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Scholarships And Grants For Drug And Alcohol Rehab

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

January 23, 2019

**We are not offering any scholarships at this time. Please check back later. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health cites in 2015, roughly 21.7 million Americans 12 years and above required substance use treatment. Of these, only 14 percent, or 3 million people received treatment. Why is there such a discrepancy?

Though there are numerous reasons for this, one of the most commonly cited is a person’s inability to pay for treatment. This is devastating when you consider the number of people whose lives could be positively changed, if only they were able to access the help and positive transformation that can result from rehabilitation.

Treatment Costs Deter Some

The cost of treatment can vary, due to the facility, the severity, duration, and type of abuse or addiction; and the type of treatment a person chooses or that the situation necessitates. The cost can range from several thousand dollars for an outpatient program, to amounts upwards of tens of thousands of dollars for those programs that are inpatient and residential. Even these vary significantly depending on the type of program and length of stay.

Sadly, what some people fail to realize, is that options exist beyond insurance coverage or a person paying out-of-pocket.

Hope And Opportunities Exist

For those who have no insurance, or for those with limited insurance, additional resources exist via the aid of scholarships or grants to help a person make their treatment needs a reality.

Scholarships may come by way of a foundation, a nonprofit, or from within the facility itself. This money is often generated through fundraising events and donations, so that people such as yourself don’t have to go without treatment.

Grants may derive from nationally- or state-funded initiatives. Examples include SAMHSA’s Access to Recovery, a voucher-based program created with the intent of giving people a choice of treatment options, and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program, which funds programs within all 50 states. Find information on the application process of the latter grant here.

Finding A Scholarship Or Grant

Before you can examine these possibilities, you need to work towards developing an idea of the form and type of treatment that you seek. Get educated and research your options, including treatment modalities, duration of stay, and any other preferences—like amenities or secular versus faith-based treatment—that may be important to you. Make a list, assembling the facilities that interest you most.

In addition, some forms of financial aid, especially the grants we noted above, may be specific to certain populations or at-risk demographics of people, such as pregnant women or primary caregivers to children; take your time to look into this.

Sometimes it takes a bit of digging, but your perseverance will pay off, as it will allow you greater access to the care and treatment that your situation demands.

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Seek Support

An addiction is overwhelming unto itself. Contending with the logistics of finding and paying for treatment can be very daunting. Reach out and ask a loved one to assist you so that they can help you stay organized and focused. This way you avoid falling prey to stress or low morale, which could cause you to give up along the way.

Stand Out

Take the time to express your situation and commitment, including your hope and motivation towards change, sobriety, and recovery. Giving someone financial aid is an investment. Illustrate to them that you will utilize it to change your life and future, while maintaining your recovery for a long-lasting impact. Typically, you will have a couple of opportunities to do this within both your application and interview. Take special care on your application and put your best foot forward, as this is your first impression.

Fully develop your ambitions and goals before you begin the application. Write things down. This gives you a chance to organize your thoughts, so that you can better articulate these things on the official application.

You might find it nerve-wracking to speak to a person about your situation. This is natural and may be aided again by writing or even verbally rehearsing things. These methods can help alleviate your anxiety so you can speak in a more fluid manner. Remember: these people want to help you, they are not judgmental; on the contrary, they are compassionate and attuned to your needs.

Program officials are more inclined to offer help to individuals who illustrate determination towards getting sober. In addition, some of them may offer a reduction in fees within these same circumstances.

What Does The Process Entail?

This process may vary due to several things—just as every facility, scholarship, and grant are different—so there might be restrictions and requirements that they have in place.

e prepared to answer questions about your finances, including your current income and work status, and about any insurance coverage that you may have. You need to be as knowledgeable and communicative about your needs and situation as you can. Don’t think that just because your insurance only covers a small portion, that it isn’t worth mentioning. You might be surprised that some facilities will accept this partial payment and provide assistance for the rest.

For a grant or a scholarship, you will have to completely fill out the application, which works towards ensuring that you meet the criteria. At this point the selection process begins, which can be fairly extensive. This may include an initial screening, a review process, and an interview. The interview grants the committee an opportunity to ask you questions and obtain a detailed picture of your circumstances and commitment to your recovery.

What Are The Requirements?

Almost every scholarship or grant requires that an individual either have no insurance or be underinsured in the capacity that their insurance will not cover the treatment that they need. This need is a predominant consideration within the selection process, though not the only criteria. They may consider, or even require that you:

  • Live within the state, and/or can provide documentation of state residency or national citizenship
  • Show that you are within one of the target or at-risk demographics
  • Have already undergone detox
  • Have spent a certain amount of time in a residential treatment facility
  • Can provide a recommendation from a primary provider, counselor, or other addiction specialists
  • Show that you’ve exhausted other possible avenues of payment from your support system (friends, family, churches, etc.)

What Do You Do Once You Receive This?

As a rule of thumb, you will be required to successfully complete treatment in order to receive the funding and not incur any financial burden.

Recovery is a lifelong process, but the acute stages directly following treatment can be the hardest. For this reason, some groups may insist that you pledge anywhere from six months to a year’s involvement in their support and outreach. This grants you the aftercare and outreach that can be critical to your success. To do this, some may even require a certain number of meetings with a mentor.

Just as many facilities demand, when you become a scholarship or grant recipient, you will often have to undergo weekly drug and alcohol testing. Should you fail, or if you do not uphold other requirements, you will likely lose your funding, and/or be asked to leave the program. In these instances, some entities may bill for the duration of the treatment that you received.

Others have more specific stipulations, which may include volunteering in your community, or within the granting organization itself after you’ve obtained sobriety and participated fully to the extent of their demands.

What Do These Cover?

Sometimes, financial aid may be only partial, that is, it might only aid you in paying for a portion of your rehabilitation. Others may pay for the entirety of treatment, which may range from 28 days to several months, or even provide a monthly stipend for a year. Aid may, in varying capacities, cover the following:

Certain scholarships are more comprehensive and seek to alleviate a range of circumstances that surround your recovery, beyond the time spent in a program. This may include aftercare support, continued case management, mentorship, family support, reduced fees in supportive care, education, outreach, and direction towards community support groups. Some even employ a compassionate network of volunteers to ensure that you and your support system have continued access to these things.

Make Your Recovery Goals A Reality

Don’t give up on treatment. Let assist you in making sobriety an achievable goal. We can help you find the resources and facility that can make this attainable. Contact us today.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services-Access to Recovery

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Substance - Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant - Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant

NIDA - Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)

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