This article is clinically reviewed by Adam Kostiw, Hons. BA Psych., MDiv., RP.
We know many people wonder how much rehab costs in Canada.
However, ‘rehab’ can mean different things to different people, and there is indeed a variety of treatment options available for those suffering from substance addiction.
Support groups, halfway houses, counselling and treatment centres are just some examples of what the term ‘rehab’ can encompass.
Because ‘rehab’ is something of a blanket term, there is no standard price tag for getting help.
A person with behavioural or substance addiction can join a free community support group or pay several hundred dollars per day to be lodged in a state-of-the-art treatment centre.
Since rehab is a broad term, we prepared a guide that covers all the aspects of the cost and treatment options.
- It doesn’t matter if you or your loved one require help for quitting weed, recover from alcohol abuse or cocaine addiction.
- Or if you are struggling with sexual compulsive behaviour and porn abuse or gambling addiction.
This guide strives to provide a general sense of the rehab programs that are available, as well as the relative costs of each type of treatment.
You will understand why some rehab options are more expensive and why some cheaper options should be avoided.
What Determines the Cost of a Drug Rehab in Ontario?
We should look at the private addiction rehab centres first to see what determines the cost of a private rehab centre.
Even among private rehab centres, prices will vary.
This goes back to the difference in resources and the quality of care provided. A rehab facility that’s able to provide a private room and lots of amenities will tend to charge more than a facility with shared rooms and limited amenities.
The number of staff on-site, and the experience and educational training of that staff, will also influence the cost.
Generally speaking, the quality of resources and dedication of care are the characteristics that determine the cost of attending a rehab program.
What’s meant by these differentiators may seem obvious, but it’s worthwhile to explore the spectrum of resources and types of care that rehab programs provide.
For example, resources may range from a chair in a gymnasium where you meet with a group each week, to a private room in a secluded, scenic retreat, removed from the outside world, brimming with recreational resources, like tennis courts, gourmet food and swimming pools.
When it comes to determining the cost of each setting, you can safely assume the latter archetype is going to cost more than the former.
Care & Educational Level of Staff:
In terms of care, the cost is usually influenced by the educational level and professional experience of personnel, as well as the level of personal attention guests, receive.
Here’s an example that exhibits this dichotomy: you may have someone without an educational or professional background leading a group session, with NO one-on-one time given.
On the other hand, a rehab treatment centre may have:
- Family Therapy,
- One-on-One Counselling,
- Partner Support Therapy
- Psychological Exams
- Nutritional meals in residential settings.
It may also offer:
- Exercise classes with a personal trainer
- Skill-developing workshops that provide tools for dealing with an individual’s unique situation.
- a spacious outdoor area that residents can soak in.
In the case of both resources and the level of care, the spectrum of what is provided at rehab can be quite broad.
This divergence is reflected in the cost of treatment, which ranges widely depending on the program a person enters.
Does Rehab Cost Money in Canada?
Unfortunately, yes it does.
When it comes to addiction and mental health treatment, there is just a lack of funding and resources to treat all those who need help.
Ontario, as well as the rest of Canada, has a limited number of publicly funded beds which means there is quite a long wait period for addiction treatment and rehab programs that are covered by OHIP.
When you are struggling with addiction and concurrent disorders, you want the help when you need it.
And you also want to find the best addiction treatment centres in the Greater Toronto Area or across Ontario. This means that good addiction and mental health care has a real out of pocket cost.
The price of rehab should be broken out into several factors:
- Type of treatment
- What does treatment consist of?
- Detox is not treatment
- Quality of staff
- Length of treatment
- Is it too good to be true? Be wary!
- The opportunity cost of not getting help
Type of Treatment
When considering to recover from alcohol and drugs, you should examine your treatment options.
Many treatment centres offer outpatient rebab and inpatient treatment with varying costs.
One or two also provide online treatment options that you can enroll in at home.
Outpatient Treatment is a good option when one is functioning well, has a support system at home or is unable/unwilling to stay at a residential treatment centre.
It allows the person the opportunity to continue working and/or parenting and go home at night. The cost of outpatient rehab may change based on a client’s needs, schedule and budget.
Virtual Addiction Rehab Program
Another option (at Trafalgar) is an intensive, 4-week Virtual Addiction Rehab Program.
Instead of going to an outpatient clinic every day at set hours, the person can commit to drug or alcohol rehabilitation in the safety of their homes, at their convenience.
Trafalgar transitioned its Intensive Outpatient Program into an online program and provide this option through a secure platform.
So, how much does it cost for drug rehab at home? It is certainly less than Residential rehab. You can also get sex abuse or gambling addiction treatment in the privacy of your home virtually.
If nothing seems to work, or if the client requires a secluded environment, the third option is the inpatient program.
Clients are protected from the outside triggers and influences that may perpetuate their addiction problem.
The cost of inpatient rehab may change based on the number of days one stays in residential treatment.
So, the answer to the question of how much does inpatient drug rehab cost actually depends on the severity of your addiction.
What does Addiction Treatment consist of?
When it comes to rehab, you get what you pay for. Most government addiction treatment centres are very institutional and hospital-like. Patients feel very much like a number and there is generally a lack of care and compassion for the individuals needing help.
On the other hand, many private treatment centres or luxury rehabs are situated on beautiful campuses connected with nature and provide an ideal setting for relaxation, peacefulness and mindfulness.
Focus on The Individual
Canada has typically been behind the ball in regards to advancement in dealing with addiction treatment. For years and years, Canadian health care providers have treated addiction in a group modality with very little focus on individual therapy.
This means that people sit around in a circle without planned programming and very little attention is given on what is driving the individual’s behaviours.
Very few rehab centers in Canada have a focus on the individual. The easiest way to ascertain this is based on the number of individual therapy sessions provided.
💡 Important – Most treatment centres will offer one session per week with a qualified therapist during a 30-day residential treatment stay. Or they may claim to have many sessions a week, but these sessions might be conducted by Addiction Counsellors, not by registered Therapists. There are important differences between the two roles and their impact and help in addiction rehabilitation vary.
We will talk about their differences in the Quality of Staff section, below.
For A Lifelong Recovery, You Need Focus on Concurrent Disorders
Although some rehab centres call this therapy, it just becomes “case management” with very little emphasis on the mental health aspect of the therapy. If someone comes in struggling with alcohol addiction or substance abuse like drugs, fuelled by 20 years of anxiety and other trauma, how much will truly be accomplished in 1 session a week?
Treating concurrent disorders along the addiction itself is vital for the long-lasting recovery. You need to get a structured and comprehensive addiction treatment with renowned experts on concurrent disorders.
3 Therapy sessions per week (for a total of 12 hours per month) with a Master’s level Registered Therapist along with 3 Hours of Family Therapy over the course of 30 days.
In addition, Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres ensures every residential client has a psychiatric consult during the first week of treatment and the necessary follow-up.
The emphasis is put on the concurrent disorders and Trafalgar aims to treat the whole person, not just the addiction for a long-lasting recovery.
Aftercare support is a very crucial component as well. Some programs’ aftercare consists of access to a weekly meeting for a limited period (i.e. 12 weeks). Others offer aftercare available on a perpetual basis.
Some rehab centres, like Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres, offers:
- Ongoing individual weekly counselling at no additional cost for 2 months
- An empirically and evidence-based system supported by technology at no additional cost for 2 years
- A lifelong weekly aftercare program (with in-person or virtual options)
What is Detox? Is that the same as Treatment?
Detox is not treatment. Detox is the process of going into “lock-down” if you will. A safe place to sit in a bedroom for 7 days to “dry out”, sober up, not drinking alcohol or abusing drugs and withdraw from whatever substances one is using.
Detoxes are generally provided for free by going to your local emergency room. Other private providers will happily charge up to $1,000 per day (minimum of 7 days) to detox, for you to stop drinking for a while.
Most people feel good and sober after a few days and leave early, heading back home and justify to their loved ones that they sought help.
“Hey Honey, Look at me! I’m sober! So I’m better now! I don’t consume alcohol or use drugs anymore!”
WRONG! Detox is not treatment.
During detox, there is no therapy and no learning of tools to create a long-lasting recovery and better prepare yourself to deal with future relapse triggers for alcohol, weed or drugs.
A strong treatment centre has integrated withdrawal management into their programming so that people can start learning about themselves and the tools they need from the onset.
Quality of Staff
A treatment centre is only as good as its employees. To provide a quality program with a true focus on Addictions & Mental Health, an addiction treatment centre will need to hire a significant number of Master’s level Registered Therapists. Also, there should be access to Registered Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, Nurses and Addictions Counsellors.
As mentioned earlier, individual therapy sessions should be conducted by Master’s level registered Therapists, not by Addiction Counsellors.
For example: At Trafalgar, you get 3 individual psychotherapy sessions PER WEEK (for a total of 12 hours per month), administered by a Master’s level, registered Therapist. You also have unlimited (24/7) access to registered Addiction Counsellors for mentoring and support.
Your session with an Addiction Counsellor cannot be counted as individual therapy.
So while comparing prices, pay attention to this detail and ask for written confirmation about who administers individual therapy sessions and how many you will receive PER WEEK.
💡 The Difference Between a Therapist and an Addiction Counsellor
What distinguishes their roles is the difference in education, training, experience and professional accountability.
A therapist enables you to tackle deep trauma and unresolved issues that fuel your addiction.
A counsellor helps you handle emotional distress during your recovery process with healthy habits on a daily/weekly basis.
Were you promised unlimited therapy over 30 days?
Ask how many beds they have and how many registered therapists they employ. Time with a massage therapist, acupuncturist and even an addiction counsellor is NOT time spent in therapy.
Remember, an addiction counsellor is not the same as a Registered Therapist.
Addiction treatment centres are not licensed in Canada, therefore it is extremely important that those providing care are bound by a governing body of legislated codes of ethics and professional conduct.
Accreditation is the process of being validated by a 3rd party entity that certifies the work that a treatment centre provides. In essence, they validate that a treatment centre provides what it says it does. That it has processes, internal policies and procedures to govern itself, manage crisis and provide a safe place for clients.
If a facility has not been accredited, you take a risk that you may not receive what you thought you were paying for. So, while searching for the cost of drug or alcohol rehab programs, keep this in mind.
What Else Impacts the Cost of a Stay in Rehab?
Length of Treatment
Prices may even vary at a single rehab centre. Factors that influence cost relates to the nature of the addiction or mental health issue, as well as to the length of stay.
Rehab centres often provide set treatment lengths – e.g. a stay that lasts 30 or 45 days – and will charge accordingly. In some cases, a stay will be indefinite, in which case the cost is determined by day or by week.
Every person suffering from addiction is unique in their own way. Some may require more time in treatment than others. Those suffering from severe anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder may require a prolonged stay at a treatment centre to maximize the therapeutic opportunity in a safe environment.
Some programs may require a full detox week, prior to entering inpatient treatment. Know that when comparing cost, you need to look at the price per day, whether it is a 30-day, 45-day 60 day etc. program.
You should always evaluate the price per day.
Is It Too Good to Be True? BE WARY!
The price you pay for a chance at recovery should be predicated on the quality of the treatment you are paying for. Not based on false promises.
Unlimited Therapy, Guaranteed Recovery, The Highest Success Rates in the country!!!
Be wary! These are promises that cannot be made! There is no price or cost of treatment that can make these false advertising claims come true.
Know that when dealing with an addiction you are dealing with fragile human beings with varying needs and diverse backgrounds of personal experiences.
Any treatment centre that is Guaranteeing Success or preaching the highest success rates in the country, is trying to sell a magic pill or a cure to addiction that DOES NOT EXIST.
No matter how good a therapist or a program is, NO ONE CAN Guarantee Recovery.
Recovery is a lifelong process. A fragile process that requires work and growth as people evolve during their lives and continue to experience the trials and tribulations of life.
Opportunity Cost of Not Getting Help
After searching for how much do alcohol rehab centers cost, you may get a quote and be intimated at first.
It is always important to understand the cost of not getting help. The price of treatment consists of the tangible cost per day paid to be in an addiction treatment centre.
The true cost of addiction treatment is the price you pay by continuing to hurt your family and the loved ones:
- The long term impairment on your career prospects,
- your missed chance at an education.
- The continued cost of paying for cocaine, drugs, alcohol.
- The effects of alcohol or these drugs: The cost of a life. A DUI charge.
- Legal fees of a divorce, separation.
Worse… The impact of the death of a loved one or time spent in prison.
A Comparison: Public Rehab Vs. Private Rehab
We live in Canada and we not only believe in free healthcare, but we also believe we are entitled to free rehab facilities because of our Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
The government along with various non-profit and community-based organizations do their best with the limited resources they have for treatment options.
Those looking to attend a treatment centre, in which lodging is included, have the option of choosing a public or private provider. There are several private treatment centres throughout Ontario, and Trafalgar’s Residential Centre is among them.
The Cost of Public Rehab Facilities in Ontario
Ontario’s best-known public rehab facility is CAMH in Toronto. While the fundamental services of public rehab can be covered under OHIP or through insurance, certain components of the treatment are not. For example, obtaining a private or semi-private room may require additional payment.
One of the biggest obstacles for recovery: The waitlist!
Enrolment in public rehab programs is potentially subject to wait times. However, when the addict is finally willing to commit to rehabilitation, they should get help immediately. Waitlists and postponing the necessary treatment support often result in diminishing motivation.
As with all public health services, resources are limited, which limits availability. But for many people, public programs are the only option. While some private rehab centres will earnestly try to accommodate people from all economic backgrounds, there are instances when the cost remains prohibitive.
What do Private Rehab Centres Cost in Ontario?
We’ve established that the cost of rehab treatment varies depending on many factors.
But if you’re curious about a ballpark figure, you can expect most facilities that provide limited evidence-based care to run about $600 per day. Rehab facilities that offer more resources to their residents will charge a little more. The average cost is ranging anywhere from $600 to $1200 per day for residential treatment and $1000 if you are purely seeking short term medical detox. And of course, the prices of outpatient and virtual addiction treatment are less than the one of residential rehab.
Keep in mind that this is just a range and that to learn how much a specific program with a specific rehab centre will cost, you’ll have to contact a representative directly.
In some cases, health insurance can be used to pay for part of the cost of rehab. Again, it’s advisable that you speak directly with a representative from the rehab centre to find out whether the program you are interested in is covered.
Always ask the questions we outlined above. Do your research. Compare.
Be educated and not sold.
Find the program that suits your budget and the lifelong goals of the addict in your life.