For individuals with no health insurance and unable to pay the costs of drug or alcohol addiction treatment, there is the option to seek the services of a low-cost or free addiction treatment program. Nonprofit rehab centers or free drug and alcohol rehab programs are provided to eligible clients at no cost, and free substance abuse programs are commonly offered at various government-funded hospitals and rehab centers, nonprofit rehab facilities and rehab centers run by faith-based organizations.
According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 41 million individuals needed substance use treatment in 2020.1 Unfortunately, only 1.4% (or 4.0 million people) received substance use treatment during this time period.1
One of the most common barriers to rehab is cost. Almost 20% of individuals who needed addiction treatment but did not receive addiction treatment reported having no insurance coverage or not being able to afford the cost of rehab.1 Many of these individuals would benefit from free rehabilitation services.
What are Free Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers Like?
Free drug and alcohol rehab centers are intended to help make getting help affordable for people with substance abuse problems who do not have the means to pay for the cost of addiction treatment. These rehab centers provide a variety of treatment programs and services, ranging from detoxification programs and short-term alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs to long-term residential care.
The sources of funding for free rehab centers vary and may include charitable donations, private endowments and government grants. There are also certain organizations that award scholarships to people who can’t afford the cost of rehab, allowing them to receive drug and alcohol addiction treatment at private rehab centers.
Free Rehab Programs: What are the Different Types?
Nonprofit Rehabilitation Facilities
There are many nonprofit organizations that either operate treatment centers or provide funding to centers that offer free alcohol and drug rehab programs for those in need of help. These nonprofit organizations also provide support to people living with drug and alcohol addiction, raise awareness and advocate for supportive legislation.
Many nonprofit organizations focus on providing treatment and addiction recovery services to specific disadvantaged populations. Some of these organizations include:
- The Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity that directly funds a recovery house for young women aged 18-30 who are overcoming addiction.
- Gearing Up, a community organization that offers advice and encouragement to women struggling with addiction through group support programs that are centered around cycling. This organization also runs a facility that provides evidence-based behavioral therapies to women combating drug and alcohol addiction, domestic abuse and incarceration.
- To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing help to people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. Since it was created in 2007, TWLOHA has raised millions of dollars to directly fund drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery programs.
- Phoenix House, a foundation that runs more than 130 drug and alcohol treatment centers across 10 states. This nonprofit organization primarily operates inpatient treatment facilities but also offers outpatient care and sober living facilities for people in transition.
- Rosecrance, a large nonprofit organization that runs treatment centers which provide inpatient and outpatient addiction services for adults, teens and children.
Faith-Based Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
Several faith-based organizations offer free substance abuse treatment that is centered around faith, and many programs do not require participants to subscribe to any specific religious beliefs. Within this type of rehab program, individuals struggling with drug addiction look for guidance from a higher power to help them stay strong during their journey to recovery.
Some of the most well-known substance abuse treatment programs for addicts with a strong religious mindset are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These free support group-based programs are based on a 12-Step approach that includes:2
- Admitting you are powerless.
- Accepting that only a Higher Power can help you.
- Turning your will and your life over to God.
- Making a moral inventory.
- Admitting your wrongs.
- Being ready to let God remove your shortcomings.
- Making amends to those you have harmed.
- Improving your conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation.
- Spreading the word.
The Salvation Army runs one of the largest faith-based addiction treatment programs in the United States. This faith-based organization currently provides spirituality-based residential alcohol and drug rehab programs at adult rehabilitation centers located throughout the U.S.3 These free programs provide room and board at their rehab clinics and offer group therapy and individual counseling, spiritual direction and employment and life-skills development.3
Government-Funded Rehab Programs
There are many government-funded rehab programs that are available to individuals free of charge. These include drug rehab programs offered at state-funded rehab centers and federal government-funded facilities, such as hospitals and treatment centers run by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA).
SAMHSA also provides grants to public and private nonprofit rehab facilities to directly cover the costs of rehab for those who cannot afford to pay for alcohol and drug treatment.
Can I Get Free Rehabilitation Treatment?
The treatment centers run by nonprofit organizations will often provide payment assistance for those in need of services. Several nonprofits offer free drug rehab at their own rehab centers or at private facilities via scholarships. Many religious organizations also offer payment assistance to individuals who qualify, and several religious organizations offer faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation for free as part of their ministry services.
Most government-funded rehab programs have strict requirements for eligibility. If you apply for these programs, you will likely be required to show proof of US citizenship, income, lack of adequate insurance and state residency.
Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Programs are only available to eligible veterans receiving care from the VA system.4 These free addiction treatment programs include various services such as detoxification, rehabilitation and psychiatric care.
Can I Get Free Rehab if I am on Probation?
In most cases, the defendant is responsible for the costs of court-ordered substance abuse rehab. The court will never be required to pay for someone’s drug addiction treatment. Rehab centers that are set up for court-ordered rehabilitation usually provide services based on a sliding scale. If the individual seeking treatment has no income, they will likely not have to pay any fees for their treatment.
Pros and Cons of Free Rehabilitation Centers
Advantages of Free Drug Rehab Centers
The major advantage of free rehab centers is the price of drug and alcohol treatment. Because these facilities provide drug and alcohol rehab free of charge, people who would otherwise be unable to afford rehab or who have no insurance can receive the drug treatment and support that they need to address their addiction. Free rehabilitation centers also administer addiction services in a controlled environment that secludes program participants from the outside world, an important feature that ensures safety and promotes recovery.
Being able to attend programs that are run by competent, compassionate, and properly trained professionals is another advantage of free rehab centers. You can expect the experienced staff at free rehab centers to provide quality care, utilizing proven techniques and evidence-based behavioral therapies.
Disadvantages of Free Rehab Centers
Although free rehab is an invaluable resource for many people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, there are some disadvantages to these programs, especially when compared to the rehabilitation treatment and services available through paid drug and alcohol rehab centers.
Due to limited budgets and a lack of resources, many free rehab centers are forced to use outdated equipment and facilities. Free rehab centers may not utilize the latest technology in addiction science but, instead, use older, tried-and-true methods that may not be as effective as the newest therapies available at more up-to-date private facilities.
Many free rehab centers are overwhelmed by the demand for their treatment programs. As a result, most free drug and alcohol rehab centers are nearly always operating at full capacity.
Waiting lists are a major disadvantage of free rehabilitation programs. Studies have shown that people who enter addiction treatment after being on a waiting list have poorer treatment outcomes compared to those who receive treatment immediately.5 A delayed start to treatment may also result in a more severe addiction and an increased risk for medical problems such as overdose.
Another disadvantage of free rehab is the lack of treatment options and amenities that are available. Although the cost advantage of free rehab centers is unmatched, these programs typically provide bare-bones treatment with only the most basic of services. This is especially evident when you consider the customizable treatment plans, modern facilities, and vast array of luxury-hotel-like amenities that are provided at many private rehab centers.
How to Get into a Free Rehab Center Near Me
The first step is finding a free drug rehabilitation center. You may be wondering, ‘can I get free drug rehab or alcohol rehab near me?’ or ‘can I get free detox near me?’ Perhaps you are wondering where you can find nonprofit substance abuse treatment centers, free non-religious drug and alcohol treatment, free long-term rehab, free walk-in rehab centers, free holistic rehab centers or free women’s rehab centers. Fortunately, there are many resources available that can guide your research and help you find free rehab centers near you if you think you may need help. These include:
- The Behavioral Treatment Services Locator. This tool provided by SAMHSA allows you to find nearby addiction treatment centers that offer income-based fees, lower prices or payment assistance. You can also reach out to private rehab centers in the area and ask about the availability of scholarship programs and sliding scale fees.
- Single State Agencies (SSAs) for Substance Use Services. This directory provides contact information for the state government agencies that coordinate the delivery of addiction treatment services to individuals who have no insurance for treatment or who have low incomes. Call your state agency and ask about any government-funded rehab centers where you may be qualified to receive treatment.
- Local churches and other faith-based organizations. Contact these organizations to find out if they provide any free rehab programs near you.
- Free narcotics hotlines
Once you find a suitable rehab center, call the program manager and confirm all eligibility criteria. Finally, collect all of the documents (such as those that verify income, insurance and residence) that you will need to complete your enrollment.
Drugabuse.com is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers (AAC) and is a leading provider in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. AAC accepts many insurance plans and can work with you on a manageable payment plan. Use the free and confidential insurance checker below to see if your health insurance covers the cost of treatment. You can call us for free 24/7 to discuss your treatment options at .
Alternate Options if you Can’t Afford Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
If you are in search low-cost or free drug rehabs, there are other resources available for individuals who want to stop using drug or alcohol but cannot afford the cost of treatment.
Many drug and alcohol rehab centers will work with clients to create a personalized payment plan that may include options such as sliding scales, payment assistance or private financing.
Another option is to consider participation in a clinical trial study. The Clinical Trials database, a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, contains a comprehensive list of privately- and publicly-funded clinical studies conducted around the world. This database can be used to find clinical studies in drug rehabilitation that are currently accepting participants. In addition to being provided with all treatment at no cost, you may also be compensated for your time and participation.
Online rehab is another treatment option for people who cannot cover the costs of traditional drug and alcohol rehab. The fees are typically lower than those of traditional rehab programs and can vary based on the specifics of the program. Reduced fees are also available through most companies on a case-by-case basis. These programs offer convenient scheduling and private addiction treatment via the internet, and most include services like individual counseling and group therapy sessions led by addiction counselors, peer support and tools for recovery. Although this form of drug rehab can be effective, it will only be beneficial to individuals with discipline and determination, as these programs are self-administered.
Additional Resources on Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
You may be wondering, ‘where can I find free rehab centers near me?’ or ‘where can I find free detox centers near me?’ You might be seeking treatment for alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines, opiates, crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, crack or another drug. If you think you may need addiction help, you can contact American Addiction Centers (AAC) for free at to find more information on free and affordable rehabilitation facilities near you. Whether you’re looking for a specific type of rehab treatment, substance abuse-related info or additional guides, below are some of our most popular and recommended resources.
- Drug Addiction Hotline Number
- Alcohol Addiction Hotline Number
- How to Help a Drug Addict
- State-Funded Rehab Centers Near Me