The cost of addiction treatment
The cost of addiction treatment has always been high. For many, referral from local drug and alcohol teams has been the only option. I visit a lot of addiction treatment centres and over the last 10 years there have been changes, some for the better, some quite disturbing.
I look at the list of clients that will be in a workshop I am presenting and notice that all of the people are private clients, meaning that funding has been by them or their families. Where are the clients then that have been desperately seeking residential treatment through government funding? This is not an isolated state of affairs. Other rehabs I have visited are also seeing fewer referrals from community drug and alcohol teams, in fact, there are hardly any at all.
Short term fix
My helpline takes calls from people who are often shocked at the cost of addiction treatment and we often hear the same thing “I have been attending my local services for months, and have been refused rehab” Those that have managed to find funding , usually from the family, are restricted to staying for such a short time that they achieve little more than a detox and leave in a very vulnerable state.
It is not surprising then that rehabs are responding by gearing toward 4 week programmes and are relying upon the client finding support within their communities post treatment. 12 step fellowships such as Alcoholics anonymous and cocaine anonymous allow many to find their feet in recovery and are playing a big role in supporting people leaving treatment.
Our recovery coaching service has been able to offer one to one support to those that need it and is being asked for regularly by families that feel that treatment won’t be enough. We usually work with someone for between 1-3 months and sometimes longer and though not as expensive as long term rehab, comes at a cost.
Lower cost treatment
The massive cuts in funding available for treating addiction allocated to local councils has had an impact on addicts trying to quit and the way in which treatment centres deliver their services. Treatment Link has been actively seeking rehabs that have excellent treatment programmes and which are at a low cost. A difficult task, but we have found a few in the UK that are below £5000/month which we have referred to and have had to look to places such as South Africa and Thailand for other options for those on a low budget needing treatment.
By continuing to cut services and funding, the cost of addiction treatment is likely to always be too high for those most in need of it