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What to Expect in Inpatient Drug Rehab - A Journey Towards Recovery

The Initial Assessment

The first step in inpatient treatment is the initial assessment. During this process, you'll meet with a team of healthcare professionals who will evaluate your physical and mental health, as well as your addiction history. They will ask you questions about your drug use, your family history, and your personal goals for recovery. This assessment will help them create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.


Once your assessment is complete, you'll begin the detoxification process. This is often the most challenging part of rehab, as your body adjusts to the absence of drugs or alcohol. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and anxiety. However, you'll be monitored closely by medical professionals who can provide medication and support to ease your symptoms.

Therapies and Treatments

After detox, you'll begin therapy and treatment. In residential treatment, you'll have access to a wide range of therapies, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): a type of talk therapy that helps you identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones.
  • Group therapy: a supportive environment where you can share your experiences and connect with others who are also in recovery.
  • Family therapy: a way to involve your loved ones in your recovery and address any issues that may have contributed to your addiction.
  • Holistic therapies: such as yoga, meditation, and art therapy, which can help you manage stress and develop new coping skills.

In addition to therapy, you may also receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) if necessary. MAT uses medications such as methadone or buprenorphine to help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

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The Different Stages of Recovery

Recovery is not an one-time event, but a lifelong journey. In your drug and alcohol rehab program, you'll learn about the different stages of recovery and develop the skills and tools necessary to maintain sobriety. These stages include:

  • Early recovery: the first few months after completing rehab, where you may experience cravings and need to develop new habits and routines.
  • Middle recovery: the next few months to a year, where you continue to build on the progress you've made and learn how to navigate daily life without drugs or alcohol.
  • Long-term recovery: the ongoing process of maintaining sobriety and addressing any issues that may arise along the way.

The Benefits of Inpatient Drug Rehab

Treatment can be life-changing for those struggling with addiction. Some of the benefits of residential substance abuse treatment include:

  • 24/7 care and support: you'll have access to medical professionals and therapists around the clock.
  • A structured environment: rehab provides a safe and supportive environment for recovery, helping you develop new routines and habits that support your sobriety.
  • A focus on self-discovery and healing: inpatient drug rehab helps you explore the underlying causes of addiction, heal from past trauma, and develop new coping skills and habits to support your recovery.
  • Supportive community and lifelong connections: inpatient treatment offers you the opportunity to connect with others who are also in recovery, and form lifelong friendships and connections that can provide ongoing support and encouragement.


How long does inpatient drug rehab last?

The length of treatment varies depending on the individual and their specific needs. Generally, programs range from 30 to 90 days, although some may be longer or shorter. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs, and the length of your stay will be determined by your progress and goals.

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Will I have access to my phone or computer during inpatient drug rehab?

Most inpatient drug rehab facilities have rules around phone and computer use, as they can be a source of distraction or trigger for some individuals. However, many facilities allow limited access to technology, such as for communication with loved ones or work responsibilities. Talk to your treatment team about the specific rules and guidelines at your facility.

What happens after I complete inpatient drug rehab?

Completing your treatment program is just the beginning of your journey to recovery. Your treatment team will work with you to create a discharge plan that includes aftercare services, such as outpatient therapy or support groups, to help you maintain your sobriety and continue your progress.


Inpatient drug rehab can be a transformative experience for those struggling with addiction. By providing a safe and supportive environment for recovery, rehab offers individuals the opportunity to explore the underlying causes of addiction, develop new coping skills, and form lifelong connections with others in recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, consider exploring the options for inpatient drug rehab and taking the first step towards a healthier, happier life.


1.) From: "Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Treatment of Alcohol Problems. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1990." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218841/

2.) From: "What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families Publication ID: SMA14-4126 Publication Date: January 2014" https://store.samhsa.gov/product/What-Is-Substance-Abuse-Treatment-A-Booklet-for-Families/SMA14-4126

From: "Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) NIH Pub Number: 12-4180" https://archives.nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition

Clinical Review Staff

Dr. Gina M Jansheski, M.D.

Dr. Gina Jansheski, M.D.

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu, MD, MS

Renee Warmbrodt, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC

Renee Warmbrodt, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC

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