how does rehab work

How Does Rehab Work?

Drug addiction can alter the life of the person suffering from it as well as for those who know them. When you’re addicted to drugs, your mindset and personality aren’t always the same. Drug addicts also struggle with financial issues, especially when most of their funds go towards purchasing the substance they want.

It may be hard, but there is a way to get out of this vicious cycle through drug rehabilitation. How does rehab work and what are the chances of success? Keep reading to find out the answers.

How Does Rehab Work?

The US spends over $15 billion a year to provide substance abuse services. While there are dozens of services out there to help people suffering from addiction, it’s best to research individual centers to determine the one that’s right for you.

Every center has its own methods to help their clients, but drug rehab centers still follow a general outline because it’s effective. Drug rehab works by dividing treatment into several steps.

Initial Consultation

Although there is an outline with rehab, there is individual care provided. In order to find out what methods will help the most, an initial consultation is done first. Upon completion, you are equipped with a counselor, therapist, caseworker, and doctor that will assist you in preparing a plan.

You also undergo a psychological assessment to determine your current mental state and unveil any potential physiological disorders. A physician will complete a physical assessment to see how severe your withdrawal symptoms are and see if you have other health problems.


Pharmacotherapy is a major aspect of the drug detox process. The initial stage is the most difficult for most addicts as it provokes the harshest withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will vary depending on the type of drug or substance that is being abused.

Symptoms may be minor (sweating, runny nose, insomnia, anxiety) or extreme (violence, self-injury, psychosis. There are other factors that determine the type of withdrawal and severity. Rehabilitation centers should also take the length of addiction, the combination of drugs abused, existing physical or mental disorders, and half-life of the drug into consideration.

Managing these detox symptoms is important in the level of success in treatment. If an addict is unable to cope with them, they are more likely to relapse and be unsuccessful in treatment.

The best way to help people deal with withdrawal symptoms is through medication and round-the-clock support. The period of a drug detox varies from person to person, but it takes an average of 7-10 days.

Daily Therapy

Every day, no matter how little it may seem, is a form of therapy during addiction rehabilitation. From the minute you wake to the time you sleep, rehabilitation centers work to set a schedule that will help you. Substance abuse and drug addiction is a daily battle, and it’s crucial to help ease the recovery progress by keeping clients in a relaxed state.

Residential inpatient centers create an organized and structured environment that helps to reduce stress. You are given a safe, supportive environment. You will learn to trade old habits for new, healthier habits that become part of your routine even after discharge.

Family and Group Therapy

Family and group therapy is a vital aspect of the recovery process in rehab. Group counseling allows people who have similar struggles to discuss personal stories.

By sharing these ups and downs, trust and fellowship develop among the group. This bond helps members stay on track and continue to come to the meetings. Family therapy works in a similar manner, but therapy involves family members.

Addiction is something that can affect the family as a unit and create a disruption in the relationship. There may be feelings of anger, resentment, and destructive co-dependency that the family must discuss to resolve. It can also offer a positive environment when family members seek to rebuild bonds and help lift spirits.

Individual Behavior Therapy

Centers implement therapy with others to help the addict and let them know they aren’t alone. Still, individual treatment is just as vital in the rehab process. Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective type of personal therapy. It tests behavioral responses and triggers.

Once triggers are identified, a therapist works with you to voice your thoughts, fears, and worries that cause anxiety. A plan is made to equip you with the proper tools and alternative responses to change unwanted behavior.

Dialectical behavior therapy is another type of individual therapy. Therapists use it to help addicts learn to live in the moment and seek healthy options to manage stress and emotions within themselves and others.

Alternative Therapy

Finding activities that help you trade old habits for new ones is possible with alternative therapy. Addicts replace drug and alcohol addiction with other habits such as:

  • Yoga
  • Thai Chi
  • Art therapy
  • Music
  • Sports and recreation
  • Equine therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Neurofeedback

Alternative therapy provides physical and psychological methods that allow you to enjoy something else. You can work with your team to find activities you may like, but oftentimes, the love for an activity is often discovered in the moment.

The First Step Is Starting

Change is possible when you or someone you know has a drug addiction. However, self-reflection and understanding that a drug problem exists are the only way an addict will seek help. There is no straight line in the success of a rehabilitation journey.

The road may be full of bumps, circles, and relapses. If that is the case, how does rehab work to help the person? Rehabilitation provides the right tools to get to success, whether it may take a drug addict a few months or a few years.

Success is a team effort in drug rehabilitation. If you are ready to reclaim your life and start drug rehabilitation, contact us so we can be the hands that help you through the difficulties.

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