Addiction is a major issue in the United States. An estimated 40.3 million Americans aged 12 or older (14.5%) experienced substance use disorder in 2020.1 However, 97.5% claimed they didn’t need treatment.1 They may have had trouble accessing treatment due to cost or other reasons.
Getting treatment for substance misuse can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the money or health insurance to seek care. However, there are options and resources that can help you get the care you need to recover. Low-cost, state-funded, and free rehab programs are available to help you get started on a new path.
What Are Free Rehab Centers?
Free rehab facilities provide services to people who need addiction treatment but cannot afford it or don’t have insurance to help cover the cost of treatment. These facilities can offer several services including detoxification, inpatient/residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and more. The various types of programs are commonly funded through the federal and state governments, donations, and grants.2
Some drug and alcohol rehab facilities may offer free or low-cost treatment or a sliding scale that bases treatment cost on a person’s income.3
The federal government sets aside money for addiction treatment, and various agencies within the government provide funding as well.2 States are also given the discretion to apply these funds and state funds as they see fit.2, 3 Charitable donations can be provided at any time to addiction treatment facilities.
Many facilities will work with people who are unable to afford treatment by helping them apply for insurance or adjusting treatment costs according to income.3 Some facilities may offer scholarships or grants that can make it possible to attend private addiction treatment centers.3
In 2019, sliding scale payments were accepted by 58% of all treatment facilities, while low-cost or free treatment was available at 45% of all treatment facilities.4
Treatment Programs in Free Rehab Centers
The types of treatment in free drug rehab centers varies depending on the facility and services they offer. Treatment may range from inpatient/residential to outpatient care with programs for people at varying levels of intensity.
Each state has agencies in place to support people with substance use and mental health disorders, including state-funded treatment centers. Services will vary depending on the state you live in and the level of care needed, but may include:8, 9, 13
- Interim care if facilities are full.
- Recovery housing.
- Counseling services.
- Mutual support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
- Tele-health (via phone or internet).
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders.
What are State-Funded Free Rehab Programs?
State-funded rehab programs are those that offer treatment for people who don’t have insurance.3 To learn more about state-funded free or low-cost rehabs in your state, you can check the behavioral health treatment services locater from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which allows you to search agencies by state.
To receive low-cost or free rehab for drug or alcohol addiction at a state-funded rehab, you may need to meet specific state and local government criteria. Upon admission, you may be asked to provide information and documentation about:3
- Citizenship status.
- Family size.
- Lack of health insurance.
- Residency within the state where you are seeking treatment.
If you qualify for Medicaid, you may be eligible for low-cost or free health coverage that can help you pay for addiction treatment at state-funded facilities. Medicaid is a state and federal program, so some states may offer additional benefits and services beyond what federal law requires.12
What Are Faith-Based Rehab Programs?
Faith-based rehab programs approach addiction treatment through the lens of various religious or spiritual beliefs.7 People who follow a certain belief system may feel more comfortable in an addiction rehab program that provides care that aligns with their personal beliefs.
Facilities that offer faith-based rehab may require people to participate in activities related to their faith, such as meditation, prayer, church services, or studies on religious literature. Faith-based facilities may also have different rules and guidelines than state-funded rehabs or private treatment centers.7
Local religious organizations may be able to provide information on finding or getting into a free faith-based rehab facility or how to get financial assistance for addiction treatment.
How Do I Find Free Rehab Centers Near Me?
If you are looking for a free rehab center or other resources related to substance use disorder and mental health treatment, the following resources may be helpful:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locater.
- SAMHSA National Helpline with free, confidential, 24/7 resources for people struggling with substance use disorder: 1-800-662-4357.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
- American Addiction Centers’ caring admissions navigators can help you check insurance coverage at our facilities and direct you to resources for addiction treatment that suits your needs by calling
- 12-Step groups like AA or NA, which are free to join and only require that a person desire help with their substance misuse.10 While these groups don’t constitute formal treatment, they may offer valuable support as a person continues their recovery from substance misuse.
Why Do People Wait to Seek Drug or Alcohol Rehab?
For many people, lack of health insurance and the high cost of treatment deters them from seeking treatment. However, if you or a loved one are struggling with substance misuse, don’t wait to get help. Your primary care doctor or another healthcare provider can help find treatment and support if you are in need.
The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 19.1% of people aged 12 or older who felt they needed treatment but didn’t get it chose not to because they didn’t have health insurance or couldn’t afford treatment.14
Long wait lists may also be common.5,6 Some programs may take weeks or even months to get into.5,6 Unfortunately, the longer a person waits to get into a treatment program, the greater the likelihood that they will drop out before being admitted, so it’s important to get help as soon as possible if you think you may be struggling with substance misuse.5
Additional Addiction Treatment Options
If you are not able to find state-funded or other free drug rehab programs, consider the following options:
- If you have insurance, it may cover some or all the cost of treatment.
- Scholarships from grants or charitable donations may help pay for a portion of treatment.
- Local non-profit programs may offer treatment on a sliding scale, meaning the cost is based on what you can afford to pay.
- Research studies or clinical trials may offer evidence-based or experimental treatment at no cost to you if you are eligible to enroll and there is a study or trial in your area.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers evidence-based addiction treatment and strives to provide care for anyone who struggles with substance misuse.11 If you are interested in learning more about seeking care but aren’t sure where to start, contact one of our admissions navigators today at to check your insurance coverage and learn about other treatment options. Your confidential, free phone call may be just the place to begin the road to recovery.