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Are There Free Heroin Addiction Rehab Centers?

The cost of heroin addiction treatment is one of the most common barriers to getting appropriate care.1 According to a 2018 report by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 1 in 3 people who needed drug addiction treatment didn’t receive it because they were unable to afford rehab or lacked healthcare insurance.

Individuals who can’t pay for rehab may attempt potentially dangerous at-home or cold-turkey detox or give up on treatment altogether simply because they are unable to pay.2 For this reason, there are free addiction recovery programs offered to eligible individuals at more than 6,500 government-funded rehab facilities, non-profit treatment facilities, and faith-based drug rehab centers.3 

Finding Free Heroin Rehab 

If you are in need of free drug help or have a loved one who is, you may begin your search by browsing the SAMHSA’s Single State Agency (SSA) Directory for Substance Abuse Services to find free heroin rehab centers near you. In the meantime, keep on reading to find out all about free options for drug treatment and whether you may qualify. 

Types of Free Heroin Addiction Treatment 

Free drug addiction programs are available to individuals who need treatment for substance use disorders but do not have the necessary funds to pay for it. These programs are offered across the nation to provide varying levels of care to individuals who don’t have insurance or can’t pay for treatment. There are three main options for free heroin rehab: 

Non-Profit Rehab 

There are numerous non-profit organizations that offer help for heroin users with no money.4  These non-profit treatment centers may also help increase awareness of substance use disorders, advocate for legislation, and provide other forms of help for individuals battling addiction. 

Some notable non-profit rehab centers include Gearing Up, an organization that offers help to women in recovery, The Amy Winehouse Foundation, a center for teenagers dealing with substance abuse, and Phoenix House, a facility that offers free inpatient and outpatient heroin rehab across 10 states. 

Faith-Based Rehab

There are a number of free faith-based drug rehab centers that offer residential and outpatient heroin treatment to individuals across the nation.5 

These centers incorporate their faith traditions into their free treatment programs that tend to include 12-step support, peer support groups, religious motivation counseling, and life-skills development.6 Detox is typically not included in these types of programs and the clients are required to undergo medical heroin detox elsewhere before entering treatment at these rehab centers.

Free faith-based treatment is offered by a number of well-known organizations, including the Christian Salvation ArmyAlcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS), and the Orthodox Jewish Chabad drug rehab programs.  

Government-Funded Rehab

Individuals looking for free heroin addiction rehab centers can find a variety of state and federal government-funded treatment facilities.7 These include the rehab centers and hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.) SAMHSA also offers grants to private and public non-profit drug rehab facilities to help cover the costs of treatment for individuals who can’t afford it. 

What Is Included in Free Heroin Rehab?

Depending on the specific provider and their funding, free heroin treatment can cover anything from inpatient heroin rehab with safe detox to various outpatient rehab options.8 State-funded programs are generally more likely to encompass a full range of heroin treatment options, although they may not have access to the latest technologies or amenities offered at some private centers.9  

Either way, government-funded programs are a valuable source of free heroin addiction help and post-treatment support for many individuals, despite including more standard or basic recovery settings.  

Pros and Cons of Free Rehab Centers

The main advantage of free heroin rehab centers is the cost of treatment. These facilities offer free drug treatment, enabling individuals who’d otherwise be unable to pay for rehab to get the support and care they need. At a free rehab center, you may receive treatment in a controlled, safe environment that helps ensure your safety during treatment and promote recovery.10 

Additional advantages of free heroin rehab facilities include their accessibility and the quality of care offered. Individuals who are unable to afford treatment can receive quality evidence-based care from compassionate and adequately trained professionals.11  

Disadvantages of Free Rehabs

Unfortunately, free drug rehab centers are not without drawbacks. When compared to the heroin treatment options offered at paid facilities, many free rehab centers may not have the same access to the latest technology and newest therapies. Instead, these centers may be forced to rely on outdated techniques and equipment that may not be as effective as the more up-to-date treatment options.

A free heroin rehab facility may also become overwhelmed by the demand for their treatment programs. Because of this, many free centers operate at full capacity all the time, which tends to result in long waiting lists. A certain number of individuals who receive drug addiction treatment after being on a long waiting list tend to have poorer outcomes of treatment than those who receive it immediately. They may also experience a greater risk of more severe SUD symptoms and overdose.12 

Another drawback of free heroin rehab is that it may lack certain amenities and treatment options that can be beneficial for addiction recovery. These facilities often provide only the bare bones of treatment and basic services. Paid treatment centers, on the other hand, often offer tailored treatment plans, safe medically-assisted heroin detox, luxury amenities, and advanced therapies that may improve recovery outcomes. 

Finally, many individuals who enter free drug rehab do so of their own accord, meaning that they may leave treatment at any time, without any obligation.13 This may increase the risk of them leaving the free program without completing their treatment. As a result, they may be less likely to overcome heroin addiction, as research seems to suggest that longer stays in inpatient and outpatient heroin rehab centers are associated with better recovery outcomes.14 

Who Qualifies for Free Heroin Treatment?

Individuals seeking free heroin addiction treatment generally need to apply for their desired program and get accepted if they meet certain qualifying criteria. The main factor would typically be a demonstrated inability to afford treatment and a lack of insurance coverage.15 If an individual has coverage or is otherwise able to pay for the treatment at least in part, they may not be eligible for free heroin rehab. Still, there are other methods for covering the cost of treatment, such as delayed payment plans and public insurance programs. 

Some additional qualifying criteria may include proof of citizenship and certain social qualifiers (being a veteran, being pregnant, and others). Although it is not always required, you may need to be a member of a certain faith community if you are applying for free Chrisitan or other faith-based drug rehab. 

State-funded rehab facilities often prioritize treatment for certain groups of individuals. For instance, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services offers priority treatment for pregnant women with SUDs, anyone addicted to intravenous drugs, and women with SUDs within a year after giving birth.16 

How to Enter Low-Cost Heroin Rehab

If you or your loved one are not eligible for free heroin treatment, there are alternative low-cost resources that may help you on the path to recovery. These may include:17 

  • Sliding scale payment plans, private financing, and other personalized payment assistance options are available at numerous rehab centers. Ask around and see what payment plans are offered at drug treatment facilities in your area. 
  • Friends and family can also help pay for heroin treatment, if possible. Loved ones of those with substance use disorders often have a desire to help, but don’t know how. It is usually a good idea to speak with friends and family and see if there is a way to cover the costs of treatment together. 
  • Loans are another option offered by many treatment centers. In addition to various financing plans that may be available, there are also loan companies that specialize in funding drug treatment. 
  • Scholarships designed to provide treatment to individuals with low incomes may also be an option. These may be offered by various government organizations and private treatment centers. 

If you are trying to find heroin addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, American Addiction Centers may help you find the most suitable option for your needs. Call our heroin addiction treatment hotline and we’ll verify your insurance coverage if you have a card and check other benefits right while you’re on the phone with us. You may also use our form to enter our information and receive feedback immediately. Get in touch with us now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Free Rehab Cover Mental Health?

Integrated treatment for mental health and SUDs is designed to address both conditions at the same time and increase the potential for lasting recovery. Unfortunately, only 9.1% of individuals who need co-occurring disorder treatment receive it. Furthermore, about 52% of those with co-occurring disorders who didn’t receive mental health care couldn’t afford the cost.18 

Some free heroin rehab facilities may offer mental health support, although not all of them have specialized co-occurring disorder treatment programs. In general, private rehab centers tend to provide the latest dual-diagnosis treatment options and might offer suitable financing plans for those who are unable to pay.19

How Can I Find Free Heroin Rehab for Women?

There are certain heroin treatment facilities designed specifically for providing free help for women who are heroin users. For instance, Gearing Up is a community organization that provides support and advice to women who are combating addiction through programs centered around cycling. The organization also operates a facility that offers research-based behavioral therapy to women who are battling addiction, incarceration, and domestic abuse. 

Another non-profit organization offering support to women is The Amy Winehouse Foundation. This charity directly funds a specialized recovery house for young women (18-30) struggling with addiction. Private treatment facilities may also offer specialized treatment options for women along with payment options for those with low incomes. 

How Long Is Free Heroin Rehab?

The duration of free heroin addiction treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of heroin addiction, the specific program, and the patient’s willingness to remain in it. Overall, there is no single treatment duration that is right for everyone, although longer durations seem to have a greater potential for ensuring lasting recovery.20 

How Can I Get Into Free Heroin Rehab Quickly?

In the case of a substance abuse emergency, call 911 right away. If it is a non-emergency situation, certain individuals may be more likely to get immediate help than others. For instance, people who are unable to pay for rehab, pregnant IV drug users, veterans, and women who have given birth within the past year may get priority treatment. Christians and followers of other faiths integrated within certain faith-based drug rehab facilities may be also accepted more quickly into these treatment programs. 

If you are battling a SUD or have a loved one who is, but do not have the necessary funds and insurance, it may be a good idea to contact a reliable treatment provider who can quickly give you the information you need. 


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 
  2. Rapp, R. C., Xu, J., Carr, C. A., Lane, D. T., Wang, J., & Carlson, R. (2006). Treatment barriers identified by substance abusers assessed at a centralized intake unit. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 30(3), 227–235. 
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). 2016 State Profile—United States and Other Jurisdictions: National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS).
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2013. Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities. BHSIS Series S-73, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4890. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI).
  6. Grim, B. J., & Grim, M. E. (2019). Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse. Journal of Religion and Health, 58(5), 1713–1750.
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Behavioral Health Services Information Series: National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 16-4981. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts
  9. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Office of the Surgeon General (US): Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Chapter 6, Health Care Systems and Systems and Substance Use Disorders. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services. 
  10. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2016). Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Chapter 7, Vision for the Future: A Public Health Approach. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services.
  11. Friedmann, P. D., Lemon, S. C., Stein, M. D., & D’Aunno, T. A. (2003). Accessibility of addiction treatment: results from a national survey of outpatient substance abuse treatment organizations. Health Services Research, 38(3), 887–903. 
  12. Chun, J., Guydish, J. R., Silber, E., & Gleghorn, A. (2008). Drug treatment outcomes for persons on waiting lists. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 34(5), 526–533. 
  13. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). 2017 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): Admissions to and Discharges from Publicly-Funded Substance Use Treatment.
  14. Zhang, Z., Friedmann, P. D., & Gerstein, D. R. (2003). Does retention matter? Treatment duration and improvement in drug use. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 98(5), 673–684
  15. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Funding Opportunities
  16. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. (2020). Substance use treatment.
  17. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse. (2016). Administrative Issues in Outpatient Treatment. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 46.) Chapter 5. Outpatient Treatment Financing Options and Strategies. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US).
  18. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Comorbidity: Substance use and other mental disorders.
  19. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
  20. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?. 

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