Addiction treatment can be costly without health insurance. If you’re an Alabama resident in need of substance abuse help, take a look at the resources mentioned below and low-cost strategies that will aid in addiction recovery. Addiction is considered a nationwide epidemic, and the state of Alabama is no exception. In 2018, there are about 67,000 overdose deaths reported in Alabama, many of these deaths linked to substance abuse. Substance abuse is an alarming problem within the state, as many patients are often prescribed opioids, the highest rate of legal use in the United States. Sadly, this is one of the factors that lead to opioid addiction in Alabama.
Free Addiction Treatment Resource: AlabamaWhat is one to do with when substance abuse is a problem, on top of financial woes? Many people assume it is impossible to get treatment without having health insurance. Thankfully, there are free resources one can use, such as state-funded programs, religious organizations, and community groups within the Heart of Dixie. Whether you’re a permanent resident or temporarily staying in Alabama, below you will find a list of resources and strategies you can use to get free addiction treatment.
How to Start Your Search for Free Treatment Resources and ProgramsNot all free treatment resources are right for everyone. Some do, in fact, get disappointed with the process of substance abuse help without proper direction. This leads to numerous relapses and ongoing life problems related to substance abuse. To get started with your free addiction treatment in Alabama, here is a simple guide that will lead you better towards a path that matches your needs.
- Browse the available free addiction treatment services: The first step is to go through the various no-cost or low-cost substance abuse treatment options available in the state. Read through them and glean information on the links provided.
- List two or three that seems like a great fit: After reading through all the possible resources, you can take note of 2 or 3 services that seem like a good option for you. It is best to be open to trying new things and making alternative choices if your first options didn’t work as well.
- Reach out to the agencies and point persons: After listing some top options for you, start reaching out to these agencies and people. You can ask for pertinent information such as requirements, what to expect, schedules, and availability of slots.
List of Free Addiction Treatment Resources in Alabama
State-Funded ProgramsThe state has its own department of mental health services that also covers substance abuse. Called Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH), the organization has patient-specific care with free assessment and referrals. Part of their services include:
- Adolescent treatment: Assessment, referrals, and community support for Alabama residents ages 13-18.
- Adult treatment: For those ages 18 and above, there will also be referrals, counseling, and community support in most of the counties in Alabama.
- Co-occurring mental health issues: Programs are available to address issues of substance abuse along with other mental health disorders.
- Women’s programs: ADMH also has specific programs relating to women’s issues, such as domestic violence, unexpected pregnancies, and health problems along with addiction.
Local MeetingsThere are various kinds of local meetings available in Alabama--those which are hosted by religious groups, and one which is more geared towards gathering people with a certain addiction.
Finding Support LocallyTo find local support, you can simply reach out to these religious and non-religious and ask if there are groups catering specifically to your community. Otherwise, you can also ask if there are virtual meetings being facilitated.
Local AA MeetingsAlcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an established non-profit organization that gathers people who are suffering or recovering from alcoholism to share and learn from each other towards recovery. There are 4 main official websites where you can find information on Alabama’s Alcoholic Anonymous chapter:
- AA Central Alabama
- AA Mobile, Alabama Region
- AA Birmingham Online Meeting Directory
- AA North Alabama
Local NA MeetingsNarcotics Anonymous (NA) is the counterpart of AA for people suffering from substance abuse aside from alcohol. They also have support groups based on areas and virtual meetings to receive encouragement, advice, and accountability through in-person or online sessions. Below are the websites for NA in Alabama:
- Northeast Alabama Narcotics Anonymous
- North Alabama Area of NA
- University of Alabama NA
- Alabama Northwest Florida Region of NA
Faith-Based MeetingsIf you want a more religious-based support group that can help you grow in your faith, there are Christian community meetings available in Alabama as well. Many of these life groups now have virtual meetings so you can join in without having to worry about the commute. Below are some churches offering faith-based free meetings:
- Mountain Brook Community Church (Birmingham, Alabama)
- Life Church (Huntsville, Alabama)
- Church of the Highlands (several branches in AL)
Other Options / Paid OptionsIf none of the options mentioned above seem like a good fit, there are also alternative routes you can take to get free or low-cost treatment.
ScholarshipsIf you are a recent high school graduate looking into a college to apply for, you can find universities in Alabama that offer enrollments with free counseling and substance abuse programs. You can also be a new or returning student to apply for many of the state’s scholarship. Having a well-crafted essay is essential in making your application stand out from the rest. To apply for a scholarship, you can take a look at the options at Scholarship.com or Unigo.com.
InsuranceAnother option is using your current health insurance or applying for low-cost insurance depending on your eligibility. Major health insurance companies now cover the whole or partial cost of addiction treatment, as imposed by the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 1996. You can verify your insurance to fully understand the types of treatment covered.
LoansTaking out medical or personal loans are viable options for people who can’t get insurance coverage or not planning to go to school. Alabama has some great options for loans that have competitive interest rates. WalletHub has provided a review of the best personal loans in Alabama, and the People’s Bank of Alabama also has low-interest rates with no annual fees.
12-Step Programs and Non-Religious12-Step Programs and Non-Religious options are also available as a low-cost option for people with addiction issues. The 12-Step Program is one of the most popular and effective ways people are able to experience long-term addiction recovery. It is mostly a process based on spiritual principles such as admitting one’s powerlessness over addiction, submitting to a Higher Power, and connecting with like-minded individuals who are going through the same journey. Non-Religious programs include self-managed techniques, psychotherapy, and other wellness treatment options. If you plan to make your rehabilitation as low-cost as possible, you can choose to undergo a single type of outpatient treatment in a trusted rehab facility.
Online Self-Help ForumsNot ready to live virtual meetings? You can also try online self-help forums to chat with people going through addiction and substance abuse recovery. You can get support, encouragement, and advice on how to deal with mental health and substance abuse issues in these online forums. Visit this link to get a comprehensive list of recovery online forums you can participate in.
Friends and FamilyIf you are determined to go to rehab sans an insurance or need more finances for out-of-pocket costs, you can also reach out to family and friends for extra help. Contact people whom you can trust and are willing to support you in your addiction recovery journey. As a way to return the favor, commit to your rehab treatment and pay them back later on (whether monetary or through other means) to show your gratitude.
Recovery Advice When Money Is ScarceMoney shouldn’t be a hindrance to get the help you need. Hopefully, the resources mentioned above may give you a springboard to get started with substance abuse treatment. Here are some money-saving reminders as you get started with addiction treatment options:
- Begin with your free treatment as soon as possible: As soon as you receive a referral or a slot for addiction treatment, it is best to start on it as soon as you can. This can help you stay away from progressing conditions, which can ultimately lead to more health and personal problems.
- Save up for premium rehab when needed: Some types of addictions linger even with free treatment. This is why many healthcare experts recommend the use of medical detox to remove traces of drugs and alcohol in the body. If the free treatment helped but not quite fully, you can save up for a premium rehab to undergo the full extent of addiction treatment (detox, customized recovery plan, aftercare).
- Negotiate with your health insurance: Many health insurance providers can be considerate when it comes to the coverages for addiction treatment. As many governing bodies now consider substance abuse as part of the larger umbrella of mental health disorders, it is possible for your insurance provider to reconsider the coverage of addiction treatment.
- Drugabuse.gov - "Alabama: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms”.
- Mh.alabama.gov - “Substance Abuse Treatment Services”.
- Mh.alabama.gov - “Crisis Numbers for Mental Illness”.
- Centralalaa.org - “District 8, Area 1 Alcoholics Anonymous”.
- Mobileaa.org - “Alcoholics Anonymous Mobile, Alabama”.
- Birminghamaa.org - “Birmingham Alcoholics Anonymous”.
- Aahuntsvillaal.com - “AA Area 1, District 20”.
- Neaana.com - “Northeast Alabama Area of Narcotics Anonymous”.
- Naana.org - “North Alabama Area of NA”.
- Calendar.uab.edu - “Narcotics Anonymous Meeting”.
- Alnwfl.org - “Alabama Northwest Florida Region of NA”.
- Mbcc.us - “Community and Life Groups”.
- Lifechurchhuntsville.com - “Life Groups”.
- Churchofthehighlands.com - “Small Groups”.
- Scholarships.com - “Alabama Scholarships”.
- Unigo.com - “Alabama Scholarships”.
- Wallethub.com - “2020 Best Personal Loans in Alabama”.
- Peoplesbankal.com - “Personal Lending Made Easy with Online Applications”.
Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a unique 12-step program. It is intended for individuals with not only a substance use disorder but also a co-occurring mental health issue. In many ways, it is like other programs that follow the 12-step model started by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Many people with a substance use disorder -- alcohol, illicit drugs, other substances -- also have a mental health issue. This condition of having two co-occurring disorders is called a dual diagnosis.
Despite how common dual diagnosis is, not enough people know about this convergence of substance abuse and a separate mental health problem. Even many people who have it may be undiagnosed. Without that information, they may find recovery difficult to impossible.
Sometimes the mental health problem leads to substance abuse: the individuals, knowing something is wrong, attempt to self-medicate for their depression, anxiety, stress, or trauma with alcohol or drugs. Less often, a mental illness may be caused or triggered by drug use.
Either way, both disorders need to be treated for the individual to recover. The 12 steps can be an important tool.
Twelve-step programs have their origin in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded by Bill Wilson (“Bill W.”) and Robert Holbrook Smith (“Dr. Bob”) in 1935. The 12 steps were codified a few years later in 1938.
They are intended to lead individuals with alcohol abuse problems to admit their addiction, ask for and accept help, make restitution to those they have injured (at least the ones who will accept help), and to help others with the program.
There have been many 12-step programs since AA, including Narcotics Anonymous. Most are for one specific type of addiction, but all use some variation of the 12 steps.
Formed in 1989, Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) isn’t much different from other 12 step programs except that its members have a dual diagnosis. They have meetings where members -- former and current substance abusers with an emotional or psychiatric disorder -- admit their dual problems, tell stories of their struggles (both successes and failures), and support one another.
Members are expected to work the steps, and in order, but there’s more to 12-step programs than the 12 steps. They are not a school from which you graduate but a lifelong discipline. After recovery, you are encouraged to keep coming to meetings, both to maintain your sobriety and to help others achieve and maintain sobriety.
There should be no blame-placing. Everyone there has a problem and none of ahem wished it upon themselves. Some older, sober members act as role models, evidence that people can get better.
Some go further and act as sponsors for the newly sober and emotionally and mentally stable, someone to talk to who knows what they are experiencing. They are someone the new member can contact when things are bad. Sponsors should be members of the same sex to avoid sexual exploitation.
Twelve-step programs should not be confused with professional therapy or evidence-based treatment. The programs are a supplement, not a replacement.
On its website, DRA notes it is “a nonprofessional self-help program,” and states, “There must always be a clear boundary separating the work of DRA from the work of chemical dependency and mental health professionals.”
Despite this limitation, 12-step programs are sometimes the first step towards recovery because they are free and because acknowledging addiction is the first step. Many people aren’t ready for treatment until they make that admission.
Twelve-step programs also can be an important part of aftercare and relapse prevention once formal recovery ends. Their meetings allow everyone in attendance to share stories of their struggles, their successes and failures, and what they have learned along the way.
Most experts believe that addiction is never cured. Everyone is subject to relapse, even years or decades later. Continued membership helps keep them on the path of recovery and provide them with a social safety net if they do relapse.
Dual Recovery Anonymous
Email - [email protected]
Phone - 877-883-2332 - Toll-free
Find a meeting - draonline.org/meetings.html