The thought of attending rehab can be intimidating for anyone considering the possibility of entering treatment. Mainly this is due to the fact that people usually don’t know what to expect when entering into a program. More than anything attending an inpatient substance abuse program resembles going to summer camp as a kid. Rehabs provide a highly structured, supervised environment where you attend numerous group education sessions as well as counseling each day.
The Stages of Rehab
Inpatient substance abuse rehab programs consist of four basic phases. Generally speaking, an inpatient program takes around 30 days to complete. However, they can last anywhere from three weeks to 90 days. The phases of treatment build upon one another. Completion of the entire program is strongly recommended in order to provide participants with the greatest opportunity for success.
Intake Assessment (One hour)
After you’ve made arrangements to enter rehab staff will assess each individual’s set of circumstances. They will ask you basic medical questions, run tests on all of your vital signs, and evaluate your medications. Part of this assessment determines each person’s level of physical and mental dependence on substances. This assessment allows for the development of a program tailored specifically to a person’s needs. In addition to this, assessment includes a drug test and a psychological screening.
Medical Detox (Three to seven days)
The detox process really begins about three to five hours after a person last consumed drugs or alcohol, and typically doesn’t require anything other than supervision. During this stage participant’s experience the worst of the physical withdrawal symptoms. The most severe occurrences require medication, especially when coming off of alcohol or benzodiazepines and the participant’s having seizures. Although unpleasant, in most cases the medical staff will simply monitor you to ensure the substances safely get out of your body.
Education & Therapy (One to four weeks)
The bulk of time spent in an inpatient rehab program consists of this stage of treatment. It’s the most important stage of treatment because it introduces you to the tools needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The psychological treatment a participant undergoes in therapy looks to confront past trauma, destructive thought patterns, and behaviors to ensure participant’s can recognize these triggers before they result in relapse. In addition to therapy, education is an important aspect of this stage. Participant’s are given information about substance abuse disorder and the dangers of active abuse. The greater understanding a person has over the conditioned patterns the brain engages in during active addiction can help stop the cycle of abuse.
Aftercare Plan (The final few days of treatment)
A person’s addiction treatment doesn’t end when they’ve completed a stay in an inpatient rehab program. You’re much more likely to sustain long-term sobriety if you participate in an aftercare plan. Aftercare can take place over a few months or several years depending on the needs of the individual. It usually includes outpatient therapy, sober living, and/or consistent attendance in support groups.