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The Process of Rehab for Addiction

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Process of Rehab for Addiction

The treatment process is different for each person, and that’s because addiction affects everyone in different ways.

What You Need to Know About the Addiction Rehab Process, When Does the Rehabilitation Process Start?, What is the First Step in the Rehabilitation Process?, What is the Process of Rehabilitation?, What are the 4 Stages of Recovery?, What are the Stages of Mental Health Recovery?, What Should I Do after Relapse?, How Do You Know if Someone Has a Substance Abuse Problem?, Rehab is Your Best Chance

Going through addiction is tough, but the rehab process can be tougher. Conquering addiction is a challenge because you need to deal with all its physical, mental, social, and financial effects. That said, recovery is still worth pursuing because it will help you live a healthy and fulfilling life.

You can also make the recovery process easier by doing your research and knowing what to expect ahead of time—which is what you are doing right now. Whether it’s you or someone you love, this information can help an addicted individual who wants to get better by reclaiming their sobriety.

Unfortunately, you cannot take shortcuts during recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. This is an extensive process. Regaining your sobriety may take a while, and maintaining your sobriety is a lifelong process. Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning there is no cure for it—but you can treat it and prevent the condition from ruining your life.

Rehab is designed to ensure long-term health. Today we are going to talk about everything you need to know about the process of rehab for addiction.


What You Need to Know About the Addiction Rehab Process

The treatment process is different for each person, and that’s because addiction affects everyone in different ways. It has different adverse effects and different motivations for abusing a substance, among other factors. That’s why a personalized treatment plan is always ideal. Some people require months of treatment, while some may take even longer. Some may only need 30 days. It all depends on the person’s condition.

Before we get into the specific process of rehab, let’s talk about what it usually entails. Rehab facilities may have different programs, plans, and methods, but they all typically involve some combination of intake, detox, therapy, and aftercare.

Intake is a comprehensive evaluation that leads to the creation of a suitable treatment plan fit for the individual. Detox deals with the physical effects of addiction such as cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Therapy tackles the emotional effects of addiction as well as the causes of addictive behavior. Finally, aftercare provides continuous support even after the person leaves the rehab facility.

The journey towards sobriety is not going to be easy. Relapse can happen even after long periods of sobriety. The person needs to continuously work on staying sober, but with the help of rehab they will be better equipped to do so even on their own.

Long lasting recovery requires hard work and commitment. But if you know what to expect, things are a lot easier to manage. Let’s take a closer look at the rehab process.

When Does the Rehabilitation Process Start?

Although rehab follows a specific process, it doesn’t actually start until the addicted individual acknowledges the problem and accepts the fact that they need help. Acceptance is the first step towards recovery.

A lot of people struggle with this stage. Some don’t recognize that they have a problem, while others are in denial. Denial can be one of the biggest obstacles for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some people do know they have a substance abuse problem but are crippled by fear or shame.

There are even those who are considered “high functioning” substance abusers. They abuse a certain substance, but their productivity and success make it appear as if they have it under control. In reality, their addiction is starting to cause problems in terms of their physical wellbeing, mental health, career, and relationships.

By accepting that there is a problem that needs to be fixed, the healing process can begin.


What is the First Step in the Rehabilitation Process?

Getting over the hurdle of denial is not easy, but once you are ready to receive the help you need, you can start your rehab process. The first step is to look for a certified treatment center. This can be tricky because there are many rehab facilities out there, and they offer different types of treatment programs. You want to look for one that offers the kind of help that the addicted individual needs.

It is a good idea to do your research and find out about the rehab facilities and programs near you. Contact these facilities to learn more. You can then narrow down your options based on which facilities can give you or your loved one the most suitable level of care.

Before you can make your decision, the patient should undergo an intake process that will help determine what kind of treatment program they need.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a rehab facility such as location, insurance coverage, and the type of treatment being offered. There are many options out there. Some facilities only provide detox, while others only have outpatient treatment. Some facilities have it all: from detox to aftercare.

There are also facilities that specialize in certain types of addiction such as opioid addiction or alcohol addiction. For patients that are dependent on a particular substance, they may require medication-assisted treatments.

Keep in mind that all rehab facilities must be licensed by their respective state. Some facilities also have local licenses.

Don’t be afraid to ask around and weigh your options. Look into each facility’s track record and success rate. The quality of care you receive from rehab will have a significant effect on your recovery journey.

When speaking to a rehab center’s admissions representative, they may ask about the patient’s drug or alcohol use, their existing medical conditions, their support system, as well as their current living environment. They may also ask for the patient’s financial and insurance information.

After this, they will explain the available treatment options that are being offered at the facility. Here, you may ask about the cost, the payment options, the amenities, etc.

Upon choosing a facility, the patient will meet with an admissions coordinator, a nurse, or a therapist. They will undergo evaluation, both medical and psychological. A treatment plan will be discussed in detail. The best facilities always include patient input in order to develop a personalized treatment plan for their substance abuse.

Before entering the facility, the staff members will inform the patient of the rules and expectations within the rehab environment.


What is the Process of Rehabilitation?

Rehab starts with the intake process, which involves creating a customized care plan that suits the patient’s needs. If the patient has any co-occurring medical health problems, this will be discussed during intake to make sure they can receive the appropriate level of support. Dual diagnosis is common and it typically applies to people with addiction and mental health disorders. Both of these problems need to be addressed properly.

Right after intake, the addicted individual goes through medical detox. The goal of detox is to remove the drug from the body and eliminate dependence.

This part of the process may be the most difficult because it is typically when withdrawal symptoms occur. Withdrawal happens when a person who has been abusing a substance suddenly stops. The body has adjusted to the drug’s constant presence, which is why the person can no longer function normally without it. This is what dependence is all about.

To prevent serious withdrawal symptoms, detox gradually lowers the person’s intake. Healthcare professionals will monitor their progress and help manage their symptoms, usually with medications. They will also help keep cravings under control.

It is not advisable for a person to quit on their own because withdrawal can be dangerous. Even during rehab, withdrawal can be uncomfortable—but it’s better to have medical experts on standby as you go through this difficult step in the process.

The next stage of rehab is therapy, and this is where most facilities differ. Their approach to behavioral therapy and rehab will vary. Regardless of the approach and the treatment programs, this stage will help the patient build a strong foundation for long term sobriety.

Rehab teaches recovering individuals how to maintain their sobriety using healthy coping mechanisms. They can develop healthier habits so they can stay away from drugs and alcohol even when they are out there in the real world. They will also process the emotional issues and problems that contributed to their substance abuse in the first place. They may go through individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, etc. There are also rehab facilities that offer more unorthodox treatment modalities like dance therapy, art therapy, music therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga, meditation, and equine therapy—usually in combination with more traditional treatment programs.

Some rehab facilities offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. An inpatient program involves staying in a rehab facility for the duration of detox and behavioral therapy. This creates a safe environment where the patient can go through a structured treatment program and focus on beating addiction. There are no distractions from the outside world and there are no triggers that will slow down their progress.

On the other hand, outpatient programs allow the patient to go home in between treatment sessions. It involves frequent visits to the rehab facility. Although it is less structured and less focused, outpatient treatment is perfect for those with milder conditions who have responsibilities that they cannot leave behind. Outpatient rehab allows them to work, go to school, and take care of their children.

The final step of the rehab process is aftercare, and is crucial for maintaining long term sobriety. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process, and so the person needs to continue their healing journey even outside of rehab. Aftercare involves occasional therapy sessions post-rehab, both individual and as part of a group. Over time, the therapy sessions become less frequent as the person learns to maintain their sobriety on their own.

A lot of rehab facilities offer their own aftercare programs, while others will recommend a nearby facility that has it. Aftercare is designed to assist patients as they readjust to life outside of rehab. This may involve counseling, meetings, and classes. Some recovering individuals also choose to join support groups to build a sense of community with others who have gone through similar problems.


What are the 4 Stages of Recovery?

We’ve discussed the entire rehab process, now let’s talk about the four stages of recovery. The recovery journey is different for everyone, but can be broken down into four stages: treatment initiation, early abstinence, maintaining abstinence, and advanced recovery.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse developed these stages as a resource on individual drug counseling for healthcare providers. It is a particularly useful model for those who are recovering from alcohol addiction. This model considers addiction recovery as a lifelong process.

Treatment initiation is when a person finally seeks help and enters a professional drug and alcohol rehab program. The goal of this stage is to convince the individual to actively participate in treatment. That’s because some patients doubt that rehab will actually help them.

Early abstinence is when a person has already accepted that abstinence is the key to regaining their sobriety. They will therefore make a commitment to continue treatment. Because of physical cravings, withdrawal, triggers, and psychological dependence, this stage may be the toughest for the recovering individual. Here is where patients learn some healthy coping mechanisms to deal with addiction.

Maintaining abstinence is the stage wherein the person is approximately 90 days into their treatment journey and they have remained abstinent throughout. They will continue going through the counseling phase of the rehab program. It is also at this point that some patients are discharged from inpatient treatment. They may continue receiving treatment in an outpatient setup. This stage involves putting the tools learned in rehab to practice.

Finally, the advanced recovery stage comes at approximately five years into abstinence. At this point, the person has learned to build a satisfying and fulfilling life away from the substances that caused their addiction. They are able to focus on and work towards their long-term goals. They can establish and maintain a consistent daily schedule. They are also forming stronger and healthier relationships.

Although the journey towards healing is a long one, these stages indicate that it is possible for individuals to beat their addiction and turn their lives around. Rehab can help people recover even though it may feel impossible at the moment. It takes hard work and dedication, but it is possible to make significant progress.


What are the Stages of Mental Health Recovery?

Addiction isn’t just a physical condition. It also has a psychological aspect that can create big problems for the addicted person. For this reason, taking care of your mental health should be a huge part of your recovery journey.

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.


What Should I Do after Relapse?

Relapse is when a person goes back to taking drugs or alcohol after being sober for a while. Unfortunately for a lot of people, relapse is a possibility when you are dealing with addiction. In fact, it is a common occurrence and should be considered a normal part of recovery.

Relapse can happen and should not be considered a moral failure. People in recovery—even those who have been sober for a while—are at risk of relapse because addiction is a chronic condition.

The difference is that the person now has the knowledge and the tools they need to turn things around. There are plenty of things you can do if you relapse. The most important thing is to reach out for help and seek support from your loved ones.

Surrounding yourself with positive influences can remind you that you don’t have to face addiction alone. Your friends and family can provide guidance and support as you recover from a relapse.

Next, attend a self-help group. These support groups serve as a nonjudgmental place where people in recovery can talk about their relapse and their struggles. They can also learn from other people who have been through the same experiences in the past. They can provide some emotional support, which is valuable when you are dealing with relapse.

You also need to do your best to avoid triggers, temptations, and other situations or people who push you towards substance abuse. It’s good to set healthy boundaries, especially if there are people in your life who tolerate or enable your addiction.

At the end of the day, dealing with relapse is all about taking care of yourself and putting your emotional needs first. Reflect on your relapse as you create a relapse prevention plan that will keep you on the right track. Find alternative ways to cope with stress, preferably something that is good for your mind and body. Apply these changes so you can avoid relapse in the future.


How Do You Know if Someone Has a Substance Abuse Problem?

The sooner you spot the signs of addiction, the sooner you can intervene and help the person who is addicted. Remember that addiction has physical, psychological, and behavioral warning signs. Let’s start with the physical signs of addiction.

If someone misuses alcohol or drugs, their body may go through a lot of noticeable changes. Lethargy, runny nose, irregular sleep, bloodshot eyes, and significant weight changes may have something to do with substance abuse. If these symptoms are seen frequently, the person may be struggling with addiction. Some physical changes are readily apparent, while others are more gradual.

The addicted individual may experience tremors, seizures, and loss of physical coordination. They may become extremely lethargic. You may also notice changes in their appetite, eating habits, or weight. Sometimes they may clench their jaw or have bloodshot eyes. For people with a heroin or opioid addiction, pinpoint pupils are common. They may have marks on their skin. Generally, they will have poor personal hygiene.

Physical symptoms can be confused for other medical conditions, so you also need to look out for psychological signs of addiction. The person may feel and think differently than they normally do. Addiction can change a person’s thought patterns, beliefs, priorities, and attitudes.

They may have paranoid thoughts, feelings of apathy, and a negative self-image caused by their uncontrollable use of drugs or alcohol. They may feel frustrated over not being able to get their addiction under control, and so they lose their confidence in the process.

Loved ones may notice changes in personality traits. The addicted individual may also suffer from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. They may express feelings of fear, apathy, or obsession. Finally, they may withdraw emotionally from the people they love.

On top of the physical and mental effects of addiction, you should also be on the lookout for behavioral changes because these are the ones that most commonly indicate an addiction.

In fact, a person who begins to develop an addiction may start acting like a different person from the one you know. There are many behavioral signs to watch out for. The person may start to lose interest in things they used to enjoy such as their old hobbies.

As they begin to prioritize the substance over everything else, they will start spending more time on acquiring the drug, using the drug, or thinking about the drug. Their work or school performance will suffer. Their finances will also suffer as they spend more and more money on their drug of choice. They will neglect their responsibilities in the process.

They may shift away from their regular social circles in favor of a different group that encourages or supports their addictive habits. With this, they will have a decreased involvement in family activities. Some addicted people even choose to isolate themselves out of fear or shame.

While trying to hide their substance abuse, they may lie repeatedly to their loved ones. They will display secretive behavior. Secrecy and dishonesty are among the most common and telling signs of addiction. They may lie about their activities or whereabouts as they obtain the drug and use it in private. They will avoid all questions about their unexplained physical and psychological changes.

Addicted individuals may also struggle with legal issues and financial issues because of their risky behavior. They may get in trouble with the law. To maintain their addiction, they will repeatedly borrow money from friends or family members. This is why drug addiction can be extremely costly.

Because of these behavioral changes, the person’s relationships tend to suffer. They lie to their partners and ruin their friendships in the process. They go through a downward spiral, which leaves them feeling helpless and overwhelmed. This is why many addicted people don’t seek medical treatment. They feel hopeless or discouraged.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction, start looking for a rehab facility and a suitable rehab program 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.

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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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