Rehab 101: What to Expect in Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Drug and alcohol rehab is an effective form of treatment for people who are struggling with substance addiction. Rehab can be a fairly intensive process and it’s important to understand as much as you can about rehab before signing yourself up.

Below, we’ll discuss many of the things you’ll need to know about rehab. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be able to decide for yourself what sort of treatment program you need and how you can go about applying for it.

Would you like to learn more about treatment options, such partial hospitalization rehab? Call us today at 888.292.9652.

What Is Rehab?

Rehab is a program designed to help rehabilitate drug and alcohol users. All rehab programs share a similar purpose: to help struggling drug and alcohol users develop the skills and techniques that they need to stay sober and live a successful life without relying on substances. 

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is a less intensive form of rehab. During outpatient rehab, you will not be committed to the facility. In other words, as long as you make it to your scheduled meetings, therapy lessons and courses, you will be free to come and go from the facility as you please.

There are a number of benefits to this type of treatment, including:

  • During outpatient rehab you’re free to come and go from the facility. This allows you to maintain relationships with family members and friends during the course of your treatment.
  • During outpatient rehab you’ll be able to hold a job or continue going to school.
  • Outpatient rehab is generally more affordable when compared to the more intensive inpatient rehab.

Do I Need Rehab?

Are you unsure of whether or not you need rehab? Remember that it’s important to consider your current situation. If you’re experiencing any of the following then it might be a good idea for you to attend a rehab program.

  • You have noticed an increase in drug tolerance (needing more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same effect) or the onset of withdrawal symptoms
  • Your drug or alcohol use is having an adverse impact on your social life, your work life, or your school life
  • You are starting to notice physical or mental health problems as a result of your drug or alcohol use
  • You have made an effort to stop using drugs or alcohol but seem to find yourself unable to
  • You’re spending more money than you intend to on drugs or alcohol
  • Friends or family members have commented that you seem to have a problem with drugs or alcohol
  • You find that your behavior has changed for the worse because of drugs or alcohol

If you believe that any of the above statements are true, it’s worth your time to consider a rehab program.

What Will I Experience in Rehab?

Once you have decided that you want to attend a rehab program, it’s a good idea to get a general idea of what to expect once you’re there. This section details some of the things that you will likely experience once you attend your rehab program.

Intake and Assessment

The first thing that you will experience during your recovery is an intake and assessment. This is a process detailed by the rehab facility that allows them to decide upon the best possible treatment for you.

During your intake and assessment you will likely be asked a number of questions that relate to your mental health, drug addiction, and personal history. The answers that you give to these questions will help the facilitator determine which counselors to match you with and what sort of program would be best for you.

As a result of COVID, many rehab facilities have changed their intake and assessment protocol to include questions relating to an individual’s physical health and travel history. These questions help to determine if you pose the risk of introducing COVID into the treatment facility.


Not everyone who attends rehab will have to go through a detox program. Detox is a program for people who are physically addicted to drugs or alcohol.

A medically supervised detox has a number of benefits, not the least of which is that it can save your life. If you are going to be quitting a drug like alcohol or benzodiazepines, withdrawal symptoms can put you at risk of death. These drugs affect a neurotransmitter known as GABA, and when the GABA system falls out of balance, seizures can result.

Withdrawal from drugs like opiates and amphetamines will not kill you, but it can certainly be uncomfortable. Many people find that they are prone to relapse during the initial withdrawal phase because the symptoms are so unpleasant. A medically supervised detox can help support you and, in serious cases, offer medication to help ease the worst of the symptoms.

Rehab Treatment

Rehab is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances including alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. During drug rehab, people with addictions receive professional care that helps them stop using drugs and learn to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.

During rehab, individuals learn effective ways to cope with cravings and triggers that can lead to relapse. Several approaches have been found to be successful in helping people achieve and maintain sobriety, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and 12-step programs. The goal of drug rehab is for individuals to develop the behavioral tools they need to remain free from substance abuse and live a healthy, productive life.


Aftercare planning involves creating a plan for continuing your recovery even after you have completed rehab. Your personal aftercare plan is usually put together by you and your therapist or counselor. Aftercare helps to reduce the chances of relapse.

There are a number of different things that may be included in your aftercare plan. Ultimately it depends on you, your current stage in recovery, and your personal needs. Common aftercare supports include:

  • Signing up for transitional housing. A transitional house or sober living home is a house occupied only by recovering drug users. They may be staffed by medical or mental health workers. These sober living homes allow you to focus on your recovery with others who are in a similar situation.
  • You may want to engage in follow-up therapy with your rehab counselor or another addiction therapist.
  • You may want to participate in routine medical checkups to ensure your good health.
  • You may be recommended to ongoing support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
  • You may be guided through a plan to develop a safe living plan which involves distancing yourself from other drug users, finding new hobbies and activities, and building a life that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.

Take the Next Step Toward a Successful Recovery

If you think that you’re in need of a rehab program, don’t hesitate to reach out. Many people have made immensely positive changes in their lives thanks to dedicating themselves to a rehab program. Call us today at 888.292.9652 and let us get you on the path to recovery.

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