Planning for Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Learn more about drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and what a person can expect while in treatment.

When it comes to seeking recovery from drugs and/or alcohol, feelings of doubt, worry, or fear may keep you from pursuing professional addiction treatment or asking others for help. Because of this, it can be valuable to understand everything that goes into planning for rehabilitation and what a person can expect while in treatment.  

Although addiction cannot be cured, with professional treatment and ongoing recovery efforts, this disease may be effectively managed—even at its most severe. Learn more about addiction, how to find the right facility for you or a loved one, and what typical schedules may look like within treatment.

What is Addiction Treatment?

Substance abuse treatment is focused on helping individuals addicted to drugs and/or alcohol stop compulsive use and minimize the desire to seek out substances.1 Treatment can occur in a variety of settings and can vary in terms of recovery programming and treatment length (often 30-, 60-, or 90-day programs).

Substance use disorders (SUD) and alcohol use disorders (AUD) may be somewhat different for everyone. Therefore, a variety of treatment approaches are available to meet each individual’s specific needs. Depending on your treatment plan, you may move through one or more of the following levels of care: medical detox, residential inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or standard outpatient.2

Addiction treatment also includes the use of behavioral therapies focused on addressing a patient’s attitudes and behaviors toward drug and alcohol use. Behavioral approaches help to engage patients in treatment, provide reasons for them to stay sober, and teach individuals healthier coping mechanisms to handle stressful or triggering situations.3

Ultimately, treatment should help those struggling with addiction to stop using drugs and/or alcohol, stay drug- or alcohol-free, and help them be productive within their families, at work, and in society.1

What Type of Treatment Do I Need?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addiction treatment. Therefore, the level of care a person may need depends on a number of factors including:

  • A person’s current substance use and corresponding level of physical dependence.
  • Any additional substance use (i.e., which drugs are being abuse).
  • Any co-occurring medical and/or mental health conditions.
  • Any previous attempts to quit.

Along with a treating a person’s addiction, effective treatment should also address the individual as a whole and discuss any co-occurring disorders or any social, psychological, vocational, or legal problems related to substance abuse.4

It’s important to seek the guidance of medical and mental health professionals to help inform the course of treatment that is necessary.

Choosing Out-of-State or Nearby Treatment

When it comes to treatment at home or out-of-state, both have their advantages and disadvantages. For some, being far from home may do more harm than good when relying heavily on the support of friends and family to remain in treatment. Or, choosing an out-of-state facility may mean that their insurance provider isn’t able to cover treatment. However, it’s still best to check with your provider since, in many cases, they’ll still offer coverage.

On the other hand, though a nearby facility may be more convenient, focusing on recovery while being away from home may be more beneficial for some. Finding a treatment center in another state may help individuals stay away from the toxic relationships and routines that may have led to abuse in the first place. Without these distractions nearby, individuals have more freedom to start over in an environment away from triggers.

What to Expect During Treatment?

The programming and amenities within various rehabilitation centers can vary by facility or level of care. But many involve a mix of:1

  • Medically assisted detox.
  • Medications used to ease certain withdrawal symptoms or dependence.
  • Treatment that addresses any comorbid disorders or co-occurring mental health issues.
  • Behavioral therapies.
  • Long-term aftercare planning to prevent relapse.

Regardless of setting (inpatient or outpatient), patients will attend a daily schedule of coping skills education, relapse prevention classes and individual and group therapy sessions. This type of consistent structure can also be beneficial in helping individuals develop a healthier, more well-balanced routine.

For those within residential or inpatient settings, programming typically lasts all day and includes breaks for meals and personal time in the evenings. In partial hospitalization programs, (PHP), patients will generally receive 4 hours of group therapy each day and will check in 5 days a week.

In intensive outpatient programs (IOP), individuals will go to therapy for 10-12 hours over the course of 3-4 days. Lastly, attendance requirements for outpatient vary by program with some only meeting 1 to 3 times per week and others requiring daily sessions.

Additionally, some facilities will offer alternative therapies such as music, art, yoga, and equine therapies to improve their overall experience.

What Happens When You Get Out of Rehab?

Prior to completing rehab, your therapeutic treatment team may work with you to develop an aftercare plan to help you maintain your sobriety and avoid relapse. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires commitment, patience and ongoing support.

Aftercare supports the positive effects of the initial forms of treatment, helping individuals strengthen the skills they learned during each phase of rehab. They can also help in promoting awareness of triggers and provide you with ongoing support through brief check-ups, telephone counseling or support group meetings.

Some of the more commonly utilized aftercare services include:

  • Individual and group counseling.
  • 12-step meetings, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
  • Non-12-step groups such as SMART Recovery.
  • Sober living homes.

Utilizing aftercare services such as sober living homes are also helpful in easing the transition from rehab back to your regular life.

If a relapse does occur, it is essential to remember that it does not mean treatment failed or that you should judge yourself for the misstep. It simply means you’ve experienced a common setback that many people in recovery deal with at some or multiple points in their lives.

Speak with your treatment team or someone you trust immediately and share what you’re experiencing. Often times a relapse means that you may need to adjust your current treatment plan or take a different approach to treatment. Take this opportunity to learn from your setbacks, they don’t always need to end in relapse.

Discuss Your Treatment Options

If you or someone you care about is ready to seek treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism, American Addiction Centers’ (AAC) can help. AAC is a nationwide provider of addiction treatment centers and operator of AlcoholRehab.com.

We are committed to making recovery accessible to everyone in need and accept many insurance plans. With locations across the country, we’re able to provide a number of unique settings as your backdrop for recovery.And, if you’ve successfully completed 90 consecutive days at an AAC facility and experience a relapse, you are welcome back for a complimentary 30 days of our treatment.*

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to treatment, facility locations and/or what treatment may involve, call our admissions navigators today. All calls are 100% confidential and there’s no pressure to make a decision right away.

*Terms and conditions may apply.