Scholarships for Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Rehab can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 for 90 days of outpatient treatment or between $5,000 and $20,000 for 30 days of residential inpatient treatment. Because of the high cost associated with rehab (especially residential inpatient treatment), many people may perceive cost as a barrier to getting help. This may be part of the reason why 90% of those who needed substance abuse treatment in 2015, didn’t receive it.

Scholarships help to bridge the gap between what people can afford and the high cost of the treatment that they need. These are typically provided by individual facilities, but they may be coordinated or provided by third-party foundations as well.

Overall, we created this guide to help people who need substance abuse treatment, but can’t afford to get it on their own. In addition to educating the public on the basics of rehab scholarships, we provide practical guidance in finding and getting accepted for scholarships.

The Basics of Rehab Scholarships

Who Provides the Scholarships?

Individual facilities are the main providers of scholarships

Rehab scholarships are most often provided by individual institutions on a case-by-case basis for those individuals who need treatment, but wouldn’t be able to receive it without a scholarship. These scholarships can be more challenging to find because the patient must contact each facility directly.

Corporations that manage facilities sometimes provide scholarships

While many facilities are smaller and independently owned, there are corporations (both for-profit and nonprofit) that own and run multiple facilities either regionally or across the country. They often have funds to help cover the cost of treatment at one of their locations for those who qualify.

Non-profit foundations also provide scholarships

One example of a foundation that provides scholarships is 10,000 Beds. 10,000 Beds provided $1,000,000 in scholarships in 2016, and the foundation is on target for $2,500,000 in 2017. One of the main ways that 10,000 Beds is able to provide scholarships for those who need treatment is by partnering with individual facilities who have openings that aren’t currently filled. These facilities agree to donate a certain number of openings (or “beds”), and then 10,000 Beds is able to connect those who need help to the organizations that are donating treatment.

For more information about 10,000 Beds and how to get a scholarship, read our section below on “How to Get Rehab Scholarships.”

What Treatments Are Covered?

Scholarships are provided by both inpatient and outpatient facilities, but inpatient facilities tend to be more expensive, thus creating more need for scholarships to make them affordable. The specifics of which types of treatments are covered vary from facility to facility, but you can expect scholarships to not cover treatments that are considered “optional” or “luxury.” Massage therapy and acupuncture are two examples of treatments that may not be covered.

How Much of the Cost Do Scholarships Cover?

Depending on the organization, some scholarships cover the entire cost of treatment (such as 10,000 Beds), while others may only cover a portion of the cost.

Other Options for Payment Assistance

While scholarships are the only way some people may be able to get treatment, they are often much harder to obtain than other payment assistance options. These payment assistance options are often more common, have less restrictive requirements, and are easier to find.

Subsidized Insurance Policies

If you don’t already have insurance, start by applying for a subsidized insurance plan such as your state’s Medicaid program. If you aren’t able to qualify for Medicaid, there may be other subsidized plans in the state that you do qualify for. The Healthcare Marketplace also provides subsidized plans, with income-based premiums.

Not every insurance plan covers every type of treatment, but they are all required to cover some type of rehab for those who qualify as having a substance use disorder.

State-Funded, No-Cost Facilities

Due to funding provided by the federal and state governments, some facilities are able to offer treatment at no cost to the patients. Some of these are run by state or local governments, and some are run by third-parties. While there is no cost, these facilities may have limited space and may not offer the same quality and variety of services that private institutions provide.

Income-based enrollment is an option that some rehab facilities offer to qualified individuals. While it’s not an actual scholarship, these plans do make it possible for those who can’t afford rehab on their own to get the treatment and help that they need. To find facilities near you that offer payment assistance including sliding-scale fees, use the appropriate filter on our database tool.

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Who Should Consider Rehab Scholarships

While there are a lot of people who may benefit from a rehab scholarship, not everyone will qualify. Below we describe those who should consider applying.

  • Those who’ve exhausted all of their other options for payment assistance. You must typically demonstrate that you’ve tried options like Medicaid and asked for help from family and friends, but are still coming up short.
  • Those who are underinsured. Sometimes there’s a gap between what the insurance company will pay and the cost of the rehab that you can’t cover on your own. In this case, scholarships might help to cover the difference.
  • Those who need special treatment that insurance won’t cover. One example is a patient who needs dual-diagnosis treatment in an inpatient setting, but insurance only covers outpatient treatment.
  • Those who are dedicated to recovery. Many rehabs require those who attend using a scholarship to complete the entire program, or they won’t apply the scholarship, and the patient will be required to pay for the treatment received.

How to Get Scholarships

How to Find Scholarships

Finding scholarships takes dedication and tenacity – if you can’t find one or aren’t approved using the first avenue you try, move onto the next option. The following are some ideas you can use to locate facilities that offer scholarships near you.

Apply for a 10,000 Beds scholarship

As mentioned earlier, 10,000 Beds is a non-profit foundation with the goal of connecting needy addicts to inpatient rehabs that have vacancies. Since they work with facilities all over the United States, anyone can apply, so long as they meet the following criteria:

  • You need treatment for a substance addiction
  • You want to get better
  • You are ready to commit to at least 30 days in a residential treatment facility
  • You don’t have sufficient resources to cover treatment costs
  • You have exhausted all over types of support such as family, friends, and community resources (church, government programs, etc.)

Check with the professional who provided your assessment

Assessments aren’t just the first step in the rehabilitation process, they can also be helpful in finding a scholarship. Addiction professionals that provide assessments may be aware of facilities that offer scholarships to help those in need.

Check with community resource centers

Any organization with deep ties to the community that works with those struggling with addiction may be able to direct you to a facility that offers scholarships. Some examples of community resources include churches, social workers, and charity organizations.

Use our database to find treatment centers near you

If you aren’t able to get a referral to a treatment center that offers scholarships, the next option is to call treatment centers one by one to find those that offer scholarships. You can use our database (above) to find the contact information for rehabs near you.

Additionally, representatives from rehabs that don’t offer scholarships may be able to direct you to rehabilitation centers that do, so it’s worth your time to ask helpful employees whether they know of any other rehabs that offer scholarships.

How to Get Accepted for Scholarships

In order to get accepted for a scholarship, there are steps and strategies you should use when filling out applications or during interviews. You want to stand out by clearly communicating your need, your commitment to change, and your plan of action.

Establish your financial need

When applying for scholarships, be ready to provide financial information such as your monthly income, your expenses (such as utilities and rent or mortgage), your checking and savings account balances, and other financial information.

You also need to be ready to list the steps you previously taken to get help, so make sure you’ve already:

  • Asked for help from family and friends
  • Looked into government programs such as Medicaid
  • Asked for help from community organizations such as churches

Listing all the steps you’ve already taken will demonstrate that you are serious about recovery and that a scholarship is absolutely necessary for you to be able to get help.

Explain your need for help

If possible, get professionally assessed and use the recommendation from the professional who assessed you to demonstrate that the specific type of treatment for which you are seeking a scholarship is necessary for your situation. Otherwise, be prepared to outline the specifics of your addiction (such as which substances you use, how long you’ve been using them, and your living situation) and why you think the treatment this facility offers will help you overcome the addiction.

Demonstrate your commitment to recovery

Clearly outline the negative impact substance abuse has had on your life, and why recovery is important for you personally. What’s at stake for you? Also, consider detailing a long-term plan for complete rehabilitation including your personal goals and how you will achieve them.

Take Action

If you are dedicated to recovery and need help covering the cost of rehab, scholarships can make all the difference in your fight for sobriety. However, finding and getting accepted for scholarships takes a good strategy and a willingness to put in the work to find and fill out multiple applications.