How Much Does Addiction Treatment Cost in the UK? A Comparison of Services

In the UK, there are many ways in which one can access addiction treatment, be it for a substance such as alcohol or prescription medications, illegal drugs or behaviours such as gambling. If one’s looking …


In the UK, there are many ways in which one can access addiction treatment, be it for a substance such as alcohol or prescription medications, illegal drugs or behaviours such as gambling. If one’s looking for luxurious facilities and state-of-the-art services, then private inpatient treatment is probably the best option. However, not all private services are equally expensive. From  £2,000 per week for an inpatient service to £11,000 – the prices will vary based on location, staff certifications, medical availabilities and more.

NHS-funded and Free Options for Addiction Help

There are two main options for accessing help with addictions in the United Kingdom: NHS funded treatments and free, self-help support offered by charities and faith groups.

1) The National Health Service (NHS) offers healthcare for those who cannot afford other types of care. In England, this includes NHS funded treatments. You may find that you can get these through your GP or local hospital. These include medication for physical withdrawal symptoms,  individual counselling/counselling groups, group therapy sessions, and support from a health professional while trying to quit using substances or behaviours. The NHS may also pay for a residential rehab facility if you’re struggling with addiction and need intensive, long-term treatment.

2) For those without any form of insurance or who would prefer not to use their healthcare card, there are a number of non-profit organisations offering free assistance. Examples include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), etc. Some of these groups offer services on a drop-in basis; others require participants to attend meetings regularly in order to receive ongoing support.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Treatment costs depend on several factors including where you live, what kind of treatment you choose and how much time you spend at the clinic. When seeking out addiction treatment resources, start by identifying whether you want to go privately or publicly funded. Private clinics tend to charge higher fees than public ones. They also typically have better amenities like luxury apartments and gyms. Public clinics are often located in less affluent areas and do not provide upscale accommodations. Finally, they may only offer partial coverage for certain kinds of treatment.

If you decide to seek addiction treatment privately, here are some things to consider:

Location: Location plays a big role in determining how much a person will pay for private addiction treatment. Where you live will determine whether you’ll be able to travel far to reach a clinic. Costs will vary depending on how close you live to the clinic, but generally speaking, you should expect to pay anywhere between £0 and £5,000 for a 24-hour residential programme. This figure does not include accommodation costs.

Staff Certifications: As mentioned above, different clinics employ different levels of qualifications for their counsellors and nurses. A qualified counsellor or nurse will likely possess either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in their respective field. There are also some programs which don’t require any specific training; however, these programmes are usually restricted to individuals who lack formal education.

Medical Facilities: Many private treatment centres are affiliated with hospitals, so if you’re dealing with a condition that requires specialised attention, you might find yourself paying extra for additional lab tests and examinations. If you are prescribed medication, make sure you ask about potential side effects before taking them; otherwise, you could end up paying for those costs too.

Amenities: Most private facilities offer a range of amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, basketball courts and even spa packages. Some of these features may help people stay motivated throughout their recovery process. However, it is important to note that many of these amenities come with a hefty price tag. Depending on the service, prices can range from £300 to £3,000 per month.

Insurance Coverage: Private centres often demand full payment upfront, leaving patients responsible for covering the cost later. It’s possible that you could qualify for financial aid based on income or family circumstances. Ask your medical provider for more information regarding any available funding sources.

Private Treatment Costs

The average cost of private addiction treatment varies widely depending on your location and type of facility. The following table provides an overview of the approximate cost of private addiction treatment in various locations around the world:

(Country Average Cost in USD)

  • United States $19,856
  • Canada $11,936
  • Australia $10,850
  • United Kingdom $7,637
  • Ireland $4,997
  • New Zealand $1,749

Costs will vary considerably depending on the type of treatment you receive. For example, a private centre in London could cost upwards of £20,000 for a three-month program. On the other hand, a 12-step programme in rural areas cost as little as £2,500.

Only a handful of treatment centres openly display their costs for residential treatment, however, the Providence Projects provides costs for its 28-day programme priced at £5,995.

If you have been diagnosed with substance abuse issues, it is critical to get the best care possible. In order to do this, you must first know what kind of treatment works best for you. Whether you are looking for private or public rehabs, there are plenty of options available to you. By understanding the pros and cons of each option, you can choose the right place for you.

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