Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Iowa
Approximately 373,000 residents of Iowa – 11.81% of the state population – use illegal drugs and another 185,000 – 5.86% of the state population – abuse alcohol in a given year. Consequently, 13.46% of all deaths in Iowa between 2008 and 2017 were caused by drugs and alcohol, just slightly higher than the national average for drug- and alcohol-induced deaths of 12.71%. Of the two most populous cities in Iowa, Cedar Rapids had the higher rate of drug- and alcohol-related deaths at 15.63% during the same time period, while Des Moines had the lower rate at 15.19%.
This guide was created to help the many residents of Iowa who are struggling with substance abuse addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Iowa.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Iowa, you can use our directory to locate low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabilitation centers qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the state.
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Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Iowa
If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you – as it is for many – and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to receive help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 167 substance abuse treatment centers in the state of Iowa. Of those 167 centers, United Community Services Healthcare in Des Moines received the highest overall score based on our five core metrics.
Located in Des Moines, United Community Services earned the top spot in our rankings with an overall score of 7.9 points out of 10 possible points, including maximum points in three of the five categories. The center received full points in the category of Rehabilitation Services Provided due to its extensive outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation services for adults, ranging from medication-assisted treatment to detoxification services to a SAMHSA-certified Opioid Treatment Program. It also scored highest in the category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics as it offers a wealth of programs that cater to unique populations, such as individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, members of the LGBTQ community, clients referred from the court system, and pregnant/postpartum women, among many others.
The center also earned maximum points in the category of Ancillary Services for providing a multitude of services intended to complement and promote clients’ long-term recovery, including housing and transportation assistance, HIV/AIDS education and support, domestic violence services, comprehensive mental health assessments, and many more. It scored lowest in the category of Cost; however, it accepts Medicaid and other state-financed health insurance, Access to Recovery vouchers, government funding for substance abuse treatment, private health insurance, and self-payment as payment methods, in addition to offering a sliding fee scale based on income and other factors.
The Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, located in Centerville, received an overall score of 6.9 points out of 10 points. The center provides outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation services to adolescents and adults, including medication-assisted treatment. It earned its highest score in the category of Ancillary Services for its wealth of services intended to promote and complement clients’ long-term recovery, ranging from employment counseling and training and health education services to individual/group/marital/family counseling to social skills development.
Conversely, the center earned zero points in the category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics for its lack of programs that cater to members of unique populations. It received a high score in the category of Cost as it accepts a wide variety of payment options, such as Medicare, Medicaid and other state-financed health insurance, Access to Recovery (ATR) vouchers, TRICARE, government funding for substance abuse programs, private health insurance, and self-payment, in addition to offering a sliding fee scale based on income and other factors.
With a score of 5.3 out of 10 points, the Des Moines location of Prelude Behavioral Services center received the third spot in our rankings. The center provides outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation services for adolescents and adults, including accepting patients on opioid medication. The center received its highest score in the category of Treatment Approaches for its wide variety of modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-related counseling, anger management, relapse prevention, both 12-step facilitation and Matrix Model approaches, and several more.
Conversely, the center earned its lowest score in the category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics as a result of its limited programs that cater to members of unique populations; however, it does offer programs for individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders and patients who have experienced trauma. For the category of Cost, it accepts Medicaid and other state-financed health insurance, Access to Recovery vouchers, government funding for substance abuse programs, private health insurance, and self-payment as payment options, in addition to offering a sliding fee scale based on income and other factors.
607 Sycamore Street, Suite 300 Waterloo, IA 50703 Main Tel: 319-232-5363
Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Iowa
Start by contacting your referral center
In Iowa, the first step is to contact Your Life Iowa (YLI). YLI is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health and provides a myriad of resources to individuals battling a substance use disorder, including a searchable database to find local agencies. Advanced search features will narrow down results to agencies that provide residential or outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment, and state-funded services.
The purpose of a referral center is to determine what type of help each individual needs, as well as the resources available for each individual. The referral center is also the first point of contact for anyone who may need assistance paying for treatment. To learn if you qualify for low-income Medicaid services, and to determine eligibility, visit the Iowa Department of Human Services About Iowa Medicaid page.
Use our database to find a treatment center near you
The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Iowa recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant treatment centers near you.
Many different methods are available for treating addiction, and the science of studying addiction is constantly improving and changing. However, the core pieces of rehabilitation are generally very similar.
Iowa ranks among the top 10 states for veterans engaging in binge drinking
According to the CDC, Iowa ranked among the top 10 states in 2017 for veterans who engaged in binge drinking, with a reported 18.5% of veterans in the state taking part in the dangerous behavior that is often linked to PTSD. This percentage is among the highest for all 50 states; Hawaii reported the greatest percentage of veterans engaging in binge drinking at 21.5%, while Utah was at the bottom of the rankings at 9.1%.
Top 10 States by Percentage of Veterans Who Binge Drink, 2017
Veterans in Iowa can reach out to their local VA medical center to search for information on substance abuse treatment, including the possibility of a VA-based substance use disorder (SUD) program, in their state. Additionally, they can locate information regarding substance abuse treatment services at the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.
Treatment is available for veterans in Iowans who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 13 substance abuse treatment facilities in Iowa – representing 8% of all treatment facilities – catered specifically to veterans.
Adolescents in Iowa use marijuana at rates lower than the national average
of adolescents aged 12-17 used marijuana, 2017-2018
of adolescents aged 12-17 drank alcohol, 2017-2018
Between 2017 and 2018, 5.4% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Iowa reported engaging in marijuana use in the past month, below the national average of 6.6%. In terms of alcohol use, 10.7% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Iowa had taken part in the behavior in the past month, higher than the national average of 9.4%. Additionally, 6.7% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse treatment program in Iowa in 2017 were aged 12-17. To overcome the challenges that youth face in overcoming substance addiction, some treatment centers provide adolescent-specific treatment programs.
Additional Resources for Parents and Teachers
Through its Bureau of Substance Abuse, the Iowa Department of Public Health funds a variety of prevention and treatment programs through local providers. To find a substance abuse treatment center or program near you, consult the IDPH-sponsored resource, Your Life Iowa. This website provides a variety of prevention resources, treatment options, and recovery programs for both adolescents and adults.
Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse and mental health issues tend to go hand-in-hand – the technical term is “co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2017, 45.6% of adults with a substance use disorder also had a mental health disorder, and 18.3% of adults with a mental health disorder also had a substance use disorder. For adolescents in 2017, 35.9% of those with a substance use disorder also had a major depressive episode, while 10.7% of adolescents with a major depressive episode also had a substance use disorder.
Mental Health Resources & Treatment
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or severe anxiety, there are many resources from which to receive help.
Below are a few ways to receive immediate assistance, as advised by MentalHealth.gov:
Emergency Services: If your life (or someone else’s life) is in danger, always start by dialing 911 to gain immediate access to emergency services.
Suicide Prevention: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 800-273-8255. You can also initiate a private live online chat.
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and press “1” to talk to someone immediately. You can also access help with a private online chat or text 838255.
Here are two ways to find a provider of mental health treatment in Iowa:
Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS): The Iowa Department of Human Services website provides residents of Iowa with a variety of mental health initiatives and resources.
Iowa National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The Iowa branch of NAMI provides information on mental health resources across the state and offers specific sections for adolescents and veterans.
Individuals who have both substance use and mental health disorders may benefit from dual-diagnosis rehab facilities. Use the appropriate filter in our tool above to find rehabilitation centers with treatment programs designed to meet the unique challenge posed by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Substance abuse aftercare treatment is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most crucial steps in the rehabilitation process. The chances of relapsing after rehab dramatically rise for individuals who try to resume their lives without pursuing further treatment in an aftercare setting. Several different types of aftercare are available for recovering addicts, including follow-up visits for continued therapy, group therapy, and sober living homes. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.
12-Step Addiction Meetings in Iowa
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) designed the 12-step process for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, and today there are many other 12-step programs for other addictions and issues – Narcotics Anonymous (NA) being just one example.
Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you
The tool below lists the contact information for local organizations that will connect you to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings near you. Since meeting times and locations change periodically, contact the local groups that coordinate the meetings to ensure that the information is up to date.
24 Hour Answering Service
Answer Plus Answering Service
(515) 282-8550;(800) 207-2172
Clean & Free Area NA
Clean & Free Area (Waterloo)
Dist. 13 Intergroup
Dubuque Area Intergroup
Freedom & Serenity Area NA
Freedom & Serenity Area (Cedar Rapids)
Heartland Area NA
Heartland Area (Ames, Marshalltown, Toledo)
(563) 324-5655;(309) 764-1016
Iowa Region NA
North Central Iowa Area NA
North Central Iowa Area (Mason City)
Quad Cities Area NA
Quad Cities Area (Davenport, Clinton)
Siouxland Area NA
Siouxland Area (Sioux City)
South Central Area NA
South Central Area (Des Moines)
South East Iowa Area NA
South East Iowa Area (Iowa City, Coralville, Muscatine, Burlington, Ft Madison, Keokuk, Mt Pleasant)
South West Iowa Area NA
South West Iowa Area (Council Bluffs)
Waterloo/Cedar Falls IA AA
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes (also referred to as recovery residences) are group homes that help recovering addicts transition from treatment facilities to living independently while maintaining their sobriety. These homes can be especially beneficial for individuals who don’t have a supportive and positive environment in which to live after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
Residents of sober living homes can stay from a few months to several years, as long as they follow house rules and avoid relapse, as these homes typically have a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Additionally, residents are expected to complete chores, attend mutual support groups, and pay an equal share of the cost of renting the home.
Some sober living homes are listed in our database, and you can find them by using the appropriate filter in our tool above. You can also check out our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them and to find a certified recovery residence near you.
The following table illustrates the annual estimates of substance abuse among residents of Iowa between 2016 and 2017, in addition to the percentage of the Iowa population and the U.S. population that those estimates represent.
Annual Estimates for Substance Abuse in Iowa, 2016-2017
* ‘Alcohol’ refers to an Alcohol Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use alcohol, but rather those who have an AUD, defined as meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence.
* ‘Prescription opioid’ refers to a Pain Reliever Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use or even occasionally misuse a prescription opioid, but rather those who have a PRUD, defined as meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence.
of Iowa deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of U.S. deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The following table shows the number of deaths involving drugs and alcohol in Iowa between 2008 and 2017. The corresponding graph illustrates the percentage of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in Iowa compared to the national average.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Iowa, 2008-2017
When trying to understand substance abuse issues in a specific area, researchers and policymakers examine “key indicators.” Combined with usage statistics, key indicators can provide a deep level of insight into which substances present the most serious concerns and which demographics can be most impacted by substance abuse. Key indicators of substance abuse issues within the state of Iowa, along with recent, credible statistics, are examined below.
Around 450,000 residents of Iowa suffer from mental illness every year
As discussed earlier in this guide, there is a strong link between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. When an individual is afflicted with both of these issues at the same time, health professionals refer to it as co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders or a “dual diagnosis.” Consequently, the prevalence of mental health issues in a given state can also help us to understand the level of substance abuse.
of Iowa adults had a serious mental illness
of Iowa adults had a major depressive episode
From 2017-2018, 5.4% of Iowa adults aged 18 and over were afflicted with a serious mental illness, compared to 4.6% nationally. Among Iowa residents, 8.3% of adults suffered a major depressive episode in the past year, compared to a national rate of 7.1%.
The table below sheds some light on the prevalence of mental health issues in Iowa
Mental Health Issues in Iowa by Age and Percentage of Population, 2016-2017
Suicide rates in Iowa are marginally higher than the national average
The Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States. The suicide rate has risen in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, with that rate increasing by more than 30% in half of all 50 states since 1999. Suicide is an act that is often linked to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse is a primary risk factor for both adults and adolescents who attempt and/or complete suicide, and this is particularly true for at-risk populations.
Furthermore, the relationship between substance abuse and suicide is multi-faceted and complex. Persons who have substance abuse issues typically also carry other risk factors for suicide, including depression, impulsive behavior, and other struggles with relationships, finances, illness, or unemployment that make them more likely to engage in self-harm. Between 1999 and 2016, Iowa witnessed a 36.2% increase in the number of suicides. In 2017, Iowa ranked 32nd in the country for the number of suicides per 100,000 residents.
Suicides and Suicide Rates in Iowa and the United States, 2017
Iowa has a lower opioid prescribing rate than the overall U.S. rate
Prescription drug abuse – particularly in the form of opioids – has become an epidemic in the United States. While it is difficult to estimate how many individuals use these drugs as prescribed and how many abuse them, the Centers for Disease Control has researched the variation in opioid prescriptions between states, establishing a direct connection between an increased level of opioid prescriptions with a greater potential for dependence and abuse. Across the United States in 2017, 191 million prescriptions for opioids were written by physicians, ultimately leading one in four patients who begins long-term opioid therapy to an addiction.
opioid prescriptions per 100 Iowa residents, 2017
opioid prescriptions per 100 U.S. residents, 2017
After peaking in 2012, the U.S. opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline for the last several years due to the explosion of the opioid epidemic and the recognition of the role that excessive opioid prescriptions have played in this epidemic. Between 2013 and 2017, the opioid prescribing rate in the United States dropped from 78.1 prescriptions per 100 residents to 58.7 prescriptions per 100 residents, a decrease of 24.84%. The opioid prescribing rate in Iowa was consistently lower than the U.S. prescribing rate during that time period, dropping from 72.2 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2013 to 56.4 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2017, revealing a slightly lower decrease of 21.88%.
The rate of homelessness in Iowa is slightly over half the national average
A high rate of homelessness in an area indicates a greater potential for substance abuse issues. Homelessness has been shown to be linked to substance abuse as both a cause and a result; some individuals become homeless due to a substance use disorder, while other individuals who are already homeless frequently turn to substance use to dull the pain and desperation of their situation.
The 2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-in-Time Count reported approximately 552,830 homeless individuals in the United States, the equivalent of 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents. This number represents a decrease of 4.1% since 2014 when the number of homeless persons in the U.S. was around 576,450. Furthermore, homelessness across the United States has decreased by 15% since 2007, the year that HUD began collecting data on the homeless population.
of every 10,000 Iowa residents were homeless, 2018
of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless, 2018
By comparison, Iowa had approximately 2,749 homeless persons in 2018, equating to 9 of every 10,000 Iowa residents and just slightly over half the national average. This number reveals an 11.95% decrease since 2014 when 3,122 homeless persons lived in Iowa.
V. Regional Substance Abuse Statistics & Rehabs
The following sections provide a deeper look at the substance abuse problem in Iowa by examining the drug- and alcohol-related death rates in the two most populous cities. Additionally, the three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in each city are listed.
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Des Moines are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance based on our core metrics.
Drug- and alcohol-induced deaths are significantly higher in Des Moines than the rate across Iowa
of Des Moines deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Iowa deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 5,801 deaths induced by drugs and alcohol in Polk County, in which Des Moines is located. This number represented 15.19% of the total number of deaths among all ages in the county and was significantly higher than the state average of 13.46% during the same time period. Of the two most populous Iowa cities, Des Moines’ drug- and alcohol-induced death rate was slightly lower.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Polk County, 2008-2017
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in the Cedar Rapids and the neighboring cities of Tipton and Washington are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance based on our core metrics.
The Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in the Cedar Rapids Area
Cedar Rapids has a higher rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths than the state average
of Cedar Rapids deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Iowa deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, which had a combined drug- and alcohol-induced death rate of 15.63% between 2008 and 2017. This percentage is over two percentage points higher than the state average of 13.46% in the same time frame. Of the two most populous cities in Iowa, Cedar Rapids had a marginally higher drug- and alcohol-induced death rate.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Linn County, 2008-2017
Substance abuse treatment is available in Iowa for anyone who needs help beating an addiction – you don’t have to struggle alone. To receive assistance, start by determining your insurance coverage and by contacting your referral center. You can also use our tool earlier in this guide to locate a treatment center near you. Remember, many low-cost rehabilitation centers can help if you don’t have insurance coverage or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.