South Carolina Drug and Alcohol Statistics
Much like other parts of the country, drug and alcohol misuse are a serious problem throughout South Carolina. Here are the most recent stats related to drug and alcohol use and addiction:
- Over 450,000 people in South Carolina have substance misuse-related issues
- Most rehab admissions in South Carolina are due to marijuana, followed by cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids.
- More than 8% of South Carolina teens between the ages of 12 and 17 report past-month drinking.
- Nearly 2% of South Carolina young adults between 18 and 25 are addicted to opioids.
- About 11.5% of South Carolina young adults are addicted to alcohol.
- Nearly 18% of South Carolina young adults have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Cost of Drug Rehab in South Carolina
The cost of rehab can vary, depending on the type of rehab you choose and the facility you attend. Your out-of-pocket costs could be very high if you go to a luxury facility, or you could find a treatment program with low costs. Some things that affect rehab expenses include:
- Whether you go to an inpatient or outpatient program
- Where the rehab is located
- If your insurance plan covers some or all of the costs
- If the facility has luxury amenities or special services
- The duration of treatment.
Residential rehab or inpatient rehab is usually more expensive than an outpatient program. Inpatient includes the costs of living at the facility, medical costs, as well as addiction treatment services. Outpatient programs cost less because you are only paying for therapy.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost and Free Rehabs in South Carolina?
Some rehabs in South Carolina can work with you to help you pay for care. They may provide free, low-cost, or sliding scale programs for those who are uninsured or unable to pay. You may be able to arrange a payment schedule so you can pay the costs of rehab over time instead of paying the full amount all at once. Programs with sliding fee scales determine your costs based on your income and ability to pay. Some treatment centers have scholarship funds available to cover some or all of your costs. You can also look for programs that offer treatment regardless of your ability to pay. You call any facility and ask about costs, assistance, and payment policies.
Does Insurance Cover Alcohol and Drug Rehab in South Carolina?
All insurance plans in the United States have to offer coverage for substance misuse treatment. Two federal laws, the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, mandate coverage for rehab. Every type of policy, including private insurance, insurance through an employer, Medicaid, Medicare, and military insurance, is included in these mandates.
Your particular level of coverage and your out-of-pocket share of costs will depend on the terms of your insurance policy. In particular, you may be limited to a certain network of facilities. Your insurer may pay for more care at in-network treatment centers. If you go to an out-of-network rehab, your share of costs may be higher. You can find out which rehabs are in your insurance company’s network by calling your insurer or asking the rehab if it accepts your insurance.
Medicaid is a government insurance program that each state offers in partnership with the federal government. States administer programs individually, so there are differences from state to state. In South Carolina, the Medicaid program is called Healthy Connections.3
You may be eligible for Healthy Connections if your income is at or below the federal poverty level. You may also qualify if you are pregnant, caring for young children, or have certain disabilities or health conditions. South Carolina partners with insurance companies to administer Medicaid plans. The plans all cover rehab, but you will need to speak to your insurance provider to learn more about your benefits, including which facilities you can use.
Medicare is a federal government health insurance program for people age 65 and older, people with certain disabilities, and people with certain health conditions. Medicare covers all aspects of mental and physical health care, including substance use disorder treatment.
For coverage of inpatient rehab, you will use the hospitalization benefit under Medicare Part A.4 You will be responsible for paying a co-pay, but the other costs will be covered by Medicare. You can use Medicare Part B for your outpatient rehab as part of the mental health benefits.5 If you have a Medicare Advantage supplemental plan, your coverage may be more expensive. Some Medicare Advantage plans have larger networks and can offer more choices of facilities.
You will need to find out if the rehab you want to attend accepts Medicare. If you call the rehab or call Medicare, someone will be able to tell you if the program is covered by your insurance or not. Out-of-network programs will be much more expensive for you, so it’s important to make sure your plan will help you pay for care.
If you get insurance from an insurance company instead of a government plan, that is private insurance. Your employer may provide private insurance to you, or you might buy an individual plan for yourself or your family. You may get your insurance from a company such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, UnitedHealth, or Aetna.
Like government plans, private insurance plans must offer coverage for substance use disorder treatment. Not all insurance plans have comprehensive coverage. The amount insurance pays for rehab might depend on what program you go to. Your insurance company will have a network of facilities it works with, and it pays more of the cost for in-network care. Using a facility that isn’t part of your insurance company’s network will cost you a lot more. When looking for rehab, make sure you understand:
- What deductibles your policy requires
- What co-pays you will need to pay
- If your plan covers inpatient, outpatient, or both
- The additional costs if you choose an out-of-network program
- What, if any, exclusions apply
Popular Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers in South Carolina
New Season Greenville Metro Treatment Center
This is an opioid treatment program in Greenville. It provides outpatient care, including medication-assisted treatment. You can call the facility to ask about payment options and what insurance plans it accepts.
The BriteLife Recovery center in Hilton Head offers comprehensive residential treatment. It specializes in dual diagnosis treatment, as well as trauma-informed care. It takes many major insurance plans. Talk to the center about payment options if cost is a barrier.
Palmetto Health Addiction Recovery Center
This Columbia-area facility offers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. It has on-site detoxification programs, as well as recovery. It accepts private insurance, Medicare, and military insurance.
Coastal Recovery Center
Located in Myrtle Beach, this facility offers outpatient care. They offer medical management for detox, as well as counseling services. You can contact the center directly to ask about insurance and payment options.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab in South Carolina
If you want to live full-time at a rehab facility during treatment, you should go to an inpatient program. There will be staff present to supervise your activities and provide all the care you need. Typically, you attend inpatient rehab for 30 to 90 days, but some programs continue longer.
If you would rather live at home and attend therapy sessions for short periods during the week, you can attend outpatient rehab. Some programs offer partial hospitalization, where you will spend all day in a facility and then go home in the evening. Other programs have several weekly sessions that typically last a few hours at a time.
Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Some people regard inpatient treatments as the best choice for recovering from substance use disorder. In an inpatient program, you can get medical care during detoxification, then transfer to the recovery section of the program for therapy and support in overcoming addiction.
Inpatient treatment programs provide round-the-clock support and supervision while you work on your recovery. You don’t have to contend with distractions from work, school, or family. There are few chances to relapse since you are constantly supervised while you’re an inpatient.
Once your residential program is complete, your facility may have an aftercare program so you can continue to get support after you have been discharged and have returned home.
Disadvantages of Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab
The biggest disadvantage to inpatient care may be the cost. If your insurance doesn’t cover all of the treatment costs, you will have significant out-of-pocket expenses. During treatment, you will also not be able to work, leading to loss of income or even unemployment.
In addition, residential treatment can conflict with family responsibilities. Leaving home for any length of time might not be feasible if you care for children or other family members.
If you feel you would do best with inpatient treatment, ask if your facility can help you find care for your family or provide assistance in paying for treatment. Staff at the facility will be able to answer your questions.
Advantages of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient programs use the same therapeutic methods as inpatient programs, so you can get the same quality of care. The costs are substantially lower since you won’t have to pay for housing and food along with therapy. You may be able to find a program that allows you the flexibility to attend treatment while continuing to work, study, or care for your family.
Some insurance plans have more comprehensive coverage for outpatient therapy. It may be more cost-effective to choose an outpatient program.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab
You should be certain that you can avoid substance misuse behavior while attending outpatient programs. You will not have constant supervision, which may increase your risk of relapsing. You shouldn’t give up if you find yourself using substances during outpatient treatment. You can continue recovery after a relapse. However, experiencing a relapse when you haven’t taken substances in a while comes with the risk of overdose since your tolerance may have decreased.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in South Carolina
Rehab facilities in South Carolina offer a wide range of philosophies and amenities. You will be able to find a program that meets your recovery needs so you can more easily work on your rehabilitation. Ask the rehab center you are considering any questions you have about what its facilities and staff are like and what services it offers.
Before you commit to rehab, check that the program is properly licensed and accredited. Reliable, effective programs should use evidence-based methods of therapy and follow best practices for substance use disorder treatment. Experimental therapy methods or methods that have been debunked are risky and can do harm to patients.
Faith-Based and Christian Rehab
If you want your faith to play a part in your recovery journey, it may be best for you to be treated in an environment that is supportive of your religious values. Faith-based rehab programs use evidence-based therapeutic methods for treating substance use disorders alongside spiritual support, guidance, and encouragement. These programs will also be able to support any dietary or behavioral standards that you follow. There may be opportunities for spiritual activities like worship, prayer, or counsel with a member of the clergy.
Luxury facilities place emphasis on comfort and privacy. The facilities may be more like a fancy hotel or resort, with extensive grounds and private rooms for patients. They may be located in sought-after locations like the beach or mountains. Many luxury facilities have gourmet dining services. Luxury rehabs may offer special amenities like yoga, spa treatments, fitness rooms, and swimming pools.
Executive rehab programs are geared toward people who need to continue working while undergoing treatment. Those with family members to support financially or high-level decision-makers in an organization may opt for this kind of rehab. Executive programs are more likely to allow phone and computer access than you would get at a typical facility. You can schedule treatment around calls or deadlines for your work. Some executive programs may even let you travel for business during treatment under certain conditions.
Holistic rehab programs are knowns for offering a combination of evidence-based addiction treatments and alternative treatments. They may use meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, or hypnotherapy to help patients work on their emotional well-being, as well as find a sense of spiritual and emotional balance. Programs may suggest dietary changes that could help with your recovery. Alternative treatments are best used as a complement to evidence-based addiction treatment, not a substitute.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
During rehab, you should ask your treatment team to diagnose and address any co-occurring mental health conditions you may have. Conditions like anxiety, depression, or PTSD due to past trauma are common among people with substance use disorder. Treating mental health conditions can make managing addiction easier. You should look for a treatment center that has experience with dual-diagnosis treatment.
Your rehab may offer you medication to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorders. These medications aren’t addictive and won’t interfere with recovery. If you have a complex mental health condition such as PTSD or borderline personality disorder, you should find a treatment center that can set you up to manage the condition beyond your time in treatment. You may need ongoing, perhaps even lifelong, therapy and medication to help treat these conditions.
If you have an addiction to opioids and alcohol, you may be eligible to take an FDA-approved medication to manage the physical symptoms of your withdrawal. There are several medications that treat addiction, and all require a prescription from a doctor or attendance at a licensed clinic. Many rehabs that provide medication-assisted treatment also offer comprehensive counseling programs.
Taking medication during detoxification can alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. Detoxifying often causes body aches, fatigue, nausea, and overwhelming cravings for substances. Medication can ease that process and make it less debilitating. Later, medications can replace harmful substances and reduce cravings for opioids and alcohol. The replacement medications don’t cause a high, you can function normally while taking them, and perhaps eventually wean yourself off them altogether.
Medication-assisted treatment is not a stand-alone treatment for addiction. The mental and emotional aspects of addiction are significant, and you will benefit from getting therapy to address those issues. Counseling and peer support can help you understand your behavior and give you the tools to change it in the future.
How to Get Methadone at a Methadone Clinic
Methadone is a very successful treatment for opioid addiction. The FDA approves the use of this alternative opioid to satisfy physical addiction without the euphoric high of a harmful substance. You can continue on a steady dose for a long time and not notice a reduction in effects.
Methadone prevents symptoms during detoxification. Some people take it to get through the detoxification process and then taper off the medication. It can also be used as a long-term replacement for addictive opioids and is safe to use for months or years.
Methadone programs are regulated by federal law. You will need to enroll at a licensed clinic to receive methadone treatment. Methadone clinics are usually outpatient programs, but many offer comprehensive coursing and support services as well.
How to Find a Suboxone Doctor
Suboxone is commonly available at methadone clinics and can also treat opioid and alcohol addictions. It contains two medications: Naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of a substance, so consuming it doesn’t cause a high. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, so it satisfies the physical cravings for opioids without the euphoric effects. Suboxone is helpful for reducing the effects of withdrawal and limiting craving for substances after detoxification. You will need a doctor or clinic to prescribe Suboxone treatment.
Naltrexone for Alcohol or Opioid Addiction
Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication for managing alcohol and opioid addictions. When you take it, it prevents opioids or alcohol from causing a pleasurable high. Without the pleasant feelings from substances, you may be less likely to take them. You will need a doctor to give you a prescription for naltrexone.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) for Alcohol Addiction
Disulfiram, sometimes called by its brand name Antabuse, is a deterrent for people with alcohol addiction. When drinking alcohol after taking disulfiram, you will experience unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and skin flushing. You will need to see a doctor for a disulfiram prescription.
Acamprosate for Alcohol Use Disorder
Acamprosate is a medication that blocks cravings for alcohol.6 It works on your brain to diminish your need for substances. You may find it easier to refrain from drinking if your alcohol cravings are reduced. You will need to keep taking it long-term because the effects wear off if you stop taking acamprosate. You can ask your doctor if this is the right medication for you.
Should I Travel to South Carolina for Alcohol and Drug Rehab?
If you are planning to relocate to attend drug or alcohol rehab in South Carolina, you should consider what the benefits would be. You may want to go to South Carolina if:
- The rehab you want to go to is in South Carolina
- You will be closer to friends or family in South Carolina
- Your insurance company covers treatment in South Carolina.
- You enjoy spending time in South Carolina.
If South Carolina has the treatment facility you want and you have supportive people there, you should consider going there for rehab.
Regional Considerations in South Carolina
South Carolina is most famous for its beautiful beaches. It’s home to popular vacation areas like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island. The western parts of the state offer opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing. Tourism is a major industry in the state.
There are major universities in South Carolina, such as the University of South Carolina in Columbia and Clemson University in the city of Clemson. Both schools offer world-class educational opportunities. They are also sports powerhouses and attract fans of college football and basketball.
Cities such as Columbia and Charleston are bustling with museums, live performances, and great restaurants. They have historic sites from the Civil War era, such as battlefields and former plantations. Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, is located in Charleston.
It’s easy to fly into Charleston or nearby Savannah, Georgia, and reach areas in the southern part of the state. The Greenville Airport serves the northern areas. Interstate 95 runs through the bottom third of the state, while Interstate 85 serves the northern region.
Drug and Alcohol Laws in South Carolina
South Carolina has a standing order allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. Anyone can access naloxone at a participating pharmacy. You may have to pay for the naloxone.7
The South Carolina Good Samaritan law grants limited immunity from arrest if you call for help during an overdose.8 The police will not arrest you for possession or distribution if you call for help after experiencing or witnessing an overdose.
There is a drug court program in South Carolina that offers alternate sentencing for certain crimes if you require addiction treatment.9 Successfully completing treatment can result in your criminal record being expunged.
Marijuana is not legal for any reason in South Carolina. A bill to authorize medical marijuana failed in 2022.10 The legislature may reconsider the bill in 2023.
Drug laws related to possessions and distribution are strict in South Carolina.11 Possession can result in a two-year jail sentence or a $5,000 fine for a first offense. Subsequent offenses lead to 5-year sentences. Distribution leads to a sentence of up to 15 years for the first offense.
- America’s Health Rankings. (2021). Non-Medical Drug Use – Past Year In South Carolina.
- America’s Health Rankings. (2020). Excessive Drinking In South Carolina.
- South Carolina Healthy Connections. (2022). FAQ.
- Medicare.gov. (2022). Inpatient hospital care.
- Medicare.gov. (2022). Mental health care (outpatient).
- NAMI. (2022). Acamprosate (Campral).
- Naloxone Saves SC. (2022). Get Naloxone.
- Naloxone Saves SC. (2022). Good Samaritan.
- South Carolina General Assembly. (2022). 3624
- Live News. (2022). South Carolinians still left waiting after push to legalize medical marijuana falls short in 2022.
- South Carolina Legislature. (2017). South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated Title 44 – Health.