What To Expect In Rehab

A Deeper Look at a Recovering Addict’s Rehab Experience

Since everyone’s different, and no two substance addictions are the same, no two rehabilitation processes will be the same.

Even though each individual’s rehab experience will be different, you can expect to find some similarities than run throughout nearly all standard rehab programs.


drug addiction treatmentThe first step, at least for those undergoing an inpatient rehab (outpatient rehabs don’t always require a preemptive detox, though some do,) is a detox process. This means going through withdrawal, which isn’t pleasant.

Fortunately, rehab facilities have a lot of amenities for people going through withdrawal. This makes it a lot more comfortable than trying to undergo the process yourself! They will keep you hydrated, fed, and – for the most severe cases of withdrawal – medicated.

Physical & Psychiatric Evaluation

What would a rehab do if they didn’t understand the needs of the patients they were treating?
During each admission, the treatment center gives each patient a physical and psychiatric assessment to determine their needs, wants, and what they hope to achieve with the program. Using this information, they can develop a treatment plan that caters to the individual.

alcohol abuse treatment rehabIntroductory Orientation

Once you’re accepted by the rehab facility and you’ve had your specific needs identified, the rehab center will give you an orientation session.

The orientation will help familiarize you with the rehab center, and help introduce you to the staff members and the methods of treatment they use.

The Treatment

There are a lot of different aspects to the treatment options available at rehab centers. The two main big differences are between outpatient and inpatient rehabs.

  • Outpatient rehabs are much more flexible than inpatient rehabs. They allow you to come to and from the rehab center, requiring only that you attend a certain number of therapy and group sessions per week.
  • Inpatient rehabs are for patients who have much more serious addiction problems. During an inpatient rehab, you’ll have to stay at the center 24/7, and you’ll be constantly monitored to ensure you don’t bring harm to yourself or others.

Regardless of whether you’ve applied for an inpatient or outpatient rehab, you can expect to see some of the following treatment options during your stay.


The therapies used in rehab centers can vary. Therapy is the most commonly used method for teaching drug addicts to cope with their problems and develop new techniques for avoiding relapse.

    • Individual therapy is a face-to-face session with a patient and a therapist. This type of therapy identifies the patient’s specific needs and can help build better foundation for furthering their recovery.
    • Family therapy involves including the parents or other family members of the patient in the therapeutic process. This helps the whole family develop a different perspective on addiction and can help heal damaged relationships.
    • Group support is a type of therapy that includes multiple people, most often other addicts recovering from the same problems. Popular group support therapies for drug addicts and alcoholics includes groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.


Most rehabs offer educational lectures in order to teach recovering addicts new techniques and coping mechanisms.
These lectures are often given to groups so the learning can be shared. Other recovering addicts can ask questions and share information to improve upon the learning process.

Medicated treatment

addiction recovery centerIn more severe cases of drug addiction, the addict may receive treatment with medication. This is not generally recommended except in the most difficult cases, since treating a drug problem with more drugs can easily backfire.

During medication assisted treatment, the dosage and frequency of prescribed medications are closely monitored.

Medication like Methadone or Suboxone is sometimes prescribed during intense bouts of opioid addiction.

Varying treatment length

People who apply for an outpatient rehab may find that their treatment isn’t complete within a set time limit. Since outpatient rehabs don’t require you to stay at the facility, they don’t often set a time limit for your program to finish within.

Inpatient rehabs often require that you apply for a certain length of treatment (a month, two months, three months, etc.) If you don’t feel that you’ve recovered after your treatment, you can apply for further treatment.