Most-Asked Questions About Drug Abuse Treatment

If you’re considering rehab for an addiction, you probably have questions about drug abuse treatment. Here are some answers.

Deciding to enter rehab is a big deal, and there’s much to look forward to. It’s common to be nervous about this major life change since it’s all so new. You probably have a lot of questions about drug abuse rehab, and that’s natural, too. Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about addiction recovery.

What happens in drug rehab? Click here to learn more about what to expect during addiction treatment.

Is detox painful?

Detox is a scary prospect for many, and questions about addiction recovery often relate to detox, which is the process of allowing all traces of a drug to leave your body so that brain function can begin to return to normal. Medical detox is the first step of treatment, and it’s supervised by medical and mental health professionals who administer medications as needed to reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of detox. During medical detox, you’ll be comfortable and cared for, and you’ll enjoy the practical and emotional support of the staff and others going through detox.

How long does detox last?

How long it takes to detox from a substance is one of the most common questions about drug abuse treatment. The answer is, it depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The type of drug you’re detoxing from.
  • How much of the drug is in your system at the time of detox.
  • Your age.
  • Your biological makeup.
  • Your general state of physical and mental health.
  • The severity of your addiction.

In general, detox can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or longer. Symptoms will gradually subside and stop, although cravings typically last for several months or longer.

What happens in detox?

During detox, you’ll be made as comfortable as possible. A major component of detox is undergoing a variety of assessments that help your team of providers determine the best way to treat your addiction. You’ll work with your treatment team to develop a treatment and recovery plan that’s highly individualized and based on your needs, issues, and preferences.

Is detox the same thing as treatment?

Detox only treats the physical dependence on drugs or alcohol and does very little to address the addiction, which is far more complex. Detox should always be followed by a high-quality treatment program.

What is drug rehabilitation like?

Treatment is about more than getting you to quit drinking or doing drugs. It’s all about improving your life across the board so that you no longer have the need or desire to use drugs or alcohol. Through a variety of traditional and complementary therapies, you will:

  • Identify and change self-defeating thought and behavior patterns.
  • Address the underlying causes of the addiction, which often include chronic stress, a history of trauma, or a co-occurring mental illness like anxiety or depression.
  • Learn the answers to your questions about drug abuse, including why you abuse drugs and how the abuse led to your addiction.
  • Develop essential skills for coping with negative emotions, cravings, stress, and other triggers for relapse.
  • Repair damaged relationships and develop new, healthier relationships.
  • Restore function to all areas of your life.
  • Find purpose and meaning in a life of sobriety.
  • Learn to relax and have fun without drugs or alcohol.

Recovery is a process of change that leads to a fulfilling life and greater happiness and wellbeing.

How long does treatment last?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment that lasts less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness. That’s because just as it takes time to develop an addiction and the unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that come with it, it takes time to sort through a variety of issues and develop the healthy patterns of thinking and behaving and the healthy lifestyle that promote long-term recovery.

Will treatment work for me?

Most people who fully engage with their treatment plan and stay in treatment for an adequate amount of time enjoy long-term recovery. The most important thing is to stay focused on treatment and recovery, stay completely honest with yourself and others, and keep an open mind. You’ll learn a great deal about yourself and experience incredible personal growth during treatment if you engage fully with your program and put in the hard work.

If you have more questions about drug abuse treatment, including “What is drug rehabilitation like,” WhiteSands Treatment’s addiction specialists will be happy to answer them.


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.