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Alcoholism Treatment without Insurance

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answered 11:03 PM EST, Wed August 06, 2014
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Hi, I'm an EAP Coordinator and have a friend who is suffering from Alcoholism. She has no insurance but wants help. I do not want her to detox by herself. Any suggestions on where to send her? Outpatient will not work. Thanks,

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds

Thank you for your question. I don't suggest your friend try to detox from alcohol without medical supervision. Alcohol detox can be dangerous. Your friend could have a seizure if she is drinking a lot and have severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal is one of the worst forms of withdrawal. But there is medical treatment that will make the withdrawal more manageable.

Even without insurance, she can go to a hospital for treatment if she is having withdrawal symptoms. It is important that she has withdrawal symptoms when she goes to the hospital. If they assess her and find she is in alcohol withdrawal, they have to treat her. Because alcohol withdrawal is life threatening, they cannot refuse to treat her regardless of whether she has insurance. Hospitals have to treat life threatening disorders. If she was in a car accident and needed emergency surgery, it wouldn't matter if she had insurance. The hospital would have to treat her. The hospital could try to collect money for the treatment afterward but they cannot refuse treatment.

If she is concerned about owing the hospital money, she can try getting funding from the department of public welfare (DPA) or her county. The DPA can give her medical assistance based on her need for treatment. Many counties also have a Drug and Alcohol Commission which will fund treatment through the county. Your friend should first contact her county's Department of Public Welfare or Public Assistance office. She can explain her situation and need for alcohol detox and ask about receiving assistance. If the DPA is unable to provide her public assistance due to her income or other reasons, they should be able to direct her to resources in her community. If that doesn't work, look for a local Drug and Alcohol commission. She can also contact a rehab in her state and inquire whether they take people without insurance. Some rehabs will take people without insurance because they get funding from the county or state that covers people without insurance.

I hope this helps and your friend can find the treatment she needs.

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