Don M. is a prominent attorney with a wonderful home, a loving and supportive wife (who is also an attorney), and a child in private school. His life is hard and complicated, and he has more obligations than he imagined he’d have at this stage in his life when he was growing up. In the beginning, in order to cope with everything that was on his plate, Don and a coworker began snorting cocaine. This addiction became more streamlined when Don realized he could effortlessly get prescriptions for Adderall, an amphetamine that served him well when cocaine was scarce. But eventually, he needed a prescription from another doctor for Xanax, a benzo that would help him, “take the edge off”.
Susan D. is a surgeon in a small mid-western hospital. She is proud of her life and, more importantly, prouder still of her ability to save lives. It’s been a very long while since she’s had to sign a death certificate and she loves that she works at a “teaching hospital” and has several residents under her direct supervision. These wonderful feelings, however, are eclipsed by her alcoholism. It is literally impossible for Susan to unwind at the end of the day without drinking a bottle or two of wine or vodka. She tried to stop cold turkey once and, as she expected, tremors in her hands forced her to hand a life-saving surgery over to a colleague. She trusts no one with this problem and cries herself to sleep most nights. Susan has to drink in order to function.
Paulo F. is a heroin addict. He is a man with a huge habit. Thankfully, his dealer delivers. Every morning, a nondescript car pulls up to his home and leaves a package in his mailbox, which Paulo picks up on his way to the office. An investment banker, Paulo’s livelihood depends on his ability to help other people manage and augment their finances. Unfortunately, several times a day, Paulo needs to hike up the stairwell of his office building to the door that opens onto the roof so that he can cook his heroin and inject it. No one knows he’s loaded when he returns to the office. But Paulo’s life is about money, and it is becoming alarmingly visible to him how much of his hard-earned money is being spent on a daily basis in order for him to simply show up and do his job. What makes matters worse is, at the end of the day, coming home and finally being able to use heroin without hiding it from anyone, because Paulo lives in that big house alone. And there was a moment just the other day when, while stuck in traffic, Paulo realized that, if he ever did overdose, there would be no one in his life to dial 911 and save him.
Stories like these are commonplace. Professionals everywhere live in fear of recovery, not because they don’t want to change their lives, but because getting clean and sober usually means going to rehab which, ultimately, leaves a paper trail of insurance invoices that could someday come back to haunt them and possibly cost them their careers.
For professionals like these, the exorbitant costs of drug and alcohol rehab outweigh the simplicity of offsetting the cost by having medical insurance absorb the brunt of the cost.
What they fail to realize is that, in many cases where Private Pay is an option, most rehabs will work with the client to ensure that they receive the best care possible, based mainly on their ability to pay.
Rehabs are a business, to be sure, but they are also in the business of helping people win the war against alcoholism and addiction.
Susan D., the surgeon, will tell you that –today – a typical hospital stay costs almost $4,000 a day. Multiply that figure by 30 days and you wind up with a whopping $120,000!
But most rehabs only charge about $2,000 a day. And, while it’s true that most medical insurance companies can absorb as much as 80% of the cost, the fact remains that it is a lot easier to spend $30,000 on a couple of designer handbags or a fun night of gambling in Vegas than it is to pay hard-earned cash for treatment.
And, yet, some do.
Drug and Alcohol rehabs understand the need for privacy and discretion. It’s pretty much the foundation of their code of ethics. As healthcare providers, HIPAA laws are always enforced, but everyone is subject to court orders. The best way to keep your recovery secret can sometimes be as simple as a phone call to a rehab’s admissions department to discover how much treatment would actually cost.
You’d be surprised how many treatment centers will lower their costs when it comes to helping people. This is not to say that haggling will earn you a free pass or scholarship, but speaking frankly about why you need to eliminate the need for a paper trail and why you’ve made the tumultuous decision to transform your life and recover from addiction will go a long way toward finding wonderfully compassionate quality treatment.
In the end, after all has been said and done, in this business, when it comes to the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, one axiom will always prevail: when the heart speaks, the heart listens.
If you or a loved one or even a colleague are wrestling with addiction and you need a solution, it behooves you to do the due diligence and find a rehab you feel you can trust and make the call.
Because sometimes Private Pay pays off.