I have a very strong opinion about our current rehabilitation centers around the country, and most people probably won’t like it.
The fact is, I hate our current drug rehabilitation facilities. HATE.
I will gladly tell you why.
First of all, google “heroin rehab,” and the first 10 things that pop up are different rehab facilities. I clicked on every single page, and not one single page tells you the cost up front. Instead, they tell you to ‘contact us right away for help!’ Well, once you contact them they make it sound like this is your only option, you have to do this, and there is no better place for you to go. Not only to have to go to this rehab facility, but you have to go to this facility- on the other side of the country. They claim it’s best for you to get out of the current state you are living in, and completely uproot somewhere else without having any of the people you have left to support you around. What they don’t tell you is that some of the cheapest, low-end facilities still cost $7,500 PER MONTH all the way up to high-end places charging $120,000 per month. The average ‘good’ but not great facility costs about $18,000 to $35,000 a month. The average rehab facilities include amenities such as a room for detoxing, a calm environment, medical services, parks, a gym, counseling services, and many other helpful tools. According to rehabs.com, they way an addict should pay for these services is as follows:
- Get loans from friends or family: Yeah because someone who is addicted to heroin and seeking help for themselves by searching online is going to have PLENTY of friends and family left. Heroin addiction, and all addictions, drive loved ones away from the person. How could you just sit and watch your child, friend, brother do that to themselves? No matter how badly you want to help them, you can not help them until they want help. Heroin addicts are typically great liars as well. When they ask you for $7,500 a month for rehab- chances are you probably don’t believe them considering they called you 6 months ago asking for an extra $200 to help pay for the rehab costs… when they were never in rehab. Not only that– who the hell has $7,500 laying around!? It’s a freaking recession!!! Great idea, rehabs.com.
- Rehab Program Financing: Supposedly many rehab facilities offer financing options for the addict to pay back costs once they are out of rehab in a timely fashion. This would be a good idea, except for the fact that someone just walking out of a rehab addiction facility (most likely still living in a sober home- since they have no money for rent) is probably going to have a pretty hard job finding a new job, that pays well enough for them to pay back the $22,500 that they owe for 3 months in the cheapest treatment they could find. Since they are more than likely in a sober home, it’s pretty easy for an employer to look at the address and see that it is a sober home, and because this world has no hope for people and no sympathy for addicts- there goes their chance at getting a decent job. If you can’t get a job to pay for the financing option- rehabs.com suggests for the addict to take out a bank loan or a credit card with a low interest rate. Because plenty of heroin addicts can walk into a bank, without being judged, and take out a $10,000 loan. The bank teller will probably allow that. It’s also really easy to open up a credit card that has a low interest rate without having any past credit at all. Wait- NO IT’S NOT. Again, great idea rehabs.com.
- Savings: They want the addict to dump out their entire savings account into paying for rehab. The website literally says, “…you may be concerned about having nothing left over after you finish treatment. If your treatment is successful, you will have made one of the best financial decisions of your life.” Okay- great it’s successful and they have their life back… BUT THEY STILL HAVE NOTHING AND ARE NOW ON ROCK BOTTOM AGAIN! How do you expect them to stop living on the streets when they don’t have any money left to get them off the streets? You’re dumb, rehabs.com
- Sell Assets: I quote from the website “If you have any assets like a car or a boat, you may want to consider selling some of these… this may be less than ideal because they have a personal attachment to their belongings.” Do you really think a heroin addict owns a boat? Seriously? Don’t you think they probably would have been forced to sell all of these things in the midst of their addiction to pay for food, shelter, etc? It is very unlikely for someone with a heroin addiction to get help within the first month of their addiction. Usually, they don’t even realize they have an addiction until it gets too far. That’s why it is called an addiction… because they can’t stop. They. Are. Addicted. If they could stop they would. Once again, another intelligent idea from rehabs.com.
- Insurance/Medicaid: I am twenty years old, enrolled in college and I still have to pay $130 a month for my health insurance. I was on medicaid for 4 years, but they decided I make $36 too much per month for me to be on medicaid anymore. Applying for medicaid requires a computer, internet, a lot of annoying questions, and then a long 2 week waiting process. Then you get a phone call, are asked to mail in pay stubs for the past 2 weeks. They look over your information, and 2 weeks later decide how much coverage you are allowed to receive. In the meantime, the addict waiting for their medicaid request be approve has had 4 more weeks to overdose and die- when all they wanted was help. Many kids on their parents insurance plans must be either living in the home or be enrolled in school in order for your child to get your coverage until age 25. Well, what about the addicts who are over the age of 25 and can’t keep a job because of their addiction? The addicts that are scared to apply for insurance online for fear of not being able to pay and then later being fined when their insurance is cancelled, thanks to Obama’s great health care plan- more people are just being scared away from even trying to get health insurance. I didn’t have health insurance from ages 13-18 because it was too expensive for me to pay for. Thank God I wasn’t a heroin addict because I would have been screwed. So yes, if you have insurance there is a CHANCE they will partially cover your rehab, but if you don’t… go sell your boat.
Why should an addict have to pay thousands of dollars when they are already in the worst place of their lives? Don’t you think they have suffered enough? They want the help, they want to get rid of the monster that has ruined them, they want to be normal again, so why are we forcing them into a deeper hell by taking away the one thing they need in this world to survive once they are clean-money. Why are we making it so hard for them to get clean?
Everyone sits around bagging on drug addicts for being stupid people for making that choice, worthless people who can’t do anything for us in the world anyway, psychos for being able to stick that needle in their arm… My best friend was not stupid, she was not worthless, and she was not a psycho. She was working towards a degree in event planning, which she would have been AMAZING at. She could have given you the best wedding of your life, and would have done anything for you to make it that way. She taught me more than I could ever thank her for in life. She might have been hyper, but she was not a psycho. She deserved help. She deserved for someone at the rehab facility for care for her as much as she cared for everyone else. She deserved for someone to put her before themselves, and do whatever they could to make sure that little angel got what she so badly wanted- to be clean.
Instead, the great rehab facility was too under-staffed and decided to allow a woman, who had been detoxing for less than 48 hours, to be in the same, unsupervised room as my best friend, and allowed this woman’s addiction to get in my best friend’s 30-day clean brain and kill her. This rehab facility killed my best friend. It was the rehabs job to keep the detoxing individuals, who’s brains are racing and will do anything to get the drug, away from clean individuals who have already begun to reconstruct their brains. A detoxing individual knows exactly what to say to light up that old pathway in an addicts brain and get them to crave the drug just as bad as they are. That is why my best friend died, because these rehab centers are sucking families dry of their money and still not having enough staff to keep these people safe.
This is why something needs to be done. Someone needs to speak out and do something. Thanks to Anna’s family, they are speaking out. They are doing something, and it is time for everyone to listen to their heart, put a stand against discriminating addicts, and help them get the help the want and deserve. No one deserves to be treated the way we treat drug addicts, no one deserves to pay thousands of dollars for one bad choice that they have already suffered from in the worst way possible. They have paid their dues for that bad choice, they know it was a bad choice, and they want to change. Let them change, help them change. You can’t bring back my best friend, Carla and Mark’s daughter, Ryan, Katie, and Julia’s sister, but you can save someone else’s best friend, daughter, and sister.