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How to Get Into Rehab if You Don’t Have Insurance

How to Get Into Rehab if You Don’t Have Insurance

Long term addiction can cause you serious problems; more than just the obvious health issues, an inability to work may leave you in a difficult financial position, and you may not have health insurance or any funding to allow you to pay for the rehabilitation program you need to recover.

However, there are solutions, and not having health insurance does not mean that you will not get into rehab. There are a number of possible options to finance a rehab program.

Why is rehab important?

You may feel that you don’t need rehab, and that you can quit drugs at any time without assistance; sadly, this is all too often the case. The way that drugs change your body through addiction will often take away you control, leaving you unable to quit without assistance.

Effectively recovering from drug or alcohol abuse will require professional support, not just for the physical effects of the addiction, but also the psychological issues.

You may feel that you have the strength to give up drugs alone by going ‘cold turkey’ and just stopping taking drugs; however, scientific research has shown this may make your addictions worse. In experiments it was found the addictive drive was stronger after a period of abstinence alone.[1]

What does rehab cost?

There is no one set price for treatment, and the costs vary greatly according to the type of treatment and the provider. However, the following will give you an idea of what the costs could be if you were not covered by insurance.[2]

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Type of Treatment Cost
Residential Treatment: Staying onsite at a specialized facility. Treatment may include one-on-one psychotherapy, group therapy, 12-step meetings, medication therapy, and other holistic approaches like yoga and mindfulness. $0 – $80,000 per month
Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient centers offer the same types of treatment as residential programs; however, as you don’t stay overnight, you can more easily continue to work or attend school while still fulfilling your treatment plan. c. $2,000 per month
Sober Living Homes: Previously known as Halfway-houses. These are live-in, drug-free living environments that offer peer support for recovery and long-term sobriety. $450 – $10,000 per month
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A common psychotherapeutic treatment for a variety of mental illnesses, including anxiety and mood disorders, as well as addiction. CBT focuses on questioning and changing negative and unproductive thoughts and beliefs in order to stop the triggers, behavior, and underlying emotions that contribute to mental illness and addiction. $100 per hour

c. $400 – $800 per month

Family And Couples Therapy: Sometimes called multidimensional family therapy, or MDFT, it is structured so that every member of the family has a voice. With the guidance of a professional therapist, the goal is to improve the interworking of each family’s relationships and their home life. $75 – 200 per hour

c. $300 – $1,600 per month

Drug Therapy: Medication can be used to help ease symptoms of withdrawal, and to prevent cravings that can lead to relapse. $21 – $1,000 per month

Possible options for funding rehab

There are a number of options to allow you to get the funding you need for treatment. One single option may not offer what you need, and you may need to combine more than one route to funding:

  • Loans or finance
  • State-funded treatment
  • Borrow or raise money
  • Grants
  • Medicaid
  • Scholarships

Loans or Finance

You should not give up hope if you are experiencing financial difficulties, or have no insurance. Many rehab providers understand the situation faced by people who have been suffering with addiction, and there are ways in which you can be supported.

Many providers may offer you a loan or finance offer, which will allow you to undergo the rehab you require, safe in the knowledge that you will have an affordable payment plan in the future. Generally, you will not start having to pay until you have completed your rehab.

Some credit card companies will offer deferred interest rate healthcare credit cards specifically for medical related expenses, including substance and mental health treatment. However, most providers will require you to have a good credit score; on average you would need a credit score of at least 640. If you do not have this you may do better to look at other options.

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State-Funded Treatment

Another available option is to use a state-funded treatment center. They are organizations that are funded by the state to support people who require rehab, but who do not have adequate insurance to cover commercial centers.

Funding for state-funded centers is limited, so there is likely to be a waiting list for a treatment program. The waiting time can vary from a month to over a year and a half depending on the state you are in.

However, if you can wait, this is an option for accessing healthcare professionals who can help you to recover.

Borrow or Raise Money

Can you borrow the funds you need from family, or perhaps raise money by selling items you have? You may be reluctant to ask your family for money; however, they may well be willing to help you if you are looking to work on a path towards recovery. Your family could pay all or part of your treatment costs as a gift, or a loan. If you have any savings, you could use these to pay for treatment; again, you may be reluctant, but you are taking a step which will improve your life, and if you recover you will not be spending money on alcohol or drugs.

The other option is to see if you have anything of value you could sell to go towards the cost of treatment. Getting yourself to a better place is a vital thing to do, and you should look for any sacrifices you can make to improve yourself and your life.

Grants

A potential option is to contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which provides grants to help fund your treatment if you cannot pay for your treatment because you have inadequate insurance coverage.

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There are details of the process you need to follow to obtain grants on the SAMHSA website.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal government program administered by your state. It provides payment for medical services for people who have low income, or who are unemployed. To qualify, you need to meet the income levels set by the government.

There are a number of rehab centers that will accept Medicaid patients. The funding is paid directly to your provider, and you may be asked pay a small part of the cost of treatment. This co-payment requirement is dependent on state rules.

There are numerous requirements that must be met to be eligible for funding; these may include your age, whether you are pregnant, disabled or blind; your income and any savings you may have or items you could sell to fund treatment is also considered. You are required to be a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted immigrant.

If you have a low income and are in one of the eligibility groups, you should apply for Medicaid.

Scholarships

There are some organizations that offer scholarships for people with low incomes. You should contact your chosen rehab provider to see if you are eligible for a scholarship. A number of providers can offer scholarships, and it is worth contacting your providers to see if they can support you, and if you meet their scholarship requirements.

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Low-cost or Free Options

There are also some low-cost, or even free options available to you via a range of organizations, including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. These offer self-help support groups where there is peer support, often following the 12-Step program.

12 Step Program

A twelve-step program is used to support recovery from addiction or compulsion. It was initially created by Alcoholics Anonymous in their 1939 book, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism. The twelve step program has now been adopted by a number of organizations based on the original 12 steps:[3]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human beings the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Individuals are often supported through the steps by a sponsor, a more experienced person who has gone through the process and can provide peer support.

The 12 step program is a well respected process, however only about 3% of people suffering from alcoholism and attending Alcoholics Anonymous involved in a study found recovery results without relapse from the 12-step programs treatment.[4] However, they can be used alongside or following other treatment to provide a peer network and ongoing support which may prevent future relapse for individuals.

Reference

[1] Professor Moshe Szyf: McGill University and Bar Ilan University
[2] Cost of Treatment: https://www.addiction.com/get-help/loved-one/paying-treatment-for-loved-one/
[3] Bill W. (June 2001). “Chapter 5: How It Works”
[4] Robert B. Cutler “Are alcoholism treatments effective? The Project MATCH data” BMC Public Health

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Last Updated on November 12, 2020

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

What Happens When You’re Too Tired

If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

  • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
  • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
  • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
  • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
  • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
  • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
  • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

  1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
  2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

Symptoms of fatigue include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low stamina
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Low motivation

These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

    The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

    Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

    Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

    If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

    It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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    4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

    Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

    1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
    2. Exercising regularly
    3. Using stressbusters
    4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

    After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

    I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

    Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

    • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
    • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
    • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
    • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

    The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

    Living Healthy

    Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

    In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

    As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

    Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

    1. Unplug

    Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

    Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

    2. Unwind

    Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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    3. Get Comfortable

    Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

    Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

    Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

    This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

    Exercise

    Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

    That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

    I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

    If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

    Attitude

    Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

    When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

    But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

    Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
    2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
    3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
    4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
    5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
    6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

    This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

    When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

    Nutrition

    Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

    If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

    Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

    Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

    1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
    2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
    3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
    4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
    5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
    6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
    7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
    8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
    9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

    Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

    That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

    Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

    If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

    Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

    Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
    [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
    [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
    [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
    [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
    [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
    [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
    [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
    [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
    [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
    [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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