Detox Local

How to Find Free Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Phillippe Greenough

Article Updated: 09/14/2020

Number of References: 3 Sources

Detox centers can vary greatly in the cost. There are premium detox centers that may cost many thousands of dollars and insurance may cover some of the costs, but what if someone doesn’t have insurance? There are a variety of paid, sliding scale, or free detox centers that accept both insured and self-pay clients. Many of these cheaper detox centers are government-funded, or at least receive government subsidies, and specialize in treating those who have limited financial resources. Here, we will take a look at some of the different types of paid and free detox centers, and what to look for when seeking detox treatment.

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Which Detox Centers Near Me Will Accept My Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a huge impact on the substance abuse and detox landscape in America. It considers substance use disorder treatment as one of the 10 elements of essential healthcare benefits. Beginning in 2014, all health insurance plans sold through health insurance exchanges as well as Medicaid plans must include substance abuse treatment and detox coverage. Additionally, there were provisions giving greater responsibility to private insurance companies to pay for substance abuse treatment in the form of reimbursement for certain critical services such as detox.

Due to the ACA, finding a detox that will accept insurance is easier than ever. That being said, not all detox centers will accept every insurance plan and there may be costs or co-pays associated with treatment. It is recommended to call a prospective detox center before traveling to their facility, and explicitly ask if a specific insurance plan is accepted. Depending on their answer, it may be completely free to the client, sliding scale payment, or require a modest co-pay.

Many insurance providers will also be able to refer policyholders to approved and covered detox facilities in the local area. If someone is having a hard time finding a free detox near them, then they should call their insurance provider to find specific detox centers which do accept that insurance plan.

State-Funded Crisis Detox Facilities

In 1987, the American Medical Association along with several other medical societies and organizations finally recognized addiction as a disease. This recognition, while seeming minor, opened the door for much more widespread and comprehensive care for addiction treatment. In particular, mental health crisis centers now accepted patients suffering from addiction for free detox at their facilities in addition to the mental health crisis services that they previously provided. These crisis centers perform detox as well as referrals to further treatment once detox is completed.

There are 2 different types of government-funded crisis centers that offer detox: state-funded or county-funded centers. There are minor differences between county and state-funded programs and may affect someone’s eligibility for free detox services. For county-funded programs, residence within the county is required while state-funded centers simply require residence within the state. Other than this difference, the requirements for entry are often identical. These requirements include:

  • Proof of residence in the county/state or a homelessness certification (general versions of which may be found here and here)
  • Proof of income or an unemployment verification (an example of which may be found here)
  • Proof of a substance use disorder (showing up intoxicated is often considered proof)

Most cities and many rural areas have government-funded crisis centers for behavioral health emergencies including addiction and free detox. To find the nearest crisis center, someone may go to their state’s website and search for “crisis center” to find detailed information about state or county-funded facilities in their area. These facilities also commonly have mobile crisis units that may come to the persons home, or wherever it is they have called from. While there are privately owned crisis centers, government-funded options typically include the county or state in their name.

Additionally, there are federal resources that may help in this regard. Some of these include:

Hospital Detox Programs

Every hospital in America with a 24-hour emergency department will provide detox and stabilization for someone experiencing certain life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. In particular, people suffering from alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal must be accepted at these emergency departments because these withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. These services may be provided with or without insurance, however, payment will be expected after stabilization has been completed, usually in the form of a payment plan over several months.

These hospital emergency departments are not specifically geared towards detox, but they do have all of the required staff, training, and equipment to perform detox. While it may not be free detox, care may be provided with no up-front cost and these services may certainly save someone’s life. In addition, they will be able to refer or recommend further treatment options in the local area. This option should be reserved for emergency situations and is not recommended unless someone is in danger and their life is at risk due to unmonitored and/or unexpected detox.

Are There Free Luxury Detox Centers?

This is a difficult question that depends on many variables. The short answer is yes, it is possible to receive free detox services at a luxury detox. This is uncommon, but it is not unheard of. This really depends on the type of insurance and the level of coverage, as well as the specifics of the financial aid that the particular facility offers. The 2 largest factors which affect the possibility of free luxury detox include:

  • Is the client insured and is the facility in their insurance network?

If the facility is in-network, then a co-pay is commonly required. This is not always the case, however, and greatly depends on the level of coverage provided by the specific insurance plan.

  • Does the facility provide scholarships?

Some luxury facilities also provide a scholarship program. These are cost reduction programs that usually only apply to uninsured clients and help to reduce the costs associated with self-pay services. It is possible that some luxury facilities may provide full scholarships, although the requirements for a full scholarship (if it is even offered) will vary from facility to facility. It is certainly worth inquiring about as any kind of scholarship, either full or partial, will possibly save someone many thousands of dollars.

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