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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

How to Find State-Funded Addiction Treatment Programs

Many individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction do not seek treatment because of the cost. However, even for individuals in need who have no health insurance or who cannot pay for the overall costs of rehab, there are addiction treatment options. These include drug and alcohol treatment programs provided by state-funded rehab centers.

In 2022, only 24% of Americans in need of clinical addiction care received treatment at a rehab facility.1 According to a 2017 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there were over 2 million admissions to facilities that receive state alcohol and/or drug agency funds for the provision of rehab treatment services.2

What Is a State-Funded Rehab Center?

State-funded drug and alcohol rehab centers are addiction treatment facilities that are funded by tax dollars. Essentially, these state-funded programs accept money from the government in order to provide free drug and alcohol rehab services to people who would otherwise be unable to afford such treatments or who don’t have sufficient insurance coverage.

The specific sources of funding for substance abuse treatment programs can vary by state, although many state-funded alcohol and drug programs receive their funding through a combination of federal grants, reimbursement through Medicaid, and state budgets.

How to Get into Rehab with Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are state- and government-funded health insurance programs that offer provisions for substance use disorder treatment.3 Medicare is available to Americans over the age of 65 regardless of income and to some people who are under 65, depending on individual cases.3

Medicaid is available to low-income individuals, with eligibility requirements dependent on the state of residency.3 You may be wondering, ‘can I find state- and government-funded drug and alcohol rehabs near me that accept Medicare or Medicaid?’ Many state-funded drug rehabs near you, and in other locations, accept Medicare and Medicaid.

How Does the Affordable Care Act Help with Getting into Rehab?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded coverage so that more Americans have access to health insurance, which includes mental health treatment coverage. Under the ACA, both mental and behavioral health disorders are covered similarly to physical health disorders.4 This includes the treatment of substance use disorders, including:4

Who Qualifies for State-Funded Addiction Treatment Programs?

Who qualifies for state- and government-funded rehab will vary based on the individual’s state of residence. Those who qualify will usually not have health insurance coverage for reasons such as a low income. To learn more about eligibility, it is a good idea to locate the state agency that manages addiction treatment programs and find out how to qualify.

Most state-funded rehab programs have strict eligibility requirements. When applying to state-funded substance misuse programs, you may be asked to show:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Income.
  • That you do not have insurance coverage.
  • Proof of residency within the state that you are seeking rehab treatment.

How Soon Can I Get Into a State-Funded Rehab Center?

State-funded rehabilitation centers for substance misuse have limited availability and can be difficult to get into. Demand for state-funded programs is often high, and priority can be allocated to certain populations, such as pregnant women. If you are deemed eligible for state-funded drug rehabilitation, there is a good chance that you will be put on a waiting list until a spot in a treatment program becomes available.

The wait to begin rehabilitation treatment once you have been accepted into a program can take from a couple of weeks up to several months. You may want to look into alternatives while you wait for inpatient care, such as outpatient services. Any form of addiction treatment is better than no treatment, so looking into temporary options while you wait can be helpful.

What Are the Pros and Cons of State-Funded Rehab Programs?

There are both positive and negative aspects of state-funded drug and alcohol rehabilitation, which may include some of the following factors.

Pros of State-Funded Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehab Programs

Most state-funded rehab programs offer addiction treatment to eligible individuals at a very low cost or even free of charge. Because of these programs, many individuals are able to get the professional addiction help they need at a price they can afford.

A great benefit of state-funded rehab centers is that the provided treatment is evidence-based and proven to be effective. These rehab centers also employ properly trained staff and certified professionals who are more than capable of helping you to overcome your alcohol or drug addiction.

While attending a state-funded rehab program, you will be surrounded by other participants who are also struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. This is an extremely beneficial aspect of these programs, as it helps to show that you are not alone and allows you to talk with others who are going through similar experiences.

Cons of State-Funded Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehab Programs

Due to the limited capacity of state-funded rehab facilities, it is common to have to wait until an opening becomes available before you can join a state-funded addiction treatment program. On this same note, some patients reportedly feel that they are released from these treatment programs early in order to open up spots for other individuals.

With limited budgets, many state-funded rehab centers are unable to invest in costly upgrades to their facilities and treatment methodologies. These programs often use older technologies and outdated techniques that might not be as effective as the more recent developments in addiction science that are being utilized by the best private drug and alcohol rehab centers.

Another disadvantage of state-funded rehab is the perceived lack of privacy. Because these programs are in essence run by government institutions, many patients may feel uncomfortable sharing personal information concerning their alcohol or drug addiction. This reluctance to be open during therapy can hinder the effectiveness of their rehab treatment or lead to premature departure from their program.

Video: State-Funded Rehab


Credit: American Addiction Centers

Private vs. State-Funded Rehab Centers

The overall distribution of funding to government-funded rehab centers varies from state to state, and the types of drug and alcohol addiction treatment and services that are provided can vary between different recovery programs within the same state.

State-funded rehab centers may only offer short-term programs (such as drug and alcohol detox or medical management), although some centers also offer more long-term rehab treatment that includes both outpatient rehab and residential care.

Services Offered at State-Funded Rehabs vs. Private Rehabs

State-funded rehab generally offers more basic services compared to the treatment provided through private facilities. Some private rehab programs offer luxury hotel-like amenities such as swimming, art classes, yoga, chef-prepared meals, and nature excursions.

State-funded rehab centers will focus on providing:

  • Counseling.
  • Behavioral therapy.
  • Addiction classes.
  • Onsite drug tests.

Cost of Private Rehab vs. State-Funded Rehab

The cost of treatment in a state-funded rehab facility is substantially lower than that of a private facility, and many programs are offered to individuals for free. The actual cost of rehab treatment will depend on an individual’s qualification for the program and the types of addiction treatment and services that are required.

Rehab facilities can be found throughout the U.S. Use the confidential form below to determine what paying for addiction treatment would look like for you or a loved one. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment programs and has locations across the country.

Start Your Recovery Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please know that you are not alone. A trusted representative from American Addiction Centers can work with you one-on-one to learn about your unique circumstances and treatment options.

You can check your insurance coverage online now to determine whether your health insurance provider will cover the cost of treatment. You can also contact AAC free at to discuss state-sponsored treatment options. Begin here to start your journey to a sober life today.

FAQs on State-Funded Rehabs

How are state rehabs funded?

State-funded rehabilitation programs are funded through federal grants, reimbursement through Medicaid and their state budget.

Why do people not like state-funded addiction rehabs?

Most people prefer to be as comfortable as possible during their drug addiction treatment and recovery. For this reason, many people opt to undergo treatment in a private rehab facility where more treatment options and amenities are available.

Can state-funded rehabs violate the free-exercise clause?

The free-exercise clause pertains to an individual’s right to freedom of conscience and free expression of religious beliefs.5 Under this part of the first amendment of the Bill of Rights, it can be viewed that state-funded rehab facilities mandating faith-based substance abuse treatment (particularly when no non-faith-based option is available) are forcing individuals to participate in certain religious activities.

For people who choose not to subscribe to any form of religion, these recovery programs would appear to be in violation of the free-exercise clause.

It can also be argued that state-funded faith-based substance misuse treatment is in violation of the establishment clause, the other part of the first amendment that prohibits the government from establishing a religion, preferring one religion over another or preferring religion over non-religion.6 In this regard, several legal cases have previously addressed the constitutionality of government-funded faith-based treatment centers.7

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