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What is drug & alcohol rehab like?

Home What is Drug & Alcohol Rehab Like?

What you can expect during inpatient drug and alcohol rehab treatment

This page is your window inside residential drug and alcohol treatment at an inpatient rehab facility administered by one of the best addiction treatment providers in the United States, Recovery Centers of America (RCA). Below you will learn what rehab is like and what happens before and during inpatient stay. You will also learn what you should consider before making a decision to proceed with addiction treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) at a rehab center.

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Sometimes a picture is worth one thousand words

Below you can view pictures of what various stages of treatment at Recovery Centers of America inpatient rehab facilities includes.

What happens in rehab

Below you will find important cornerstones that guide what happens during inpatient rehab at Recovery Centers of America.

The goal of addiction treatment is for you to reclaim a healthy and happy life

In the process of active addiction, people suffering from substance use disorder lose material possessions, relationships with people, and other things that were once very important to them. As part of drug and alcohol rehab, you will strive to recover those things through acknowledging mistakes, fully immersing yourself in treatment, and working hard to make the necessary changes to beat the disease of addiction. Drug addiction often changes a person’s behavior, which affects all aspects of his or her life, including work and relationships. In residential rehab, patients do their best to regain their normal lives in a safe and healthy way.

Your addiction treatment is guided and overseen by mental health and medical professionals

During your inpatient rehab stay you will work with professional addiction therapists to get to the root of your addiction issues. This may be uncomfortable at first but is a necessary part of recovery. Our staff is trauma-certified, and will help you determine how addiction gained power over you, to help you overcome it. Professional medical staff is just as important. They will help manage your physical wellbeing and help alleviate any withdrawal symptoms you may experience. Various medications can be prescribed to make your recovery period more comfortable.

You will learn about the disease of addiction and how to overcome it

You will receive profound and enlightening education about addiction, how it works, how it affects human beings and the specific areas of the brain affected. This will help you understand the disease of addiction and give you insight into how to approach situations, cravings and triggers. You will also learn proven strategies you can employ to overcome the disease. Another type of addiction education that RCA uses focuses on mindfulness – this helps patients stay in the moment and look internally to process what’s going on. This will allow you better review and understand your emotions, often uncovering a link between some past trauma and substance use. Another corner stone of addiction education at RCA is the 12 Step Program. RCA believes in the power of the 12 Step Program because it’s the most widely practiced abstinence program in the world and has helped tens of millions of people get and stay sober. AA/NA philosophy has helped far more people than any other program.

We’ll help you build a positive social support network and a better way of living

One of the most rewarding parts of inpatient drug and alcohol rehab is connecting with people like yourself and realizing you are not alone. Some RCA facilities are divided by age or gender while others are not. The type of program you participate in will determine the connections you make with others struggling with addiction. Often, these relationships last after rehab and will become a part of your support system that will help you maintain long term sobriety. Recovery Centers of America further encourages these types of long lasting connections through the Alumni program which allows residential patients to stay in touch and meet for special Alumni events and meetings long after their treatment is finished.

Need addiction treatment? We’re here for you 24/7.

A look inside inpatient rehab centers at Recovery Centers of America

Additional information

Explore the key details of a residential drug and alcohol recovery journey using the resources below.

What to bring to rehab

The key to packing for rehab is to make sure that you pack light and smart for the duration of your stay. There are several essential items that should be on every person’s packing list as well as other items that are optional but recommended. Of course, there are some items that should absolutely not be brought to treatment and some that may actually be counter intuitive. This page will provide a comprehensive list of all items mentioned and prepare you for your inpatient stay by answering the questions “What should I bring to rehab?” “What can I bring to rehab?” and “What will be made available to me in rehab?

Learn more about what to bring to rehab.

Evaluation & assessments

Determining the level of care that’s best for you. An Admissions Coordinator will ask you some basic questions about your detox experience and how you’re feeling, they will also discuss treatment options recommended by doctors or therapists at the detox facility. Because your health is a top priority, you will also be medically evaluated: blood pressure, temperature, etc. Your current medications will be discussed and entered into your treatment plan, and any special needs will also be addressed.

Learn more about Evaluations & Assessments.

What is drug and alcohol detox like

For most patients the first day of rehab will begin here. Detox is the starting step of the drug and alcohol rehab process. It’s critical that all illicit drugs are no longer physically in your system. For most people, this takes about 4 to 7 days, but in some cases detox can last longer. For detox, you will be medically evaluated to determine what substances you’ve been using, in what quantities, and for how long. This information is important because detox protocols can vary depending on substance, length of use, and daily dose. It’s much more dangerous to withdraw from certain substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, which requires extensive medical attention during the detox process.

More about inpatient detox.

What is inpatient rehab like

Residential or inpatient rehab provides a structured environment where patients can immerse themselves in recovery from substance use and addiction with the help of expert professionals. Psychiatric, nutritional, spiritual, and medical services are administered by a highly qualified team including masters-level clinicians, therapists, social workers, case managers,  and medical professionals such as nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors. Each day in treatment is another step toward your sobriety.

Learn more about inpatient Rehab.

Can you smoke cigarettes while in inpatient rehab?

People considering inpatient treatment for drug or alcohol addiction face enough tough choices, whether or not to also quit smoking doesn’t have to be one. That’s why RCA allows cigarettes and other nicotine products at all of our facilities.

Read our Can you smoke cigarettes in rehab? blog post to learn more.

Specialized substance abuse treatment programs

Each patient has a unique background, a set of individual concerns, and varying substance abuse problems, plus potential psychological and physical health challenges. At Recovery Centers of America, we’ve created programs and specialized services to meet the needs of each patient. These programs and services are led by a group of medical professionals who use their expertise and knowledge to guide patients towards recovery. As a part of our full continuum of care, these programs and services are available both in residential treatment and long-term recovery.

Learn more about Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.

Exercise & nutrition during addiction recovery treatment

Getting physically active with a balanced diet during and after treatment is a critical part of recovery from drugs and alcohol. The better your diet and state of fitness, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with life’s daily stresses and problems without turning to drugs or alcohol. Recovery Centers of America provides custom nutritional planning and high-level fitness coaching for all levels to ensure that patients finish treatment in peak health and are ready to take on the challenges of the outside world.

Learn more about Exercise & Nutrition during Addiction Recovery Treatment.

Methadone & Suboxone treatment

After intake and evaluation at most of our inpatient facilities, we offer the option of medication-assisted treatment and help you decide if it’s the right course of action. If you and your assigned clinician make the choice to use an opioid replacement medication such as methadone, suboxone, or VIVITROL® to assist in your addiction treatment, you will be slowly inducted and the medication will be used as a part of your daily therapy for the duration of your inpatient stay. Replacement medications like methadone and suboxone can be used as a part of a taper regiment to slowly wean off of opioids or as a long term replacement therapy that’s used continuously through inpatient stay and after. VIVITROL® can be used to blockade opioid receptors and prevent the action of illicit opioids during inpatient stay and after.

Learn more about Medication Assisted Treatment.

Group therapy

You’ve fought addiction alone long enough. Group therapy will help you use the tools of community and discussion to analyze problems you may encounter in recovery and bond with other people going through the same struggles as you are. You will share your experiences in a professionally moderated setting. This will include free-sharing, guided sharing, group activities, educational materials related to substance abuse, and much more.

Learn more about Group Therapy for Substance Abuse.

One on one therapy

One on one therapy will help you uncover your personal recovery journey. By meeting with a trained addiction counselor, you will discover the underlying causes of substance abuse and addiction. This type of therapy allows patients to seek out their own answers with careful and unobtrusive guidance. This includes identifying and treating dual diagnosis conditions such as depression, bipolar, trauma, and other psychological conditions that may be the driving force behind an active addiction.

Learn more about One-on-One Therapy.

Family therapy and family addiction programming

We treat the whole family to make the family whole again. Often family members are deeply affected by the drug use of their loved ones and part of the healing and life rebuilding process is to address these issues. RCA facilities typically request family members to play an active role in the treatment of their loved ones. This is accomplished via family therapy sessions moderated by an experienced addiction and/or family counselor.

Learn more about Family Therapy for Substance Abuse and Family Addiction Programming

Events, outings and recreational activities

One of the key ways Recovery Centers of America helps patients adjust to sober living is by taking them outside the facility to enjoy fun recreational activities. RCA’s Recovery Support Specialists take groups of patients on trips outside the rehab facility where they can enjoy healthy activities such as karaoke, movie theater nights, nature hikes and much more. These types of outings help patients learn to enjoy themselves without the use of drugs or alcohol. RCA also holds special events for the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years so patients never feel like they are missing out while in treatment.

12 Step program

We fully embrace the 12 Steps as an effective approach to continued recovery – particularly when combined with other addiction treatment methodologies such as behavioral therapies, psychiatric care, and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) (when clinically appropriate). At RCA, an immersive 12 Step curriculum is offered as a component of each of our patients individualized treatment plan.

Learn more about the 12 Step Program.

Aftercare planning

RCA Case Managers create a thorough aftercare plan for each patient taking in consideration both the patient’s needs and the clinical team’s recommendations to make sure that patients have all they need for successful recovery. Most inpatient RCA sites also offer excellent outpatient treatment, however if the patient needs additional aftercare services, the Case Manager thoroughly researches local outpatient facilities, halfway houses and other post treatment destinations in order to present the patient with all potential options and find the right fit. They then arrange an introduction with either the RCA outpatient staff and/or an alternative aftercare location so that the patient can become acquainted and comfortable with their post treatment providers. If necessary, the Case Manager can also arrange for safe transportation to the aftercare facility.

RCA Alumni Association

After successful inpatient treatment, recovery support services such as an Alumni program are vital to long term recovery success. As a part of after-treatment planning we match patients up with a strong regional alumni network so they can participate in sober activities and continue to build strong, supporting relationship long after graduating from inpatient and outpatient care.

Learn more about RCA’s Alumni Association.



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