What’s the Difference Between Government Rehab Programs and a Private Rehab?
If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, getting professional help through an inpatient or outpatient rehab program can be the key to your recovery. But the high costs of a private rehab can make it difficult or downright impossible for people with limited finances to get the help they need. Because rehab plays such an important role in ending addiction, free government rehab programs are available – and most offer the same essential services that private rehabs do.
Private Rehab – the “Gold Standard” for Recovery
Private inpatient rehab programs offer the most complete support for recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. These facilities provide medical supervision for detox and withdrawal, along with any medications needed to reduce withdrawal symptoms and make the process easier. During a 30, 60 or 90-day stay in a private rehab, patients have regular counseling and group therapy sessions, along with healthy meals and a comfortable, distraction-free room.
To help patients heal from addiction, private residential rehabs typically offer a range of therapeutic activities that benefit both body and mind. These can include:
- Gyms and workout classes
- Yoga and meditation
- Art therapy
- Horseback riding
- Group outings
Although private outpatient or partial hospitalization rehab programs don’t offer the full range of services available in an inpatient rehab, these programs also incorporate therapy with other types of support services, including medication maintenance.
Private rehab programs can be costly, with a 30-day stay typically starting at around $10,000. Although most facilities accept insurance or offer financial arrangements such as payment plans or sliding fee scales, they still may be too costly for those without insurance or other ways to finance the program.
Government Rehab – Essential Services for Anyone
Studies reveal that making rehab available to everyone who needs it reduces neighborhood crime and the rates of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, and keeps families together. For those reasons, federal and state funded rehabs in every state provide both inpatient and outpatient recovery services for people who can’t pay for private rehab. These programs offer essential support for recovery – but with some limitations.
Government funded rehab programs are typically free of charge to patients, who can enter them voluntarily or under court order. These programs offer standard care for detox and withdrawal, along with regular counseling and group meetings. Patients may have to share a room, and meals and other amenities are basic, lacking the spa-like quality of private rehab programs.
Government sponsored programs are often short-term, averaging about a 30 day stay. Because demand is high and waiting lists for a place in an inpatient program can be long, patients may be shifted over to an outpatient program before they’re ready, which can lead to a fast relapse.
For the same reasons, federal and state funded outpatient programs often provide basic rehab services, including medications such as methadone, on a relatively limited basis. Patients may see counselors and therapists less often, with support groups filling the gap. For these programs, too, there may be a long waiting list.
Common Goals, Different Styles
Private rehabs and government-funded programs share essential features. Both types of programs use standard treatment models developed over decades of research in addiction science, and both incorporate support for detox and withdrawal, as well as therapy and medication management. But for those who can afford it, private rehabs also offer services in a spa like atmosphere that includes not only state of the art care from specialists in addiction medicine but also a range of other services to support healing.
Government funded rehab programs aim to address addiction related issues in the shortest amount of time with standard care in a “no frills’ atmosphere. These programs may be relatively limited, but they provide care for people who would otherwise have no access to rehab services at all. The differences between a full service private rehab program and a government sponsored one may be great, but both kinds of programs have the same goal: to help people break free of damaging addictions – for life.