Addiction is extremely difficult to break free from without expert help. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain”.1
These characteristics – the relapsing and compulsive nature of addiction and the changes in the brain that it can lead to – help explain why it is so difficult to overcome.
So we understand breaking addiction is a tough challenge, but can you get the treatment you need if you are short of funds?
Get FREE Confidential Advice Regarding Addiction
Speak to us for FREE and confidential advice regarding addiction, whether its you or a family member/friend. You are not alone.Contact Us
Rehab uses a holistic programme of evidence-led treatments to address every aspect of a person’s addiction and substance misuse, from physical dependency to root causes and psychological elements.
Residential rehab is by far the most effective way of treating a serious drug or alcohol problem like addiction, but it can be expensive. Here you stay onsite for a period of time whilst you detox, rest, and take part in a structured therapy programme.
You might therefore be wondering if you can access this sort of institution for free.
How to Get Free Rehab Treatment
The unfortunate truth is that it is very difficult to find residential rehab for free – if by that you mean the sort of residential treatment programme that most people think of as rehab.
Rehab, or rehabilitation, actually refers to any programme aimed at restoring functional ability or quality of life to a person. This may be following a potentially life-changing event such as a serious accident, illness or even a spell in prison.
In terms of addiction recovery, rehab is intended to help an individual to make a full and long-lasting recovery, so that they no longer need to use drugs or alcohol.
This sort of programme is most effective when delivered within the secure and structured environment of an inpatient rehab facility, but a programme delivered on an outpatient or community basis could also be referred to as a rehabilitation programme. This is the type overwhelmingly offered via the NHS and therefore available for free at the point of service.
Rehab Treatment Through the NHS
You can access free treatment for addiction and other substance misuse issues via the NHS and your local drug and alcohol services. A good place to start is your GP, who can make a referral, but you can also contact drug and alcohol services directly. You would be assessed to determine the extent of your problems with drink or drugs and may be assigned a key worker and offered a programme of treatment.
Most of these services will be delivered as an outpatient where you will visit a centre, but return home and carry on with your normal routine.
Free Outpatient Services
As mentioned, NHS-based treatment is almost always offered on an outpatient basis. This treatment is very valuable to many people, but it does have its limitations. Because you remain at home for the duration of your treatment, you will still be around the temptations, triggers and often the people associated with your drinking or drug use.
You will also have to show the motivation and organisation needed to attend regular therapy and treatment sessions that may be held in local clinics and other venues. This can also be difficult for some people, especially if they are leading a disorganised or chaotic lifestyle due to substance misuse.
Detoxification, commonly known as detox, can be particularly challenging in an outpatient treatment programme. This is the point where you process the drugs or alcohol already in your system and can be accompanied by extreme cravings and a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
You may have to undergo the process with minimal supervision and there can be a huge temptation to assuage the cravings and any withdrawal symptoms by getting just ‘one more’ drink or hit. In some cases, outpatient programmes may try to cut down or stabilise the substance misuse rather than cutting it out altogether.
Can You Get Residential Rehab on the NHS?
The NHS does not operate residential rehab centres and rarely has access to such facilities. Funding may very rarely be made available for such a place within a private rehab centre but that is very much the exception to the rule. Where there are such places, there are likely to be waiting times and strict rules regarding eligibility. You will typically already be involved with the drug and alcohol services, which will assess if you are deemed to be a suitable candidate.
Local Community Services
There may be charities and local support groups that can offer further support for overcoming addiction, although this cannot generally be considered to be rehab. Well-known groups like alcoholics anonymous (AA) and narcotics anonymous (NA) have helped many people over the years, however and their 12-step programmes may be a good choice for you. They do not suit everyone, especially as there tends to be an element of religion or spirituality involved in asking help from a ‘higher power’.
Paying for Private Treatment as an Impatient
There are numerous benefits to attending an inpatient or residential rehab. This places you in a calm, secure environment, with no easy access to drugs and alcohol, in a place where you can focus purely on your recovery.
You will have access to the finest round the clock care from experienced recovery professionals and will take part in a structured, personalised treatment plan aimed at addressing all the physical and psychological aspects of your addiction. If you need to undergo detoxification, you can generally do that in rehab under medical supervision. There are costs involved with this type of treatment though, which you will usually need to meet.
One option for some people is to pay for residential rehab via a claim on a private healthcare insurance policy. This is not free per se, as you still pay for the insurance premiums, but it can certainly help with the costs. Many major health insurers will cover drug or alcohol treatment up to and including residential rehab, but levels of cover can vary considerably so make sure you check your policy carefully and talk to your provider.
Some rehabs may also offer payment plans to help you spread the costs of your treatment. If you want to discuss costs, payments or any other aspect of the whole rehab process, contact us today to find out how we can help.