The decision to enter rehab is often a major turning point in life. Whether you or someone you care about is battling drug abuse addiction, the rehab experience can be life-changing and, in some cases, life-saving.
But if one is entering rehab for the first time and isn’t familiar with the process, fear of the unknown can set in. What is involved in the rehab process? What can one expect when entering rehab? Hopefully, this article will help to demystify the process.
Step 1: Desire to Change
The rehab process begins within the individual. When the process is successful, it is almost always because the patient was ready and determined to make a real change in their life. While it is possible for the patient to receive some benefits from the process even if this conviction is not there, the desire to change dramatically increases the odds of sustained success.
Step 2: The Intake Exam and Interview
This step has also been called “the interview and assessment process“, and is an information-gathering step in which the patient is interviewed about their medical history, length of addiction, frequency of drug usage, overall background, time of last usage, and all other relevant and pertinent information. Blood and urine tests and in some cases a full medical exam are implemented. This information helps counselors determine the ideal length of treatment and create a personalized treatment program. Length of treatment is generally from 30 to 90 days, but can be longer.
Step 3: Detoxification
In this step, all traces of the addictive substance will be removed from the patient’s system. This process will be medically supervised. There are often withdrawal symptoms, sometimes severe ones. The rehab facility is the safest place to undergo this detox or “drying out” process. If medications are needed to ease withdrawal symptoms, the facility is equipped to prescribe them. The detox time frame is typically from 1 to 3 days, but can be longer in some cases.
Step 4: Individual Counseling
Some consider this step the “real work” of rehab. It involves meeting with a counselor, learning about addiction and exploring the origins of their addiction. Together the patient and counselor will get to the root and core issues of the addiction, find out what triggers it, and work to heal the anxiety triggers that are at the base of many addictions.
Step 5: Group Counseling with Peers
Group meetings with others working to overcome addiction can have a powerful healing effect. Whether the 12-step format is used or another format, getting support from peers who understand what one is going through can help facilitate the recovery process.
Step 6: Family Involvement and Counseling
In the initial stages of rehab, family members should be prepared to have minimal (if any) contact with their loved one. Later, during the counseling phase, communication with the family will be an important part of the healing process. After rehab, the patient will not be able to just “pick up where they left off” at home. There will have to be changes, and communication within the family will help facilitate the necessary changes to the home environment.
Step 7: Ongoing Aftercare
Continued attendance to 12-step or other group support meetings is crucial to long-term success in the recovery process. Individual counseling may continue as well, as needed.
The rehab process is a powerful, multi-pronged approach to dealing with substance abuse and addiction. It can be the turning point that puts one’s life on a brand new and positive course.
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Addiction can take hold of your life before you know it. If you or a loved one are trapped in an addiction to drugs or alcohol that you can’t break out of please contact us at DrugRehab.org today. We are highly trained professionals with the resources to help you no matter the severity of your current condition.
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