What Happens in Drug Rehab

A Brief Look at What Happens in Drug Rehab Centers.

If you’ve never been in a treatment center before, placing yourself under the care of a drug rehab can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking feat. Most of this nervousness and anxiety is caused by a fear of the unknown. As dangerous and harming as addiction is, by the time any of us usually seek help, we’ve become attuned to it. It’s a lifestyle we grow to accept. However, one of the best ways to get over this comfort, this fear of the unknown, and this stagnant point in life, is to learn about what happens in drug rehab. With knowledge comes confidence, and with confidence comes a willingness to change.

To help arm you with this confidence, we’re going to go over a brief but descriptive summary of what happens in drug rehab, while answer a few common and key questions that many potential patients have about treatment.

What to Expect in Drug Rehab

  1. A Physical Assessment
    Before beginning treatment, a physician is going to sit with you, spend some time with you, and address some of the finer details of your addiction. Most importantly, the physician is going to determine whether or not you need a detox plan. Detox plans can change drastically depending on the substance abused, but generally, detoxes are supervised, and in some cases, aided with medications. It’s very important that you’re honest with your physician at this point in the program, as his choices wax and wane based on the answers you give.
  2. Psychological Assessment
    After your detox plan, a treatment plan needs to begin taking form. To create a treatment plan you will most likely meet with a psychiatrist. These psychiatrists usually specialize in addiction issues, they are well acquainted with what happens in drug rehab, and how to properly treat issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other psychological issues that are commonly paired with addiction issues. The first assessment is not the end all of the psychological assessments. Due to the remaining drugs in your system, the emotions you have before, during, and after detox will vary greatly. For this reason, there will be multiple meetings with psychologists throughout treatment.

    At this point, you may find yourself wondering: does insurance cover rehab? Most insurance plans do cover inpatient rehabilitation, however, there are a few plans that do not cover inpatient. In these cases, most rehab facilities will work diligently to create a plan that works for their patients. Rehabilitation is an important form of treatment, and most rehabs are interested in truly helping their patients, frequently giving grants to their patients for treatments. If you’re concerned about how or if you can afford rehab, we encourage you to give us a call so we can find the proper treatment center for your needs.

  3. Detox
    This part of treatment is generally the one most people are nervous about. It’s unfortunate as well because the majority of drug rehab centers plan for detoxification to make their patients as comfortable as possible. Medications can be used to treat withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone and Valium are great examples of the sort of medications that certain detoxes are afforded. It’s important to note, however, that these drugs are only used sparingly in short periods of time to aid patients on their path to a life free and clear of drugs.
  4. Therapy
    Therapy is one of the most useful tools during recovery, and it’s the majority of what happens in drug rehab. While group therapy is still shown to be the most effective form of treatment for drug addiction, one-on-one therapy sessions still play a crucial role in ensuring a healthy recovery process. That being said, the majority of therapy sessions held during your treatment will be group sessions, meant to help you connect with others while forming effect coping strategies.
  5. Physical Activities
    While a lot of recoveries are based on mental health, physical health can play a major role in the recovery process. Physical health can help improve mental heal and vise versa. In addition, addiction can cause people to neglect the regular exercise and maintenance that people need to stay healthy. It’s crucial that recovering addicts find new, healthy ways to feel good, without the use of drugs and alcohol. Exercise, and regular physical activity is a great way to do that.
  6. Nutritional Counseling:
    After years of continuous drug use, many addicts become extremely malnourished. In fact, after regular drug use, the majority of addicts can be considered far from healthy in their diet. Much for the same reasons as exercise, nutritional counseling can play a crucial role in maintaining an early recovery, helping recovering addicts regain their body, and help with irrational emotional changes.

So how long does drug rehab take? This can change depending on the type of treatment you’re receiving. The vast majority of inpatient centers are only 30 day facilities, but outpatient can range anywhere from 30 more days to 90 days or more. As with most things how long drug rehab takes, and what happens in drug rehab varies depending on what you, the addict, need to recover comfortably.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.