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Navigation: Why Do Some People Hesitate to Seek Treatment for Substance Abuse?, What is Addiction and Why Do You Need Treatment for it?, What is it Like to be Admitted to Drug Rehab?, Intake Process in Drug Rehab Programs: What to Expect, What is Medical Detox for?, Therapies Used in Drug Rehab, What is a Day in Rehab Like for Drug or Alcohol Addiction?, What Are the Most Common Rules in Drug Rehab?, How Long Do Addiction Treatment Programs Last?, Why Do People Relapse After Rehab?, Aftercare for Drug Addiction, Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: Which One is Better for Addiction?

Addiction is a dangerous condition, and unfortunately, a lot of people are struggling with it.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2019, an estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older in the United States had a substance use disorder related to alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. This represents approximately 7.4% of the population aged 12 or older.

This figure only includes people with a diagnosed substance use disorder and does not account for those who may be struggling with addiction but have not received a formal diagnosis or sought treatment.

Despite the number of people who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, not many actually receive proper treatment. There are a lot of reasons for this, and one of them is the fact that they do not know what to expect from an addiction treatment program. They are afraid of what might happen to them in rehab.

But addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain and behavior. It is important for people to receive proper treatment in order to become sober again. In order to encourage more people to go to rehab, we need to educate them about the treatment process and ease their fears.

Here we will answer some of the most common questions regarding the rehab process, including what you can expect when you enter a treatment program for substance abuse and addiction. Let’s take a closer look.

Why Do Some People Hesitate to Seek Treatment for Substance Abuse?

Before we get into the details of the addiction recovery journey, let’s discuss some of the reasons most people don’t go to rehab.

A lot of addicted people have a fear of the unknown. Going to rehab can be a scary experience, especially if someone has never been before. They may not know what to expect, and this fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. This can be eased with proper education, which is what we are aiming for today.

But even beyond that fear of the unknown is the fear of judgment. Most people are worried about what others are going to say. Some people may be afraid of being judged by others for their addiction. They may worry that their family and friends will think less of them if they go to rehab.

This is where the stigma comes in. Unfortunately, there is still stigma surrounding addiction, treatment, and rehab. Some people may be afraid of being labeled as an addict or being associated with negative stereotypes. Even the term ‘addict’ has a negative connotation because it dehumanizes the individual and places an emphasis on them rather than their medical condition.

A lot of people still think addiction is a choice rather than a serious chronic disorder that affects your behavior and decision-making. They think of addiction as a moral failure or a sign of weakness. Even addicted individuals themselves may hold this belief, and so they may not be motivated to pursue treatment.

Addiction can provide a sense of control, even if it is an illusion. Some people may be afraid of losing this control if they go to rehab and have to confront their addiction.

In some cases, people are simply afraid of withdrawal, knowing it’s a painful and uncomfortable experience. Depending on the substance and level of addiction, some individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the substance.

Going to rehab requires a person to make significant changes in their life, which can be challenging and intimidating.

It’s important to remember that these fears are normal and valid, but they should not prevent someone from seeking the help they need to overcome their addiction. With the right support and resources, it is possible to overcome these fears and take the first steps towards recovery.

What is Addiction and Why Do You Need Treatment for it?

Addiction can cause physical, psychological, and social harm to an individual, and it can also have negative effects on their relationships, work, and overall well-being. Substance use disorders can vary in severity, from mild to severe, and can involve a range of different substances, including prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and alcohol. In any case, it is an overwhelming condition that can easily lead to a downward spiral, especially if left untreated.

An addicted person will keep taking drugs or drinking alcohol even when they are already experiencing the consequences.

The dangers of addiction depend on the substance that a person is addicted to. For example, addiction to drugs such as opioids, cocaine, or methamphetamine can cause serious physical harm, including overdose, heart attack, and organ damage. Addiction to alcohol can lead to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.

Additionally, addiction can have a negative impact on mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues. It can impair cognitive functioning, making it difficult for the person to make rational decisions and manage their daily responsibilities.

Most types of addiction can also lead to financial, legal, and social problems.

Proper addiction treatment is important because addiction is a chronic disease. This means there is no cure for it, but it can be managed. This condition requires long-term treatment and management. In a rehab setting, people can increase their chances of recovery. An addiction treatment program can help individuals learn coping skills, develop healthier habits, and address underlying issues that are contributing to their addiction.

Addiction isn’t just a matter of substance abuse, believe it or not. Addiction is often a symptom of underlying issues such as trauma, mental health conditions, or stress. With proper addiction treatment, individuals can identify and address these underlying issues.

Rehab programs also use a personalized treatment approach, which can address the patient’s needs based on their specific circumstances and symptoms. Everyone is different, so rehab centers usually take into account the individual’s unique situation.

In rehab, there are counselors, therapists, and medical staff who can provide guidance and support throughout the recovery process.

For patients who want to improve their chances of recovery, address underlying issues, and manage their symptoms for good, addiction treatment is necessary.

What is it Like to be Admitted to Drug Rehab?

Entering drug rehab can be a challenging and emotional experience for many people. However, it’s a significant step towards recovery and a commitment to sobriety. So now that we’ve established how important it is to go to drug and alcohol rehab for substance abuse treatment, let’s talk about what you can expect from these types of programs.

Depending on the facility, the admission process may vary, but generally, it involves several steps.

First, a person seeking treatment for drug abuse will need to contact the rehab center and complete an intake assessment. This assessment helps the facility determine the person’s treatment needs and whether their program is a good fit.

Once admitted, the person will likely be required to complete a detox program to rid their body of the harmful substance. This goes for both drug and alcohol treatment. While this process can be physically uncomfortable, medical staff will be on hand to monitor the person’s health and provide support.

After detox, the person will transition into the rehabilitation phase of their treatment, which may involve individual and group therapy, behavioral counseling, and other types of support. They will also be given a treatment plan outlining their goals and objectives for recovery.

Most treatment centers also offer aftercare programs to help patients stay on the right track even after they leave the facility.

Despite the stigma, rehab can actually be an incredibly positive experience, providing the tools and support necessary to achieve lasting recovery from addiction. Rehab centers are designed to provide a safe and supportive environment, and the staff is there to help you through the process.

Intake Process in Drug Rehab Programs: What to Expect

Once you have overcome the initial obstacle of accepting the fact that you have a substance use disorder and you need proper treatment for it, you are ready for the first real step on the road to recovery. This is the intake process.

The intake process for rehab typically involves several steps that are designed to assess a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as their individual needs and goals for treatment. Do take note that the specific details of the intake process can vary depending on the rehab facility and the type of treatment being offered.

Usually this process starts with an initial phone call to the rehab center where a trained counselor will ask you some basic questions to determine if you are a good fit for their program.

If you are a good fit for the program, you will be asked to come in for an in-person assessment. During this assessment, you will be asked to provide detailed information about your drug or alcohol use, medical history, and any other relevant information that may impact your treatment.

Depending on the rehab facility, you may be required to undergo a medical evaluation to assess your physical health and determine if you have any medical conditions that may require special attention during treatment.

Along with the physical evaluation, there is also a psychological evaluation that is conducted to assess your mental health. This will help determine if you have any underlying mental health issues that need to be addressed during treatment. Mental health disorders often co-occur with substance use disorders, and so they need to be treated at the same time.

Based on the results of your assessment and evaluation, a treatment plan will be created that is tailored to your specific needs and goals for recovery. This plan may include individual and group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other support services.

Once your treatment plan is finalized, you will be admitted to the rehab facility and your treatment will begin.

What is Medical Detox for?

Medical detox is a process that involves managing and treating the physical symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal. It is an important step in addiction treatment and is designed to help individuals safely and comfortably withdraw from addictive substances.

During medical detox, the patient’s drug or alcohol intake is gradually lowered while their symptoms are managed by medical professionals. The goal of medical detox is to manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal and prevent complications, such as seizures or delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening. Detox programs are designed to make the patient as comfortable as possible as they go through this difficult stage of recovery.

Medical detox may involve the use of medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.

This stage of treatment is often conducted in an inpatient setting, such as a hospital or detox center, where individuals can receive round-the-clock medical supervision and support. It may last anywhere from a few days to a week or longer, depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their addiction.

It is worth noting that some rehab facilities only offer medical detox, while others also offer therapy to go along with the detox.

Medical detox is an important step in addiction treatment, but it only tackles the physical aspects of addiction. This is why it is typically followed by therapy and rehabilitation to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction.

Therapies Used in Drug Rehab

Addiction is a complicated medical condition because it not only affects your body, but it also affects your mind, emotions, and behavior as well. These behavioral and psychological aspects also need to be treated in order to help the person eliminate their need to use harmful substances.

There are several types of therapies that can be used in drug rehab, depending on the needs and preferences of the individual. Some common types of therapy used in drug rehab include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy focuses on changing negative patterns of thinking and behavior that can contribute to addiction. It helps individuals develop coping skills and strategies to manage triggers and cravings.

Contingency management: This type of therapy provides incentives for individuals to stay sober, such as rewards for clean drug tests or completing certain milestones in their recovery.

Motivational interviewing: This type of therapy helps individuals explore their ambivalence towards recovery and identify their own reasons for wanting to change their behavior.

Family therapy: This type of therapy involves family members in the treatment process and helps to address any issues or conflicts that may be contributing to addiction.

Group therapy: This type of therapy provides individuals with a supportive environment where they can share their experiences and learn from others who are going through similar struggles.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This type of therapy is a form of CBT that focuses on mindfulness, emotional regulation, and interpersonal skills to help individuals manage their emotions and behaviors.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): This type of therapy involves the use of medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings during the recovery process.

Different rehab centers may offer different therapies. Some may specialize in certain treatment approaches. Some may even offer alternative therapies like dance therapy, music therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, yoga, and acupuncture to complement the traditional treatments.

What is a Day in Rehab Like for Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

A typical day in rehab will vary depending on the specific program and facility, as well as the individual’s unique treatment plan. However, in general, a day in rehab may include the following activities:

Breakfast: Most rehab centers will provide a nutritious breakfast to start the day.

Group therapy sessions: Rehab centers typically offer several group therapy sessions throughout the day. These sessions may focus on topics such as addiction education, relapse prevention, coping skills, and interpersonal relationships.

Individual therapy sessions: Patients may also have one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist to discuss their individual progress and work through personal issues.

Exercise and physical activity: Many rehab programs include physical exercise and activity as a part of the treatment plan, as it can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote overall physical health.

Meals and snacks: In addition to breakfast, rehab centers will typically provide healthy and balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

Alternative therapies: Many rehab programs offer alternative therapies, such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, or music therapy, to help patients manage stress, improve their mental health, and promote relaxation.

Free time: Patients will typically have some free time throughout the day to relax, socialize with other patients, or participate in recreational activities.

Evening activities: In the evening, rehab centers may offer additional therapy sessions, support group meetings, or social activities.

Lights out: Most rehab centers will have a set time for lights out to ensure patients get enough rest.

Keep in mind that this refers to the routine that you might expect from an inpatient treatment program wherein you will have to stay in the facility for the duration of treatment. The schedule will be a lot more flexible if you go for an outpatient treatment program. We will discuss later on the differences between these two program types.

A day in rehab is structured to promote healing, growth, and progress towards recovery. It may be challenging, but it can also be a supportive and rewarding experience for those who are committed to their sobriety.

What Are the Most Common Rules in Drug Rehab?

One of the greatest benefits of inpatient treatment is that it reintroduces the concept of structure and discipline, which may be missing from someone whose life has spiraled because of the chaotic effects of substance abuse. Therefore rehab programs will have specific rules and guidelines for patients to follow.

Patients are expected to comply with the rules and policies of the treatment center, which may include restrictions on phone and internet use, visitors, and curfews. Remember that the specific rules will vary depending on the treatment center.

The most common rule, of course, is no drug or alcohol use. Most drug rehab programs have a strict zero-tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use during treatment. Patients are expected to abstain from all substance use during their time in the program.

Patients are typically required to participate in various treatment activities, such as individual therapy, group therapy, and educational classes.

Patients are also expected to show respect for staff, fellow patients, and the treatment environment. This may include refraining from aggressive or disrespectful behavior, following the dress code, and keeping the living areas clean.

Most rehab centers will have patients sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibits them from discussing the personal information of other patients outside of treatment.

Finally, patients are encouraged to actively engage in the treatment process and to make a commitment to their recovery. This may include setting goals, participating in aftercare programs, and seeking support from family and friends.

How Long Do Addiction Treatment Programs Last?

The length of addiction treatment programs can vary depending on the individual’s needs, the severity of the addiction, and the treatment approach. In general, addiction treatment programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even years.

Short-term programs typically last a few weeks to a few months, and may include detoxification, counseling, and support groups. These programs are often used for individuals with mild to moderate addiction who have a good support system at home and are committed to recovery.

Long-term programs can last several months to a year or more and may include inpatient or residential treatment, individual and group therapy, and ongoing support after treatment. These programs are often used for individuals with severe addiction or co-occurring mental health disorders, who may need a more intensive and structured approach to recovery.

It’s important to note that addiction is a chronic condition and recovery is a lifelong process. Therefore, after completing a treatment program, ongoing support through therapy, support groups, and other resources is often recommended to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

Why Do People Relapse After Rehab?

Relapse can occur for many reasons, and it can be a frustrating experience for people who are trying to overcome addiction or other harmful behaviors.

Some people relapse due to their triggers, while others relapse due to stressful situations. Certain people, places, or things can trigger memories or cravings for drugs or alcohol, leading to relapse. Similarly, stressful situations, such as financial problems, relationship issues, or work-related stress, can be overwhelming and trigger relapse.

Rehab programs are designed to help patients recognize these triggers and stressors to develop helpful strategies that will keep them from relapsing in case they encounter them out in the real world.

Sometimes people relapse because they do not have a strong support system. In other cases, people are too confident in their ability to resist temptation. They stop taking the necessary precautions to avoid relapse and end up falling into their old habits.

Other causes of relapse include co-occurring mental health issues and physical dependence, which are managed in rehab.

People in recovery should remember that relapse is not failure. It is just another setback in your road to lasting sobriety. This experience can be used as a learning opportunity to better understand your triggers and develop coping strategies to avoid future relapses.

Seeking support from professionals, attending support groups, and being honest with oneself and loved ones can all help prevent relapse.

Aftercare for Drug Addiction

Rehab is not just about getting sober but also learning to maintain your sobriety. Therefore aftercare for addiction is an important part of the recovery process, as it helps individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse.

Aftercare typically involves ongoing support and treatment that is provided after an individual completes an initial addiction treatment program, such as inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

There are many different types of aftercare for addiction, and the specific approach will depend on the individual’s needs and preferences. Some common types of aftercare include:

Continued therapy: Many individuals find it helpful to continue seeing a therapist or counselor on an ongoing basis after completing addiction treatment. This can help them work through any ongoing issues related to their addiction, as well as provide ongoing support and guidance.

Support groups: Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can be a helpful source of ongoing support and encouragement for individuals in recovery. These groups provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, receive support from others who have gone through similar struggles, and learn new coping strategies.

Sober living homes: Sober living homes are residential facilities that provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals in recovery. They typically offer structured programming, such as counseling and support groups, and provide a drug- and alcohol-free living environment.

Medication-assisted treatment: Medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, can be helpful for individuals with opioid addiction. These medications can help reduce cravings and prevent relapse, and are typically used in combination with counseling and other support services.

Aftercare for addiction is focused on helping individuals maintain their sobriety and prevent relapse, and may involve a combination of therapy, support groups, medication, and other services depending on the individual’s needs.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: Which One is Better for Addiction?

The decision between inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment for addiction depends on various factors, including the severity of addiction, the level of support available, the individual’s personal preference, and the resources available.

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, involves living in a facility for a period of time, usually ranging from a few weeks to several months. Inpatient treatment provides a highly structured and supportive environment, where individuals can receive intensive therapy, medical care, and 24-hour supervision.

This type of treatment is usually recommended for individuals with severe addiction who require constant supervision and support to overcome their addiction.

Intensive outpatient treatment, on the other hand, allows individuals to receive treatment while continuing to live at home. Outpatient treatment programs may involve regular visits to a treatment center for therapy, group counseling, and medical checkups.

This type of treatment is typically recommended for individuals with mild to moderate addiction who have a strong support system at home and can manage their daily responsibilities while attending treatment.

One treatment type isn’t necessarily better than the other. In fact, both inpatient and outpatient treatment have their advantages and disadvantages. Inpatient treatment provides a more intensive and structured approach to addiction recovery. It also provides a break from daily stressors and triggers, allowing individuals to focus all their energy on recovery.

However, inpatient treatment can be more expensive, and individuals may need to take time off work or other responsibilities.

Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is less intensive and allows individuals to continue with their daily routines while receiving treatment. It is also typically less expensive than inpatient treatment.

The drawback is that outpatient treatment may not provide the same level of support and structure as inpatient treatment, which can make it more challenging for individuals with severe addiction to recover.

Look for a rehab center near you and learn more about your treatment options if you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Get started on the road to sobriety today.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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