How Competitive is The Addiction Rehab Industry?


If you’re a brand-new addiction rehab owner or director, one of your initial concerns may be about the competitiveness of the industry. You want to know how your services and prices compare, how many facilities are in your area and the overall long-term viability of the industry. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, about 30 years ago, your new facility would likely have not had much competition. But changing healthcare laws and societal attitudes about substance abuse and addiction have shifted the market. Now there are addiction rehab facilities littered across the country, making it tougher for you to stand out.

A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Addiction rehab has become big business in America. With over 23 million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol and around 10 percent receiving professional treatment, there are millions of people in this country who need addiction care. This growing need has not been lost on ambitious professionals, which is why there has been a sudden boom in the prevalence of addiction care facilities, outpatient treatment centers, sober homes and other organizations focused on treating addiction.

Infographic about the amount of addiction rehab facilities in America. In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated that the addiction care industry had reached $35 billion annually.[1] The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that there are more than 14,500 treatment facilities that provide counseling, behavioral therapy, medicine and other services to people with substance use disorders.[2] This does not account for the tens of thousands of sober living homes scattered across the nation.

If anything, these numbers will likely continue to trend upward. Americans are abusing more drugs and alcohol than ever before; more people are dying from drug overdoses than ever before; and we have a rapidly aging baby boomer population that is returning to their former drug abusing habits and having to increasingly use prescription opioids. To top it off, emerging niche addictions like gambling addiction, sex addiction, eating disorders and Internet addiction are also contributing to the growth in the addiction rehab industry.

This growth also coincides with a changing attitude about addiction among the American public. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey of 1,821 adults, 67 percent believed that illegal drug offenders should enter rehab programs instead of being incarcerated. This also coincides with a majority of Americans feeling that mandatory minimums should be done away with.[3]

Addiction Rehab Services and Prices

Two of the main areas where your addiction rehab facility will be forced to compete will be in the services it offers and the amount it costs. The majority of addiction care facilities in America use the 12-step model, adopted from Alcoholics Anonymous, and provide outpatient services. This means that much of the addiction treatment in this country is faith-based.

Infographic about the cost of addiction treatment for 30 days.

While this approach has been successful in helping many people overcome addiction, it is somewhat controversial due to the lack of scientific evidence of its efficacy and its forced acceptance of a higher power. Additionally, since 80 percent of facilities are outpatient only, many addiction patients are not receiving the thorough treatment they need.[4] This is an opportunity for your addiction rehab center to set itself apart.

As far as price is concerned, it varies from location to location. Forbes magazine estimated that the average quoted price range for a 30-day addiction treatment plan was between $15,000-$26,000 in 2015. However, the more well-known brands, such as Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, charge at least double that amount, as do other high-end luxury facilities that cater to the rich and famous.[1]

One emerging addiction treatment service is dual diagnosis. This form of treatment is used for patients who are struggling with a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. Recent research has revealed that the majority of individuals with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol also have a mental illness that may have caused the addiction or contributed to its severity. Because these individuals require more specialized care, psychiatric services and concurrent treatment for all conditions, it is not possible for many inpatient and outpatient facilities to provide adequate rehab.

How Your Addiction Rehab Facility Can Compete

Picture of a man receiving counseling from a mental health professional.High-quality rehab services combined with high-quality marketing is the recipe that will help your addiction rehab center outshine its competitors. The greater your services and the more people who know about them, the better position your facility will be in to succeed. This means offering a wealth of rehab services, including:

  • Activity-based therapy
  • Mental health services
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Medically assisted detox
  • 24-hour nurse and physician care
  • Aftercare services
  • Dual diagnosis treatment

Once you know that your addiction rehab facility offers superior services at affordable prices, your next step is to get the word out. This is not always an easy task when you have a limited budget to work with. A mixture of traditional and digital marketing, a clear understanding of your organizational goals and target audience and efficient use of your budget are essential in effectively promoting your rehab facility.

If you’ve never coordinated a successful marketing strategy before, working with experienced professionals is likely your best option. MPA Rehab Marketing would be honored to work with you and help your facility unlock its potential. We have nearly two-decades of experience working with addiction rehab facilities of all sizes and are confident in our ability to help yours thrive. Contact us today at 732-214-9600 to get started.

Send