How Much Does Detox Cost?
Withdrawal treatment is rarely without cost. Depending on the treatment, costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Here's what you need to know.
Takeaways from this article:
the cost of medical detox.
Factors that impact the cost of detox.
Finding affordable local detox centers.
The total cost of detox can rise into the thousands of dollars. The detox center you choose, the type of care they provide, and other variables will have a direct impact upon the cost of your treatment.
If you’re looking for a finite dollar value regarding how much detox costs, you’ll have to call your potential detox treatment provider directly. However, if you would like to understand the general costs of detox treatment and how to identify affordable detox centers, this article will be helpful in your journey to sobriety.
Why Do Detox Costs Vary?
All detox programs have the goal of safely ending your dependence on drugs and alcohol, but the monetary cost of detoxification programs, like all addiction treatments, can vary widely based on a number of factors. The primary factor driving cost is the intensity of services. Generally, intensive services like inpatient medical detox programs require many highly-trained staff members to be successful, which equates to higher costs to the patient.1 Detox services may vary in terms of the level of care that is provided and in the settings in which they take place:2
- Medically managed or medically monitored inpatient detox.
- Clinically managed residential detox.
- Outpatient detox with or without extended monitoring.
Cost of Medical Detox
Medical detox centers are the most intensive and usually the most expensive.2 Medical detox protocols may be instituted in a psychiatric hospital or standalone detox center and often include the administration of medications to ease the discomfort and mitigate the potential risks of the withdrawal process.2
These services require staying at the hospital or treatment center for the duration of withdrawal. While at the center, the detoxing person receives 24-hour supervision and care from a team of medical professionals.2As a result, the cost of medical detox is higher than other options.
The Cost of Medical Detox vs. Residential Detox Costs
Compared with medically monitored inpatient detox, some residential settings offer much less medical oversight throughout the detox process.
In some cases, clinically managed residential detox programs utilize a nonmedical, or “social” detox approach to care. Rather than prescribing medications to help manage the detox process, addiction professionals offer emotional support and boost motivation to get through withdrawal and move forward into treatment.2
Clinically managed detox, or social detox, is typically more affordable than the cost of medical detox. However, it is not always an appropriate option from a clinical perspective. Certain withdrawal syndromes, like benzodiazepine withdrawal, will necessitate medical detox because of the potential severity of symptoms and risks involved. Clinically managed detox programs should have some protocol for how to initiate medical care in the case that intervention becomes necessary, especially in the case of emergencies.
Cost of Outpatient Detox
Outpatient detox is another option for individuals who don’t need the 24-hour medical care or supervision of a live-in facility. If you’re looking for a “cheap drug detox,” this may be the best option financially. Again, however, this type of detox treatment won’t be appropriate for every person.
But, if your doctor gives the okay, it can be an affordable and flexible way to receive detox treatment. Outpatient detox allows for you to safely withdraw from drugs while continuing to live at home and maintain your outside roles and responsibilities including work and parenting during treatment. When you consider the potential costs of losing work time and covering childcare, this type of treatment could be significantly less expensive than other forms of detox. Unlike inpatient or residential programs, the lack of round-the-clock supervision and support could be problematic for some people and might increase their risk of relapse. In the case that it becomes clear that this level of detox isn’t intensive enough, or if a medical emergency arises, the program should link you to a higher level of care or to appropriate medical treatment.
Some outpatient detox centers offer extended monitoring in the form of day programs, while others will only monitor withdrawal progress through regularly scheduled office appointments or visits from a home health agency.2
Apart from treatment intensity, another major factor driving cost is treatment duration.1 Although shorter programs may cost more per day, the overall fee will generally be lower for the complete course of treatment than long-term detox programs or programs that include detox followed by a long-term residential placement.
It might be tempting to seek only detox in order to limit your cost, but consider this: per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, programs lasting less than 90 days are of “limited effectiveness” and longer durations are recommended for better outcomes.3 In short, keep this in mind when you believe the cost of continuing your treatment seems too high; if it keeps you clean, it’s worth it.
Other Factors Impacting the Cost of Detox
Detox prices are based not just on the type or duration of treatment but also on the treatment location.1 A private facility located in a desirable environment will be much more expensive than other treatment centers. People may seek out a location based on the scenery, climate, convenience, or distance away from their home.
Some other aspects of addiction treatment affecting costs include:1
- Range of services offered. Providing diverse services, like yoga, equine therapy and other complementary and alternative treatments, increases the costs.
- Types of problems addressed. More complex treatment issues like polysubstance abuse or co-occurring addiction and mental health concerns will necessitate a higher level of care and higher fees.
The Cost of Not Going to Detox
For many, detox is the best, first step of addiction treatment because the dangers of not getting help are simply too great.3 Ending drug use without professional guidance can be very stressful and possibly result in serious harm.
What makes quitting potentially dangerous is the emergence of withdrawal symptoms that for some users and some substances can be life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms can begin just hours after your last use and remain for weeks or months.6
Depending on the substance(s) of abuse, some individuals attempting to quit without the professional care offered in detox could experience problems like adverse cardiac events, dehydration, suicide attempts, or a seizure during withdrawal.2 Risks are especially high for those enduring untreated sedative withdrawal (about 30% experience seizures).6
Alcohol, opioids, and sedatives usually require medically managed detox.2 A number of other substances, like marijuana and stimulants, are associated with their own particular withdrawal symptoms, but professionals may be able to manage these with a social detox or outpatient detox approach.
Foregoing necessary detox treatment can not only increase your risk of mental and physical health issues, in some instances it can create a volatile environment impacting those around you. Periods of aggression and delusions during withdrawal can result in violence and aggression towards others in your life.2
Detox treatment also helps to minimize the strong cravings that frequently arise during withdrawal. Someone attempting to detox alone may face intense cravings, which could increase the likelihood of relapse.
Find Affordable Detox Near Me
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of detox & withdrawal treatment in the United States. With facilities all across the nation, there’s always a local option. If you’re wondering what’s next or need help, call and speak with one of staff members. We’re available 24/7 and ready to help. We can be reached at 1-888-935-1318.
- French, M. T., Popovici, I., & Tapsell, L. (2008). The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment: Updated Estimates and Cost Bands for Program Assessment and Reimbursement. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 35(4), 462–469.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2006). Study Finds Withdrawal No Easier with Ultrarapid Opiate Detox.
- American Addiction Centers. 2017.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.