Why Aren’t All Drug Rehabilitation Centers Free?

A frequently reported obstacle to recovery is the cost of drug rehab centers. While the theory of free services for all sounds good, it is not a feasible reality. Treatment centers not only have the normally expected costs of daily life but also have additional expenses that are not typically part of everyday life.

A list of typical expenses for running a drug treatment facility includes:

Rent or Mortgage Payments
A drug rehabilitation center is usually zoned for commercial use in the community in which it is located. Commercial use properties are more expensive than residential properties in almost all areas
Property taxes to the county
Property taxes to the city (If the city imposes a tax and the property is within city limits)

Add to it that most drug rehabilitation facilities are much larger than an average home or small office building, those costs are naturally going to be higher than the cost of a house.

Examples of things that must be paid but are more expensive due to being zoned as a commercial property include:


Property insurance
Liability insurance
Fire, flood and other insurance
Auto insurance for center vehicles

The fact that the rehabilitation centers houses those addicted to substances and alcohol creates a situation in which the liability insurance premium might be higher than average. Not always but it can happen and that has to be figured into the expenses.


Electric and natural gas
Trash pick-up
Phone system

The cost of utilities will fluctuate depending on the need for air conditioning and heat. Water costs might also be higher during certain seasons, due to landscape watering and water features.


Substance abuse counselors
Administration workers
Overnight staff
Kitchen staff


Recovery workbooks for residents
Recovery literature for residents
Paper applications
Office Supplies


Vans for transportation
Vehicle maintenance

Lastly, let’s not forget food for preparing several meals a day for all residents.

If all drug rehabilitation centers were free, their numbers would be reduced, and there would be fewer available beds across the country. Given that the nation is currently in a substance abuse epidemic, a reduction in beds or services would magnify the problem.

Instead, rehabilitation facilities use a variety of methods to fund their existence, including insurance, donations, and grants.

If you or someone you know is in need of help with addiction or alcoholism, we can help, call now 833-846-5669