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What You Can Expect From Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs?

by Eddy Smith

The first rehab experience can be scary. Even if you are determined to quit your addiction, it is possible to be nervous about going to treatment because you don’t know what you can expect.

Being familiar with what happens in rehab will help to ease your mind. To make your mind at ease, here are some key features of rehab programs.

When to Consider Rehab?

Once you’ve recognized that you need help, you might consider other options. Peer support groups can be helpful, including 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.

A specialist in addiction medicine will be able to help you with your acute detoxification. He or she can also prescribe medications to curb the urge for alcohol and stop you from relapsing. People who have exhausted all of these options may need to search for an inpatient program.

There are several indicators that you need treatment for your addiction: When substance use adversely affects your job relationships, interests, and mental and/or physical health.

Find out what substance use is taking from your life. Are you losing interest in the things that you once loved? Do you find yourself constantly thinking about what the next time is that you can drink alcohol or use drugs?

Self-medicating with substances, such as drinking or taking drugs to relieve underlying symptoms of anxiety/depression, maybe a reason to seek rehab.

Indicators of addiction include tolerance for or dependence on one substance. For those who can’t imagine living without drugs and alcohol, rehab may be an option.

Rehab Centers

There are many types of rehab centers you could consider. There are many options available. You do not need to decide which center is best for your situation. Most often, a doctor or mental health professional, as well as staff at the addiction treatment center, will assist you in making a decision.

A Residential Program That Offers 24-Hour Treatment– This is not a hospital. Stays last six to 12 months. 4 The treatment includes group therapy sessions and individualized therapy sessions. There are also educational programs about mental health, addiction, nutrition, and other topics.

Residential Treatment – These programs are built on the 12-step recovery approach. The initial purpose of short-term residential care was to treat people with alcohol use disorder. However, it now serves people with many other kinds of substance use disorders. These treatments are typically three to six weeks long and are followed with outpatient therapy and support (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) in order to reduce the possibility of relapse.

Off-Patient Treatment– This is where you live at home while your treatment team visits you regularly during the week. You will attend many of these same programs that residential treatment facilities offer (therapy sessions as well as educational courses), but your home is not where you’re being treated.

Day in a Rehabilitation Facility

Residential treatment usually follows a planned routine. This is because consistency (and not having too many decisions during the day) will help you heal.

Here are some examples from a typical day spent in rehab. It is possible that your day may look very different depending on the rehab center and the severity of your addiction.


The majority of people will wake up at the same hour each morning. If prescribed medications, nurses will give them to the patient. A rehab center doctor might give you medication to manage withdrawal or treat emotional health issues.


After lunch, another session will be offered, such as individual therapy. You may have the option to pick an activity, such as attending a personal training session or going to a health club. Physical activity can help you manage your mood swings during withdrawal.


The day will end with a group session where you can reflect on your day, what you learned and what you think about the rest of it. Time will be given to get ready for bed. Most rehab centers have a “lights out” time, which is when the day ends. It’s usually at this time that you are encouraged to go back to sleep.

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