What to Expect During Addiction Treatment Rehab
Although there are many different types of
treatment programs out there, most of them still follow a standard framework of treatment.
What to Expect During Rehab?, What is a Recovery Process?, What is the First Step of Treatment?, What are the Stages of Rehab?, What Can I Expect After Rehab?, What are the 5 Steps of Recovery?, What are the Stages of Mental Health?, Does Rehab Work for Depression?, Is Inpatient Rehab Better Than Outpatient?, What Do You Say to Someone Who Just Got Out of Rehab?, Rehab Is Your Best Chance
It takes time, effort, willpower, and support to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction. It’s not an easy journey for anyone. Addiction is an overwhelming condition that may cause individuals to feel hopeless. They may not want to pursue treatment at all.
For these reasons, a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of rehab. They know it’s going to be difficult, plus they don’t have enough motivation to push through. It’s even more intimidating when you don’t know what to expect from an addiction treatment program.
That’s why we’re here to discuss what addiction treatment entails. We are going to talk about what you can expect during your time in rehab so you can relax a little bit and feel more comfortable about receiving proper treatment.
What to Expect During Rehab?
Although there are many different types of treatment programs out there, most of them still follow a standard framework of treatment.
First the patient will check in and go through an intake interview where medical professionals will get to know you and collect relevant information. These questions will allow them to assess the patient’s condition and figure out just how much help they need. This also leads to the creation of a personalized treatment program that is designed to cater to their specific needs.
A personalized treatment program is very important because people go through addiction differently.
Rehab in general follows a structured and organized approach which helps reestablish order in the patient’s life. Addiction tends to be chaotic and it causes people to lose control over their daily activities in pursuit of drugs and alcohol. Having a structured program reduces stress and helps facilitate healing and recovery.
Daily activities may vary from one facility to another. They also vary in terms of duration or the length of the program. If it’s an inpatient program, the patient may stay in the facility for a few weeks or even a month. This will be discussed before they go into the facility. Some programs last for 28 days, others for 90 days. Some facilities have a fixed duration while others adjust it according to the patient’s needs and progress.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends that people spend at least 90 days in treatment.
One example of a typical day in rehab would involve having a healthy breakfast in the morning followed by early meetings. Sleeping in is not allowed because patients are expected to rebuild their self-control and discipline. Following breakfast, there are morning classes that may include yoga, meditation, etc. This will help patients begin the day in a relaxed state of mind.
One important part of rehab is helping addicted individuals develop new and healthy habits. This will help them once they are discharged.
The rest of the day may include various therapy sessions, workshops, group activities, and meetings with a counselor or therapist. These meetings should help the patient recognize problematic behavior within themselves and the people around them. Learning about these problems will help them avoid triggers in the outside world. They will learn healthy coping mechanisms that will keep them from abusing addictive substances.
This is where most facilities vary in their approach. Rehabs may offer different therapies and programs to help their patients achieve sobriety and learn how to maintain it. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are two common examples. Other rehabs may offer alternative therapies such as dance therapy, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, acupuncture, exercise programs, etc.
If you were wondering about free time in rehab, there are usually a couple of hours available in the afternoon in between therapy sessions. This may be spent however the resident chooses. There are usually activities like pool, basketball, soccer, etc. Some even have a swimming pool.
In the evening, patients eat a healthy dinner. They may also have another short group session before bedtime. Bedtime is encouraged to be at a reasonable hour because maintaining good health is an important part of rehab.
What is a Recovery Process?
Rehab is not just about therapy. A complete recovery process involves tackling the physical and psychological effects of addiction.
So once you go through the initial intake, you will go through a detoxification process. Some facilities specialize in detox. Patients may go through detox and therapy at the same time—that’s why there are rehabs that offer both. Other facilities recommend that patients go through detox first before going through therapy.
Detox is an important stage of the addiction treatment process, especially for those who are dependent on a certain substance. Addiction feels like you can’t physically quit a substance and that’s because the body has already developed dependence. It would be difficult—not to mention uncomfortable or even life-threatening—to go through detox without proper medical assistance. That’s because drug dependent individuals will most likely go through a period of withdrawal.
The detox process involves gradually lowering a person’s drug or alcohol intake. Medical professionals will provide the necessary care that they need as they go through withdrawal. You may be given medications to help keep withdrawal symptoms under control or to avoid them entirely.
While detox deals with the physical effects of substance abuse, therapy tackles the underlying issues that led to addiction in the first place.
There are individual therapy sessions wherein the patient works with a health professional privately to identify the issues that keep them from getting sober. These sessions require individuals to take an honest look at themselves, their addiction, and its effects. Personal education is a powerful way to help yourself heal.
Family counseling can also help individuals who grew up in a toxic home environment. Family support can go a long way in terms of helping addicted patients recover, so repairing relationships that have been damaged by addiction is necessary. Family members are often the ones that are most deeply affected by their loved one’s addictive behaviors. Counseling can create a safe space for everyone to air their grievances and figure out how to fix things. It is important to acknowledge and work through these complicated and painful emotions.
A complete recovery process also includes aftercare planning. Addiction recovery is a lifelong struggle, and it’s something that a person must continuously work on. Aftercare is all about helping individuals stay sober once they have regained their sobriety. Aftercare reduces relapse rates significantly.
What is the First Step of Treatment?
The first step towards becoming sober again actually happens before you set foot inside a rehab facility. It’s admitting that you have a problem.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t acknowledge that they have a substance abuse problem, and that’s why they don’t get the proper medical care that they need. So taking a look in the mirror, admitting that you need help, and actually reaching out to find help is the first step of treatment.
Doing your research on different addiction treatment programs is another important step. Whether it’s for your loved one or for yourself, seeking information about rehab is a step in the right direction.
As for the first step in addiction treatment, it is not always the same for everyone. Some will go through detox first, while others will go through therapy. The path towards sobriety is not always a straight line. So at the end of the day, it’s all about the client’s specific needs.
Going through the intake process in your chosen rehab facility is a good first step because it will help determine the level of care you need. It is normal to feel nervous during the intake call. While speaking to a coordinator, you will talk about your substance of choice, how long you have been using it, and how much you take on a regular basis.
They may also inquire about your family’s history of addiction as well as your own medical history. They will also want to know if you have any physical and mental health issues. Treating co-occurring disorders is an important part of rehab because it can serve as another roadblock towards recovery.
All of these will help develop the treatment plan that is right for you.
What are the Stages of Rehab?
Rehab can be divided into four stages: initiation, early abstinence, maintaining abstinence, and advanced recovery. Developed by NIDA, this is a helpful guide for healthcare providers and is used as a general model for recovery, particularly from alcohol addiction. However, it also applies to drug addiction.
As the model implies, addiction recovery is a lifelong process—and it is for a lot of people. Being a chronic condition, there is no specific cure for addiction. Addicted individuals therefore have to learn how to manage their condition.
The first stage of rehab is treatment initiation. This is when you reach out for help from a professional healthcare provider. Some people seek help on their own terms, but others are forced to enter rehab by their circumstances. Either way, this will initiate their journey towards recovery.
At this stage, people usually have negative feelings about rehab and having to give up their drug of choice permanently. They might even believe that their substance abuse problem is not as bad as other people’s. Denial is one of the biggest obstacles during the first few days of treatment.
During this stage, the goal is to help the patient learn the importance of treatment and convince them to actively participate in treatment.
The second stage is early abstinence. After committing to continued treatment, the patient will start reducing their drug or alcohol intake. This is therefore the part where they start experiencing feelings of withdrawal and intense physical cravings. They will start to notice triggers that may tempt them into relapse. This is naturally one of the most difficult stages of recovery.
During this stage, the patient will learn the necessary coping skills they need to maintain long term sobriety. These skills will help them throughout their journey. They will be encouraged to make healthy choices in terms of diet and fitness. They may also find alternative behaviors to engage in rather than turning to drugs or alcohol. They will also learn how to create social circles that support and encourage them in positive ways. This second stage is the bulk of your stay in rehab.
The third stage is all about maintaining abstinence and it comes after 90 days of continuous abstinence. If a patient was participating in an inpatient program, they will now move on to an outpatient arrangement. Though they are leaving rehab, they will still get continuous support and counseling. Healthcare providers will check up on them every now and then to see their progress.
This stage is all about helping an individual to avoid relapse. Here, people in recovery will learn about the warning signs and triggers that put their sobriety in danger. Because the patient is no longer in rehab, they need to actively practice the skills they picked up to maintain abstinence. Patients will also learn to put more energy into other areas of their life, so they do not focus on dangerous substances.
From this point on, it’s all about building healthy relationships and developing a drug-free lifestyle. Some patients may benefit from learning how to manage their emotions, particularly anger. They will learn how to take care of themselves through nutrition and exercise. This stage lasts for about five years of maintaining sobriety.
The final stage is known as advanced recovery. At this point, the recovering individual has taken all the tools and skills they have learned and put them to use to create a satisfying and fulfilling life. They have been sober for a few years and are now focused on creating long term goals, maintaining their daily schedule, and forming meaningful relationships. They participate in recreational activities that do not involve drugs or alcohol. They also look for ways to find happiness and fulfillment through their career, their religion, through community work, through their family, or through social activism.
As you can see, rehab is more than just staying sober. It’s about learning different skills and applying them to create a fulfilling life.
What Can I Expect After Rehab?
As soon as you step out of the rehab facility, you will be working towards maintaining your sobriety—that’s stage three and four of rehab. But don’t worry; you won’t have to go through it alone.
Aftercare is a huge part of the recovery process. In fact, most rehab facilities offer aftercare programs. During rehab, the patient will also go through aftercare planning. This will help them start a brand new life built around recovery.
Most patients will keep attending treatment sessions. That’s because the recovery work isn’t done even after completing formal treatment. It’s the same as when a person continues to see a doctor to manage their heart condition or diabetes. You need to keep attending treatment sessions to manage your addiction.
Aftercare may involve attending group therapy, seeing a therapist, having weekly counseling sessions, or seeing a doctor who specializes in addiction treatment. Some rehab programs offer medication assisted treatment. As the name implies, it involves the use of medications to block the effects of illicit substances. This helps keep cravings at bay.
Aftercare is not always the same for everybody. It will be tailored around the person’s specific needs.
A lot of patients look for 12-step groups so they can support one another and develop a sense of community. It is good to have people around you who understand what you are going through and just how difficult it is. Aside from this support group, recovering individuals should also try to build their own support networks through their family members, friends, and sponsors. They will help keep the person in check when they are at risk of relapse. Peer support is very important for recovery.
With that in mind, staying in touch with people who supported your drug or alcohol use will endanger your sobriety. You may have to cut these people off for your own health and safety. Find new friends who will help keep you sober by supporting your recovery.
Beyond attending therapy sessions and taking medications, there are other things you need to do to keep yourself on the right path. For example, you need to start developing new routines. It’s all about letting go of old habits that are no longer helpful for you. You cannot get sober if you neglect your overall well-being.
Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, doing productive things, spending quality time with loved ones, and practicing your favorite hobbies are all healthy activities you need to pursue continuously.
What are the 5 Steps of Recovery?
We’ve talked about the four stages of rehab. Now it’s time to discuss the five steps of recovery. This is worth discussing because a lot of addicted individuals go through these five steps.
The first step of recovery is pre-contemplation. This is when most addicted individuals have not yet admitted to themselves that they have a substance use disorder or addiction. Admitting to yourself that you need help can be difficult. Even if they do admit that there is a problem, they don’t want to seek help. Some people will live in denial until the problem is too big for them to ignore.
The next step is questioning if your addiction is bad enough. When the addiction is causing problems that they can no longer deny, they will start asking themselves if their situation is bad enough that they need to go into rehab. A lot of people are afraid of the thought of rehab, especially because they don’t know what to expect.
But there are criteria that can help a person determine if they need proper medical assistance: cravings, lack of control, lack of responsibility, tolerance, withdrawal, relationship problems, worsening situations, dangerous situations, spending too much time and money on the substance, and wanting to quit but being unable to. The more these criteria describe a person’s situation with drugs and alcohol, the more they need addiction treatment.
Even if just two or three of these things apply to you, you already have a mild substance abuse disorder. You should seek treatment. Even mild addictions can develop into something worse if it is allowed to continue.
Contemplation is the third step, and it comes once the person has recognized and acknowledged the problem. They have accepted that they need to make changes, but still do not understand the root causes of their addictive behavior. They may question how to move forward. This step may take some time as the person thinks about ways to get out of their situation. They will start considering different courses of action.
The fourth step is preparation. During this step, the person begins to make actual plans toward their own recovery. They may develop feelings of excitement over the prospect of getting better. They may even make promises of staying abstinent or entering rehab. This step involves making plans and preparing for recovery.
The final step—should the person follow through with their plan—is action. This stage is all about working towards the plan and trying to accomplish it. Once they have committed to getting sober, transitioning from preparation to action becomes much smoother.
Action involves going to rehab, changing certain behaviors, changing their environment, and rebuilding their self-confidence. Addiction tends to destroy a person’s self-worth. That’s why the healing process involves teaching individuals to rely on themselves once again. This stage builds a strong foundation for long term sobriety. The person starts to feel a sense of accomplishment.
What are the Stages of Mental Health?
Addiction has a psychological aspect that can create just as big of an impact as its physical aspect. That’s why taking care of your mental health is a huge part of the recovery journey. Some people have co-occurring mental health disorders that are treated alongside their addiction.
Recovering from a mental health disorder takes time and therapy. There are six stages to recovery from mental health disorders: acceptance, insight, action, self-esteem, healing, and meaning.
Acceptance is when a person acknowledges that they have a mental health disorder, whether it is depression, anxiety, or something else. People with these conditions also go through a stage of denial, which they need to overcome. Acceptance helps open them up to recovery.
Insight is all about working hard to understand the nature and causes of the condition. Mental health disorders do not develop overnight, and there are usually a lot of factors in play. But therapy can help an individual understand their condition, which allows them to learn how to properly cope with it.
Action is the third stage, and it’s when a person sets out to achieve the goals and objectives they have established. It’s all about putting in the work to address the mental health disorder, whether it’s by taking medications, making healthy choices, avoiding triggers, or a mix of those three. This stage also adds motivation to the recovery strategy.
Self-esteem is the stage where the person rebuilds confidence as part of their recovery. They gain confidence and self-esteem just from the fact that they are beginning to take control of their mental health. Overcoming mental illness is a significant achievement in itself.
Healing is the fifth stage of mental health recovery, and it’s when people start to apply the techniques they learned in therapy in order to cope with their condition. It is important for patients to understand that they will have bad days as well as good days.
The final stage is meaning—this is all about rediscovering who you are and what you want in life; not allowing mental illness to get in the way of your goals. This stage is about reengaging with the people and activities that enrich your life.
Does Rehab Work for Depression?
On the topic of mental illness, a lot of people who develop addiction are also experiencing depression. It can also be the other way around, with depressed individuals turning to addictive substances to try and cope with their situation.
And although the word “rehab” is more commonly associated with drugs, alcohol, and addiction, it can also help those who have co-occurring conditions like depression. A lot of rehab facilities are equipped to handle these mental health conditions.
Depression is not the same as feeling sad. Sadness is a natural reaction to external things such as loss or hardship. Depression is a mental health condition that is characterized by intense sadness and long-lasting symptoms. It can affect all aspects of a person’s life and not just their emotions: their sleep, their work or school performance, their eating habits, their relationships, etc. They may lose interest in things they used to care about.
The good news is that depression is treatable. A licensed therapist may diagnose depression. Symptoms of depression include: loneliness, guilt, irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, intense sadness, loss of interest in hobbies, sudden weight loss or gain, and changes in sleeping habits. Some people also experience digestive issues, headaches, joint or back pain, and suicidal ideation.
For people with clinical depression, these symptoms may persist for two weeks or more.
Rehab can potentially help people with depression. It is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. If a patient struggles to deal with their depression, their therapist may recommend inpatient rehab where they can receive round the clock care.
It is important for depressed individuals to safely explore and address the issue. Rehab can give them the safe and focused environment that they need in order to overcome their depression or learn how to manage it.
Is Inpatient Rehab Better Than Outpatient?
Inpatient and outpatient treatment have their advantages and disadvantages. As the name implies, inpatient treatment involves staying in an inpatient facility. It is also known as residential treatment and is highly effective thanks to its structured and organized approach to addiction treatment. It is recommended for people with moderate to severe addiction.
Outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization allows recovering individuals to go home in between treatment sessions. It involves multiple scheduled visits to the treatment facility. It is less structured, and therefore not as intensive as inpatient treatment. It has a lower success rate, but it is a great fit for people who want to receive treatment while keeping up with their responsibilities outside of rehab. People who need to go to work, attend school, take care of their children, or have other responsibilities they cannot leave behind can benefit from outpatient treatment.
However, because it is not as structured as inpatient treatment, this is only recommended for people with milder cases of addiction.
As you can see, both of these options have their specific uses. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It is more important to assess the individual patient and see which one is the better fit. Some patients start with inpatient treatment and then transition to outpatient care once they have made enough progress. Others benefit from going outpatient from the beginning.
It’s all about finding the right program for you and your specific needs. What matters is that you start reaching out and seeking professional medical treatment for your addiction today.
What Do You Say to Someone Who Just Got Out of Rehab?
If someone you love is dealing with addiction, it is important to be there for them and provide the emotional support that they need. It may feel awkward or difficult at first to talk to someone who recently just got out of rehab, but you need to be there for them and listen to what they have to say.
Remember that words have power. When communicating with someone who is in recovery, you need to find ways to show them that you care and that you are there for them throughout their journey.
Phrases like “I love you” and “you are not alone” can express encouragement and support. You don’t need a script. What you have to do is listen to them, and express your support in a meaningful way. Your relationship with the person in recovery matters. And so the way you express your support may be unique to you and your loved one. The intention behind those words holds more weight than the words themselves.
You should also ask them how they are feeling. Ask questions and encourage open communication. This will allow you to give them the support that they need at the right time. Ask them how you can help and then genuinely be there for them.
At the same time, try to spend more quality time with them by asking them to hang out more often. This will help you move them away from their old addictive habits. As they try to establish a healthier routine, try to incorporate some quality bonding time that the two of you can enjoy. You can watch movies together, play video games, head outside and enjoy the great outdoors, work out together, etc.
It’s all about being present and providing emotional support during this difficult time. Finally, tell them that you’re proud of them. Dealing with addiction and conquering it is not an easy task for anyone. Being brave enough to face it head on is an accomplishment—and it’s something you should be proud of.
Even when it gets difficult, always remind them that there is hope, and that they can always rely on you.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, seek professional care and find the right rehab today.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.