Going to a drug rehab center can be daunting for patients. While many are ready to receive much-needed help for their addiction, the fear of the unknown may keep them from reaching out for assistance.
Each person’s experience in a drug rehab center will be different from the next, but this is what a typical day in a drug rehab center involves.
Detox In A Drug Rehab Center
A detox program is often the first step in the addiction treatment process. Withdrawal is closely monitored by a team of nurses to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible, despite uncomfortable symptoms.
“Detox is the process of the body getting rid of toxic substances, like drugs or alcohol,” explains Christine Holmes, a nurse who oversees the detox unit at Swift River, Vertava Health’ Massachusetts facility. “We let the body do this on its own; my team and I are here to keep our patients safe during this process.”
To keep patients safe and comfortable during detox, Swift River offers a range of medications and therapies to ease pain, known as a medically-supervised detoxification program. Methods used include drug tapering techniques, pain medications and holistic approaches, including music and adventure therapies, to keep patients engaged and focused on something other than the withdrawal symptoms.
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While detox is a necessary step of addiction treatment for some, it can be dangerous and deadly, in some cases, if the withdrawal symptoms are not treated quickly and efficiently. It is particularly hazardous for patients addicted to opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates. These drugs can have a much greater impact on the body than stimulants or hallucinogens.
Clients who are addicted to any one of these drugs will be treated for various uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during the detox process, including:
- muscle aches
- mood swings
- stomach pain
Duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms are different for each client and will depend on the length of addiction, the combination of substances, the dosage of drugs or alcohol consumed and when the client last used drugs or drank alcohol.
While the withdrawal process can be uncomfortable, detox is often a necessary part of the addiction recovery process.
Therapy As Part Of Addiction Treatment
Therapy is an integral part of most drug rehab addiction treatment programs. Not only does it help patients rediscover who they are without drugs or alcohol, it also gives them the tools to manage their life free of substances.
Clients will receive one-on-one sessions with a therapist while enrolled in an inpatient program. During a patient’s time in the program, they will meet with their therapist at least once a week to make progress in their recovery journey.
Throughout the individual therapy sessions, a therapist will assess a client’s motivations and work with them to set realistic recovery goals. Some of the most common goals therapists set with their clients during drug rehab programs are:
- learning coping skills
- managing emotions without drugs
- enhancing their support system
- focusing on a healthy lifestyle
- practicing self-love daily
With these goals in mind, a therapist will begin to help their client work through childhood trauma and self-justifications that led to their addiction. The client and therapist will then work together to change damaging behaviors and thought processes into healthier ones.
Addiction is a disease of isolation. It forces those struggling into hiding in order to feed their disease. Group therapy, on the other hand, encourages participants to engage and connect with their peers to make positive changes.
In group therapy, clients will work together to learn skills necessary for a life in recovery. A trained therapist or counselor will lead the group session and help clients interact with one another and act out day-to-day situations in which they may need to use their new coping skills.
“During my group therapy sessions, I like to do a lot of experiential therapy. Instead of just talking about their issues with me, clients get to actually act them out with other clients,” explains counselor Allan Katz. “This gives them an opportunity to deal with their emotions in the present and receive feedback on their reactions from other clients.”
Clients who attend group therapy often form close bonds with other group members. These friendships become a source of support throughout the addiction treatment process, and, often, clients will stay in contact with each other after completing their treatment program. The support of peers is hugely beneficial for those living in recovery.
While individual therapy helps clients address their inner turmoil, group therapy reminds those recovering from addiction how to open up and form healthy relationships with others.
Aftercare Planning In An Addiction Treatment Program
At the end of a client’s time within an inpatient drug rehab program, they will begin creating an aftercare plan with their case manager.
While treatment may give clients the tools to manage their disease, their addiction is not curable. An addiction will need to be continuously managed after completing a drug rehab program in order to give clients the best chance at long-term recovery. Additionally, many patients will return to toxic environments after they leave the program. The stressors of the outside world, coupled with a lack of support, often causes clients to relapse.
Leaving a drug rehab center with a plan for success is a great first step in actually reaching sobriety. This is what makes an aftercare plan such an essential part of the addiction recovery process.
A combination of the following routines may be included in a client’s aftercare plan:
- relapse prevention techniques
- plans to attend a support group
- regular outpatient follow-up appointments
- plans to enter sober living or transitional housing
- individual therapy appointments
- daily exercise
While no one can predict what will happen once a client leaves treatment, an aftercare plan is the best way to keep them engaged in their recovery process. The more a person actively pursues their recovery after finishing a drug rehab treatment program, the less likely they are to relapse.
Self-Discovery And Healing In An Addiction Treatment Program
Many clients entering an inpatient addiction treatment program don’t remember who they are without drugs or alcohol in their system. Drug rehab centers help them find themselves again.
Throughout detox and therapy, clients learn the tools to help them cope with their emotions without the use of drugs or alcohol. As they begin to put these tools to use during recovery, individuals in treatment will begin to see what their life can look like outside of treatment.
A number of different treatment modalities and holistic methods are used in drug rehab centers to encourage self-discovery and healing, including:
- Wilderness therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Music therapy
- Balanced meals
- Art therapy
Each time a client engages in one of these methods of addiction treatment, they gain a small part of themselves back.
Healing and self-discovery shouldn’t end once treatment does. After attending an inpatient drug rehab program, clients should continue to participate in these activities to keep discovering new things about themselves and encourage continuous healing from addiction.