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What is Rehab

What is Rehab Like?

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What Is It Like To Be In Rehab?

If rehab is an option you’re considering to help with an addiction you’re experiencing, you probably want to find out more about what you can expect from the whole rehab experience. It’s only natural to be curious about it and maybe even a little unsure. There are all kinds of help and support that are offered to residents in rehab that can be effective in addiction recovery. In this article, we’re going to discuss them all.

First, it’s good to realize that no two rehab experiences are the same — no two rehabs are exactly alike. The experience you have will depend on how you approach it, how invested in it you are, and which rehab facility you choose to check into. Now read on to find out about what you can expect when you’re in rehab and how you’ll be helped to overcome your addiction.

Detox Treatment

The beginning of detox is one of the things people fear most when they go into rehab. It’s understandable why detox can be scary: there are all kinds of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, you don’t know how your body will react, and you’ll be dependent on professionals you hardly know at first to help get you through it.

Detox starts with a medical evaluation that will assess the situation and how your addiction is impacting your body. From there, the detox can begin, sometimes with the help of medication (this is called Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT). Not all detox phases require medication, but it’s helpful in the case of hard drugs or opioids. Of course, it may be tough at first and there’s no sense in denying that. But the good news is, after detox, your body will be free of chemicals your addiction physically depends on. It’s always worth it in the end.

You will experience some sort of withdrawal symptoms that will get easier to deal with as the detox process progresses. The medication can also help to take the edge off at the beginning of the process. There are things that can be done to help you, such as getting help with sleeping, following a regular program that focuses your mind on various other things, as well as healthy eating.


Various Types of Therapy

Therapy is an important part of the rehab experience for most people. It gives them the chance to tackle their issues in a direct way and come out to the other side positively. We’re now going to talk about some of the types of therapy available in rehab.

CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to treat many mental disorders including addictions. It does so by helping you learn to change how you respond to triggers that might have previously made you want to drink or use drugs. The therapist works with you with the aim of developing new and healthier responses to those triggers. It’s a one-on-one form of therapy and is known to be very effective.

Group therapy sessions are also used in rehab facilities. Being open and sharing thoughts and experiences with others can be very therapeutic. It can also help create camaraderie and an atmosphere of supportiveness in the group. As the individuals in the group grow closer, they can offer support to one another when it’s needed.

Family therapy is sometimes used as well. This is when the person in therapy has the chance to talk alongside family members and work on problems together. This is important because addiction can affect the family of the addicts as much as the addict themselves. Working through past problems and issues together can help create a fresh start for everyone, free from addiction.

There’s also a range of specialist therapy sessions that can be undertaken depending on the needs of the individual. For example, some people might benefit from anger management therapy and others might need to learn how to handle stress better. Dealing with these specific needs while in rehab is a good idea. To learn a brief overview of popular therapies used in rehab, read our Different Types of Therapy page.

Support Groups and Self-Help Meetings

Some people also decide to attend support group meetings where they can talk openly about their experiences and their problems. Getting things out in the open like this, whether the person is in rehab yet or not, can be very helpful. It’s often an important first step for people to take when they’re beginning on the road to addiction recovery. It can make a big difference and help them to understand their situation better and relate to others in similar situations.

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Residential Treatment

Residential rehab facilities will offer all kinds of treatment. Of course, there’s the therapeutic side of things as we’ve already discussed. But rehab will also involve help with medication and care for you as you move through the stages of addiction recovery. People who’ve been through years of addiction often have many health problems that need to be treated and this can often be done in rehab.

As mentioned above, the detox process can be very taxing and harsh on the body as well, so getting support and medical attention when suffering withdrawal and everything associated with that is very important. It’s about ensuring you have the support and treatment that allows you to halt your addiction in a safe and controlled way. That safety and control wouldn’t be there if you tried to go through this alone. For this reason, we strongly advise detox and treatment in a medical or professional setting and never done by yourself at home.

Outpatient Services

Not all forms of rehabilitation have to happen inside a residential facility, although inpatient rehab can be one of the best options and can actually save a person’s life. Sometimes, rehab help and support can be provided on an outpatient basis. There are all kinds of outpatient rehabilitation services out there and you should look to see what kind of support you can get in your local area if you think you would benefit from it. It’s an approach that many people find useful as long as their addiction isn’t life-threatening and can be worked through while continuing daily obligations.

Outpatient services can also be provided after a person completes their stay in a residential rehab facility. When you come out of inpatient rehab, it does not mean that is the end of the recovery process! You’ll want to make sure that you’re properly supported and don’t relapse quickly into your own ways as soon as you re-enter the real world once more. Carrying on with therapy sessions after rehab can be particularly useful when you want to stay on the right track.


Help Setting Boundaries and Healthy Habits

Developing healthy habits that can be carried forward into everyday life is another part of the experience in rehab. Many people need that support because they’re not sure how to create routines and lifestyles that allow them to stay away from their past triggers and vices. But with the help of experienced professionals, you can get the guidance you need and stay on the right track as a new habit to carry with you for the rest of your life.

Even things like nutrition and exercise can help when you’re looking to stay on track and recover from an addiction. Getting information on how to get those things right will help when the time comes for you to leave rehab and start living at home in the community once more. The more healthy habits you set ahead of this, the more successful your recovery will be long-term. Food can have a huge impact on physical and mental function. In fact, many foods react to the same parts of the brain that drugs do (like dopamine) so making sure to eat a balanced diet can create a positive balance to fuel your life.

How Long Does Drug and Alcohol Rehab Last?

There’s no one answer to this question because each person’s situation is unique and there are different answers for different people. However, generally speaking, an inpatient rehab stay lasts between 30 and 90 days. Longer stays might be needed if the person has particular problems that need to be treated and worked on before they can complete the detox and recovery processes.

However, many people only stay in rehab for around a month if this is all they need to get back on their feet. Rehab stays don’t tend to be shorter than that unless the individual leaves without completing the processes. But it all comes down to the individual needs of the person. When you first meet the professionals at the rehab facility or when you talk to them before arriving, you can discuss things like timeframe and ask the relevant questions.


Rehab isn’t something to fear or avoid when you’re in need of help. If you think that the structure, support, and treatment offered by a rehab facility could help you to get back on track and overcome your drug or alcohol addiction, you should look into the options in your local area as soon as possible. To talk more about rehab or need any questions answered, reach out to us at Opus Health, where we understand your curiosity and concern in getting the best treatment possible for addiction. 

If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 949-625-4019.

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