How much does drug detox cost?

What is the typical price range for drug detox programs?

asked 29 Mar '12, 14:39

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Meet281
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I help people get into drug detox every day. The cost for drug detox is easy to understand, for detox centers that are stand-alone. If it is connected to a treatment center or hospital, how those costs get calculated is anybody's guess.

To figure the cost of drug detox like Sunrise Detox, you have to consider just a few things.

Q: How long will you stay?

How long you have to stay is not usually your own choice, but is determined by the physician or medical staff. At Sunrise we have a full-time dedicated nursing staff and a house physician. Our detox protocols were designed by our physician, who is an expert in Suboxone treatment. The length of your stay is determined by your status (health and drug use) at the time of admission, because that is what determines treatment.

The longer you have been using, the type of substance you're using, the dose, all impact length of stay required. Using multiple substances also impacts duration. About 50% of people needing drug detox have some sort of additional mental health issue that needs attention, so that is also a factor. Drug use takes a toll on the body, so many people also have medical issues that need attention.

The truth is that many people turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate for something that is "wrong" with them. So when you detox off drugs or alcohol, whatever that was needs to be managed properly.

At Sunrise, every patient is assessed by medical staff and counselors, for substance use issues and "co-occurring disorders" which includes mental health and physical health.

So the cost of drug detox is the number of days (length of stay) times the per-day cost (see below).

Q: Per-day costs: What level of luxury do you want?

We build and operate luxury alcohol detox and luxury drug detox centers because for many people, the stress of daily living creates a challenge all by itself. We want them to be totally comfortable, so they can focus on their immediate detox / recovery needs, without those stresses. A luxury detox is a full-service accommodation with gourmet food and hospitality. It is for people accustomed to that level of service, as well as people who need a break from regular life so they can detox in comfort.

We also build and operate less luxurious facilities because luxury costs money. Not everyone can afford to per-day costs of what is basically a luxury hotel with full-time medical staff and security. Not all companies operate the way Sunrise does, but at Sunrise every facility has 24x7 medical staff on-site, regardless of luxury level.

For luxury drug detox, the sky is the limit for price. A luxury or premium detox center has more and larger TVs, a more expensive premium channel subscription, more private rooms and more comfortable building layout, etc.

Most luxury detox centers charge several hundred dollars per day above the cost of a non-luxury detox center, just as a luxury hotel costs more than an efficiency motel.

Q: What does your insurance actually pay for?

I can't begin to go into the craziness surrounding insurance, but it is very simple for the user and very complex for the detox center. The nature of substance abuse means there is no "credit" available to the patient. Services must be paid in advance or on demand.

The detox center takes on significant costs associated with managing a substance abuse/health issue (with full responsibility under the law), with a large portion spent right at the beginning (medical assessments, treatment plan, accommodating a patient with physical needs and often less than ideal self control, etc). Believe it or not, even though the law requires treatment of a patient, the insurance companies sometimes delay reimbursements for many months, and even sometimes change their minds and decide not to pay! Insurance is easy for the patient - they tell you you are covered, and say it will be handled. But they are not so civil when it comes to actually making payments.

At Sunrise, for example, we accept many insurance plans but many do not cover what they seem to cover. They will say they cover drug detox, but in the details only seen by the treatment center and insurance company, they refuse to cover some of the necessary costs. Sometimes they approve just 3 days, when 5 are needed. Since we are legally required to make sure a patient is medically stable before being released, this pushes costs onto the detox center. So while you seem to have insurance, your insurance sometimes isn't covering the costs of adequate detox by the legal, medical definition.

So what is the cost of drug detox? It depends on how long you need to stay, how much care you need, what level of luxury and comfort you want, and how much your insurance is likely to actually pay for. It can be $1500 and it can be $5000 or more, for significant cases.

The way we determine this at Sunrise Detox is by quickly collecting your status and insurance information over the phone. Our intake staff is expert at this... we have detoxed tens of thousands of people across our facilities in the past few years. Because we are a detox Center and not a full service hospital and not one of those 30 day residential rehabs, we focus only on the issue of get detoxed right now.

At no cost to the caller, we determine the cost and help advise on how to pay for it, because the honest truth is that drug detox will not get cheaper if you put it off. If you're thinking of coming in for detox, you need to come in right now and start managing the problem (the drug dependency, the co-occurring mental and health issues, AND the costs issue). We don't want to see someone NOT come in, only to end up in far worse trouble a few days later.

I should also highlight that coming to a stand-alone detox center first, instead of a rehab treatment center, can be your most important decision. Detox is required before admission to rehab in most cases, so you end up in one anyway even if you get sent there by a treatment center. Most people in need of drug detox are not in a state of mind they should be in to make decisions about where to rehab or where to go for extended residential treatment, so it is smarter to go directly into a medical detox center (like Sunrise Detox) to get things under control, before planning to continue treatment at an extended rehab (if that is for you).

If you do choose Sunrise Detox or want to call our intake staff for advice on the costs of drug detox, you can find us easily online in New Jersey and Florida.

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answered 05 Aug '13, 23:12

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Thank you Sunrise Detox for this very helpful answer! Sunrise is not advertising here but since this is such a helpful post we're publishing their number here : 888-443-3869

(05 Aug '13, 23:19) admin ♦♦

The cost of drug detox varies considerably with a number of factors:

  • where do you live what substances are you taking, and what dose levels
  • what substances are you mis-using or abusing, and what dose levels
  • what insurance do you have (if you have any) what does your insurance cover (details... not easy to understand)
  • what co-pay do you have with your insurance (not everything is covered in full)

Detox is usually the first stage before rehab. You have to be clean before you can participate in rehab. So sometimes the cost of detox is included in the cost of rehab, and other times people go to detox first and then from there, go to rehab.

Many people prefer to go to detox first so they can get level-headed. Towards the end of detox, they get help choosing the right rehab (there are very big differences between rehab centers). If you get arrested you will be sent to detox, and it will be bare bones very low level of care.

Prices of detox range from super low cost (like the ones the jails use - really minimal like a budget clinic) to $500 or $600 per day (typical good quality, professional medical care) on up to $1000/day and up (luxury facilities, gourmet food, top docs, plenty of upscale activities) and more ("celebrity" style detox/rehab... everything is catered etc).

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answered 29 Mar '12, 15:54

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Asked: 29 Mar '12, 14:39

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Last updated: 05 Aug '13, 23:43