Long-term Drug Rehab and Affordable Drug Rehab Programs

Comparing Costs of Long-term Drug Rehab Programs: Free Care, Partial Free Care and Affordable Drug Rehab

The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services reports statistics and treatment outlines and guidelines for substance abuse treatment programs.  According to them there are 13,500 substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States, give or take a few hundred. Most of the treatment facilities in the United States are private nonprofit organizations; both outpatient and inpatient. The exact breakdown is less important than defining what an affordable drug rehab is and how to find an affordable drug rehab program that suits your needs.  About half of these facilities offer some form of partial free care. And a third of those provide for free care for those who have no funds to pay for treatment.  The survey states that affordable drug rehab programs are available, as too, are affordable alcohol programs.

The other detail omitted is the number of long-term drug rehab facilities.  This is odd since a previous study documented the efficacy of a long-term drug rehab program vs. out-patient, or 28 day programs is doubled with  long-term drug treatment exceeding 120 days.

This same organization, mentioned above has been quoted to say that the most frequent reason drug addicted individuals do not seek treatment is because of the cost, the financial burden. About 60% of those seeking affordable drug rehab treatment have no health insurance of any kind. Fortunately (or unfortunately – based on the additional funding requirements) many long-term drug rehab treatment programs are funded by local, state, or fed government grants. Many times the receipt of these funds is conditional defining that some portions of those who have no money for treatment are allowed to be treated.

Long-term drug rehab (residential) addiction rehabilitation is most often based in a nonhospital setting. The recommended length of stay is between six and 12 months. The Riverbank House program allows for an 18 month (or longer) stay.

The cost of long-term drug rehab programs vary quite dramatically based on services: on hand medical versus nonmedical facilities: intensive individual counseling, or not. And there are a host of other variables, but for the purposes of this article we hope to establish that the Riverbank House, although not a “free care or partial free care” facility, remains less than 30% of comparable facilities, offering comparable and even less extensive services. When comparing facilities you have to compare “apples to apples”.

There was a study done by “Open Minds Consulting” in 2011 then established some median cost for a variety of treatment providers. Here’s what they found:

  • Medical detox averaged $1,707 per day
  • 28-day residential treatment programs averaged $19,067

Below are a few examples of other facilities across a variety of states and their costs.


  • Caron: Wernersville, Pa. – $30,000
  • Marworth: Waverly Pa. – $28,000


  • Austin Recovery: Austin, Texas – $8,850 per month
  • Benchmark Recovery Center: Manor, Texas: 6 months for $36,000
  • Burning Tree: Kaufman and Elgin, Texas – $33,000 for a 3 month stay
  • Santé Center for Healing: Argyle, Texas – $23,000
  • Serenity House: Fredericksburg, Texas – $12,600 for a 30 to 35 day stay


Many more long-term drug rehab facilities were mentioned in the study, but for the purposes of this article the facilities above offer a fairly good cross-section of services and costs.


 It’s a fact that the Riverbank House is less than 30% of the cost of the most cost-effective long-term drug rehab facilities mentioned above. And if you look at the “higher end facilities”, the Riverbank House is less than 10% of some of the more luxurious facilities.


As the author of this article, I come with my own views on an ‘affordable drug rehab.  I am in recovery and I have worked in the mental health system in Massachusetts for many years.  I have had exposure to a couple of dozen programs; both 28 day programs and long-term drug rehab programming (exceeding 120 days)

My thoughts on an affordable drug rehab follow:

I wish I could say that all affordable drug rehab programs are created equal – they are not.  Furthermore the best affordable drug rehab of today may NOT be the best affordable drug rehab of tomorrow.

Management, culture, and funding changes, and many other mitigating factors can change the quality and culture of any long-term drug rehab program within a few months. Unfortunately the qualities that make an affordable drug program affordable are often the ones that impact its effectiveness.


The requirements of the funding source may change and directly impact the service. Changing demands on caseload, beds, paperwork, types of clients which must be accepted.  Free Beds…while sounding quite philanthropic and socially concerned can easily be abused.  A large portion of free beds are granted to individuals seeking a “spin dry”.  Their external resources, friends, family and community may be unwilling to provide even the most basic of support.  A large portion of free beds go to individuals seeking only to get off the street; “3 hots and a cot”.  Some of the long-term drug rehab beds are allocated by funding sources for those involved in the criminal justice system. These are only a few of the ingredients that will impact culture and the effectiveness of you affordable drug rehab programs.


  • Sierra Tucson: Tucson, Ariz. – $47,680
  • Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures: Flagstaff, Ariz. – $8,500 per month
  • The Meadows: Wickenburg, Ariz. – $44,000 for a 5 week program
  • Prescott House: Prescott, Ariz. – $6,850


  • Sober Living by the Sea: Newport Beach, Calif. – $42,000 for 3 months
  • Alta Mira: Sausalito, Calif. – $50,000 per 35 day stay
  • Authentic Recovery Center (ARC): Los Angeles, Calif. – $25,000
  • The Beach House: Malibu, Calif. – $10,000 per month
  • Beit T’Shuvah: Los Angeles, Calif. – $5000 (for residents of California)
  • Betty Ford Center: Rancho Mirage, Calif. – $32,000
  • Casa Palmera: Del Mar, Calif. – $30,000
  • Michael’s House: Palm Springs, Calif. – $23,500 for a 30 day stay


  • Jaywalker Lodge, Carbondale Colo. $12,000 per month


  • Mountainside:  Caanan, Conn. – $13,600
  • Silver Hill Hospital: New Caanan Conn. – $30,000



  • Father Martin’s Ashley: Havre De Grace, Md. – $22,000


  • Hazelden: Center City, Minn. -$28,300
  • Pride Institute (LGBT): Eden Prairie, Minn. $19,600

New Jersey

  • Alina Lodge: Blairstown, NJ. – $58,500 for a 6 month stay
  • Seabrook House: Bridgeton, NJ – $26,000

New York

  • Saint Jude Retreats (non 12 step based): Upstate New York – from $13,000 to $30,000 for a 6 week stay.


  • The Riverbank House is a privately held for-profit organization.  Riverbank House does not seek outside funding that might drive it operating principles …that are working exceptionally well.  (If it isn’t broken don’t fix it.”)
  • The Riverbank House is not free nor does it offer sliding scale payments.  However seeking to be an affordable drug rehab, offering a full range of long-term drug rehab services, Riverbank House can sometimes tailor programming to accommodate a slimmer budget.  This is a treatment discussion and not an alternative that is NOT always acceptable. Again, the Riverbank House provides care and addiction treatment that is unequalled for the price.  Our goal is to serve a wider window of financial limitations while ensuring those seeking quality sobriety can find it if they are willing to work for it.