Family Crisis Intervention Services - How Much Does an Intervention & Treatment Cost?

In this family crisis intervention services section, I focus on the cost of doing a Family Intervention (Page 4).  If you haven't already read the first 4 pages of this discussion, you can jump to the beginning by visiting the Addiction Intervention introduction page.

How much do family crisis intervention services cost?

A family struggling with a gambling addiction is even more challenging than other addictions, because it tends to put families in financial distress, or even leaves many families financially devastated.  So how can a concerned family member even consider paying for treatment?  During the active gambling phases try to think about all of the money that was lost or mis-spent (by both the gambler as well as you!).  The cost of treatment is usually only a fraction of that, and ultimately you're potentially seeking to save a life (if they're suicidal) or at a minimum saving your marriage/relationship.  That said, you do need to consider your personal financial reality as part of your decision in considering whether an addiction intervention is the right fit.

Intervention

The cost of a professional interventionist can vary widely.  I consider an interventionist a key component of family crisis intervention services.  During my research I found that it can range from ~$2,000 to $4,000, plus expenses if they're traveling from out of town.  I understand that for a family in the throws of a gambling addiction problem, even a hundred or two hundred dollars feels overwhelming, and this type of money can feel completely out of reach.  However, unlike any other money that's been lost or gone to pay bills, this is an investment in a life, a relationship, a future of a love one.  So before dismissing this approach, consider what you can save or borrow.

While you should never borrow money from family, friends, or financial institutions to cover gambling debts or household bills that go unpaid due to money lost gambling, in my opinion, borrowing money, or accepting cash gifts for an intervention is acceptable.  Think of it as a "gift of intervention."  Despite everything that your gambler has done, they're still loved, and if this is the last gift they receive for years to come, it will be worthwhile!  That said, you do need to consider your personal values and comfort level.  I'm only suggesting that this may be the time to consider stretching a little outside of your comfort zone.

Treatment

The cost of treatment, the real heart of family crisis intervention services, can vary widely from a $250-$500 one-time co-pay for a facility covered by health insurance, to many thousands of dollars per week(!) for one that's not covered.  Check with your insurance company first to find facilities that are covered.  A note of caution here, as noted before, is to ensure that your primary concern is picking the right facility.  Picking a facility that isn't a good fit, but has minimal or no cost, may do more damage than good in the long run.  If you've found a facility that is a good fit, but not covered, you can usually submit a request to your insurance company to consider a pre-approval of an out-of-network addiction treatment facility.  You'll need to demonstrate that those included in-network aren't an appropriate fit.  I'll warn you in advance that getting an approval for this type of exception won't be an easy task.

If you either don't have insurance, or can't find an appropriate facility that's covered, you can inquire at the addiction treatment facility to see if they have any special funds or scholarships available.  Some will have special funds from donations that they use to sponsor even a portion of the total cost.  It certainly can't help to ask, and if they have such a program, there's certainly no harm in applying.  Lastly, you can also ask about what payment plans they have available so you don't have to come up with all of the money upfront.

The take home message here is that there are options for both in-network coverage if you have health care insurance and can find an appropriate treatment facility, as well as ways to reduce the overall cost, setup a payment plan, and/or rally loved ones together to help pitch in to what can be a life-saving event.  That said, the tragic reality is that the cost of treatment for those without medical coverage can be a barrier to proceeding with family crisis intervention services.  And rest assured, that without professional treatment, truly entering the recovery process can be extremely challenging.  Note that going to Gamblers Anonymous and abstaining from gambling of any kind for even decades, does NOT mean that a problem gambler is in recovery.  You can read the Help for Gambling Addiction section for more discussion on this somewhat controversial topic.

Page 6 - Intervention Tips

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