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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Guiles

Entering a Rehabilitation Center: 4 Steps To Expect

Updated: Aug 10, 2023


Entering a Rehabilitation Center: 4 Steps To Expect

Up to 21 million people in the US are addicted to at least one substance. Of that number, 90% don’t believe they need to enter a rehabilitation center or get help. There are various reasons why a person refuses treatment, including denial, shame, treatment cost, and the uncertainty of the whole process.

Knowing what to expect in addiction facilities can help put patients at ease and encourage them to start their recovery journey. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps and processes involved when a patient decides to get rehab.


1. Checking In

The rehab process starts the moment you check in. During this time, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire and participate in an intake interview with an expert. This process helps the person in charge to know more about you, your history of substance use, and any underlying or pre-existing mental health conditions.

The intake process is crucial since it allows the professionals to customize treatment according to your physical and psychiatric needs. This ensures a higher chance of success in your recovery journey.


2. Starting Withdrawal and Detoxification

After building an overview of your condition, you’ll start the addiction rehabilitation program. Generally, the first stage is a medical detox. This process gradually removes traces of the addictive substance from your body. Since the brain is forced to adjust to the changes, it may cause unpleasant and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Seizures

  • Mood swings

  • Aggression

  • Hallucination

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

Treatment centers are equipped for proper withdrawal management to better support you during this process. They have medications and around-the-clock staff to make detoxification easier.

It can take up to 10 days to fully cleanse the body. However, it can vary depending on several factors. These include the type and amount of illicit drugs you’ve been using, how long you’ve been consuming, and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.


3. Undergoing Intensive Therapy Sessions

With a clean slate, the next step is to help you manage urges and avoid relapses. In this stage, you can start various therapies that depend on your needs and profile. Some of the therapy sessions involved in addiction treatment include:


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is founded on the theory that harmful thinking patterns, poor coping techniques, and negative learned behaviors cause psychological issues like addiction. Thus, it aims to change a person’s thinking pattern. It teaches you how to understand and re-organize your thoughts and logic, empowering you to solve difficult situations and develop self-confidence.


Contingency Management

This type of behavior therapy is based on the principle that rewards can help reinforce a certain kind of behavior. Patients are rewarded for making positive changes and good decisions in their lives. It may be physical or monetary awards such as vouchers or prizes. It could also involve emotional and social satisfaction, including improved family relationships.


Family or Marriage Therapy

Family or relationship dynamics may sometimes contribute to drug abuse and how an individual responds to treatment. Thus, most experts require therapy sessions with the patient’s family or spouse. This allows loved ones to better understand the patient’s condition and offers support for faster recovery. Most rehab institutions will also include the patient’s support network throughout the process, from intake to aftercare.


Motivational Interviewing

This counseling method aims to persuade patients to maintain sobriety by focusing on their identified intrinsic motivations. So, instead of forcing a person to change, motivational interviewing allows them to make choices and change on their own.


4. Planning for Aftercare

Completing the rehab program isn’t the end. Sobriety is an ongoing process that takes time and effort. Experts also create an aftercare plan to help patients increase their chances of staying sober.

Your counselor or therapist will map out a continuing care regime as you leave the addiction treatment center and reenter the real world. It consists of social and medical support services that aid in your transition, including:


  • Outpatient treatments

  • Follow-up therapy and counseling sessions

  • Recovery meetings

  • Halfway houses or sober living homes

  • Regular medical evaluations


Take the First Step Toward Sobriety With The Detox and Treatment Helpline

Entering a rehab facility may seem scary. However, knowing what happens inside can help you prepare for the process and give you the best chance of healing.

If you’re suffering from an addiction, consult The Detox and Treatment Helpline. We can provide educational support to overcome addiction and help you enter a new chapter in your life. Call us today at 877-314-2934.


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