What is the Cost of Rehab? Paying for Private Addiction Treatment in the UK and Abroad

A photo of a sad young teenager who is trying to get soberYou need addiction treatment for yourself or a relative. You want specialist help as quickly as possible, but NHS rehab is hard to access. Private addiction treatment is available for an immediate start – but what is the cost of rehab, and what do your treatment fees cover?

Please rest assured, there is a vast range of private addiction treatment programmes and facilities in the UK and abroad. The cost of rehab varies greatly – depending on factors that we’ll explain in this article.

Generally speaking, addiction detox and rehab programmes cost an average of £1000 per week in the UK – rising to £4000-£5000 per week for the most exclusive facilities. If you have concerns about paying for private addiction treatment, it’s still worth calling Addiction Helper for an addiction assessment. By learning the facts about the best rehab programmes for you, including how much they cost, it can be a great motivation to find resources for your treatment.

The Cost of Rehab – Different Ways to Pay for Private Addiction Treatment

At Addiction Helper, we speak to adults of all ages in many different circumstances. They pay for their private addiction treatment in four main ways:

  • They fund rehab themselves – many of our clients use their savings to pay for private addiction treatment. Some cash in investments or other assets.
  • Finance – other people use credit sources to fund the cost of rehab, including an overdraft facility, credit card or commercial loan.
  • Financial support from family or friends – this can be in the form of a loan or a gift.
  • Private medical insurance – if you have your private health insurance or you’re part of an employer-based scheme, your policy is likely to cover some or all of the cost of rehab.

What Affects the Cost of Rehab

How long you stay in rehab – Typically people stay in rehab between 7 and 30 days. If you’re detoxifying from alcohol and/or drugs, you’ll receive therapy alongside your medically assisted detox. It’s worth allowing some extra time beyond your medical detox in rehab, to get the most from the intensive therapeutic programme. In some cases, people choose to extend rehab or move to a secondary care facility – to build further resilience in their recovery from addiction.

Rehab staffing numbers and expertise – Some private addiction treatment programmes are in hospital settings with clinicians including psychiatrists, doctors and 24/7 nursing staff on site. Others rehabs work with off-site GPs, who prescribe and monitor detox protocols. All rehabs have skilled therapists and counsellors, who run the rehabilitation programme. Recovery workers, support and admin staff, sessional therapists and peer mentors also play an important role in addiction rehab programmes.

The standard of accommodation and facilities – As a rule of thumb, the larger the building is, the bigger the grounds and the more luxurious the facilities are, then the cost of rehab increases. All private addiction treatment providers that we recommend have facilities that are maintained to a good standard – so these operating costs are reflected in the price people pay for treatment. Some clients want an en-suite bathroom or access to a gym, for example. Others just want a clean and comfortable bedroom to sleep in, where they can rest well after each day’s treatment.

Quasi-residential versus residential rehab – A quasi-residential programme is where you stay in sober housing in the community, living with other rehab clients. Your accommodation should be close to the addiction treatment centre – but it won’t be on site. In residential rehab, you stay in the same facility as your treatment programme takes place. Though some quasi-residential programmes can be a little cheaper than the most cost-effective residential programmes, there are significant health and wellbeing benefits of staying within the treatment centre location – particularly while undergoing detox and the early phase of your rehabilitation.

The Cost of Rehab – Does the NHS Provide Free Rehab Treatment?

In recent years, residential rehab has become even harder to access on the NHS. This is because public funding for addiction treatment has been significantly cut in many areas across the country. What this means is that public money tends to be funnelled into high volume, low-cost initiatives – even though success rates aren’t as good as residential rehab.

The NHS is required to assist you, however, if you are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. If you have absolutely no way to fund private addiction treatment, please book an appointment with your GP. Ask for a referral to a local drug and alcohol team. But it can take time to be seen, and the help you get in the community won’t be as intensive as rehab. In a minority of cases, funded rehab places are available via the NHS – but this is usually when all other options have been exhausted.

With eating disorders, please also go to your GP if you have no money for private addiction treatment. Your doctor may be able to refer you to an eating disorder specialist. However, waiting times vary greatly, depending on the capacity of local services and available NHS funding.

With process addictions – such as gambling, work addiction, codependence, sex and love addiction, internet addiction and gaming disorder – there is very little specialist help available on the NHS. You may get a referral to a general counsellor (usually with waiting time) or information about charitable groups. But it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a rehab place via the NHS or even specialist addiction therapy in the community.

Private Addiction Treatment – Can You Afford to Wait?

In the end, the decision whether to go into rehab is yours.

Some people know straight away – they cannot afford to wait days, let alone weeks or months, before they get expert help. Addiction is destroying their mental and physical health. All other aspects of their life are suffering too – relationships, family life, finances, their career or their education.

Occasionally, people feel they can hang on in their addiction, or things aren’t bad enough yet. In this case, it’s still worth having an addiction assessment with Addiction Helper. You might not realise the extent of your addiction – as it’s very hard or impossible to self-diagnose the condition. Denial is usually a feature of active addiction – so the severity and consequences of the illness are minimised or overlooked. Our team can help you make an honest and non-judgmental appraisal of your situation – please don’t hesitate to call.

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