How Rehab Works

addiction recovery

The first step to resolving a problem is admitting that the problem exists, but that first step is often the most difficult. When it comes to addiction, many people have a difficult time differentiating between ‘partying’ and ‘having a good time’ and the steady habits that become addiction requiring rehab. Others just see their drug and/or alcohol use as something that they need to remain calm. While that notion doesn’t necessarily indicate addiction, a person who automatically turns to drugs and/or alcohol is vulnerable to developing a chemical dependence on one or both of them. This could be something that friends and families notice immediately. This could be something that no one notices, especially if a person has a hectic work schedule.

Hiding addiction isn’t easy, though. A person’s network of family, friends, colleagues and neighbors tend to notice changes in behavior, and may raise these issues with a person. A person’s family members will notice if they slow or stop participation in family events. Neighbors may be concerned if mail piles up, or a car lingers for too long. Employers will absolutely be aware if an employees attendance or performance changes, and changes for the worst must always be dealt with quickly, else other part of a business may suffer. Because of everything that a person needs to fulfill their obligations, hiding addiction isn’t sustainable.

overcoming addictionAn addicted person, though, rarely arrives at the door of a rehab facility with a clear understand of their problems, and how drugs and/or alcohol contribute to these problems. While some people are able to easily admit that there is a problem, and take steps to alleviate it, many, if not most, other people who live with addictions require an intervention to begin the healing process. What some don’t know is that anyone can stage an intervention, not just family. A close colleague and friend, for example, may a person ask what’s bothering them. Family members may stop by to check-in. Neighbors may call law enforcement for a wellness check.

With so many scenarios surrounding how anyone can be exposed to drugs and become addicted, it’s extremely important to understand that resolving addiction will always start with the addicted person admitting that they have these difficulties. If you or someone you know plans to stage an intervention, remember always to emphasize that you care for this person, and want to stop them from hurting themselves. Be sensitive their feelings about their situation, and how their situation may affect everyone around them. If the person isn’t yet ready to accept that there is a problem, immediately suggesting rehab may not be well-received. If someone is able to admit to those around them that there is a problem, the first step of recovery is complete, and a world of options opens wide.


Drug rehabilitation facilities may be inpatient, outpatient, or have programs for both. Getting in touch with the rehabilitation center of choice is the second step to recovery from addiction. The center of choice will discuss treatment options with the addicted person, and/or family members of the person. Representatives of the facility will help the person and anyone assisting whether inpatient, or residential is the best option. The other option, of course, is outpatient treatment. While outpatient treatment may seem counterintuitive to some, it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is their own, and different treatment options exist because what works for one doesn’t work for all. The only universal thread across any experience in rehab is that the person inside of the program must be willing and able to commit to recovery. Without that, there is no external force that can assist with their disease. As much as one might think, inpatient facilities house, feed, and monitor recovering individuals, who stay on the premises, while outpatient services attends to those who live in their own home during treatment. Some facilities offer even more customized programs, lending flexibility to a long and difficult process.

A Day in the Life (Inpatient)

Every facility is going to be different in some way, whether it’s because of the culture, the view, the vibe, the food – every center is different. There is, though, a structure to daily life that helps those in recovery begin and maintain a sense of responsibility, and normalcy. Days often begin early when a person enters rehab, so it might be a shock to those who are used to moving around and doing things late into the night. After an early rise and a healthy breakfast, there is usually a dose of individual therapy – where a person is in their journey through their addiction plays a role in their daily life. For some people, it is important that they begin their mornings with a medical team or doctor who assists with detox. During detox, the last of the harmful drugs and/or alcohol is slowly flushed from the body, and cravings for the substance mitigated through a combination of therapy and medicine. Morning sessions are usually followed by a lunch break. Lunch, though, may be followed by intensive therapy, or may present the option for much-needed exercise, socializing, or relaxing. Dinner, of course, is served at the end of the day, and the promise of an early morning has most residents in bed at a decent hour.

The End of Rehab

There is no guarantee that this routine, though wonderful and helpful, will ‘cure’ a person of addiction. The very notion that anyone can be cured of addiction is misguided: while a person can be alleviated of the symptoms and recover from the heavy use, it’s worth noting that many people relapse.

Quitting drugs and/or alcohol for good is an enormous undertaking. For months, sometimes years, and person’s body has been acclimated to receiving what the drugs had to offer, and in some ways, a person’s very psyche adjusts around obtaining and using their drugs of choice. It is also possible, though, that with plenty of resources, including the network of friends, family, and colleagues who likely encouraged the person to enter therapy, a person can stay clean and sober, and earn a new lease on life.