTs): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, 13 July 2020, www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/delirium-tremens.
SCDHEC. “Licensed Facilities by Type” 2019, https://scdhec.gov/health-regulation/healthcare-facility-licensing/licensed-sc-healthcare-facilities-lists/licensed-1
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