What to Expect on Your First Day at Rehab?

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Rehab can be a life-changing experience, but it can also be intimidating and scary for many people who don’t know what to expect.

What happens in rehab? What items can you bring? What will your day-to-day look like? Knowing the answers to these questions can help ease your anxiety or uncertainty about the rehab process.

Understanding Addiction and Seeking Treatment

Substance abuse, often resulting in addiction, can deeply affect individuals physically, mentally, and emotionally. Recognizing the signs of substance use disorder is the first step towards seeking help.

These signs may include a loss of control over substance use, withdrawal symptoms when not using, and neglect of responsibilities due to drug or alcohol abuse.

It’s time to explore drug abuse treatment options when these indicators become apparent.

Types of Treatment Programs and Centers

Regarding alcohol or drug addiction treatment, various programs and centers offer a range of options to cater to unique needs and circumstances.

Outpatient Rehab Programs

Outpatient rehab programs are designed for people with mild addiction to moderate substance abuse issues.

These programs allow participants to live at home while attending therapy sessions and addiction treatment activities during scheduled appointments.

Outpatient treatment offers flexibility, allowing individuals to maintain their daily responsibilities while receiving the necessary care.

Inpatient Residential Programs

An inpatient program offers an immersive environment away from triggers and temptations.

It also provides intensive care and support for individuals with severe substance abuse or addiction issues. Participants live at the treatment center for their program, receiving round-the-clock care and access to various behavioral therapies and activities.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

PHPs are similar to residential treatment in terms of the intensity and duration of care but do not require overnight stays at the treatment center. PHPs are suitable for people who need a high level of care but have a stable and supportive living environment.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) bridge the gap between outpatient and residential treatment.

Participants attend behavioral therapy several hours a day, several days a week.

IOPs are suitable for individuals with moderate to severe substance use disorders who need more structured and intensive care than regular outpatient treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

A dual-diagnosis treatment plan addresses alcohol or drug abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Many individuals with substance abuse also experience mental health conditions like major depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

Dual diagnosis programs provide specialized care to address the complex interactions between substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Family-Based Treatment Program

Family-based treatment recognizes the importance of involving family members in the recovery process. Substance use disorder affects not only the individual but also their loved ones.

These programs provide education, therapy, and support for the individual and their family members.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is an evidence-based approach combining behavioral therapy with medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone to treat opioid use disorder. MAT can help reduce cravings, withdrawal, and the risk of overdose.

Choosing the Right Treatment Program

To select the most appropriate professional treatment program, you must consider your personal needs, the severity of your addiction, and other circumstances.

Consult a mental health counselor, a licensed and accredited treatment center, or other mental health services to find the most suitable inpatient or outpatient program.

What to Expect on Your First Day

Your first day at rehab marks the beginning of your transformative journey. It’s normal to have questions and feel a mix of emotions.

Rest assured, the treatment center staff will support you every step of the way.

As you arrive, you’ll be greeted by friendly faces and guided through essential processes that set the stage for your recovery journey.

What Can You Bring to Rehab?

The first thing you need to do before going to a rehab treatment center is to pack your bags. Depending on the type and length of your treatment program, you may need to bring different items.

However, there are some general guidelines that most treatment centers follow regarding what you can and cannot bring. Here are some of the items that you should bring to the treatment center:

  • Your identification documents like your driver’s license, passport, or health insurance provider card.

  • Your prescription medications, if any, are in their original containers with labels.

  • A list of your medical conditions, allergies, and any special dietary needs.

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes for various activities, such as therapy sessions, exercise, and relaxation.

  • Personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc.

  • A journal, notebook, and pen for writing down your thoughts and feelings.

  • Some books, magazines, puzzles, or other forms of entertainment do not require internet access or electronic devices.

  • Some money for vending machines or personal expenses.

  • Some photos or mementos of your loved ones or things that inspire you.

What Not to Bring to Rehab?

While packing, remember that drug and alcohol rehab centers prioritize safety and a focused healing environment. Avoid bringing items that could interfere with your addiction treatment process, trigger cravings or temptations, or pose a risk to yourself or others.

Here are some of the items that you shouldn’t bring to rehab:

  • Drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia related to substance use.

  • Weapons, such as knives, guns, or sharp objects.

  • Electronic devices like phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, etc., unless approved by the staff.

  • Valuables or jewelry that you do not want to lose or damage.

  • Clothing or accessories that promote drug or alcohol use or are offensive or inappropriate.

  • Food or drinks that aren’t allowed by the facility.

What Is the Rehab Intake Process Like?

The intake process is the first step of your admission to the rehab facility. It’s when you check in at the rehab center and review a series of assessments and evaluations.

The intake process or interview is designed to gather information about your personal circumstances, medical history, substance use history, family history, mental health concerns, and drug and alcohol addiction treatment goals.

This process also helps the rehab staff determine the best treatment plan for your unique needs and preferences. What it entails may vary depending on the rehab center and the type of treatment program you choose.

However, here are some of the common steps that you can expect:

Checking In: Paperwork and Orientation

When you arrive at the rehab center, you will be greeted by a staff member asking for your ID card, insurance coverage card, and any other documents you bring.

You will also be asked to complete some paperwork, including consent forms, confidentiality agreements, payment arrangements, and other policies and procedures.

They will also likely give you an orientation packet that contains information like the following:

  • The rehab center’s rules and regulations

  • Daily Schedule

  • Amenities and facilities

  • Services and programs offered

  • Staff members and their roles

  • Expectations and responsibilities of clients

  • Rights and complaints procedures

  • Contact information for emergencies

Inspection of Your Belongings

For safety reasons, rehab centers often inspect the belongings you bring. This process ensures a substance-free environment and adherence to facility policies.

They will search your bags and pockets for any prohibited items and store them in a safe place.

Staff may also check your clothing for any inappropriate messages or images. If they find any prohibited items, they will confiscate them, return them to your family members, or dispose of them according to the rehab center’s policy.

You may also be given a locker or a storage space to keep your items during your stay.

Participating in the inspection demonstrates your commitment to your recovery and the community.

Touring the Facility

After inspecting your belongings, a staff member or a peer mentor will give you a tour of the facility.

The tour will show you around the rehab center and introduce you to the available areas and resources.

You will see the rooms where you sleep, eat, relax, and participate in activities and therapies. You will also see other amenities they have, which may include the medical clinic, the counseling offices, the recreation area, the gym, the library, and any other amenities that the drug or alcohol rehab center offers.

The tour will also allow you to ask any questions that you may have about the treatment facility or the rehab program.

Meeting Your Treatment Team

After touring the facility, you will meet your treatment team.

Rehab centers typically employ mental health professionals who will work with you throughout your rehab program.

Your treatment team may include medical professionals like a medical doctor, a nurse, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a counselor, a social worker, a case manager, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, and other specialists, depending on your needs.

Your treatment team will review your initial assessment information and conduct further assessments and evaluations to determine your care level and treatment plan.

They will also explain what to expect from the treatment program and how they will support you.

The Medical Assessments On The First Day Of Rehab

The medical assessment is one of the most important parts of the intake process. You may undergo a physical examination and a mental health evaluation by a doctor and a psychiatrist.

This is done to check your physical and mental health status, identify any co-occurring disorders or medical conditions that may affect your treatment, and prescribe any medications or treatments that you may need during your rehab program.

The medical assessment may include the following:

  • Blood test to check for any infections, diseases, or imbalances

  • Urine test to screen for any drugs or alcohol in your system

  • A breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol levels

  • Vital signs check to monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration

  • Physical exam to check for any injuries, wounds, or signs of abuse or neglect

  • Mental health evaluation to diagnose substance abuse and mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.

  • Psychological tests to measure your cognitive abilities, personality traits, coping skills, etc.

  • Substance use assessment to determine the type, amount, frequency, and duration of your substance use, as well as the effects, consequences, and motivations of your drug or alcohol addiction

  • Withdrawal assessment to evaluate the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and the risk of complications or relapse

Settling Into The Rehab

After completing the medical assessment, you will be ready to settle into rehab and receive treatment. You will be assigned a room where you will stay for the duration of your program.

Depending on the type of therapy and the level of care you need, you may have a private room or share a room with one or more roommates. You will also be given a schedule that outlines your daily activities and behavioral therapies.

Your schedule may vary depending on your specific needs and preferences, but it will typically include:

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at designated times

  • Individual therapy session with your counselor

  • Group therapy sessions with other clients

  • Family therapy group session with your family members

  • Educational sessions on topics related to addiction, recovery, and relapse prevention

  • Behavioral therapy that teaches you new skills and strategies to cope with stress, triggers, and cravings

  • Alternative therapies that use creative outlets or holistic approaches to enhance your well-being, such as art therapy, music therapy, yoga, meditation, etc.

  • Recreational activities that allow you to have fun and socialize with others, such as sports, games, movies, etc.

  • Support groups that provide you with peer support and encouragement from others with similar experiences and challenges, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), etc.

  • Free time that gives you some space and freedom to relax, reflect, or pursue your interests

Get Personalized and Comprehensive Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a chronic and complex condition that can vary in course and outcome depending on the individual and their circumstances.

At NuView Treatment Center, we understand that each client has unique needs and preferences. That is why we provide personalized and comprehensive care that addresses addiction’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

Our programs are based on evidence-based practices and holistic approaches to help you heal from the inside out.

We use a combination of behavioral therapy, alternative therapy, educational sessions, support groups, and recreational activities to help you develop new skills and strategies to cope with stress, triggers, and cravings.

We also help you rebuild your self-esteem, confidence and hope for the future.

Don’t let your substance abuse or addiction problem control your life any longer. Take action today and reclaim your health and happiness. Contact us now and let us help you create a new view for your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

The point of rehab is to help individuals who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse or addiction recover and improve their quality of life.

The most challenging aspect of rehab is often the initial detoxification and withdrawal phase. During this stage, the body eliminates substances, leading to discomfort and withdrawal symptoms like nausea, anxiety, and insomnia.

Despite its difficulty, this step is vital for breaking the physical dependence on substances.
Rehab equips individuals with essential life skills, including coping strategies for stress and triggers, effective communication, relapse prevention techniques, problem-solving abilities, healthy lifestyle habits, and assertiveness.

Rehabilitation involves five stages:

  • Pre-contemplation (denial)
  • Contemplation (awareness of addiction's impact)
  • Preparation (planning for rehab)
  • Action (actual treatment)
  • Maintenance (sustaining progress)
Each stage represents a crucial step towards overcoming addiction and building a healthier future.

Being "ready for rehab" indicates a mental and emotional readiness to engage in treatment. It involves acknowledging the need for help, recognizing the harm of addiction, and embracing the changes required for recovery.

The cost of rehab depends on several factors, like the type of program, the length of stay, the level of care, the location of the facility, the amenities and services offered, and the insurance coverage. This can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per day.

“Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders.” National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/substance-use-and-mental-health.

Gupta, Mohit, et al. “Withdrawal Syndromes – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” Withdrawal Syndromes – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf, 29 Apr. 2023, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459239.

Lander, Laura, et al. “The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Families and Children: From Theory to Practice.” Social Work in Public Health, vol. 28, no. 3–4, Informa UK Limited, May 2013, pp. 194–205. Crossrefhttps://doi.org/10.1080/19371918.2013.759005.

MacKillop, James. “Is Addiction Really a Chronic Relapsing Disorder?” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 44, no. 1, Wiley, Dec. 2019, pp. 41–44. Crossrefhttps://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14246.

Sharifi, H, et al. “Common Methods to Treat Addiction in Treatment- Rehabilitation Centers in Tehran.” Iranian Journal of Public Health, vol. 41, no. 4, 2012, pp. 63-68, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481606/. Accessed 18 Aug. 2023.

Tracy, Kathlene, and Samantha Wallace. “Benefits of Peer Support Groups in the Treatment of Addiction.” Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, vol. Volume 7, Informa UK Limited, Sept. 2016, pp. 143–54. Crossrefhttps://doi.org/10.2147/sar.s81535.

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