When someone sincerely wants help and has committed to stop drinking or using drugs, several options are available that cost very little or nothing.
Professional rehabilitation centers
Yes, most inpatient treatment centers are very expensive and often require good credit and insurance. However, there are many institutions that offer alternative payment options, payment support, or tier pricing.
It doesn’t hurt to ask. Contact the facilities near you and ask if they have any payment assistant plans for someone who has lost their job or doesn’t have insurance. You may be surprised.
Government-supported rehabilitation programs
Most states and even some cities and counties offer alcohol and drug treatment, outpatient and inpatient facilities that are fully tax-supported and have no fees. These programs can range from short-term detox centers to long-term inpatient treatment facilities to individual outpatient advice in local clinics...
Government sponsored programs generally have a long waiting list as they are mainly used by people who are already in the “system” of the judiciary due to their interaction with authorities such as the Department of Family and Children Services, the county health department, or the criminal.
Because these programs are backed by taxpayers’ money during times of economic stress, they can also experience cuts in funding and restrictions on the services they provide as demand for their services increases.
Mutual self-help groups
Alcoholics Anonymous has been around for more than 85 years for a reason. A.A. has helped millions learn how to lead a sober life while remaining self-sustaining through voluntary donations from its members.
If you make a commitment to staying sober, you can find help and support by meeting at A.A., reading the literature, and getting a “sponsor” to help you with the 12 Steps. Research has shown that any recovery program you choose will work better if you include participation in mutual support groups...
Of course, there are also many secular support groups for those who are not spiritually inclined. Most of them have no fees or charges.
Faith Based Alcoholism Programs
Faith-based contact programs for alcoholics and drug addicts are one of the oldest forms of treatment. For ages, religious organizations have been liaising with their communities to help those struggling with alcohol and drug abuse.
That hasn’t changed. There are probably more faith-based programs out there than ever before...
From the Salvation Army to Jewish alcoholics, chemical addicts, and significant others (JACS) to dozens of Christian recovery programs, you’ll find faith-based alcohol and drug programs in countless religious communities. Many of these programs never charge you for anything.
Online recovery support
In the digital age, there are many ways to find online support to help you quit drinking or using drugs. You can find email groups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, instant messenger groups, and Facebook pages. If it can be used for communication, it can also be used to aid recovery.
Any alcohol or drug recovery program you’ve ever heard of – be it 12 step, faith based, secular, professional, or commercial – is likely to be active online.
StepChat.com has been hosting chat meetings since the late 1990s. To date, there are dozens of recovery chat meetings on the agenda every day. Another major mainstay, AboutAlcoholism, is an alcoholism and substance abuse forum that has been active for years. Many people have found the support they needed to stay sober by checking in to their forum friends and helping others on a daily basis.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction problems, contact the National Drug Abuse and Mental Health Authority (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-4357 Information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.