Drug detoxification – more commonly known as detox – is widely considered the first step in drug treatment. For someone addicted to drugs, the thought of going through detox can be overwhelming due to the uncertainty and pain involved.

Making the decision to go through detox isn’t an easy one, and the decision often comes with many questions. Since medical detox occurs in a treatment facility, people often wonder how much it will cost, whether it’s expensive and if they’ll be able to afford it. Unfortunately, many people postpone entering detox due to cost.

There are many variables to consider when determining how much detox costs, especially since no two people (or addictions) are alike. Here are five common questions people have in regard to the costs involved with detox.

Is Detox Expensive?

Detox can be an expensive part of treatment for your addiction. The length of your stay, the use of prescription medication(s), the number of doctor consultations, other associated conditions and testing all contribute to the cost.

If you’re concerned with whether you can afford treatment, there are ways to reduce the costs involved. Some places that provide assistance for detox include:

  • The treatment facility itself
  • Government assistance
  • Health insurance
  • Medicare programs
  • Tax deductions

How Much Does Detox Cost?

On average, expect to pay $250-500 per day for medical detox at a treatment facility. However, it’s important to note that costs may be lower or higher depending on the type of treatment facility, the services they offer and the assistance you’re receiving to help cover costs.

As a general rule, the longer you’re in detox, the more it will cost. Some inpatient addiction recovery centers include the price of detox in their treatment programs. Inpatient rehab typically costs between $1,000-7,000 per week. Because costs between treatment facilities vary greatly, it’s important to talk with a facility directly to determine costs.

Is Detox Tax Deductible?

In some cases, fees charged by residential treatment centers for detox can be tax deductible if they meet IRS requirements. How much you’re able to deduct on your taxes depends on many different factors. To qualify, your out of pocket expenses must exceed a certain percentage of your income.

Always consult with a tax professional to see if you qualify for tax deductions as well as how to submit all of the required information during tax season.

Is Detox Covered By Insurance?

In the past, whether detox and rehab costs were covered by insurance depended on state laws, your personal insurance policy, pre-existing conditions, and your ability to ensure that your insurance company actually approved your claim.

Today, the landscape of health insurance has changed dramatically due to the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the Affordable Care Act, addiction recovery services are covered as one of the 10 essential health benefits.

Although these services must be covered by health insurance, there’s no simple answer as to what will be covered by your policy. Insurance companies have the right to ensure that they’re only providing payment for services they see as “medically necessary.” Therefore, patients who seek coverage for detox must be able to prove that they need it, and this is usually done by a doctor.

What About Medicare?

Medicare is another way to reduce the cost of detox, but only inpatient detox in a dedicated mental health facility is considered when participating in this program. Original Medicare covers part of the cost of detox treatment, but you’ll likely have to pay a deductible.

If you’re unsure of whether Medicare will pay for your detox costs, it’s best to contact them directly.

Entering treatment is the first step toward recovery, and you shouldn’t avoid it due to cost. Remember, the cost of detox varies from person to person, and there are many ways – such as insurance and tax deductions – to help reduce the cost of treatment.

Written by: Christina Bockisch

Christina is a blogger based in Fort Myers, Florida. She writes about mental health, fitness, and life as a whole on her blog, My Life in Wonderland. Follow her on Twitter.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.