Aug 26

Private vs. Government Funded Treatment Centers in BC

government funded treatment centers

Most people know that we have a growing addiction problem in British Columbia and across Canada.

But less is known about the rate of addiction recovery.

The truth is that around 75% of adults overcome their addiction.

But it can take multiple attempts for them to fully recover – the average number is five but the median is just two.

While accepting the need for treatment is a huge accomplishment, evaluating and choosing the right treatment center in BC is another huge obstacle. 

Without access to the right information, you might feel overwhelmed with the number of treatment centers and rehab clinics out there – can you afford private? Are you eligible for government funding? Should you go for inpatient or outpatient?

Education is key to give people the best chance of following through with treatment and successfully overcoming addiction

That’s why we’re providing an in-depth guide to private vs. Government funded treatment centers in British Columbia. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each option, and what to consider when choosing the treatment center where you’ll finally be able to recover and heal.

Types of Treatment Centers in BC

types of treatment centers in BC

The cliche goes that accepting the fact you need treatment and committing to recovery is the hardest part of the journey.

Let’s be honest, the entire journey is hard, including choosing how and where you receive treatment. 

Do you go for the science-driven treatment center that sticks to the 12-step program? 

Or try the more progressive approach with a holistic rehab center?

It can be an overwhelming decision, further stalling the treatment process.

This is where it’s crucial to know what your options are. 

Understanding what’s available and what’s the best fit for you is going to help speed up the process of getting treatment and starting your recovery.

So let’s take a step back and look at the main types of treatment centers available in BC:

  1. Free (Government Funded)
  2. Private
  3. Inpatient
  4. Outpatient
  5. Detox

Free Rehab Centers in BC

By free, we mean government funded.

Free rehab centers in BC receive funding for their services from the government, making them free of charge to patients who need help with recovery but can’t afford private treatment.

In most cases, referral to a government funded treatment center in BC requires you to book an appointment with a healthcare provider or a support worker in your area.

After a medical assessment, they’ll walk you through your options and explain the best treatment center for you. 

They’ll also help you with applying for a place in a funded treatment center and other necessary steps for accessing treatment.

Private Rehab Centers in BC

private rehab centers in BC

Private rehab centers offer inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment at a variety of costs. 

The main advantage to going private with your treatment is that there is far more choice and certainty available around the type and quality of treatment you receive.

With prices easily going beyond $12,000 per month, it’s easy to see why private rehab centers are stereotyped as celebrity-only destinations for recovery.

But, private rehab centers can be made accessible through flexible finance options and insurance.

Some of the most common types of insurance used to cover rehab and treatment costs include:

  1. Medicare
  2. Military
  3. Private
  4. State-financed
  5. Medicaid

Inpatient Rehab

An inpatient rehab center means that you live in the facility for the duration of your treatment and recovery.

It can seem scary at first to leave your personal comforts and routine, but inpatient treatment can be a much safer experience as patients receive 24/7 care from professional staff. 

Inpatient treatment also has a higher success rate than outpatient treatment, where patients are at a higher risk of relapse due to sustained access to substance use.

Outpatient Rehab

If you are seeking treatment but don’t want to leave your life behind for inpatient treatment, there’s always the option of outpatient treatment.

Although the success rate of outpatient treatment is significantly lower than inpatient, this form of support can be more appropriate if:

  1. You have a mild addiction
  2. You need a daily routine
  3. You’re seeking more affordable options

Although the exact hours vary, outpatient rehab usually means that you go to therapy and receive treatment during the day but return home at night. 

Detox Centers in BC

Detox is the first and often most painful step towards sobriety. It involves abstaining from substance use until the body has removed the substance completely.

People who suffer from substance abuse and addiction often suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The length and severity of the withdrawal period depends on:

  • Substance
  • Addiction duration
  • Addiction severity
  • Family history
  • Underlying physical and mental health conditions

Because detoxification is essential to begin treatment, the majority of treatment centers in British Columbia offer detox as part of their program.

The cost of detox treatment depends on a wide range of factors, such as the length of the detox period and the medications required to keep you safe. 

The average cost of a detox program is $1000-1500 unless government funded.

Private Treatment Center vs. Government Funded Rehab Centers in BC

treatment centers

You might be seeking treatment for addiction or substance abuse and face a decision between private and government funded treatment centers.

Having the right treatment and intervention information will help you work out which option is best for you based on not only your financial circumstances but also the severity of your illness and your affinity with treatment methods.

Before we delve into the pros and cons of private vs. public addiction treatment, we’ve broken it down in this simple table:

FactorGovernment Funded Treatment Centers in BCPrivate Treatment Centers in BC
Program Length21 daysVariety of programs from 14-90 days
Average Wait Time3-6 months3-7 business days
Patient to Counsellor Ratio10:13:1
Treatment PlanTraditional, structured, and standardizedDiverse and patient-focused
AftercareLimitedOnsite sober living, outpatient, alumni community, 4x per week aftercare
Family SupportLimitedIncorporated into treatment plan and ongoing

What are the Pros & Cons of Private vs. Government Funded Treatment Centers in BC?

Many of the pros and cons of private versus government funded treatment centers can be applied to any aspect of healthcare.

Broadly speaking, public funded treatment has the advantage of being:

  • Free
  • Evidence-based
  • Accessible (so long as you’re a resident)

But, on the other hand, this often comes with major downsides including:

  • Wait times
  • High patient to doctor ratios
  • Outdated practices
  • Lack of personalized care
  • Poor post-treatment care

Individuals or families who want to take advantage of our government funded treatment centers in BC can have peace of mind that their doctor can help them with the referral process and choosing the right place for treatment.

Then there are private treatment centers in BC.

Those who have access to private addiction or substance abuse treatment can access the core advantages of private care, which are:

  1. Fast admission (sometimes in just days)
  2. Long and thorough treatment
  3. Personalized care
  4. Choice over environment and amenities
  5. A diverse range of therapies and treatments
  6. Post-recovery services

Private treatment centers for addiction and substance abuse have outstanding reputations, and for good reason, They usually incorporate only the latest and greatest of treatments alongside excellent patient care that is personalized, discreet, and even rewarding.

However, just because a treatment center is private doesn’t always mean that it’s the best choice. 

With holistic therapies becoming more popular, we’re seeing a rise in treatment centers offering treatments backed by alternative or homeopathic medicine.

While these methods can still be effective and comforting to patients, severe addictions to dangerous substances must have access to the appropriate medication and evidence-based treatment.

Evaluation Criteria For Choosing The Right Type Of Alcohol Rehab Center

evaluation critera

We’ve provided a list of criteria to consider when evaluating a treatment center in BC.

It’s important to call out that many people needing treatment don’t have access to the diverse range of private treatment centers for drug and alcohol rehab in BC.

If this is the case for you, the following evaluation criteria will still be valuable in helping you ascertain whether a treatment center is right for you.


It goes without saying that price is a crucial factor to consider in your choice of the treatment center. 

Even if you have the means to pay for a private treatment center in BC, pay close attention to the advertised prices and check that they include the cost of:

  • Meals
  • Activities
  • Therapy
  • Medication

Let’s take a look at how pricing differs across types of treatment centers in BC:

Treatment TypePrice RangeFactors Influencing Price
Private Inpatient Rehab (30 days)$6000-$12000AmenitiesLocationSpecialist staff
Private Inpatient Rehab (90 days)$12000-$60000As above
Private Outpatient Rehab$5000-$10000Number of appointments per weekLevel of monitoring and support offeredSpecialist treatments
Detox Service$1000-$1500Significance of side effectsSeverity of addictionTime required to detox
Medication$4700 for methadoneToxicity of substanceThe severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms

Length of Stay 

At first, it might seem daunting to imagine immersing yourself in a treatment center for 3 whole months.

But, the reality is that, if you want to treat your addiction and give yourself the best chance of a full recovery, a long-term treatment might be the best option.

The most common lengths of rehab programs are:

  1. 30 days
  2. 60 days
  3. 90 days
  4. Long-term sober living facilities and halfway houses

While it’s easy to be put off by the thought of an extended amount of time in rehab, you should focus on the program length with the highest chance of long-term success.

A 30-day program gives you just enough time to detox, receive therapy, and start forming new habits as a sober person. But the longer 60-day and 90-day programs have a much higher success rate because:

  • Patients receive more therapy and support from self-help groups
  • Patients have more time to adjust to a life of sobriety with access to professional support and encouragement
  • Patients are able to strengthen their skills, boundaries, and ability to identify potential triggers and temptations

Inpatient vs. Outpatient

We’ve already discussed the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment centers in BC. 

Although it’s clear that inpatient treatment has a much higher success rate for severe addictions, take the time to consider what’s offered by outpatient facilities in your area as this can help you access long-term support after you’ve been in rehab.

It’s also possible to receive a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment depending on the severity of your addiction and how quickly you respond to rehabilitation.

Financial Aid

financial aid

When you’re looking at treatment centers in BC, it’s important to check what they offer in terms of financial aid.

Here are some common forms of financial aid that may be available to you, even if you’re seeking private treatment:

  1. Health Insurance: Employee assistance programs, military or government funded insurance for public sector employees, Medicare
  2. Payment Plans: Many rehab facilities can provide financial aid and even offer flexible payment plans to help you spread payments over a long period of time

Don’t be afraid to call the treatment centers on your list and ask how they can help you with covering the cost of your treatment.

Treatment Options

Canadians have access to a huge range of types of treatment for substance abuse and addiction.

Having access to specialized programs and particular frameworks that work for you will give you the best chance of making a full recovery.

It would be wise to do some research into popular addiction treatment methods, such as:

  • The 12 step program
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Dialectal behavioural therapy
  • Holistic healing

See which treatment methods resonate with you and look out for them when searching for treatment centers online or with your healthcare practitioner.

There are many treatment centers in BC that focus on creating a safe and specialized space for patients to enable their recovery, such as:

  1. Women or men-only rehabilitation centers
  2. First Nations treatment centers
  3. Treatment centers specifically for veterans or military personnel
  4. High-security and anonymous treatment center for high profile individuals


Aurora Recovery Center Amenities

It’s important to consider what activities and facilities will be available to you at your treatment center, especially if you’ll be living there 24/7 for 30, 60, or even 90 days.

The features and facilities available at a treatment center aren’t just there for your entertainment or to enhance the attractiveness of the program – they can be pivotal in your recovery!

For example, treatment centers that offer equine therapy in British Columbia are highly effective. Patients are able to connect with animals and learn a new skill, which can be a revolutionary experience for someone who’s been battling a debilitating illness like an addiction.

Location is also an important factor – would you rather have access to the ocean, a lake, a forest, a farm, or a bustling city?

If you’re able to access a private treatment center in BC, take the time to evaluate what facilities are available to you and consider what activities will make your stay more comforting, rewarding, and therapeutic.


When searching for treatment centers online, it’s essential that you read reviews and testimonials from patients who’ve been there.

These testimonials give you insight into whether the facility is specialized in your particular form of addiction, as well as how patients respond to treatment and how they adjust to sobriety and recovery.

Watch out for the following red flags when looking for rehab facilities in BC:

  • Little to no online presence
  • An outdated website
  • No photos of the facility

How And Where To Get Help For Substance Abuse in BC

Recovery from addiction is possible, and people who overcome their addiction move on to live fulfilling, rewarding, and inspirational lives.

In fact, studies in America found that 80% of people who had recovered from their addiction achieved at least one major life accomplishment following their treatment.

We’re committed to helping Canadians recover and heal from addiction and substance abuse. Canada Drug Rehab is an immersive directory built to educate you and your loved ones about addiction and treatment options.

We also connect families with specialists such as Andy Bhatti, a leading interventionist who has overcome addiction himself.

Our immersive directory provides you with up-to-date information about leading providers of treatment in British Columbia and throughout Canada.

Canada Drug Rehab is sponsored by Andy Bhatti Intervention Services, Aurora Recovery Centre, Cedars at Cobble Hill, and Sunshine Coast Health Centre.


Are there drug rehab centers on Vancouver Island?

Yes. Cedars at Cobble Hill is a specialized and accredited addiction treatment facility in Vancouver Island. 

Where are free detox centers in Vancouver? 

The following treatment centers offer detox services in Vancouver:

  • Sunshine Coast Health Centre
  • Pacifica Treatment Centre
  • Addiction Rehab Vancouver

How do I qualify for free drug rehab in Vancouver?

To qualify for free treatment, you must be a resident of Vancouver and provide proof of your income. 

Leave a Comment

  • Posted on 26 Aug 2021 By Patty

    Daughter needs to get into rehab soon as possible

  • Posted on 26 Aug 2021 By Patty

    Daughter needs to get into rehab soon as possible she’s using opiods

  • Posted on 26 Aug 2021 By Rosanne Lyons

    I need help. I’m an alcoholic

  • Posted on 26 Aug 2021 By Krissy Moore

    My 22 yr old son is in options okanagan rehab facility. The first month has been paid for . I would like to find out how to get government funding for him to stay in rehab longer . I can not afford to pay

  • Posted on 26 Aug 2021 By Kim J. Charlie

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