How to Get Substance Abuse Help When You’re Broke

While most of the topics on this blog are about creative ways that we can get out of debt, make more money, and generally improve our financial standing, as a partner of a recovering addict, I can tell you that our financial collapse didn’t come from the loss of a job, or physical conditions that prevented us from making money. Ours came from a struggle with addiction, and the on-going financial implications of not just the addiction, but the expense of seeking treatment.

We’re now several years from some of the darkest days in our marriage – and our lives – and I thought that I might be able to share some of the resources I was able to find when we were attempting to get my husband the help he needs. It turns out that rehab isn’t cheap, and after burning through our savings and living paycheck to paycheck, we were in no way ready to take on the thousands of dollars required for a professional rehabilitation center.


Sadly, most insurance policies don’t cover drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Those that do might only cover a portion of it, and that’s only if the center is outpatient rather than inpatient. This info on the site explains it better than I ever could, so it’s probably worth a read if you are going to attempt to get your insurance to pay for this. An important thing to look for when attempting to get your insurance to cover rehab expenses is the center and their use of holistic medicine. I say that because most insurance that does cover rehabilitation, refuses to cover holistic medicinal practices that are used at a lot of rehab centers. This is a tricky area to navigate so be sure to check your policy and do your homework in order to see what’s possible.

Friends and Family

One of the hardest things we had to do was explain the problem to friends and family members and ask them for help. Luckily, we weren’t cast out as lepers or abandoned in our time of need. Our friends and family were supportive, and encouraged us to do whatever needed to be done in order to help treat the problem and regain our sense of normalcy. Some even offered to help financially, and this was a great help on our fundraising efforts.

Your Job

Any assistance offered by a place of employment also carries with it the fear of being terminated once you disclose the problem. For those that work at rather large businesses, I can ease your fears a little by pointing you to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides an employee with up to 12 weeks of leave every 12 months for medical reasons (either for themselves or for family). This will preclude your employer from firing you for going to rehab, but it’s worth noting that this only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.

For smaller businesses, there is no such protection, but you do get the added benefit of a more personal work environment. Smaller employee pools generally means that each employee has a familiarity with one another and over time this starts to feel like a small family. If not, you might be lucky enough to have a flexible savings account, employee wellness program, or IRA that you can tap into.


While asking friends and family for help was the hardest method we chose to utilize in order to gain access to funds, using credit was the most devastating. We asked for balance increases on all of our credit cards, as well as taking out a small personal loan at the bank in order to scrape together the additional money needed. While attending rehab at a 90-day inpatient center, my family had to rely on just one income, and we weren’t in great financial standing to begin with. Ultimately we paid back the debt, but the interest and late fees cost us quite a bit in the long term. That said, health is wealth, so the sacrifice was ultimately worth the hit we took.

For those of us out there that are having issues with drugs, alcohol or other addictions, coming up with the funds necessary to seek help can be quite daunting. While the experience is something that I hope no one has to go through, I hope that I helped to shed a bit of light on some of the alternative financing methods available for those of you who find themselves in this position. Good luck, and I hope that you can obtain the help that you or your loved one needs.

The following two tabs change content below.
Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.

1 thought on “How to Get Substance Abuse Help When You’re Broke”

  1. Hello admin,
    I’m still having problems on my account, when I click on my published tips or earnings I see a message telling me error 404, can you please fix these ad update your users?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.