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Paying For Drug Rehab Using GoFundMe And Other Crowdsourcing Sites

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

January 23, 2019

Crowdsourcing sites offer a platform for individuals who cannot afford addiction treatment to ask compassionate people around the world for financial help. For some, this is their only option to get the treatment that they need.

Addiction treatment can be expensive, especially when it comes to luxury facilities or extended treatment programs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that three months or more is ideal for addiction treatment, yet many people have trouble paying for this type of program.

Sadly, many people settle for less expensive programs at a cost. The staff members may be less qualified, the environment more clinical, and treatment options standardized rather than tailored to the individual. Addiction recovery is a highly individualized process, and without a treatment plan that considers individual needs, relapse is more likely to occur.

The cost of effective treatment may be high, but the costs of continued drug use, relapse, and repeated rehab visits can quickly add up. These costs are not only financial, but also physical and emotional, both for the struggling individual and their family.

But the question remains: how do people pay for quality drug rehab programs? One solution may be to ask for help through crowdsourcing sites.

What Are Crowdsourcing Sites?

With modern technology, everyone is connected. The internet allows people to communicate across the world via social media and shared web content. Crowdsourcing sites bring individuals together to collaborate on projects and work toward common goals.

“Crowdfunding” is a specific type of crowdsourcing that consists of people donating money to a person or cause. Crowdfunding campaigns are often used to pay for medical expenses, though they may raise money for charities, start-up businesses, or anything else that someone is passionate about.

GoFundMe is the most widely-known crowdfunding site for personal fundraising. YouCaring, GiveForward, and Generosity are additional sites that have recently integrated into GoFundMe.

Some other crowdsourcing sites that allow individual fundraising are:

  • Fundly
  • FundRazr
  • GoGetFunding

These sites facilitate the process of fundraising by making the campaign accessible to a wider audience. Though donations may begin with friends and family, people from around the world can donate to an online crowdfunding cause.

A reputable drug rehab program can cost thousands of dollars. While most individuals are unlikely to donate thousands of dollars to one cause, crowdfunding allows thousands of people to donate a few dollars each, which can be just as effective in reaching the financial goal.

How To Make A Crowdfunding Campaign For Rehab

There are two main components to a successful crowdfunding campaign: writing a good story and sharing it. A good story makes the situation clear to potential donors. It is honest, heartfelt, and detailed. It helps donors get to know the person who needs assistance paying for drug rehab, how serious they are about their treatment, and how the requested amount of money will be used.

The story should be engaging and easy to read. Multiple headers, bolded or italicized words, pictures, and videos can bring it to life and make it digestible.

There is no point in writing a good story if no one reads it. The purpose of an online campaign is to draw in large amounts of people who will contribute to the cause. This is where social media comes in. Campaign links can be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any other social media outlets to reach more people.

A third consideration in creating a successful campaign is setting an appropriate donation goal. If a person needs $10,000 to pay for a drug rehab program, they may consider asking for a higher amount to cover travel expenses and website fees.

FundRazr is a free platform that only charges credit card processing fees, while some crowdsourcing sites charge an additional five percent or more just to post a campaign. GoFundMe does not charge a platform fee, but they do charge 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per donation in processing fees, meaning they keep approximately 3 percent of all donations. Many people neglect to consider these hidden costs.

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Using Crowdsourcing Funds For Drug Rehab

Some crowdfunding platforms, like GoFundMe and Fundly, allow people to transfer funds into their bank account whenever they want. Others, like FundRazr, give individuals the option of daily, weekly, or monthly payments.

FundRazr also offers an “All or Nothing” campaign that requires people to set an end date for their fundraiser and collect the money only when that date has arrived. With this type of fundraiser, an individual only makes money if the whole financial goal is met.

“All or Nothing” campaign prompt donors to give more money and to donate right away. That said, this may not be the best method to raise money for drug rehab. If the goal is not met, the campaign must be restarted. Individuals suffering from addiction likely do not have the flexible time required for this type of fundraiser.

Most donations raised through crowdfunding campaigns are considered personal gifts. There are no U.S. federal taxes on personal gifts below $15,000. However, GoFundMe includes a disclaimer that “every situation is different” and recommends that individuals speak with a tax professional regarding the tax liability of their donation amount.

Once the money is transferred to a person’s bank account, they can use it to pay for rehab as they would with private pay, or explore other payment options if they still have financial need.

Other Ways To Pay For Drug Rehab

Crowdsourcing sites can be used to raise all the money for an addiction treatment program or to raise the amount that is not covered by insurance and other payment options. If the amount of money raised online is not enough, some individuals may be eligible for financial aid.

Some drug rehab centers offer scholarships or grants to reduce the amount that someone pays for treatment. They may also provide payment plans to break up the cost over time. Low-income families may be charged a sliding-scale fee based on their earnings.

Before a person turns to alternative payment methods like crowdfunding, they should contact their insurance company. Many major healthcare providers offer insurance coverage for substance abuse services. The extent of this coverage depends on the individual plan. Numerous rehab centers throughout the U.S. accept insurance, which can make a great drug rehab program affordable.

Finding A Drug Rehab Program

There is no single treatment for drug addiction that works for everyone. Addiction is a disease that affects a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual health. The best drug rehab programs combine several different types of treatment for a comprehensive approach.

Many people thrive in inpatient rehab programs that offer optimal comfort and numerous amenities. These programs are effective because they take away any stress that the environment may cause and allow people to focus on recovery. Extended programs give individuals the time and space they need to reframe their lives so they can return to the real world without relapsing.

It can be very difficult to break free from addiction without the professional support of a drug rehab program. Crowdfunding may offer hope to those who would otherwise not seek treatment. For more information on paying for drug rehab, contact one of our specialists today.



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