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What is Rehab Like for Drugs?

Rehab is usually a combination of psychotherapy and medical treatment. These programs are geared towards those who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction issues.

What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab Like?, How Long Does Addiction Treatment Take?, What Does a Typical Day in Rehab Look Like?, Afternoons in a Drug Rehab Facility, Evenings in Rehab, Free Time in Rehab, Types of Therapy Used in Rehab, What is Aftercare for Substance Abuse Treatment?, Rehab is Your Best Chance


Addiction is a complicated and frustrating medical condition to deal with. Not only does it affect a person’s health, it also affects their mind as well as their relationships with other people. The good news is that treatment is available for those who need it, and effective treatment can improve the lives of addicted individuals, whether they are dealing with drug addiction or alcohol addiction.

Rehab is usually a combination of psychotherapy and medical treatment. These programs are geared towards those who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction issues. This process is carefully planned and executed in order to give patients the best chance of long-lasting recovery.

The addiction treatment process includes a wide variety of treatment options and therapies. Aftercare is also included in the continuum of care to help patients maintain their sobriety.

The best results come from personalized treatment plans that are tailor-made for a person’s specific needs. Unfortunately, not many people seek out professional assistance. They are afraid to start their addiction recovery journey because they do not know what to expect.

In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that only about 11% of people who need treatment for substance use disorder receive it. Admitting that you have a problem and taking that first big leap into the world of addiction treatment is one of the biggest barriers to recovery. Once you have taken this first step, you are much, much closer to a sober life. However, there is still a lot of work ahead of you.

It is important to keep in mind that addiction treatment does not end after medical detox. Staying sober is a lifelong commitment. You have to make the choice to live a drug-free lifestyle continuously. Rehab will teach you how to make that choice on a regular basis. Since sobriety is a long-term commitment, you need to be equipped with the proper tools so you can make the decisions that are best for you.

Here we will discuss what patients should expect from a day in rehab. So whether you think you have reached rock bottom and are looking to make a change, or you want to rebuild your restrained relationships with your loved ones, rehab can help you take a step in the right direction.

Once you are ready to receive the help you need, you are gonna want to know what to expect from rehab. Let’s take a closer look at what a typical day in rehab is like.

What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab Like?


Many people turn to rehab after trying and failing to quit repeatedly. Others go as soon as they realize that their addiction is affecting other aspects of their life, including their friends and family members. It is not even uncommon to go to rehab after relapsing and wanting to get clean again.

Whatever the reason, rehab centers and addiction treatment facilities are there to provide a solid support system, help you manage your withdrawal symptoms, and teach you everything you need to know to keep away from drugs and other harmful substances for good.

Before you can go into rehab, first you have to choose a rehab facility. That involves choosing between an inpatient treatment center or an outpatient one. While your preference would also be considered, this decision will mostly be based on your condition. Those with severe addiction, particularly those who are drug dependent and highly at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, are encouraged to go into inpatient rehab.

On the other hand, those with mild to moderate conditions may opt for an outpatient rehab program.

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential treatment, requires a patient to stay in a rehab facility for the duration of the program. This is an intensive treatment option that gives patients round the clock care under the supervision of healthcare professionals. It is often used for severe cases of long-term addiction, as well as those who are suffering from co-occurring disorders.

An outpatient rehab will give you the same treatments and therapies as inpatient rehab, but it will not require you to stay in the facility. As such, patients are expected to make frequent scheduled visits to the treatment center so that their progress can be monitored and they can continue to get the care that they need even if they are living outside.

Neither one is necessarily better than the other, given that they both have their uses and benefits. It’s all a matter of finding the right fit for the patient.

An inpatient program is structured and focused, allowing patients to give all their energy into getting better. Medical professionals are there to provide assistance at any time, making sure that the rehab experience is as comfortable as possible.

There is also value in the fact that the recovering individual is removed from their usual environment for a significant period of time. This works great for those with more toxic home environments and strained relationships with their loved ones. It even keeps them away from their usual triggers, which may distract from the goal of recovery.

Outpatient programs are less focused, but they allow recovering individuals to keep up with their usual responsibilities outside of rehab. They can go to work, attend classes, take care of their family members, etc. It also works great for those with more supportive loved ones and a positive home environment. These programs are also more affordable since food and lodging are not provided.

The patient should go through an assessment so that the right program can be chosen for them based on their current needs.


How Long Does Addiction Treatment Take?

In rehab, the most common lengths of programs are: 30-day programs, 60-day programs, and 90-day programs. There are also extended programs like sober living homes and halfway houses.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that an addiction treatment program should be at least 90 days long in order to be effective. This does not necessarily mean that those three months should be spent in an inpatient rehab facility. Some patients begin with a month or so of residential treatment. After making some progress, they can then transition into an outpatient program for the rest of their time in rehab.

With that in mind, the specific schedule will vary from one program to another. Different patients have different needs. Different facilities may also have different treatment strategies. There is no single formula for addiction treatment. Everyone is unique, and addiction affects everyone in different ways.

That said, we can rely on certain consistencies within rehab programs to tell you what an average day would be like. Choose a program that will bring you the best chance of long-term success. Most people struggling with addiction need at least three months to get sober and develop a plan for their continued recovery. It goes without saying that longer programs tend to have better results.

Now let’s take a closer look at what a typical day in drug or alcohol rehab looks like.

What Does a Typical Day in Rehab Look Like?

Here we are going to assume that you entered an inpatient treatment program. Life in residential treatment is highly structured and organized. Your days will be filled with various activities that will eliminate boredom. There are also plenty of therapies spread throughout the day, so there’s very little downtime. Even this choice is deliberate as it trains patients to learn how to live with a brand new schedule.

The goal is to guide them away from their addictive path and prevent them from returning to their old tendencies. With a strict structure, patients can be distracted from their cravings.

There is still some personal time between meals and therapies, but these can be spent on various recreational activities. Other than that, the rest of the day is carefully planned out.

Patients are not allowed to sleep in. You can expect to be served a healthy breakfast every morning, so you have to rise early. Some rehab centers have morning classes and things like meditation or yoga. These activities can give patients a proper start to their day by providing them with some peace of mind and relaxation.

One of the biggest goals of rehab is to help patients develop new and healthy habits. It shows them that they can make a change to their old behaviors.

After breakfast, there is usually a group session that helps patients gain clarity about issues like addiction, recovery, and the treatment process. These sessions are led by a therapist or counselor and are designed to help patients navigate their feelings and their desire to abuse drugs and alcohol.

In the long run, you will learn to recognize unhealthy thought patterns, behaviors, and triggers that are fueling your need to abuse these substances. You can then make the necessary changes that will keep you from relapsing after rehab.

Many rehab centers use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, which is one of the most successful treatments for addiction, according to NIDA. This treatment is designed to correct problematic behaviors associated with substance use disorder. By addressing the thought patterns underlying the toxic behavior, the patient can anticipate triggers for relapse.

Strategies are formed to address these triggers using healthy coping mechanisms. The best thing about CBT is that it teaches clients skills that they can retain and use even after their rehab stay.

After this morning therapy session, some facilities provide a scheduled time for a specific activity or simply for some quiet personal time. They can walk around the grounds, write on their journal, or join a group fitness class.

Afternoons in a Drug Rehab Facility

Lunch usually takes place around noon. Just like with breakfast, patients eat together in a group. This is typically followed by an afternoon therapy session.

If there was a group therapy session in the morning, then the afternoon session may be an individual therapy session and vice versa.

In rehab, clients who are facing similar issues are generally grouped together. This allows them to listen and learn from the experiences of other people, and even offer support for one another.

Individual therapy, on the other hand, usually involves a deep dive into the patient’s specific condition. They can share their thoughts and concerns with their therapist, who can help them make sense of their situation, along with their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Following this second therapy session, patients may participate in some form of alternative treatment. These are complementary therapies that are often fun for clients. This includes art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, adventure therapy, yoga, exercise programs, etc. These work best when used with more traditional treatments like CBT. They help recovering individuals express themselves or get involved in a brand new activity.

Doing these alternative treatments can help patients rebuild their sense of identity and confidence, gaining a much better understanding of themselves.

Generally speaking, the middle of the day usually contains the most intensive treatments.

Evenings in Reha

Dinner usually takes place around 6pm. This is often followed by another group therapy or group discussion. In some facilities, this is when they offer a 12-step meeting. These meetings offer a safe and respectful environment wherein members can share and support each other throughout their sobriety journey.

Patients usually have some downtime before bed. They can spend this time journaling, meditating, or reading. Keep in mind that most rehab centers have a designated “lights out” time. It is important to get enough hours of restful sleep because it helps the body recover. This is crucial to the addiction treatment process because while you are helping your mind heal through therapy, you also have to take care of your body and physical health. When your body is in good condition, it helps the mind recover as well.

Most days in rehab will follow the schedule listed above. However, you can also expect some special events and activities throughout the week. This will alter the schedule a bit.

An example would be family visitation days, or off-site visits to alternative therapies and other special activities.

Free Time in Rehab

There is some allotted free time where clients can just stop and reflect, or do something that helps them relax and stay focused. There are activities like basketball, ping-pong, volleyball, and soccer. Some facilities even have a swimming pool.

Most of the free time is in the afternoon after the therapy sessions. There are usually a couple of hours where patients can just read, journal, and relax.

Types of Therapy Used in Rehab

Now that you have an idea regarding the general schedule of rehab programs, we can talk about different therapies used in these facilities.

Individual behavioral therapies are the most common as they are also some of the most effective. Most patients need one-on-one time with a therapist or counselor. These mental health professionals can guide recovering individuals towards a sober life by teaching them new, healthier responses to their usual triggers.

Individual therapy creates a safe and open environment where clients can freely talk about their feelings with no fear of being judged. The therapist can then provide the proper tools for their recovery.

Group therapy introduces an important element in the recovery process: the social factor. Humans are social creatures, and we thrive when we can get support from others. Group therapy creates a sense of community. It lets patients know that they are not alone in their struggles.

A group session usually involves sharing personal stories with other patients and listening to their stories. This allows for emotional healing. It builds trust among group members and creates a sense of fellowship. It’s also comforting to share your struggles with people who know exactly what you are talking about and what you are going through. They can provide sincere compassion and understanding for your situation.

Family therapy is another common and crucial form of treatment. Even though addiction affects a person’s physical and mental health, the effects are not exclusive to them. Addiction affects everyone around them, most especially their family members. Whether it’s a toxic environment, resentment, anger, enabling behaviors, or destructive codependency, family therapy sessions are designed to address these unresolved feelings.

Family participation is an important factor for the person after they leave the rehab facility. This is where they would get most of their support as they continue their recovery process outside of rehab.

Finally, there are also specialized sessions such as grief counseling, stress management, anger management, etc. These are designed to teach patients proper coping techniques, especially those who are going through these difficult situations. These programs are designed to help patients handle difficult issues without resorting to drugs and alcohol.

What is Aftercare for Substance Abuse Treatment?

Maintaining long term sobriety is one of the goals of rehab, and it is also one of the biggest challenges for people in recovery. This is why continuing care is essential for everyone who is dealing with substance use disorders.

Substance abuse can change the way the brain functions, and sometimes these changes are not reversed quickly after the person stops drinking or taking drugs. In fact, these changes in the brain can last long after substance use has ceased.

For a person in recovery, remaining sober isn’t just a matter of willpower. They have to deal with the changes in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They have to use what they learned in rehab and apply these changes to maintain their sobriety. This is why addiction recovery is considered a lifelong journey. This is why long-term treatment is necessary.

This is where aftercare comes in.

People can’t stay in rehab forever. They have to return their old life, mend broken bonds, take care of their body and mind, and also deal with the challenges of their real life. They will face a lot of stressors, triggers, and challenges along the way. Participating in an aftercare program will help them reinforce what they learned during their stay in rehab.

It is worth noting that relapse is a common thing. It should not be viewed as a failure on the part of the patient. It does not mean that the treatment did not work. It simply means there is still more work to be done, and the patient can still try different treatment strategies. Relapse is just another obstacle in your road to recovery.

Aftercare refers to any ongoing treatment for substance use disorders after the initial rehab program. This system creates a foundation for patients where they can rely on a healthy network of people who can assist them as they make the necessary changes in their life.

Aftercare planning is an important part of the rehab journey, because it gives the patient a solid framework for what they need to do after leaving the facility. This is why aftercare may look different from one patient to another. Treatment providers and exact methods may vary, but the goal is the same: to help avoid relapse and to maintain sobriety.

Life after rehab isn’t just about avoiding addiction forever. It’s about living a fulfilling life and building healthy relationships. It’s about finding a new sense of purpose. Rehab will teach clients how to channel their energy into something healthy and positive that is worth their while. They may regain their sense of direction, which may have been lost while they were battling the overwhelming effects of addiction.

There are different types of addiction aftercare, and they cover a wide range of options. One example is sober living. A sober residence serves as a transition from rehab life to the real world. This may be a good fit for those without a strong support system outside of rehab.

There are sober living setups that provide supervised housing for people in recovery. These programs offer less intensive treatment services, because they are more focused on helping patients readjust to life outside of rehab.

But for those who still need highly structured programs, there are also therapeutic communities that last for 6 to 12 months. These programs work to maintain recovery while helping patients change their destructive thought patterns and behaviors.

Outpatient aftercare is also an option. It lets clients attend addiction treatment during the day and then return home at night. This is a great way to transition from an intensive inpatient program once the patient has made significant progress.

Aftercare often involves participating in support groups outside of the rehab setting. Social networking gives people continued support and encouragement from people who are also going through similar challenges. There are 12-step groups as well as non-12-step groups, which are less religious and non-spiritual.

No matter what your situation and condition, you need to know that help is available. Look for a rehab near you today and get started on your road to recovery.


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 or alcohol 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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