Entering rehab can be scary, so let’s discuss what you might expect from drug and alcohol treatment. Each facility is different. They range from near-primitive camp-like settings to luxurious amenities and everything in between.
Treatment to Help and Encourage You
This is not a prison. There are no locks on the doors. You may leave at any time—even if you have been sent by the criminal justice system. There may be consequences later, but you can leave if you choose to walk away.
There are no locks because you need to be willing to give it a try. Studies show that even people who have not gone voluntarily can achieve lasting recovery if they commit to giving it a try. If you enter rehab, knowing that you will drink or use drugs again, you are probably wasting your money and your time.
Rehab facilities provide activities for the patient that encompass the entire day. In the mornings are calming activities and group therapy sessions. Some rehabs require morning housework activities such as making your own bed and sweeping floors.
In the afternoons, there are assorted therapy exercises or healthy activities, and in the evenings are briefer recovery sessions and free time. Rehab centers have many rules and are run on a strict schedule. A typical schedule may be:
Mornings in Rehab
A typical morning in treatment will begin with an early start (around 7:00 a.m.) and with a healthy breakfast. Nutrition is an important factor in rehab facilities. People with a substance use disorder tend not to be concerned with meeting their nutritional needs.
Calming activities such as yoga or meditation help clear your mind and prepare you for the coming activities. The therapist will typically lead a group session. This session may be a discussion of the elements of addiction and motivations for recovery.
Afternoons in Rehab
Patients attend different types of intensive therapy sessions after lunch. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, or specialized sessions developed for a particular patient.
Counselors will develop a treatment plan for each patient, which might include alternating attendance at different sessions on different days during the week.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Individuals with addictions have developed unhealthy ways of reacting to feelings such as stress and sadness and even excitement. CBT is often used in treatment to analyze a person’s response to situations and teach them to act in healthier ways.
- Group Therapy: Group therapy gives patients a way to relate to others by sharing personal stories and encouraging one another through the stages of recovery. Telling your own story is an important component of the recovery process. It promotes honesty and represses denial. This gives members of the group who may still think they don’t have a problem an opportunity to see the similarities between themselves and members who admit to having a disorder.
- Family Therapy: Family therapy is a way for a patient to begin to repair relationships with his or her family members. A recovering substance user may have lost the respect and trust of the family.
- Specially Designed Sessions: Each patient is assigned his specialized treatment plan. These sessions can target behavioral techniques such as anger management, stress management, or grief management. These sessions are meant to show patients new ways to cope with their emotions.
There may be some free time scheduled in the afternoon. Patients are free to pursue other therapies, reading, and physical activities before dinner.
Evenings in Rehab
Shorter sessions after dinner are usually available for patients to attend. This includes 12-step programs. Taking part in these programs is highly recommended. Free time is sometimes available in the evenings instead of in the afternoon.
Other Therapies and Free Time Activities
Rehabs often offer other types of therapy such as:
- Art therapy
- Music or dance therapy
- Exercise programs
- Equine therapy
- Biofeedback therapy
Free-time activities may include:
Lights Out in Rehab
Typically, “lights out” is around 10:00 p.m. This helps the patients achieve a regulated sleep schedule, which is a part of a healthy lifestyle. Patients report difficulty falling asleep in the early days at rehab, but soon adjust and find a more reasonable bedtime to be quite late enough.
Rules in Rehab Centers
The rules in rehab centers are strict and may seem cruel at first look but can have positive effects on a person going through the early stages of recovery. Typical rules are:
- No drugs or alcohol—This seems obvious when you’re in a treatment center, but can not be emphasized enough.
- No cell phones or computers—Some treatment centers don’t ban them completely but will probably at least have restrictions on their use. This is done to inhibit any attempts to make contact with people who have been drug or alcohol contacts in the past. This also restricts patients from posting pictures of other patients, which may cause problems unintentionally.
- No TV, music, or movies—This is to help diminish any exposure to triggers. Most of what is seen on TV and in movies is the “high” of drug and alcohol use and not so much the aftermath. Country songs, in particular, are fond of mentioning whiskey and beer, and police shows usually revolve around some sort of drug use.
- No romantic relationships—Romance is not permitted in rehab. If a person is newly sober, he or she is not at their most emotionally stable. Adding the drama of a romantic relationship would be courting disaster. Your own recovery should be the only focus.
- Attendance at all sessions—The patient must be willing to attend all sessions and activities. Even if you don’t really want to be there. After a while going to the meetings, the brain starts to comprehend the logic of what the counselors are saying.
- Must remain in the treatment center—Recovering patients are forbidden from leaving the facility because they require a totally trigger-free, clean environment so they can learn to deal with their addiction. This helps the facility fulfill all of the goals set by the previous rules. Learning to live a healthy lifestyle for an extended period in the center will help patients to continue that lifestyle after they leave.
Some Words About Detox and Assessment
You may need to detox before you even enter rehab. Today’s trend is to have you go through detoxification in a medical facility that specializes in dealing with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Many treatment centers have an in-house medical facility. Before you can begin recovery, you must rid yourself of all toxins.
This can last from several days to several months, depending on the severity of the addiction. Most symptoms reduce in severity within about two weeks. It depends on the person’s age, health, and use habits and length of time using. Some types of addiction can be managed with medication-assisted treatment.
When you enter rehab, an assessment of your physical and mental condition will be done. This determines the extent that you are physically dependent on the drug and what psychological issues may be present in addition to the substance use disorder. The more knowledge is gained about how your brain worked before drugs took over, the better your chances will be in recovery.
The Main Factors in Addiction Treatment
One of the main factors in treatment and rehab programs is education. It may differ among facilities, but the process is aimed at getting you to see your addiction honestly and realistically.
Most alcoholics or addicts may still be denying the seriousness of their problems in the early stages of treatment. Programs try to break through the denial and get you to commit to a clean and sober life. You will learn about the nature of substance use, the effects of drugs and alcohol have on you physically and mentally, and the consequences if you continue to use it.
Family members are frequently included in the treatment programs. Some programs include family members and friends throughout the entire process. Studies have shown that including family and friends in the educational process improves outcomes immensely.
How Long Will I Be in Rehab?
People going through addiction treatment go at various speeds. The length of time for treatment depends on different things, such as whether the user:
- Uses multiple drugs
- Is involved in crime
- Has a mental health disorder
- Is unemployed
There is no fixed length of time that is judged as ideal or adequate across the board. Better outcomes have been achieved for those who undergo drug treatment for longer periods of time. Programs longer than 90 days are preferred but not mandatory. Patients with supportive family, friends, and work relationships may sustain sobriety without the lengthy stay in treatment. This is why treatment centers need to tailor treatment to the individual patient.
This is an important part of any treatment program. Relapse is an ever-present threat when you are trying to recover. The Institute on Drug Abuse has estimated that 40 to 60% of people will eventually relapse.
Having a plan to deal with the stages of relapse can help prevent you from using it again. During treatment, sessions in therapy guide patients through hypothetical situations to help them practice behaviors that help them resist cravings and overcome emotional challenges in the real world. A good aftercare program is an important part of your relapse prevention plan.
The typical residential drug and alcohol treatment program lasts 30 to 90 days, depending on the severity of the disorder. You remain in a structured and safe environment where no drugs or alcohol are available.
Comprehensive aftercare programs designed to meet your particular needs will keep you on your recovery journey. Your counselor will know you well enough to suggest the next steps in your recovery. Your plan may consist of intensive outpatient treatment, residence at a halfway house, attendance at 12-step meetings, weekly check-ins, and other steps to help you avoid the triggers that may lead to a relapse.
Ready to Go
It may sound like a daunting experience. But it’s really just a matter of changing one lifestyle for another. Your substance use became a habit. Not using a substance can become a habit. You probably had people who didn’t exactly have your best interests in mind help you become addicted. In rehab, you will have people who do have your best interests in mind to help you recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
Why You Should Call Crest View
We have individualized programs designed to suit every need. Maybe you don’t need inpatient treatment. Perhaps an intensive outpatient program would be best for you.
You might not know that your substance use is the result of an underlying mental issue. We have dual diagnosis treatment that addresses that issue.
At Crest View, our “continual care” model gives you a foundation to build your recovery. Our counselors, psychiatrists, therapists, and other staff members will help you learn life skills that have been eroded and help you understand the disease of addiction. You wouldn’t try to cure any other disease on your own, would you? Contact us today.