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How to find addiction treatment for your son, daughter if you don’t have insurance

Doing paperwork and comparing costs for treatment. Your entire family is thrown into a crisis when your son or daughter needs treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. And that crisis is magnified if you don’t have the money or insurance to get help. Although it may take work and patience finding affordable treatment for your son or daughter, it is possible. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids outlined 6 steps you can take to help you find low cost or free treatment options. Here’s the first:

1. Research Your Options:

Learn about the treatment options available. Does your child need inpatient or outpatient services? (Inpatient programs are those where you’re required to live at the treatment facility for the duration of the program, while outpatient treatment allows you to receive treatment during the day and go home at night.) Determining which treatment option is the best fit for your son or daughter will help you narrow down your search.

Use the National Database
One way to find treatment programs is through Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national treatment locator, which provides referrals for local treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations. You can find providers who offer payment assistance or treatment on a sliding scale. Click on your state and enter your zip code to find providers near your area. Find and click on the select services button and then narrow down your search by looking for providers offering a sliding fee scale or payment assistance. You’ll need to contact each provider by phone to inquire about services (more about this in step 2).

Research State Programs
Most states, cities and even counties offer inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment centers that are tax-supported and free of charge. These programs range from short-term detox centers to long-term inpatient treatment centers to individual outpatient counseling. SAMHSA also maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (PDF) for substance abuse services that makes it easier for you to determine who to contact.

Look into Programs offered by Religious Groups
Faith-based drug and alcohol treatment has been around longer than any professional treatment centers or 12 step programs. Examples of drug addiction treatment centers offered by religious organizations include The Salvation Army, Goodwill, YMCA, and dozens of Christian recovery programs like Catholic Charities. Nearly every community offers a faith-based drug addiction treatment center and these programs are almost always free.

Look into Rehab Scholarships
Rehab scholarships are very similar to an educational scholarship, in that they are third-party programs that provide funding for individuals seeking help from free residential centers. Scholarship organizations primarily focus on helping three types of people: Individuals without medical insurance, those who are not able to pay for rehab out of pocket and people who are unable to qualify for a loan because of bad credit. There are many organizations in the U.S. offering rehab scholarships right now, from Second Chance to SAMHSA.

Beware of Predatory Practices & Unethical Organizations
Unfortunately, many treatment centers put profit before patient care. Be careful when using a search engine to find treatment, especially using keywords like “free,” as there are several unethical organizations out there who will promise you nearly anything to make money off of you and your child. Read up on advice given to parents about how to steer clear of these predatory practices.

Read 5 more steps you can take from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids here.

The Wadsworth Drug-Free Community Coalition exists to prevent, educate and support youth, adults and families on substance/drug abuse by providing resources and raising awareness in our community.


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