What Should I Expect During Rehab?

“What is rehab like?” is one of the most frequently asked questions by addicts considering changing their ways. The answer to this question is as varied as the more than 14,500 specialized treatment facilities dotted across the country. 

However, there are a few commonalities when it comes to residential rehabs. 

Read on for the inside scoop. 

What to Expect During Rehab

The main component at all residential rehabs is routine. Routine streamlines the operations of these facilities, but it’s also good for you when you’re negotiating the uncertainties of recovery.

Studies show that routine is an important part of making positive changes in your life. A familiar routine is often the only constant when you’re undergoing major lifestyle changes.  

You’ll also experience a degree of isolation from the outside world. This is to help you focus on yourself during this important time of your life. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what usually happens in rehab on a daily basis.

Getting a Good Start

There’s no such thing as sleeping in while you’re in rehab. You’ll get up early and get started with the daily treatment program as soon as possible.

Healthy eating is an important component of any rehabilitation program. Correct nutrition will help your body heal from the ravages of substance abuse and help you establish good habits going forward. 

In this light you’ll most likely enjoy breakfast first thing before starting the daily routine. Some rehabs expect inpatients to participate in setting up and clearing the breakfast tables, washing up, or even cooking some meals. 

Exercise is often the next step, followed by some time to shower and get dressed for the day. 

Exercising Times

As part of your journey towards renewed health, most rehabs encourage or even insist on exercising every day. They may provide a gym for this purpose, or arrange group walks or yoga sessions.

Exercise is important to help your brain release dopamine, the feel-good enzyme. You’ll learn to love these early morning sessions and start to look forward to them as you become fitter.

If you can’t exercise due to medical reasons, or withdrawals, you won’t need to take part until you’re able to join in. 

Once you’ve taken care of your daily health needs, you’re ready to dive straight into the formal part of the day’s treatment.

Group Sessions

A group therapy session often follows breakfast, where you’ll learn more about various topics relating to addiction and get a chance to discuss any issues you have. Common topics include Big Book studies and discussions as well as 

Those in charge will often make any relevant housekeeping announcements during this time when everyone’s gathered together.  Later you could split off into smaller groups to discuss more specific issues and then gather for a wholesome lunch.

Since you’re all going through the process together in a supportive environment, you’ll often develop close bonds with others in your group. Knowing that others understand the way you think and feel really helps with the feelings of isolation often experienced by addicts. 

Counseling Sessions in Rehab

After lunch, you’ll get to spend some time in one-on-one therapy with a counselor. Some popular and effective types of treatment include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Experts recognize CBT as one of the most effective treatments in addiction counseling. This method targets your behavioral responses to certain triggers.

Once your therapist identifies your weak areas, they’ll continue with a more targeted approach to help you overcome these ingrained responses and make better choices in the future. These private sessions provide a safe environment for you to discuss your concerns and fears as well as deal with emotional issues. 

Specialized Therapy Sessions

These therapies often center on other specific issues experienced by addicts. These include anger and stress management as well as grief counseling. 

When you participate in these, you’ll learn valuable skills for coping with life’s obstacles without turning to alcohol or drugs.

Family Therapy

The effects of addiction are widespread, causing disruption in every area of your life, and can even result in co-dependency and enabling behaviors among your close family and friends. 

Support from your loved ones is a vital component of recovery. So, you’ll often get to participate in one or more sessions involving those closest to you. These gatherings provide opportunities to address the way in which your behavior has impacted those around you and resolve any underlying feelings of resentment or anger. 

They’re a vital step to prepare everyone for what’s to come after you complete your stint in rehab. 

Free Time

It will surprise you how fast the days fly by while you’re in treatment thanks to this intense schedule of therapy and activities. However, you will find some free time during the day and weekends usually have a less frenetic schedule.

You can fill this time with exercise, walks, reading or other activities provided onsite. At some rehab centers you’ll use this time to catch up on extra therapeutic work, or for chores like laundry. 

What Is Rehab Like in the Evenings?

Oftentimes, you’ll get to take part in in-house or local AA and NA meetings after dinner. This helps prepare you for life outside of rehab by learning about the different types of meetings available.

On some evenings, you could also enjoy get-togethers or fun group events like movies or quiz nights. Likewise, these social events help to show that you can have fun in a social setting without alcohol and drugs. 

Do You Have More Questions About Rehab?

I hope we’ve put your mind at ease if you’re considering issues such as “what is rehab like?”. If you or a loved one’s drug or alcohol use is out of control, don’t let uncertainty put you off getting help.

Rather, ask your doctor for advice or contact a rehabilitation center near you with any questions you have. 

Our website is a good place to start looking for answers to all your questions surrounding addiction and what you can do about it. Keep reading. 

Get Help Today

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.