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What Happens During Drug Rehab?


Understanding what happens in drug rehab can help you throughout the process.

Understanding what happens in drug rehab can help you throughout the process.

Drug rehab is a program that helps individuals who are addicted to drugs to overcome their addiction and live sober lives. If you suffer from an addiction to drugs and are thinking about getting help at a drug rehabilitation center then chances are you are already wondering, “What happens during drug rehab?” Fear of the unknown is one of the most common reasons for addicts to steer away from drug rehab as they just don’t know what they are getting themselves into. While there are many different types of drug rehab that all have different offerings for the most part the primary elements of drug rehab are usually the same.

During drug rehab the addict is removed from the situation in which they are accustomed to being in where they would normally do drugs. They are then detoxed to eliminate drugs from the body and to begin a recovery from the addiction. Following detox, the addict will begin attending individual and group therapy for their drug addiction. Once the addict has attended multiple therapy or counseling sessions they will have a chance to reconcile with their friends and family and discuss how their drug addiction affected those around them. Finally, the drug rehab center will prepare the addict for re-entrance into the community.

What happens during drug rehabilitation?

Here’s a look at exactly what to expect at drug rehab:

Removal from Addictive Situation

First things first, drug rehab removes the addict from an addictive situation by placing them in an environment that is completely free of drugs and alcohol. Inpatient drug rehab centers provide a safe, drug free environment in which the addict can begin recovery without the possibility of relapse because there are no drugs around. This removal from the situation allows the addict to begin recovering from drug addiction by separating themselves from the situations in their current lifestyle which may trigger drug abuse.

Drug Detox

Following the initial acceptance into drug rehab the addict will begin to detox. Some drug rehab centers will require that the addict safely detox from drugs before being admitted to the program but many drug rehab centers provide drug detox on site. Various types of drug detox exist including medical detox, rapid detox and quitting the drugs “cold turkey.”

Medical Detox

During medical detox the addict is monitored by qualified medical staff such as a doctor or nurse or both during the detoxification phase. In many cases, medications are given to eliminate or at least to lessen the withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug addiction. This is especially common for detox from prescription medications as well as from physically addictive drugs such as heroin. Medical detox provides a safe way for addicts to eliminate drugs from their system.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox is a form of drug detox in which the addict is placed in a sedated state near coma while the drugs are removed from the body. The comatose state allows the addict to get through the detox without feeling the negative effects of withdrawal. This type of drug detox is controversial but proponents of rapid detox claim that the addict feels nothing and awakes drug free. Rapid detox is provided in a medically supervised environment, usually a hospital type setting.

Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

Finally, some people detox from drugs by just quitting cold turkey. Many drug rehab centers are strong supporters of this type of drug detox because it eliminates the possibility of an addiction to another substance resulting from the detox. Quitting cold turkey can be a painful process both physically and psychologically depending on the type of drug addiction but the outcome is usually positive as the addict is able to eliminate drugs from their body and begin the next phase of drug rehab which is to begin counseling and therapy.

What Happens Next at Drug Rehab?

Once the addict has safely detoxed from drugs the real effects of drug rehab can begin to take place. Here’s a look at what happens during drug rehab once the addict has safely detoxed from drugs:

Individual and Group Counseling at Drug Rehab

Various types of counseling and support are offered at drug rehab. Individual and group counseling is a very important part of the recovery process for the addict. This is where the addict has a chance to reflect on their actions, their addiction and their behaviors and begin to accept accountability for their drug addiction. The therapy sessions offered at drug rehab serve multiple functions including helping the addict to overcome psychological and emotional trauma that may have triggered their drug addiction, learning how to cope with triggers, trauma and other stress that may trigger drug abuse, and also to develop the skills that they need to function in the community and ultimately live drug free.

Following group counseling, the addict is allowed the chance to reconcile with their friends and family members. This is a time when the individual is able to apologize for any hurtful things that were said or done as a result of their addiction and it’s also a time for family members to learn more about how they may have facilitated the drug addiction as well as how they can help to facilitate a long term recovery. Many drug rehab centers encourage family participation in which family members may also attend some of the therapy sessions. In fact, some drug rehab centers even provide separate programs that are aimed directly at family members who have a loved one that is addicted to drugs. These programs help the family to better understand the addiction, the role of the rehab center and the role of themselves in terms of the recovery of their loved one.

Re-Entrance into the Community

Ultimately, the goal of a drug rehab program is to rehabilitate the drug addict so that they can live sober and function in the community. Throughout the drug rehab program, addicts are taken on outings or field trips into the community to help them to adjust back to life outside of drug rehab. Eventually, the addict is released into the community to live drug free. Depending on the success of the drug rehab and the addict’s ability to recover from drug addiction the individual will hopefully live a sober lifestyle from that point on.

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