Public vs. Private Rehabs: Insurance & Therapies

The disease of addiction develops due to a complex interplay of factors pertaining to biology, environment, and behavior. As a result, an addict experiences a variety of effects from substance abuse disorders and addiction, ranging from the degradation of health to criminal behavior to the deterioration of important relationships. Addiction affects each addict differently but can result in hardships such as legal troubles that may even result in a prison sentence, loss of one’s job, homelessness, damage or destruction of important personal relationships, loss of interest in hobbies and passions, and so on.

Perhaps worse than hardships that result from addiction are the ease and quickness with which an addiction develops; despite—or in spite—of the complexity and profundity of addiction’s numerous effects, it takes an incredibly short amount of time for recreational intoxication to become an addiction, leaving an individual with a debilitating disease.

The disease model of addiction states that once addiction has developed, it cannot be cured due to being a chronic disease. What’s more, addiction is progressive, which means that until an addict begins their recovery, the addiction will ultimately continue to worsen to the point of death. However, the good news is that addiction, though chronic and incurable, can be treated. This allows individuals to manage the effects and symptoms of addiction, controlling the compulsive urges to indulge in harmful and destructive behaviors, and allowing them to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Although there are a number of treatments, the most effective treatment for addiction typically takes the form of participation in an inpatient or intensive outpatient recovery program at a rehabilitation facility. While there are differences in the types of programs that these facilities offer, there are also differences in the facilities themselves. Rehabilitation facilities that offer treatment for substance abuse and addiction can be considered to be either public or private. In order to determine which type of facility would best meet an addict’s needs, it’s important to understand the key differences between public and private rehabilitation facilities.

Cost Differences Between Public and Private Rehabs

One of the most prohibitive factors of recovery treatment that often leads to addicts continuing their addictive behaviors instead of working toward sobriety is the cost of treatment. Fortunately, recovery treatment can range from relatively inexpensive to obscenely expensive depending on a number of features and attributes of the facility; the range of treatment costs is beneficial in that it ensures that there are treatment options available that will meet the needs of just about any budget. The attributes of programs that most directly affect the cost of treatment include things like the location and length of time spent in the program, but there are also price differences in public versus private rehabs.

Generally speaking, private rehabilitation and addiction treatment facilities tend to be much more costly than public facilities. This is largely due to the fact that private facilities usually try to afford patients with more luxurious accommodations and any number of more spa-like treatments while participating in a recovery program. Public rehabilitation facilities, on the other hand, tend to not only be lower in cost but also usually offer a number of flexible payment options for those in need.

For example, public facilities may offer a sliding scale that calculates the cost of the program according to an individual’s finances and his or her ability to pay. It’s also common for public rehabs to offer payment plans so individuals can pay in installments over time, reduce prices for individuals with lower income, accept health plans and insurance, and even offer free treatment to those who qualify.

Treatments Offered at Public and Private Rehabs

As mentioned above, one of the main factors that can influence the cost of a treatment program is the number of features, amenities, and treatments offered at a rehabilitation facility. When a facility charges more for treatment, it can offer a wider variety of treatments to recovering addicts than can a facility that offers lower-cost addiction treatment programs. Therefore, private facilities tend to offer more of a variety of therapies and treatments for addicts in recovery compared to public facilities.

More often than not when an addict decides to participate in a treatment program at a recovery facility, one of the first steps in the process is to develop a personalized treatment plan that will meet the specific, individual needs of the person. When an individual has chosen a program at a private rehabilitation facility, he or she will have more of a variety of treatments and therapies to choose from in order to develop a personalized treatment plan.

The primary and essentially treatments are counseling and psychotherapy, both of which tend to be included as the core of an addiction treatment program in both public and private facilities; however, there will be a greater variety of additional and supplemental therapies—which can include things like massage therapy, adventure therapy, equine therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture, and so on—offered by a private facility.

Activities Offered at Public and Private Rehabs

Although counseling, psychotherapy, group sessions, and things like skills-building and vocational training remain essential and central parts of most addiction treatment programs, most rehabilitation facilities also offer a variety of recreational activities. These activities can either be constructive or merely serve the purpose of allowing patients to have some fun, blow off steam, improve their moods, and relieve stress and tension.

As is the case with treatment options and private facilities offering a wider variety, private facilities also tend to offer more of a variety of recreational and leisure activities. Private facilities that offer luxury treatments for addiction recovery will offer activities such as horseback riding, golf therapy, swimming, a number of sports, and even special treatments to alleviate withdrawal during detoxification. On the other hand, public facilities tend to offer the basics, allowing individuals time for recreation, but most public facilities won’t offer such luxuries as spa treatments and horseback riding.

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