Drug rehab is a process that aims to treat substance use disorder (or drug addiction). With this disease affecting more than 20 million Americans, drug rehab is a crucial and helpful treatment to address this issue.
Drug rehab has different aspects, from detox to a wide range of behavioral therapies. If you go through it, you will also be trained to develop new habits that encourage a drug-free lifestyle.
If you have a case of substance use disorder, and you want to know what will happen in drug rehab, it’s a good idea to know what to expect. Here are the things you would do in rehab.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab
Drug rehab has two main types — inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient rehab involves staying inside a rehab center for the entire duration of treatment. Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, does not require you to stay in a rehab center for a long time. Instead, you would go to the center only for your scheduled therapy sessions.
Which one you’d go to depends on how serious your substance use disorder is. If it’s mild, you would do well in outpatient rehab programs. But if your case is more severe, you’ll be advised to enroll in inpatient rehab.
Inpatient rehab is usually more expensive than outpatient rehab. You’ll have to pay for the services you get inside the rehab facility — food, shelter, accommodation, round the clock care, and the use of the center’s amenities. Outpatient rehab does not have these added costs, so it’s much cheaper.
Generally, inpatient rehab programs tend to be more effective and produce better recovery outcomes. But since they’re more costly, you may have a hard time affording them. So, if you qualify for outpatient rehab, it’s still a good choice. You can still recover fully if you stick to treatment.
Medically Assisted Detox
A common first step in the drug rehab process is known as medically assisted detox. This procedure eliminates the drugs from your body, allowing you to live normally even without them. This is crucial, especially if you have become so dependent on the drug.
Doctors will help you through the whole detox process. They will monitor your physical condition and assist you in case any medical emergencies arise. Also, detoxing will produce withdrawal symptoms, so they may give you medications to ease them off.
Overall, the detox is carefully designed to make the whole process as comfortable as possible, minimizing any pain and discomfort from withdrawal.
Generally, detoxing is a gradual process. You won’t be told to quit “cold turkey”, as this can produce really painful withdrawal. Instead, your drug dosage would be tapered off until it reaches zero. The process can last a week or more, depending on the substance.
After detox, the next part of drug rehab is a series of behavioral therapies. Different rehab centers offer various types of therapy. The best ones are backed by research that shows their effectiveness.
A popular kind of behavioral therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT mainly deals with negative thoughts, which are believed to be the cause of destructive behaviors like drug abuse. Your therapist will teach you better ways of responding to these negative thoughts. You will also get to practice these new behaviors regularly. Once they become habits, you will be able to self-regulate and avoid drugs on your own.
Another common therapy in drug rehab is called motivational enhancement therapy. This method uses incentives to encourage you to stay sober. The longer you maintain a drug-free status, the more rewards you get. Alternatively, you could gain more valuable rewards when you stay out of drugs for longer times.
These rewards can be in the form of cash, but often therapists give you vouchers and coupons that grant you different perks. These are effective in encouraging you to stay clean. As you have something good to look forward to, you have a greater motivation to stay sober.
Sometimes, therapy may involve your immediate family members. In a technique called family therapy, your family joins in and gets educated on how to encourage and support you in your journey of recovery. Family support is a great thing to have when you’re recovering from a substance use disorder. They are usually the people you trust the most, and if they know how to support you in recovery, your outcomes will improve significantly.
Many rehab centers also encourage you to enroll in a support group, such as a 12-step program. Here, you will regularly share stories about your struggles with substance abuse to fellow patients. The support group gives you a sense of community, with the comforting fact that you are not alone in your battles. In the group, you can encourage each other and celebrate each other’s progress.
What Happens In Inpatient Rehab?
If you go through inpatient rehab, you will spend a few months living inside a rehab center. You will learn to get used to a structured daily routine, which helps in forming good habits. You’ll be trained to avoid sleeping in; instead, you’ll wake up at regular times early in the morning. Your sleeping time will also be regular so you have enough rest for another day.
In the rehab center, you will be served healthy, wholesome meals three times a day. Some rehab centers may serve snacks. If you’re well nourished, your physical and mental health will drastically improve.
Besides regular mealtimes and sleeping schedules, each day in a rehab center is also filled with different activities. Most of them involve therapy sessions, but you will also be given free time. You can use the rehab center’s various recreational amenities to relax and enjoy the time. Some rehabs even have spas, saunas, and gyms, but these centers often charge costlier rates for their rehab programs.
The best part of inpatient rehab is you get round-the-clock care. Anytime you need help, both medical and mental health professionals are always ready to lend a hand.