A Sobering Experience: What Is Rehab Like? by Rehab Recovery Centers

It’s not impossible to fight a drug habit on your own, but it’s inadvisable and dangerous. Early studies suggest that people can and do die from drug withdrawals.

Besides the physical aspects of recovering from drug dependence, there are also a host of psychological and social issues that go along with addiction. You need ongoing support and therapy if you hope to beat any addiction.

You have a much better chance of surviving withdrawals and achieving lasting sobriety when you enroll in a rehabilitation program.

So, what is rehab like, and how does rehab work?

What Types of Rehab Are Available?

There are two main types of addiction treatment. These are inpatient and outpatient rehab.

Inpatient treatment takes place at a facility dedicated to helping addicts recover. It’s an intensive process where you’ll check into a rehab center for a specified period.

Some centers offer 21-day detox programs, while others prefer you to remain in residence for a lot longer.

Outpatient treatment usually involves ongoing group or individual therapy and varies widely according to your personal circumstances. Some outpatient programs involve checking in with a hospital or clinic for medical monitoring, while others are entirely voluntary.

Very often, patients who attend inpatient rehab continue with outpatient treatment after they leave the drug rehabilitation center.

What is Rehab Like at an Inpatient Treatment Center?

There are several steps involved in a long-term commitment to rehab. These include:

Application and Admissions

Research is key to finding the ideal research facility for your needs. Once you’ve made up your mind, call your chosen facility to enquire about admissions. Make sure you’ve got your insurance policy number and medical history close at hand.

The admissions representative is bound to have some questions. These should include information on the extent of your drug use, any existing physical or mental health conditions, your living environment, and your existing support system. They’ll also need your insurance and financial information.

They’ll explain the treatment options available and answer any of your questions too. In some cases, they’ll email some paperwork regarding your admission as well as some information on what to expect and what you need to bring along.


As soon as you arrive at the facility, you’ll talk to an admissions coordinator, a nurse, and a therapist. Next, you’ll undergo a psychological and medical evaluation.

It’s normal for patients to arrive in an intoxicated state, so these professionals will expect the worst and go easy on you. Be honest with them – they’ve seen it all.

Once the formalities are over, you’ll work on a treatment plan together and they’ll explain the daily routine. It’s the standard operating procedure for them to search your belongings and confiscate any drug paraphernalia and all your communication devices.

They will also take possession of any prescribed medications. During your stay, the resident nurse or a senior counselor will give your daily dose as required.

The Rehab Process

The first stage of any rehabilitation process is the detoxification process. It’s also the hardest part. When you opt for inpatient rehab, the personnel will monitor your health closely and prescribe medication to help ease you through withdrawals. In some cases, they’ll help you taper off your drug of choice.

Depending on the severity of your withdrawals, you’ll spend the first few days recovering physically from the ravages of addiction. As soon as you’re up to it, you’ll join in the daily recovery routine.

This depends largely on the type of rehab center you’re at. No matter where you are, healthy eating and gentle exercise are sure to be a part of your daily routine. You’ll also get to take part in both group and individual therapy, as well as lifestyle counseling, and even family sessions.

Towards the end of your stay in the treatment center, your counselors will place more emphasis on helping you reintegrate into society and offer guidance on an aftercare program.

What’s Involved in Outpatient Rehab?

Most patients continue with outpatient rehabilitation after leaving an inpatient treatment center. This type of treatment involves weekly or twice weekly group therapy or one-on-one sessions to help you continue the recovery process.

You may also take up residence at a sober living home during the first weeks of your outpatient treatment if preferred.

If you’re unable to take advantage of inpatient rehabilitation, you can start with outpatient therapy right after undergoing a medically supervised detox at a separate facility, such as a hospital.

Ideally, you should attend outpatient sessions weekly or monthly for the rest of your life if you want to stay clean. Studies show that good outcomes depend on prolonged treatment.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

This type of treatment falls somewhere in between inpatient and outpatient treatment and often forms a stepping stone between the two.

It typically involves fewer formal sessions than inpatient rehab and you’ll spend your free time at a separate residence, or at home.

Aftercare Services

Aftercare refers to additional non-medical services provided by rehabilitation facilities. These include housing, social support, and employment or career guidance.

Assistance with aftercare is an underlying part of the rehabilitation process from the start, although you’ll usually address it towards the end of treatment.

Some of the services that fall under the umbrella of aftercare include:

  • Sober living homes
  • Educational and vocational programs
  • Support groups

In many respects, addiction is akin to chronic illnesses in that you’ll need some form of treatment throughout your life. Don’t let this put you off seeking help.

Rehabilitation from drugs is a slow process and you’ll soon become accustomed to the benefits of sober living and learn to embrace your new lifestyle.

Finding Help When You Need it

The best way to find answers to the question, ”what is rehab like?” is to talk to a counselor or other people who’ve been through the rehab process. You can also visit a few rehab centers or attend some outpatient sessions before you decide to commit.

Browse our website for more information on rehab centers near you as well as more advice on how to find recovery for yourself or a significant other.

Get Help Today

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.