Are you looking to enroll in a drug addiction treatment program? Here are seven things on what to expect, so you can be better prepared.

Are you looking to enroll in a drug addiction treatment program? Here are seven things on what to expect, so you can be better prepared.
October 04 08:29 2018 Print This Article

Anyone who has ever been in a drug rehab will tell you this – it is not an experience you look forward to. If it is your first time getting into a drug addiction treatment program, it can be really intimidating because you have no idea what to expect. You just know one thing – it gives you a decent shot at getting your life back by becoming sober.

So what is it like? What are the things you should look forward to? Whether it is your first time or you went through a relapse and would like to start afresh, read on for some insights into the process.

There are no locks

In a rehab facility, you will mainly find the doors have no locks. After all, you are actually free to exit the facility at any time. Even though you may have gone through the criminal justice process and it landed you in the program, you can decide to exit. Just remember one thing – you will eventually face the consequences.

This may be a strange principle, but it actually works. The reasoning behind it is that no one forced you to join the program, and you will only join it if you are willing to commit to the process. Therefore, if you joined while knowing that you will go back to drugs, you are simply wasting your time. If you make up your mind to stay on, you will get similar conditions in whatever facility you go for.

The first step is detox

Regardless of whether youjoin an inpatient or outpatient facility, many of them have detox programs that you must go through before moving on to the following stages of treatment, while others will refer you to outside centers that handle that before you join them. In other words, they tell you that you must become sober and clean before joining a rehab program.

The main method people use today is undergoing the process of withdrawal in specific facilities, which specialize in helping people with their withdrawal symptoms. The process to sobriety will last for a short time, usually between five days to a week at the most – although this can vary with every individual and depending on how long you abused the substance.

The structure and layout of the facilities

Just as every rehab center has their own unique location, each will have their own differences in layout and structure. For instance, you can find one with a camp-in the woods kind of setting, which is usually for teens who are troubled, and you can find others that look as if you walked in to a five-star hotel. You can also find all other kinds of layouts available.

The one you eventually attend will really depend on the size of your budget, or what your insurance can afford to pay. However, you should not gauge the effectiveness of the program by how the facilities look like – what matters is the quality of professionalism and research in the program.

Become educated while you are there

If there is one thing that is important in all rehab programs aside from detoxing and recovery is education. Of course, this will vary among different facilities, but the core aim is to help you realize the realistic and honest effects of your addiction, helping you understand why it happened, and change your overall attitudes about using alcohol and drugs.

This is important because many addicts tend to be in a state of denial, as they believe the problem is not that serious, or you might also find some who are ambivalent about why quitting alcohol and drugs is a better choice.

Education seeks to change these attitudes. It teaches you about the results of alcohol and drug abuse on the body, what happens in the brain and body during addiction, and the overall results that occur if you continue to abuse them.

Group therapy and counselling sessions

The rehab program will usually incorporate both group and individual therapy for a more comprehensive treatment plan. Individual sessions are led by an addiction counsellor who has actual training in the field, whole group meetings happen on a daily or weekly basis, and will involve meeting with others to share your recovery experiences.

The main aim of these sessions is to teach you new ways of coping without turning to alcohol or drugs – because you will need it. You will also learn the signs to spot when you are about to go into a relapse, and avoid certain triggers. Think of it as a mental health change.

The group sessions are also important because they teach you that you do not walk alone, and it is important to seek out advice from people who have been through the same challenges. They can also be guided by members of staff, thanks to the 12-step meeting format.

Family meeting

Just because you are the one going through rehab, does not mean your family and loved ones are not affected by it as well. In fact, many of these treatment programs will also include members of your family, as this will improve the outcome of your recovery significantly.

Some treatment programs will even go ahead to include your close family I the whole process, beginning from the initial stages to even the aftercare process.

It is also important for them, so that they know how addiction works and affects you, while also learning to help you with resources that strengthen your recovery journey. They also have a safe place to talk about how your substance abuse has affected them, and this also helps them to heal their own scars.


The journey of sobriety does not stop once you leave the facility – you need to have follow ups to check up on your progress. The counsellor can suggest useful steps you can apply after you leave, since they know you well

Final thoughts

The process of rehab is a long one, but it is worth it. You get to learn so much about yourself and how drug addiction works, and this will help to reduce mistakes in the future.

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Jimmy Hannah
Jimmy Hannah

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