As a Georgia resident, you may be looking online for free ways to get substance abuse treatment. It can be difficult to find no-cost resources, but we’re here to help. Below is a list of Georgia’s free addiction treatment resources, plus things you can do to finance a quality rehab. Substance abuse in Georgia is rampant--although recent reports that there is a slight decline since 2018, overdose deaths remain quite high in the state. To be specific, there are over 866 people who died in 2018 due to opioid overdose, which easily translates to almost 3 lives lost in a day. This accounts for only 60% of overdose deaths. When other substance abuse issues such as alcoholism or other narcotics are added, the rate is significantly higher. If this crisis hits you at a personal level, you may be wondering how you can find help. Addiction is not just a health issue, but also a life issue that impacts your whole being and others around you. Sometimes, people go in a downward spiral because they don’t have the right information and resources to seek treatment. Thankfully, there are many free addiction treatment resources available in the Peach State. Sunshine Behavioral Health has compiled a list of various government-funded programs, meetings, online links, and free counseling tools for you to choose from. Towards the end, you will also find tips on how to fund high-quality paid rehabilitation if none of the free options work for you.
How To Start Your Search for Free Treatment Resources and ProgramsStarting a free addiction program can be confusing to many people. How does one know if the addiction treatment program is the right fit? Since a lot of online resources merely point to links without giving clear instructions, below is a specific list of steps you can take:
- Look over the comprehensive list of resources and see which one seems doable to you: This all depends on your level of commitment and if you’re comfortable in joining the program. It helps to keep an open mind while thinking about addiction treatment choices. List down your top 2-3 choices and get their contact details.
- Contact the resources and ask pertinent questions: You can ask information of what it takes to get into the program, what are some preparations you can make, the program’s location, and other important details you need to start your treatment. If you don’t know how to start, it helps to be honest to the counselor or hotline operator that you’re not sure about what you should do, but you are certainly looking for help.
- Do the necessary preparations: Inform your family and friends, contact your employer, and make sure that you can ease into the program without disruption of present responsibilities. You may also be asked to take assessments or weekly meetings. Make sure that you’re well-prepared to commit to the program.
State-Funded ProgramsGeorgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities has community services for addiction within the state. These include programs in the following categories:
- People with Disabilities
Local MeetingsLocal meetings are a great way to receive peer support within your community. You will find like-minded people who want to recover from their addictions, increasing your accountability and level of motivation during challenging moments.
Find support locallyThere are several types of local meetings, which can either be religious or non-religious in nature. Here are some of the well-known examples:
Local AA MeetingsAlcoholics Anonymous Georgia, also known as Area 16, is a non-profit organization made to connect those who want to recover from alcohol addiction within the state. They provide a meeting locator by using a map tool along with information about the schedules. According to their mission statement, the only requirement to join their program is the desire to stop drinking. This is a great way for you to get plugged in with people who want to battle alcohol addiction within your local community.
Local NA MeetingsNarcotics Anonymous’ program structure is similar to AA Georgia. However, they help connect people who battle drug addiction specifically. They have support groups available in Metro Atlanta, North sub-region, and South sub-region within the Georgia state. Aside from the support meetings, they also have a periodic regional convention for members to attend, connect with larger groups, and learn valuable insights from sessions in the program.
Faith-Based MeetingsNorth Atlanta Church of Christ offers a recovery program where individuals can gather together and find spiritual support in order to battle substance abuse problems. Called the Anchor Ministry, they also give spiritual mentorship, worship services, pastoral counseling, and Bible studies.
Other Options / Paid OptionsIn some instances, free addiction treatment options may not be suitable for you. Many of these programs may take longer waiting times or would ask you to provide service or other commitments to support the organization in exchange for the benefits you received. Thus, investing in high-quality paid rehab is also an alternative option for people who have tried free methods but did not succeed. Here are some ways to finance your paid addiction treatment program:
ScholarshipsA lot of foundations offer scholarship programs for high school graduates and other individuals returning to the academe. The way to get free addiction treatment in this manner is to enroll in a university or college that offers addiction support for students. GA Futures presents an exhaustive list of scholarships and grants available to the residents of the state. An example is REACH Georgia, a mentoring and scholarship program to provide high school graduates with post-secondary schooling success. Other websites featuring scholarships include the following:
InsuranceThe first thing that may come to your mind in paid addiction treatment is that you’ll always have to cover rehab costs by yourself. The majority of the time, this isn’t true. Thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity act, people who deal with substance abuse problems are granted the same treatment options as those with mental health disorders. Thus, your insurance provider will most likely cover your addiction treatment fully or partially. All you have to do is verify your insurance with a trusted addiction rehab center.
LoansThe idea of taking out a personal loan can also be a great investment for someone who is serious in being addiction-free. Personal loans can be used for various reasons, such as covering medical costs, getting an education, paying off an immediate debt, or in this case, getting addiction treatment. Georgia’s Own Credit Union offers lifestyle loan programs that range from $250 to $25,000. Wallet Hub is also an excellent resource to find personal loans within the state, which have no-credit options as well.
12-Step Programs and Non-ReligiousA part of a comprehensive addiction rehab program includes 12-Step and Non-12 Step programs. These are various evidence-based strategies proven to help people with substance use disorders. Under 12-Step, participants follow a protocol of acknowledging their addictions and submitting their struggles to a Higher Power. This spiritual route to recovery is effective for many patients. Alternatively, there are also non-religious options such as meditation, holistic treatments, fitness programs, and other types of psychotherapies. The two main branches of programs can be combined to fit the needs of each patient.
Friends and FamilyThere are several studies that point to the large influence of one’s family and friends in an individual’s addiction recovery. Friends and family can provide emotional support, as well as financial support during the initial stages of treatment. If you have loved ones who are willing to help, you can ask for donations, sponsorships, or loans to help you seek immediate addiction rehab.
Online Self-Help ForumsThe digital era offers another kind of support you can have when other options don’t work. There are other addiction self-help forums you can become a member of. People give and ask for addiction-related advice, seek encouragement, and read up on experiences and tips that worked for other individuals. Some online forums for addiction include:
Recovery Advice When The Money Is ScarceAddiction recovery is possible even when you have limited financial resources. Here are some tips that helped others start on their sobriety journey with limited funds.
- Utilize free resources in your initial stages. Free resources such as local meetings, self-help online groups, and other government-funded options are a great way to start your addiction recovery. You may want to sign up for more than one of these programs as it can take longer to get your ideal treatment schedule, as these options are more available to the larger public.
- Pool resources during the free treatment stage. During the course of your free treatment, you can find ways to raise money for addiction rehab if your insurance won’t cover addiction rehab costs. You can start fundraisers, small businesses, or simply ask for donations for your wellness.
- Stay informed about your insurance policies. Insurance policies are complex, but you can quickly find information by contacting your provider for more information. By keeping informed, you may find substance abuse programs or related outpatient treatment services that are covered by your provider.
No Money, No Problem: You Can RecoverWith these multiple options, you can start a free addiction treatment program or fund your paid rehab with minimal to no costs. All it takes is persistence, commitment, and keeping informed about opportunities to start your journey towards addiction recovery.
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