South Carolinians looking for free addiction treatment programs may have difficulties accessing complete information. If you or a loved one is affected by drug or alcohol abuse, know that there are minimal and no-cost options available for you. This article presents free and valuable substance abuse resources, plus ways to fund high-quality paid rehab.
South Carolina is no stranger to illicit substance use. Although rates of use have gone down considerably since its 2017 peak, the state still suffers from 7% of its population affected by addiction problems. In a 2015-2016 report, there are about 2-3% of people in South Carolina who need substance abuse treatment but were not able to access them. These rates are similar to the national average, which means that the state isn’t faring any better than most.
If substance abuse has struck you on a personal level, perhaps you’re finding ways to get free addiction treatment. Having an addiction is costly, and sometimes financial resources aren’t enough to get professional help. Thankfully, there are available free programs in South Carolina that you can reach out to.
How To Start Your Search For Free Treatment Resources and Programs
Unsure about where to start? Getting help for addiction is a big and nerve-wracking step. You can be overwhelmed with options and are not sure if the treatment is a great fit for you. Here is a simple guide you can follow to narrow down your search:
- Read through all the available options: Explore the available free and paid options, and see which ones are feasible depending on your needs and preferences. It is helpful to keep your mind open about the treatment programs. Although it sounds scary, going for something new can be life-changing as well.
- Get the details of the programs you’re interested in: After sorting through the options, get the contact numbers, and ask pertinent questions. You can ask information about schedules, requirements, location, and how long is the program for.
- Plan ahead: If you’ve already signed up for a program, you can get a step ahead by preparing the things you need. Attending an addiction treatment program requires time and effort on your part. Make sure that your schedule is freed up and you have other people filling in your daily roles as you attend treatment.
You will see below some of the great free options you can choose from available in South Carolina.
South Carolina has its own Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). It presents a whole range of evidence-based information about substance abuse, plus information on addiction prevention as well as a database for program providers.
DAODAS also has specialized programs for patients who are adolescents, pregnant, or those who have suffered trauma. You can contact them through this link or visit their homepage linked above.
Peer-based support is also a great way to be encouraged with your sobriety without cost. One of the most effective ways to attend consistently on these support groups is by participating in local meetings.
South Carolina has secular, demographics-based, and faith-based meetings all over the state. Each program has its own unique features but the common denominator is the desire to stop an addiction.
Local AA Meetings
Alcoholics Anonymous South Carolina is a peer-to-peer group where individuals can gather and reciprocate support in battling alcohol addiction. They hold regular meetings per community, and people are free to join as long as they have the desire to stop being an alcoholic. You can reach out in their websites to find the meetings closest to your area:
Local NA Meetings
Narcotics Anonymous South Carolina is similar to AA SC, but with the focus on people battling illicit drug use. At present, the NA South Carolina belongs to the single resource for the Carolinas, called the Carolina Region of Narcotics Anonymous.
In their website, they provide information on how to access the meetings close in your area, as well as a GPS-powered app that helps you quickly locate community groups. Participants in NA also give and provide support, encouragement, and motivation to stop narcotic abuse amongst each other.
If you want to try a spiritual-based group, there are Christian churches offering regular meetings and Bible studies for people of all backgrounds. These faith-based groups often meet regularly to study the Bible, pray with each other and encourage one another through life’s struggles. Some churches offering faith-based meetings include:
Online Self-Help Forums
You may want to be a part of a community, but you’re still hesitant about meeting in-person. No worries! There are also available self-help forums for you to choose from. This website provides a list of discussion groups you can join. Reddit also has a sub-section for people needing advice and encouragement on how to stay sober.
Other Options / Paid Options
There will be instances where free addiction programs aren’t enough or unavailable in your area. There are also ways to fund or access a paid addiction treatment program. Below are some strategies you can use to get the substance abuse help that you need.
A less-known route to get free addiction treatment is through applying for scholarships. What you would do is to complete scholarship applications, pool in the funds, and enroll in a university or college that offers free addiction treatment. Many colleges offer sober living homes, counseling, and other programs for students with substance abuse issues. This is a great way to access educational opportunities while staying in treatment. Some websites that show South Carolina scholarships are SC Commission on Higher Education and Scholarships.com.
The usual way that most people fund their high-quality, paid rehab is through their health insurance. Did you know that most insurance providers cover the cost of addiction rehab, as mandated by the Mental Health Parity and Equity Addiction Act? This means that you have the same treatment coverages as those with physical health conditions. You can verify the coverage of your insurance for free by contacting a top-notch rehab.
If going back to school or having health insurance is out of the picture, another option is to take out a personal loan for your paid rehab. Personal loans are available in South Carolina even if you have a lower credit score. There are also flexible payment plans to choose from so that it would be easier for you to cover costs as you undergo treatment. Some SC loaning resources include:
12-Step Programs and Non-Religious
You have read in the earlier parts about paid rehab, but you’re unsure about what to expect. Most of the high-quality addiction treatment programs offer an assortment of approaches you can choose from, such as 12-Step and Non-Religious methods.12-Step programs spiritual-based. They can include one-on-one or group sessions which teaches you to surrender your addiction to a Higher Power. This method has been a long-standing, effective way of battling addiction for many people, as seen in many research articles.
If you do not prefer a spiritual approach, you can also opt for non-religious programs. These are called Non-12 Step addiction treatment options and they mostly include self-management strategies, holistic care, as well as fitness and nutrition.
Friends and Family
Loved ones can also provide financial support in your addiction recovery. They can help you raise funds, donate, or provide a loan during as you cover paid rehab costs. Having this strong pillar of support can encourage you and hold you accountable as you commit to substance abuse treatment.
Recovery Advice When Money Is Scarce
Finances can be hard to come by when you’re trying to stay sober, but that doesn’t mean it should hinder you completely from achieving your goal. If you’re planning to transition from free to paid addiction treatment, here is a step-by-step strategy that you can follow:
- Begin with free addiction treatment programs as soon as you can. Starting on treatment, even if it isn’t paid, shows your heart and decision to become clean from addictions. It is important to begin your journey as soon as you can to prevent the life-threatening effects of substance abuse.
- Pool your funds while on free treatment. If you think that you need to transition to paid rehab following your free treatment, you can still attend your no-cost programs while raising funds. You can clarify insurance matters, take care of loan approval, or find ways to generate income to cover your addiction treatment costs.
- Prepare and commit.
When you know that you paid a large value for your substance abuse rehab, you are likely to commit and stay in the program. Be sure to gather the documentation and inpatient things that you need if you will be staying within the facility.
Recovery Is Possible At No Cost
It can be hard to imagine how you’ll recover from addiction if you have financial challenges. With the options and strategies mentioned above, it is possible to get addiction treatment with minimal to no cost both under free and paid options. You can start your journey towards sobriety today, all you have to do is to decide.
- Daodas.sc.gov - “Cocaine and other stimulant use in SC”.
- Hhs.gov - “South Carolina Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts”.
- Daodas.sc.gov - “South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services”.
- Area62.org - “Find A Meeting”.
- Aa-carolina.org - “AA by SC City-County”.
- Crna.org - “Carolina Region of Narcotics Anonymous”.
- Coastalcommunitychurch.org - “LIFE Groups”.
- Seacoast.org - “Small Groups”.
- Calvaryrcc.com - “Life Groups”.
- Reddit.com - “You can recover”.
- Che.sc.gov - “Scholarships and Grants for SC Residents”.
- Scholarships.com - “South Carolina Scholarships”.
- Netcredit.com - “South Carolina Personal Loans”.
- Scscu.com - “Personal Loans”.
Alcoholism affects many people, not just the people who are doing the actual drinking. In fact, family members and friends of heavy drinkers may suffer greatly from the effects of alcohol.
Al-Anon and Alateen groups recognize the suffering of loved ones. The groups teach people about alcoholism and help them understand that they need and deserve help as well.
What Are Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon and Alateen are organizations that aim to help relatives, friends, coworkers, and others affected by the drinking of people they know. Al-Anon meetings are open to everyone, while Alateen meetings are for teenagers (and occasionally preteens). Collectively, the meetings are known as Al-Anon Family Groups (AFG).
Both groups are related to organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other groups that help people who have struggled with addictions to alcohol or drugs or with compulsive behaviors.
Al-Anon, Alateen, and AA, in common with other addiction-related groups:
- Encourage members to meet with each other to provide support.
- Ask their members to work through a series of 12 steps to acknowledge their problems with alcohol, drugs, or behaviors; admit their mistakes; and make efforts to change.
- Use 12 traditions to guide individuals and the organization.
- Allow new members to ask veteran members to serve as sponsors to provide more personalized support.
- Respect the anonymity of their members.
- Publish literature that informs people about addiction and addiction-related issues.
- Operate under the guidelines of the World Service Conference to manage the organizations and provide access for their members.
- Offer their services for free, although they accept donations.
Do Al-Anon and Alateen Have Meetings?
Yes. Like AA, Al-Anon and Alateen emphasize meetings. And like other addiction-related organizations, Al-Anon and Alateen offer meetings across the United States and around the world.
In these meetings, members can gather to learn more about addiction and provide mutual support. People can share their problems and triumphs and can see that they’re not alone, that others are experiencing the same things.
For people who want to meet face-to-face, Al-Anon and Alateen offer in-person meetings. The organizations include information on where to find such gatherings on the Al-Anon Family Groups online site.
The site also includes information about what to expect when people attend meetings and answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Some people may prefer virtual meetings instead of face-to-face ones. They may not be able to travel to attend in-person meetings or may not have any gatherings in their geographic area.
Developments such as COVID-19 may have also closed facilities that host meetings or have made people wary of gathering in groups.
For those reasons and others, Al-Anon and Alateen support a wide variety of platforms that allow people to gather and communicate without having to leave their homes. Members of these groups can contact each other and express their thoughts by using:
- Phone calls
- The internet (chats, email messages, bulletin boards, blogs)
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook)
- Instant messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Skype, Discord)
- Conferencing apps (WebEx, Zoom)
People who start groups are encouraged to register on the founding organization websites. These sites provide resources about starting new groups as well as other resources about the groups, addiction, and dealing with the addiction of others.
How Can People Learn More About Al-Anon and Alateen?
In addition to providing literature for group members, Alateen and Al-Anon provide resources for professionals who work with addiction. To make the literature more accessible to more people, these resources are in English, Spanish, and French.
For people who prefer to learn by listening, the Al-Anon Family Groups site also posts podcasts that serve as introductions to their meetings. The organizations also publish articles and blog posts where people relate their experiences firsthand.
Knowledge is power. Al-Anon and Alateen work to provide their members with knowledge so they can be more powerful and so they can fight the effects of addiction.
al-anon.org - Al-Anon Meetings
al-anon.org - New Al-Anon Group Registration