What to Expect From Drug Rehab

There are a number of different choices in drug rehabilitation programs. Some are short-term, some are long-term.

Some offer inpatient treatment services while others provide outpatient therapy sessions only. Still others provide medical care and/or treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders while others focus solely on helping patients work through issues directly related to drug and alcohol abuse through therapy.

It’s not always easy to tell which offers the best combination of services, and the fact is that the “right” drug rehab for one patient may not be the best choice for someone else. Each patient is different, so there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment program. The choice that is right for you will be based on:

  • Your drug of choice: During detox, some drugs will create withdrawal symptoms, and in some cases, there may be medications that could be an option.
  • How long you have been using: Certain changes that occur in the brain and body may be more pronounced the longer you use certain drugs and therefore may require more intense attention during treatment.
  • Your previous attempts at treatment: You may be able to learn from the past in terms of what was effective and what wasn’t, and apply that to your choices today. For example, if you previously attempted to get clean and sober in an outpatient treatment program but were unable to avoid relapse, then inpatient care may be a better choice now.
  • Other life issues impacting your ability to stay sober: If you are at odds with the law, navigating a divorce, or struggling to find employment, then these issues should also be addressed during rehab because they could impact your ability to avoid relapse.
  • Your goals for treatment and recovery: Depending upon the choices you make in terms of detox, medications, and style of treatment, you will have a different experience in early recovery and beyond.

What You Should Expect

No matter what the specifics in terms of treatment and therapeutic services, there are a number of things that any comprehensive drug rehab program should provide you and your family during your time in treatment. These include:

  • Verification of all licenses and certifications for the rehab itself as well as all employees
  • Evaluation and diagnostic testing as needed to identify all medical and mental health issues that may require treatment
  • A unique treatment plan based on your personal needs
  • The ability to update and change that treatment plan as you make progress in recovery
  • Therapeutic intervention for co-occurring mental health issues as needed
  • The ability to extend your originally planned stay if it is clear that you are not yet ready to move onto the next phase of treatment
  • Support for your family members that includes family therapy sessions
  • Assistance in transition into independent living in recovery after drug rehab (e.g., finding a new home, securing employment, maintaining legal requirements, etc.)
  • Aftercare support and referrals so you may continue your progress in recovery after leaving rehab

Is This the Right Program for You?

Following the guidelines above, you should be able to narrow down your choices to a few drug rehab programs that might be a good fit. The next step is choosing the one that will work best for you. To do this, you can:

  • Call and set up an appointment to take a tour if it is in town or in state
  • Speak to someone over the phone about what you can expect during your stay
  • Double-check that all the therapeutic options and amenities listed on their website are still active and accessible
  • Find out when they have availability or if they have a waiting list
  • Determine whether or not they will work with your insurance company
  • Make sure that you will be able to have a voice in your treatment, that your family will be included in therapy sessions, or that any specific therapy that you definitely want/need will be provided

Get Ready to Go

Once you’ve found the right drug rehab program, it’s time to get ready to go. The program you choose should send you a welcome packet that includes all the information you need to make your transition into treatment as smooth as possible. Part of that process means packing so that you bring everything you need during rehab and leave the things at home that may be a distraction to you or others. In most cases, you will receive a sheet that specifies what you should and shouldn’t bring, but in general, you should bring:

  • Three or four outfits that are weather-appropriate to the locale and season
  • An extra jacket or hoodie
  • Comfortable, modest clothes that have no phrases or pictures that are lewd or drug-related
  • Shower shoes and caddy with appropriate hygiene supplies
  • A journal, picture from home, books, etc.

Additionally, you should leave at home:

  • Any pornographic or sexually explicit materials
  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Electronic devices
  • Any other expensive, suggestive, or drug-related items

Some rehab programs request that you leave all food at home and specify which beauty products and hygiene items are acceptable and which are not. When in doubt, you can ask questions or just leave it at home.

Though it may take a little bit of research, the time you spend making sure that you enroll in the right drug rehab program for your needs will be well worth it. A successful life in recovery starts with effective treatment.