Last Updated on March 30, 2021
One of our members recently said, “You all are a bargain—a super bargain!” Of course, that’s what we like to hear. Alcohol treatment should be affordable to anyone who needs it. But let’s dig a little further into the cost of treatment options.
Recent news articles in The New York Times1 and elsewhere have highlighted the expensive alcohol treatment industry (a.k.a., rehab). Many people think there are only two options for alcohol use disorder (AUD). The first is checking in to a resort-style center (think Malibu), which sounds glamorous, but can be quite expensive, and there is no guarantee of success. The second choice is at the other end of the spectrum: Alcoholics Anonymous, which is free, but for many people, abstinence isn’t possible, and doesn’t solve the problem.
Let’s back up slightly, and consider what someone with AUD might spend on alcohol. If a person is drinking a liter of vodka per day at $20 each, that comes to over $7,000 per year. For most people, that is a hefty chunk in a budget. Not as visible are the hidden costs of alcohol use: lost work days, extra medical bills, or in extreme cases, a divorce lawyer. According to a 2015 survey by Martindale-Nolo Research, the average divorce in California costs an average of $17,500.
One of the ironies about conventional treatment options is that some of them can cost much more than the alcohol itself.
In general, choices are split between inpatient, in which a person is formally admitted into a facility for a month or more, or outpatient, in which the patient goes to a facility during the day, but returns home at night. Rehabilitation facilities can be quite costly. In 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported $7,500 per month at the low end, with a high of $80,000 at luxury facilities. The average cost of inpatient rehabilitation was $18,000 per month. And again, success is not a given. Most of us are aware of friends or acquaintances who have been in and out of rehab. Imagine spending $100,000 or more—and still not solving the problem.
Outpatient services are considerably less expensive—perhaps $500 per week. Patients report for regular counseling sessions and treatment, but then return to daily living. Some specialists believe this option helps patients better navigate the everyday challenges of being in a culture surrounded with urges to consume alcohol.
It’s time to rethink conventional wisdom, and come up with new strategies for dealing with alcohol use disorder. For most people—those without accompanying serious psychiatric problems requiring inpatient care—our method encourages people to remain in their homes, and doesn’t require time off from work, or separation from friends and family. For less than $12 per day, you can receive evidence-based care that is convenient and effective.
And to clarify: our method isn’t for everyone, but it has been proven to help many people. Our company is a young one, founded in 2016, but we are showing a success rate of roughly 60% for members.
In the world of addiction, what works for one person will not for another. Our method is patient-driven. Whether the goal is to stop drinking completely, or to cut back to a more moderate level of alcohol consumption, the choice is up to the individual. We tailor the treatment program to meet each member’s unique needs.