If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs, at some point drug rehabilitation is going to become a necessity. In most cases, addicts cannot successfully stop using on their own, and need the treatment and support that rehab offers.
However, when it comes to actually go into rehab, many addicts resist, due to fear of the unexpected. Knowing what the drug rehab process is really like can actually allay those fears, and increase the chance that an addict will enter willingly and complete the process.
Phase One: Detoxification
When you are addicted to a drug, you have to continually take the drug in order to avoid the feelings of withdrawal that come from abstaining. You want to maintain the illusion of the good feelings that the drug brings, so you take dose after does of the drug.
The first step to rehabilitation, then, is to get the drugs out of your system. For the first several days or weeks of rehab, you’ll go through the detoxification process as your body cleans out the harmful substances. This process can be painful and uncomfortable, the severity of which depends on the drug. However, the rehabilitation center will do everything to make this process as healthy as possible; in most cases, detox is medically supervised, and you’ll receive help overcoming the symptoms of withdrawal.
Phase Two: Therapeutic
Once your body is clear of the physical symptoms of the drug, and you are on the road to regaining your physical health, rehab switches focus on to the psychological aspects of addiction. You’ll attend both individual and group therapy sessions, in which you’ll discuss the issues surrounding your addiction and learn new strategies for handling the triggers that lead you to use.
Depending on the facility, you may engage in other therapeutic activities during this time as well. For example, some facilities provide art therapy, animal therapy or sports therapy to help you recover and handle the emotions that surround your addiction and recovery. Expect to have a strict schedule during this period, and encouragement to engage in healthy activities, such as sleep and exercise.
Phase Three: Aftercare
Your time in the rehab center may end after 30, 60 or 90 days, but the process of recovery is far from over. In some cases, recovery is a lifelong process, and after you leave rehab, you’ll receive aftercare for a period of time. This might include daily or weekly check in calls with your counselor, regular therapy sessions and perhaps attendance at meetings. The idea of aftercare is that while it’s comparatively easy to stay sober in the controlled environment of the facility, in the real world it’s far more challenging, and you’ll need extra support to stay sober in that environment.
Everyone’s rehabilitation process is different, and every facility is different in terms of policies, programs and offerings. However, most follow this general process of detox, therapy and aftercare. It’s a proven process that can help you get back on your feet and enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life after drugs.