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What Happens in Drug Rehab?
What Happens in Drug Rehab?

Many people with drug use disorders are afraid to seek help for their addictions. Addiction is the only life they know and understand. Their compulsion to use drugs has overtaken their desire to reach out into the world and carve a new path for themselves. Rehab can seem like a scary new path, especially if you don’t know what to expect. 

Once you familiarize yourself with drug rehab, you’ll realize that great facilities provide one of the most pleasant care experiences you’ll ever have. Once you’ve passed the difficult withdrawal phase of recovery, the rest of the process is designed to build you up. You’ll become more in touch with your emotions, you’ll find that you aren’t alone in dealing with your addiction, and you’ll begin to forge a path to the life you’ve always dreamed of. 

It Starts With Detoxification

The detoxification process, the first step of full rehabilitation, is the step that most people with drug use disorders are terrified of. You know what it feels like when you run out of your drug of choice. It might sometimes feel like you’re at the most you can handle. It’s important to realize though that there is a major difference between going through withdrawal alone, and going through a medically supervised detox. 

When you’re at home, there’s no one to monitor you or help tend to your symptoms. A rehabilitation facility that offers detox treatment is full of people who understand exactly what your body and mind are going through during this process. They know that it’s difficult, and they’re trained to help you in exactly the way you need to be helped to get you through it safely. 

While some effects of drug withdrawal cannot be fully stopped, they can undoubtedly be managed. Medications, fluids, bed rest, a proper diet, and monitoring of vital signs can help to assure a safe and uneventful detoxification. 

The idea is that you’ll only ever have to endure detoxification once. The rest of your rehabilitation program should set you up for a sober future and give you the tools you need to make healthier choices. Think of detoxification like ripping off a bandage. 

Establishing a Timeline for Your Stay

Some inpatient rehabilitation programs are limited in duration. Residential treatment programs can last much longer. While you’re there, you’ll work with the staff to create a personalized timeline for your completion of the program. This timeline will be based on evaluations of your progress throughout the rehabilitation process. 

You may only need a month. You might need three months. You might need longer. It’s best to stay until you’re truly ready to re-enter the world. You want to have a mastery of your skills and a deep understanding of your addiction, including the people and situations that create temptations to use. It’s better to stay longer in rehab than it is to leave before you’re ready and wind up returning.

The duration of rehab should be different for everyone, especially when the process is individualized. Don’t think that leaving early is a good thing. Even if you feel like you have it handled, you might need a little more time. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of success will be.

Group Therapy Sessions

Addicts often feel isolated from the rest of the world. People can be judgemental because they don’t understand the factors that contribute to addiction or your experience of drug use disorder. It can be hard to talk to others and feel properly heard, let alone understood. 

That’s where group therapy becomes a helpful tool. When you’re in drug rehab, you’re surrounded by people who understand your experience of drug use. You’ll find that you have a lot in common with the people around you. They aren’t judging you because they’ve been there. They understand the unique challenges you’ve faced. They’ve done things they aren’t proud of. The people around you have firsthand knowledge of your struggles. 

Group therapy will give you the perfect opportunity to open up without fear. You might find it easier to listen than to talk at the beginning. Once you’re comfortable, you’ll begin to realize that you can share freely and it will feel relieving. Unburdening yourself among people who can fully comprehend your experience will help you come to terms with the mistakes you’ve made. They’re doing the same thing. In the end, you all want to be happier and healthier people achieving ambitious goals and living fuller lives.

Individual Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy gives you a private space to disclose things you may not feel comfortable disclosing in a group setting. If you have trauma or are living with the after-effects of a negative event, you may be using drugs to block out memories or thoughts you’d rather not contend with. You can share these things with your therapist in private. 

Your therapist is there to help you uncover the root causes and behaviors that contribute to addiction that are unique to you. He or she will help you learn to recognize and contend with thoughts and feelings you may have otherwise deemed too painful to confront. Seeing the error of your ways will be easier, and seeing the path to your redemption will offer you relief. 

Therapy is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. You deserve to feel better. You deserve to be equipped with the right tools to make the right choices. You’re worth the effort of self-improvement, and you’re entitled to enjoy your life. Individual therapy will help you do that. 

Creating a Structured Plan for Your Future

When you’re no longer using drugs, what will you do with your time and money? When your mind is clear, what will you use it to achieve? How will you establish great social relationships and repair bonds with loved ones you’ve distanced from because of your addiction? What kind of career do you want? What kind of parent do you want to be, now or in the future? 

When the door to your addiction closes, so many others open in its place. 

You can work with your therapist to take an inventory of your skills, goals, and ambitions. You can identify your strengths and weaknesses and talk about where those may lead you. Drawing up a plan for everything that will become possible through your sobriety will make it easier to stay committed to living a healthier life. You’ll have goals, and you’ll need to stay clean to achieve them. 

This is one of the most important parts of drug rehab, because it’s filling the void that your addiction will leave behind once it’s no longer a burden to you. You really can fill that void with whatever you want, even if it means going back to school or moving to a completely different country. You’ll begin to understand how liberating it really is to be free of using. 

Maintaining Sobriety Through Aftercare

Rehab doesn’t end when you leave the facility. When you check out, you may be returning to the environment or surroundings where you used to use drugs. You’ll see people and things that you associate with drug use. You’ll need to maintain your resolve to stay sober and work through the feelings you’ll encounter out in the real world.

That’s what aftercare is for. You never really know how you’re going to feel until you’re in the moment. Aftercare will give you a chance to explain your feelings and work through them with  people who understand. You’ll have the time and opportunity to develop new coping skills as new problems arise. 

Maintaining your sobriety is just as important as achieving it in the first place. It helps to seek aftercare through the very same facility you attended for your residential treatment. The team knows you. They’ve been with you since you started your journey. They understand what you need to be successful.

You won’t have to spend time and energy introducing yourself to a new person in a new place who is entirely unfamiliar with the things you’ve been through. You’ll have stability in your care, and that stability is something you’ll appreciate. 


Drug rehab is meant to be great for you. It’s designed to provide you with everything you deserve. Drug use disorder doesn’t permanently taint you, it’s just an obstacle between who you are now and who you desire to be. The staff at the right residential treatment facility will understand that, and they’ll be just as invested in seeing you achieve your full potential as you’ll be.



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