Whether it’s you or a loved one, heading into an inpatient rehab facility can be frightening.
It’s a big change in your life, especially for those with a long history of addiction.
What is rehab like?
Read on and we’ll go over the basics that are common to all inpatient rehab facilities. It’s time to make a change, but you don’t have to go in blind.
First Things First: Detoxification
The initial stage in most programs will lead you into a detox facility. Many drugs of abuse are physically addictive. A medically-assisted detox program is the first stop for most addicts on the road to reclaiming their life.
Even for stimulants such as amphetamines, which lack physically addictive qualities, for the most part, it’s often recommended. The abuse that an addict’s body has been put through can be intense and it can take time to come around enough to even be open to treatment.
Medications are often used for those who abused drugs which cause physical dependence and then tapered off. Benzodiazepines, for instance, use similar pathways to alcohol and can be used to stave off the dangerous withdrawal symptoms associated with dependence.
Otherwise, this process serves to get the patient’s head straight. Initial abstinence is often the hardest part for the addict who truly wants to quit due to withdrawal and a controlled environment is essential in the early days of recovery.
What is Rehab Like?
All facilities will have differences, but they’ll be relatively minor in most cases.
There are some key elements, other than staying sober, that make up the majority of inpatient programs.
Schedule and Routine
Inpatient settings are always well-structured.
Addicts have often lost all semblance of a schedule or routine that doesn’t pertain to drugs. When in-patient treatment is indicated it’s usually because the patient has reached that point.
Scheduling might sometimes just seem to be there to make things easier on the staff, but it’s a requirement. To get back to the real world a person will have to function as a person again.
Some of these things will seem relatively minor.
Waking up at a certain time, making the bed, that sort of thing.
It’s an essential part of any inpatient rehab program. The patient won’t be “cured”, instead, they’re being given the tools they need to stay clean outside of a controlled environment.
Therapy and Counseling
Different programs use different methods of therapy. In almost all cases it will be evidence-based, meaning there are studies backing it up.
The most common form of therapy that will be involved is cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is widely used to help prevent relapse once a patient has been released.
Other forms of therapy utilized will depend on the in-patient rehab that the patient has entered. This can range from relatively simply talking to a counselor to alternative methods like equine therapy.
The goal here is to help the patient uncover underlying issues, as well as help prevent relapse in the future.
In addition to therapy aimed at preventing relapse, many people who are addicts are unaware of the extent of what happened to them.
Drug education programs are used in conjunction with therapy to help identify triggers, form thought-stopping processes, and even go over the basics of the neurochemical changes drugs cause.
Knowing this information is only part of the battle, but it can provide valuable aid to those caught in the grips of substance abuse.
Introduction to the Twelve Steps
Just because a patient has completed a rehab program doesn’t mean they’re out of the water yet.
Support groups are essential for those who are exiting rehab, especially in the initial stages as they adjust to life in their normal environment.
The focus on Twelve Step groups has been a staple feature of most inpatient rehabs since their creation. Even before the founding of Narcotics Anonymous as a distinct group addicts were often encouraged to enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous groups.
The level of exposure varies. Sometimes it will be guided readings, in other rehab facilities, there might be speakers coming in on a nightly basis to hold meetings.
If the addict lives in the area they’re attending rehab in they’ll exit with a familiarity with the groups in their area. Even those who have traveled for rehab will find value in the introduction, however, as many addicts have a distorted view.
Completion of the Program
Most programs hold some sort of graduation ceremony once the patient has completed them.
While not a large part of the schedule and routine it helps enforce that the person has taken the first steps towards solving their problem.
It’s the First Step, Not a Cure
No one comes out of rehab without their addiction. The cunning enemy of life that we call substance abuse doesn’t make it that easy.
It will be a lifetime of work, just like any other chronic condition.
Once a patient has exited it’s often recommended they enter a sober living environment rather than returning directly home. Environmental factors can play a huge part in triggering old behaviors.
The patient, the treatment professionals they interact with, and their loved ones should weigh their options carefully upon completion of a rehab program. Relapses happen in many cases, and helping to control the first few months of a sober life is invaluable.
Ready to Give Inpatient a Try?
If you’re ready to change your life for the better then it may be time to look into an inpatient drug rehab program in Arizona. Now that you know the answer to “what is rehab like?” you’re ready to begin.
If it’s a loved one who’s suffering you may want to show them that it isn’t a scary process. It’s straightforward and simple, the goal is simply to get started on a new path. If there is a “gentler, easier way” then it starts in inpatient.