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How to Pay For Teen Treatment

If your teen is struggling with a mental health disorder, a substance abuse disorder, or both, it may be time to seek treatment.

It is important to look for a teen specific treatment center or program since treating teens is very different than treating adults with the same types of disorders. Unfortunately, the high costs of rehabilitation are often what deter those who need treatment from seeking it out. When researching costs, try to stay calm and remember that if your teen needs treatment, you can find a way to pay for it.

The costs of teen treatment vary widely. The type of treatment, the location of the center, amenities, celebrity doctors, etc. can all drive up costs. If you know exactly what you are looking for in a treatment center, that will make it easier to stay grounded and avoid treatment centers that aren’t right for your teen. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should choose the cheapest option because it’s all you can afford. Most of the time, outpatient treatment centers are much less costly than inpatient treatment centers because they involve much less care. But this level of care may not offer enough support for sustained recovery. Your teen may need inpatient treatment, and you shouldn’t let cost be the only thing keeping you from giving that to them.

Trying to figure out how to pay for teen treatment can be very stressful for some families. It is important to keep the conversation about payment among adults and try not to involve your teen in it at all. They should not feel like their mental illness is their fault


One option for paying for treatment is using insurance, if you have it. Most plans will cover at least a portion of treatment for mental health or substance abuse, although some will cover it entirely. Call your carrier to find out what type of residential treatment they will cover. There may only be specific treatment centers within your network that they are willing to cover, and those centers may not be right for your teen. But if you can get them to pay for at least some of it, it will help reduce your stress tremendously. If you don’t have health insurance, there are other options to consider that can help you cover treatment costs.


Teens under the age of 19 are often eligible for federal and state sponsored health benefits such as Medicaid, which can help with rehab costs. Try enrolling your teen in the Medicaid program and call them directly to find out if they will be able to help cover treatment costs.


Whenever a large and unexpected cost comes up that we cannot cover on our own, fundraising is an oft overlooked option. From carwashes to bake sales to auctions to benefit concerts, there are many different types of fundraisers you can set up. Crowdsourcing is also a popular option for raising money. People often us sites such as Go Fund Me to cover medical bills, vet bills, or other unexpected expenses. Family members may be willing to help you pay for your teen’s treatment if you feel comfortable asking them. Of course, mental health disorders and addictions still carry with them a stigma and you and your teen may not want others knowing that they are planning on seeking treatment. If this is the case, there is nothing to be ashamed of, but fundraising or crowdsourcing may not be right for you, though you could still consider asking a trusted family member discreetly.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact an individual for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family.


  1.“Covering The Cost of Rehab”. 2019.
  2.“Learn More About Teen Treatment”. 2018.

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