Alcoholism is a dangerous condition that affects millions of adults. Alcoholics often have fallen into a downward spiral and cannot get help alone. When your resources are depleted, and you have nowhere to turn for help, it seems there could be hope for recovery. Detoxification is a medical process that should be supervised by medical professionals. It can be dangerous or even fatal to try to quit on your own. Rehab is expensive, but there are ways for alcoholics to get free help.
Unemployment, alienation of friends and family, and bad decisions often plague sufferers of alcoholism. Without a job or health insurance, sobriety can seem like an impossible dream. Help is available no matter what your financial situation looks like. Learn about your options to get on the path to sobriety.
Go to the Emergency Room
If you find that your alcoholism has reached the point where you are suffering severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking, go to a local hospital emergency room or call an ambulance if you are unable to get a ride. Withdrawing from alcohol is dangerous, and conditions such as delirium tremens or seizures are common. Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal in extreme circumstances, so it is better to err on the side of caution when facing this dilemma. The admitting nurse might ask you for insurance, but they cannot turn you away in a life-threatening situation due to a lack of ability to pay.
When you admit to the hospital, be honest with the doctors and nurses about your condition and the fact that you are desperately seeking help. The hospital staff will monitor your vital signs and give you medication if appropriate. If the ER doctor on call believes that your case merits prolonged medical attention, he or she will admit you to the hospital. If the doctor finds you medically stable, he or she will likely discharge you with medication for a short detox protocol, and instructions to visit your primary care physician.
State Funded Rehab Centers
Every state has government-funded rehabilitation centers. These centers vary from state to state and may have strict guidelines for qualification. The centers provide detox, treatment, and support systems for low-income patients and patients without health insurance. Inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and ongoing support programs are available. State-funded centers can include inpatient and outpatient services.
Often, state-funded assistance is available as part of another government service such as social services, prison facilities, or through the court systems. Rehab may be a condition of legal penalties in these cases. There are opportunities for patients uninvolved with these programs if they have the right qualifications. You will need to provide certain information to see if you qualify.
- Proof of income – To get assistance, you must prove that you are truly unable to afford it.
- Proof of residence – You must prove that you live in the area where you are seeking help.
- Proof of citizenship – Legal identification will prove you are a U.S. citizen.
- Personal information – You will have to disclose the history of your addiction and medical treatment.
Because funding is limited, there is often waiting lists for inpatient treatment in state-funded facilities. Patients with certain medical conditions may get advanced placement on these lists. Pregnant women and young mothers may be able to get emergency treatment. Many state programs offer outpatient medical support for patients waiting for inpatient treatment.
Free Rehab Programs
Many faith-based programs are free. You don’t have to follow any particular beliefs to get help from these programs. Funding may come from donations or funds from church organizations. You might be required to follow strict requirements during therapy.
Local rehab centers may seem expensive, but they often have different opportunities for low-income patients. Contact professional rehab centers in your area to determine what programs they offer. Many centers offer free treatment to motivated patients without income. There are also centers that accept payment on a sliding scale determined by income status.
If you are searching for treatment, support groups are a good place to start. They are usually free and have opportunities for peer support any time of day or night. While support groups cannot take the place of medical treatment, they may be a good place to begin searching for the help you need. Support groups are often a vital part of continued sobriety after successful medical treatment.
If you live in a rural are where support groups are less of an option, you can likely find free help with an online group. These groups are often organized by the same programs that have in-person meetings. If you are unable to get to a meeting, these groups are a great alternative. They are hosted by recovering alcoholics who understand your position.
Apply for Medicaid
Medicaid is a federally funded medical insurance program for financially destitute people that cannot afford insurance. The application process for Medicaid is simple, and you may be able to complete your application online. Your best bet, though, is to go to your local Social Services office and complete your application there in person with a caseworker. That way, your application processes quickly and you can explain your situation to the caseworker, who will be able to help you find the services that are necessary to treat your alcoholism. The social worker will have a list of state-funded programs that accept Medicaid for both inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Alcoholism is a serious disease that often cannot be overcome without professional help. Alcohol makes changes in your brain function and physically affects your bodily functions. Attempting to self-detox or quit alcohol suddenly can have dangerous health consequences. Free rehab opportunities could be your ticket to sobriety and even save your life.