What Happens in Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

The thought of going to rehab can be scary if you’ve never had that experience before. Any new situation can cause discomfort, but when you know what to expect, it can ease some of your anxieties and make the experience a little easier. If you’ve been imagining rehab as a cold and judgmental place, you’ll find that your rehab experience will be a lot different than that. Of course, learning how to recover from a drug addiction will not be an easy process. However, choosing the right rehab center can give you the support, comfort, and safety that you need to begin your recovery.

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Evaluation and Check-In

Many rehab experts refer to this phase as “intake.” During intake, the rehab director or a staff member will ask you some questions about your drug use as well as your physical and mental health. You may or may not undergo some medical testing during this process. The questions and tests will help determine whether or not this facility is the right one for you. They also help the staff to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.


This is a good time for you to use the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the facility. It needs to be a fit for both you and the center. Once you and the staff finish your evaluation, you’ll move into the facility for a period of one to three months.


Next, you’ll need to detox from the substances in your body. When you’ve abused drugs or alcohol for a long period of time, you’ll have a buildup of those substances in your system. Before you can break your psychological addiction, you’ll need to clear the drugs from your body and recover from your physical dependence. Breaking your addiction in alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers is the place to do it.


The problem with this phase of recovery is that detox can be dangerous. Your body has gotten used to the presence of drugs or alcohol. Their sudden absence can cause a shock to your system. Some people even experience medical emergencies such as seizures. When you detox in a rehab facility, medical staff can monitor your condition to prevent and treat these emergencies. With professional assistance at the facility, you know you’re getting the right help for your addiction. This should put any fears you have to rest knowing you will be in good hands should something like this happen.


Furthermore, this medical detox can help you manage withdrawal symptoms. Quitting drugs can result in uncomfortable symptoms such as chills and insomnia. The staff can provide medications to help with symptoms. In some cases, the staff will help you slowly taper off your drug of choice rather than removing it all at once. This method is sometimes safer than quitting “cold turkey,” especially for those with an addiction to pain medication such as percocet.


Please note that not all rehab programs have detox facilities, and not all detox facilities are part of rehab programs. If you detox in a separate facility, your recovery process may occur in a slightly different order than the one presented in this article.

Daily Life

After detox, you’ll participate in daily life at the treatment center. You’ll have a very predictable schedule in a highly structured atmosphere. This kind of structure often provides participants with relief from the anxiety that comes from uncertainty. You can relax and adjust to your new sobriety. Your schedule will depend on the rehab facility, but you can generally count on the following activities as part of your day:


  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Some form of exercise such as yoga
  • Some time for recreation such as swimming


Some facilities feature additional options depending on the setting and budget. You might have the option of hiking, for instance, or art therapy. Some rehab programs offer therapy sessions for the addicted person’s family members as well.

Do you need help to overcome a drug addiction? We can help.

Outpatient Rehab

What we have discussed so far is pertinent to the inpatient rehab experience, which involves the participants living in the facility. If you choose outpatient rehab, you’ll have a little different experience. If you choose outpatient rehab, you’ll live at home instead of at the facility. You’ll report to the program at regularly scheduled times. From there, you’ll participate in many of the same therapies that would have been available to you in inpatient rehab.


It should be noted that outpatient programs work best for those with milder drug addictions. Continuing to work at your job is also possible for some outpatient addicts. Because participants don’t live in the facility, outpatient programs can lack some of the structure that inpatient programs provide. For those with more serious addictions, inpatient rehab provides the best option.


Before you graduate from the rehab program, your therapists should help you develop an aftercare plan. Rehab is only the beginning of a long recovery process, and the program should teach you how to integrate back into society again. You’ll need tools and a good support system to go back to your home life after completing rehab. Your aftercare plan may involve continued therapy sessions outside of the program. It might also involve group meetings with a 12 Step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Most people who participate in rehab programs return to functioning well in their day-to-day lives afterward.

Read More About Drug Addiction Treatment Statistics

Find the Right Rehab

The rehab experience is not as bad as you may have thought. The caring professionals are there with you to help you recover from your addiction. Now that you have a better idea of what happens during rehab, you may want to find a good rehab facility. Finding the right program for your needs can seem like an enormous task. But Rehab Info can make it easy for you if you just give us a call.


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