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Attending Drug Rehab for the First Time

May 18, 2020

Forget what you’ve seen on TV or in the movies about attending rehab. The script writers and directors usually are telling their version of what it’s like to spend time getting treatment for drug addiction. As you consider beginning treatment on your own, let’s look at what the experience often looks like to the newcomer.

The process for drug rehab involves four distinctly different steps: intake, detox, rehab, and aftercare/ongoing recovery. Intake typically involves multiple assessments and other information-gathering to determine the kind of treatment that is suitable for as well as how the costs of treatment will be covered. Before clinical therapies for drug addiction itself can begin, a medical detox is the next step with medical professionals assessing the withdrawal risks of your particular addiction and how to prepare for any potential complications. Inpatient rehab offers individual therapy as well as group therapy while some facilities also provide family therapy services. As long-term recovery relies on continuing care beyond a treatment program, a plan for aftercare is developed to help a patient prepare for a return to their daily lives.

Drug Rehab: Admission

The goal of intake is to get to know you well enough to make recommendations about the kind of care you will need. Be prepared to answer questions about your drug use history, your family history of addiction, your mental health history, and more. Expect a medical evaluation as part of this step. Anything that can supply addiction specialists with information on how to best treat you and help you move towards recovery can be part of this first step.

As addiction often coincides with mental health issues, the treatment recommendations for  patients with a dual diagnosis (substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorder) will differ. If you have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any other mental health condition, addiction specialists will talk to you about how treatment for both a substance use and a mental health disorder are integrated within a plan created specifically for you. For patients with a history of trauma, trauma therapies may be a part of that treatment plan as well.

Remember: Providing accurate information about yourself during admission is helpful as it influences the recommendations your addiction specialists will make. 

Rehab: Medical Detox

A medically supervised detox is an essential part of the drug rehab process as withdrawal from a drug can lead to serious complications. Your body will react to withdrawal of the substance you have been using, but the team of medical professionals monitoring you will ensure you’re not at risk during this step. Your round-the-clock care during detox also will include receiving safe medications, proper nutrition, and alternative interventions as needed, depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Remember: It’s never recommended to detox at home. Only detox with medical supervision.

Rehab: Treatment

While drug rehab is offered in multiple ways, let’s focus on the inpatient setting for our purposes today. Some facilities may offer separate programs based on gender. For example, men would be treated by a team of male addiction specialists and work on their recovery with other men also in treatment.

Individual therapy will be a part of your rehab experience as you reflect on your own choices to use drugs and learn new strategies to change the behavior that led to and sustained your addiction. Other forms of therapies may be introduced during your treatment to help you develop a healthy approach to decision-making, learn how to cope with stress, address trauma or co-occurring disorders, and increase your sense of self-esteem. Learning to build positive relationships with peers and connect with others with similar addiction experiences will come as part of group therapy.

Remember: The strategies you will learn in rehab will be ones to take back into your daily life when around friends, family, and coworkers.

Rehab: Recovery and Continuing Care

Sustaining the recovery you work hard to achieve during your treatment requires a commitment to receiving continuing care once the program is done. Your goal is to avoid a relapse, even if only focusing on one day or one moment at a time by relying on meetings, counselors, and any other support system within your reach. To increase your chances at success, develop a detailed plan with your addiction specialists that works for you and becomes something you can follow reliably and consistently for the months and years ahead.

Remember: When aiming for long-term recovery, create a plan with the help of addiction specialists and follow the plan.

Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-875-1558.

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