What to Expect at a Drug Rehab Center

If you or your teen is going to be entering a drug rehab center, it’s natural that he or she might feel worried and anxious. What should they expect? And what, as a parent, should you expect? While every program is different and offers various services, here are some common elements that you or your teen will probably experience during a stay at a drug rehab center.

The Intake Process

When you first arrive, you will be taken in for an evaluation where you’ll be screened for addictions and other mental health issues. It’s important that you’re honest during this time because your answers to various questions will be what is used to make an addiction treatment plan. Since many times, addiction accompanies other types of mental health conditions, it’s important that you are treated for those as well.

During the intake process, you’ll also be told the rules and guidelines of the program. It’s a good time to ask questions about what to expect as you go through the recovery process.

Withdrawal From Substances

If you are currently dependent on a drug or alcohol, you’ll have to go through the withdrawal process. Depending on your program, you might do it there or you might need to go to a different medical facility. Because withdrawal is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, you’ll need medical supervision to go through the process safely.

You should expect to feel sick during the detoxification process. You might be nauseous and vomit or have diarrhea. You’ll likely have intense cravings for the substance. You might have cold sweats and you might even have seizures. During the physical process of withdrawal, you might feel very irritable or depressed. Your mental state will be assessed during this time.

Individual Therapy

One of the most important parts of your rehab experience will be the counseling and psychotherapy that you’ll receive. Cognitive behavioral therapy will teach you how to react to various stressors. Up to this point, you might have been reacting by turning toward alcohol or drugs. Before that, you might have coped with stress in unhealthy ways. Learning how to redirect yourself and find healthy ways to cope with stress will help you say no to drugs and alcohol in the future, once you are out of rehab.

Family Therapy

Many people have trouble communicating with their family members. If you are in rehab, your family might not know what to say to you. You and they might have unresolved issues that need to be put to rest before you will be ready to get on with the hard work of recovery and before they will be ready to offer you support. Family therapy can help with all of this and might be a part of your rehab stay. If it is, your family will come to the drug rehab center for sessions. Family members might also get outside counseling that you will not be a part of. In fact, this can be very helpful for them as they learn how to take good care of themselves so they can help take care of you.

Group Therapy

Another common part of a recovery program involves group therapy. Having other people who are going through the same experience can be cathartic and helpful as you find your way through your own recovery. You’ll make friends and share insights with one another.

You might be surprised at the insights that others have about your situation and the thoughts that you have about others’ experiences. Often, when you are in the middle of your own circumstances, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, but when you are presented with someone else’s situation, the answers are easier to see. You might remain lifelong friends with some of these people.

Limited Contact With Others

Depending on the rehabilitation center, you might be extremely limited in the amount of contact you’re able to have with those outside of the treatment center. Your cellphone might be put away and you might not be able to use the Internet at certain times or for a period of days or even longer. This is so you can focus on getting better and not on what is going on within your group of friends.

Visitors may be limited, too. It’s important for you to understand why the rules are what they are and to accept these rules and guidelines. As time goes by, you’ll gain more freedom to prepare you for making good decisions once you leave the center.

Support Afterward

When your inpatient rehab process is over, you are far from done recovering from your addiction. Leaving the center is not saying goodbye to treatment. Instead, you’ll receive intensive counseling and support in an outpatient setting. In some cases, this will take place at a treatment center or office that is not affiliated with the drug rehab center. This is the case if you live far from the treatment facility or if your insurance will only authorize you to go somewhere else.

The important thing is not where you go for your aftercare treatment but that you stick with it. Individual and group therapy is important for your continued recovery. Relapses are common in the months following rehab, and keeping in close contact with those who can support you is one way you can reduce your chances of suffering from a relapse. If you do have a relapse, these will be the people who will be able to help you get back on track.

Whether it’s you or your teenager going through rehab, it’s important that everyone in the household gets the counseling and support they need. Being there for a recovering addict is draining and stressful, and individual therapy or support groups are excellent ways to learn how to cope with these added stressors. Talk to the staff at your drug rehab center to find programs for the parents, children, or siblings of the person who has an addiction.