Is Private Rehab Worth the Cost?

No matter the type of addiction you suffer from, failing to take action can wreak havoc on your finances, productivity, and relationships with others. For many, NHS programmes have slow enrollment, inefficient methods, and don’t provide attention to each person’s unique case. 

Private rehab is an alternative, which requires considerable commitment, and cost but offer a high success rate of treatment. Here you will learn what factors influence the price of private rehab and whether the cost is worth it when weighing the benefits.

What Factors Determine the Cost Of Private Rehab?

The type of programme you are enrolling into, the type of addiction you are treating, and the other characteristics of each private rehab centre all influence the final cost. The most significant difference in costs comes from the type of rehabilitation you choose. There are broadly two types of programmes, outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment involves going to a centre for a few hours and going home after treatment. Inpatient treatment involves residential care and supervision, where you stay at a private facility for a set period.

Treatment through the outpatient routine is relatively cheaper because there are fewer perks, and the programme generally deals with mild to moderate cases of addiction. Some estimates from the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggest that the price difference can be as high as ten to one between inpatient and outpatient treatment [1].

The second major difference comes from the type of addiction you are treating. Some addictions will require the prescription of medicine along with other treatment measures to treat the physical dependence a person has developed to a substance. For example, some heroin users will need a few months of methadone treatment to manage their addiction.

Whether or not you require a supervised detoxification programme depends on the substance you’ve developed the addiction to and how severe your dependence is. Those with alcohol or heroin addiction often need medication due to serious withdrawal symptoms. Other substances, like cocaine, do not typically present severe withdrawal symptoms.

Private rehab session

Here are a few more factors which could raise the price:

  • Duration of the programme and length of stay in the private centre
  • Location and size of the facility
  • The number of amenities offered by the programme like massages, swimming pools, individual rooms, group activities, etc
  • The extent to which a person needs supervision, and personalised assistance

What Benefits Does Private Rehab Offer? Are They Worth the Cost?

Private rehabilitation centres offer a safe environment customized to guide you through the process of overcoming your addiction. Although the upfront costs in some cases may seem large, over the long term, you save much more by successfully ridding yourself of addiction. In 2012, the NHS suggested that 60% to 80% of patients in private rehab achieve long-term independence from substance abuse in the best-performing clinics [2].

A large DORIS study in Scotland shows similar results, with private rehab making you four times more likely to continue abstaining than community-based services [3]. Aside from empirical data, many arguments can be made about the unique benefits of private rehab.

First, if you enrol in a facility for a  24/7 stay, you don’t have access to the substance that fuels your addiction. You are also less likely to experience urges, as cravings are often associated with habits you build in familiar places. Second, you will receive the necessary psychological and emotional help to succeed in your journey. In private rehab, you will be surrounded by like-minded people who understand what you are going through because they experience the same hardships.

Psychological support can be achieved in the uplifting everyday conversations you have with other residents or through group therapy in which people are encouraged to talk about their struggles.

You will also likely receive understanding, support, and sympathy from the qualified addiction counsellors and professionals there. Judgement and stigma are what wear down people and make them relapse. In private rehab centres, the staff often has personal experience with addiction in the past and can share their knowledge and expertise.

Thirdly, private rehab allows you to dedicate yourself to recovery fully. There is no work, responsibilities, and external distractions, and through a specialised programme, you can work on building healthier habits.  The cost of private rehab can seem large to some people, but a calculus of the long-term costs of addiction shows that the investment is more than worth it.

Constantly paying to fuel your addiction, especially when some substances are far from cheap, means expenses add up over time. Medical and legal fees, potential loss of employment, and a severe reduction in productivity also threaten your financial situation [4]. Being addicted can wreck your finances, but its negative impacts affect every aspect of your life. Addiction takes its toll on your physical and mental health, undermines, and threatens to sever the relationships you have in your life.


No matter the cost of private rehab, the truth is that you can’t put a price on your health. Enrolling in a high-quality private rehabilitation centre can help you overcome your addiction through constant supervision and support. The upfront cost may be extensive but successful treatment will save you a lot of costs over the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Insurance Cover Private Rehab?

In the UK, very few healthcare insurance policies cover addiction treatment and those that do need to show that the primary reason for your addiction is due to mental health. If you have existing mental health issues or addiction-related illnesses, no policy will cover you for existing conditions.

Can The NHS Pay for Private Rehab?

The NHS does not offer residential treatment, but it is possible to apply for a detox programme on the NHS. This is usually reserved for those with severe alcohol or drug dependencies. It is however possible to apply for funding through your local authority, however this process takes a long time and there are no guarantees you will be accepted for a grant.

Can You Go to Private Rehab Abroad?

Yes, some people choose private rehab in another country because of the different environment or the lower costs for treatment.

Should I Choose Outpatient, Or Inpatient Treatment in Private Rehab?

Which treatment type you choose depends on the severity of your addiction and financial situation. Outpatient is usually cheaper and can be effective for mild to moderate cases. But for those with severe dependencies or a long-history of substance abuse, residential treatment provides many layers of protection and support.


  1. “Price Differences In Inpatient And Outpatient Private Treatment”, U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
  2. NHS Choices, NHS.
  3. Abstinence and Drug Abuse Treatment: Results from the Drug Outcome.
  4. Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Behavior, Job Performance, and…