Drug Rehabilitation

What to Expect When Attending a Drug Rehabilitation Program

Attending rehabilitation for drug abuse is one of the only ways for people with addiction to break destructive cycles and begin a normal life. Exactly what happens during drug rehabilitation is not fully understood by many addicts. The program provides a positive and supportive environment to recover from addiction. Drug rehabilitation involves several stages:


Drug Rehabilitation

Intake is the initial step that provides an overall assessment of the condition of the person entering rehabilitation. Intake usually involves answering many questions about the type of illicit drugs being abused, the severity of the addiction, and personal goals. Intake can also involve physical examinations and education about the program.


Many comprehensive centers offering rehabilitation for drug abuse will place new patients into a detoxification program to ensure substances leave the body safely. Detoxification involves observing a person for several days as all illicit drugs exit the system. Medical oversight is often necessary because withdrawal symptoms can lead to seizures, hallucinations and other potentially life-threatening problems.

Counseling and Therapy

The largest part of rehabilitation involves some form of counseling or talk therapy. This could be behavioral therapy, psychotherapy or group therapy. Therapy identifies the addiction and educates the patient about personal behaviors. It can address the underlying reasons for addiction to prescription or over-the-counter drugs. It also provides psychological and behavioral techniques that will help to control addictive or destructive behaviors.

Family Therapy

Some drug rehabilitation facilities will include family therapy as part of the treatment. This involves bringing family or loved ones into a private counseling session. The goal is to educate the family about what the addict is going through. It also provides a safe platform for communication about past misconduct, present changes and future plans. Family therapy can help to create a strong and reliable support network for when inpatient rehabilitation ends.

Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient centers frequently provide outpatient options for people who successfully finish the program. Outpatient treatment can consist of personal counseling sessions, group therapy sessions, or combinations of both. Outpatient treatment helps people readjust to life in the real world while avoiding the temptation of illicit or over-the-counter drug abuse. Outpatient treatment could be required for months or years.

Alternative Treatments

Some rehabilitation centers might suggest alternative treatments for people who are suffering from severe and disabling drug addiction that cannot be controlled. Some locations use holistic or herbal approaches. Others might prescribe medications that alter the brain in order to reduce addictive urges. Although alternative treatments might be offered, most do not have a consistent record of successfully helping addicts recover.