An initial rehab experience can be intimidating. Even if you are looking to end an addiction, you may still be nervous or afraid of going to rehab because you don’t know what to expect. Knowing what is going on in rehab can calm your mind. Here are some of the most common features of rehab programs to help you prepare for the experience as well as possible.If youIf you
Often times, reps start with you having an admissions interview to learn more about you. This is an important step in the rehab process as this information is used to tailor your treatment plan.
The usual length of stay in drug and alcohol rehabilitation is 28 to 30 days, 60 days or 90 days. While treatment over any period of time is a step in the right direction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends spending at least 90 days on treatment.If youIf you
After the initial assessment, you go through the detox process. Detox is the process of removing drugs or alcohol from your body after prolonged abuse. Although this can be a difficult process for some, it is important to cleanse your body of these substances so that you are physically and mentally prepared for the work in rehab that lies ahead.
Everyone has a different experience with detox. Depending on the type of substance used, how much you consume and how long you’ve been using it, this process can take anywhere from three to 14 days.
If you suddenly stop using a substance that is highly addictive (such as heroin, morphine, benzodiazepines, or alcohol), you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, medications are given to relieve the withdrawal symptoms associated with those medications.
Various types of therapies are used during the recovery process to help overcome your cravings, prevent relapses, and stay clean throughout your life.
During individual addiction therapy, you will work privately with a doctor in one-on-one discussions. During these sessions you will take an honest look at yourself, your addiction, and the effects of your addiction on your psyche. This personal training can be an effective way to help you heal.
Your therapist will also help you identify your addiction triggers. Once you identify them, the therapist will show you how to deal with (or eliminate) them in a healthy, non-destructive way.
An addiction specialist will adapt the right types of therapy to your individual needs. Therapy can come in many forms, but research suggests behavioral therapies are most effective at treating addiction.If youTwo of the most commonly used behavioral therapies in this setting are cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviews.
Sessions can be held in the therapist’s office or in a place where you can speak privately. While the exact duration and frequency of these sessions vary, most people typically meet with their therapist for an hour once a week.
Research has shown that involving family and friends in the educational process significantly improves rehab outcomes.If youFor this reason, many addiction rehab facilities offer family therapy as part of their program.
Family members are often severely affected by the addictive behavior of their loved ones. Family counseling is a safe place where everyone can share their complaints and your family members can find out how they made or contributed to your addiction. Recognizing and working through these complicated, sometimes painful emotions is a necessary component for healing and further growth.If youIf you
During family counseling, your family members will also learn about the dynamics of addiction and how to best receive support when you leave the rehab facility.
Many programs involve family members and friends throughout the rehabilitation process, from initial assessment to continued follow-up care. Others require family members to attend Al-Anon meetings if they want to visit you during treatment
At the end of rehab, you and your counselor will have an ongoing care (aftercare) plan based on where you are on your journey of recovery. Follow-up care is shown to significantly reduce drug and alcohol relapse rates.If youThis makes it an incredibly important part of your treatment
Your plan will be full of social and medical support services to help you with your transition. This may include transitional housing (like a sober home), follow-up care and counseling, medical assessments, alumni support groups, and other suggestions to avoid situations and triggers that can lead to relapse.
A word from Verywell
Getting help is important if you have a substance use disorder. While it may seem scary at first, it’s important to understand that rehab is ultimately a positive experience. Don’t let your fears about what’s going on in treatment prevent you from doing something great for yourself and your life.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Authority’s National Helpline (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.