Often misunderstood, drug and alcohol treatment is an important process that many feel the need to participate in to overcome the addictive cycles in their life. With rumors, media depictions, and misinformation available, many are unaware of what truly happens throughout the treatment process.

If you have questions or concerns concerning the treatment or recovery process, resources are available through Guardian Recovery Network. You are able to call any time day or night and speak with a live intake coordinator. They will be able to answer any questions and provide all of the necessary information to make an informed decision concerning substance use treatment. Call today.

What Is Drug Rehabilitation?

Drug rehabilitation (1) or “rehab” is the all encompassing term used to refer to the full scope of the substance use treatment process for individuals who wish to overcome their addictive cycles. Though it can take many forms, treatment is centered around addressing causes and outcomes of substance use and tools related to future recovery.

Understanding the Treatment & Recovery Process for Addiction

Through decades of research, the process of substance use treatment has been adapted to best suit the needs of each participant and set them up for long term success. Though it is often a difficult process for the participant, it is a necessary one to begin the journey of recovery and a life free from the addictive cycles of drug or alcohol use.

Initial Evaluation & Assessment

Beginning with the first contact that you make with a substance use treatment facility and carrying over to your first day in treatment, intake coordinators, medical, and clinical staff will ask you important questions to determine which level of care is appropriate and what course of action to take throughout these levels.

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Residential Inpatient Treatment or Outpatient Care Options

Residential treatment programs are typically 30 to 45 days and involve the structure of participants living at the facility full time along while participating in group therapy and one-on-one sessions with a client’s primary counselor. Many clients will transition to a long term program or sober living house upon completion of a short term program in order to further solidify their lifestyle changes.

Outpatient treatment, however, involves participants coming to a facility 3 to 4 times each week to participate in groups or meet with their counselor. Clients will continue to live outside of the facility, work their job, and often continue relationships they had before. This can be a great aftercare option or an introduction to the treatment process without committing to residential treatment.

The Detox Process

Should the participant need to medically detox (2) from their substance of choice, they will be placed in a specific area of the facility where they will be under the care of the medical staff 24 hours a day. This period can last between 5 days to 14 days depending on the substance used, amount used, and the length of use. Typically there will be less rigorous structure during this time until the participant is medically capable of participating.

Medication Management & Medical Detox

Throughout the detox process, a multitude of medications (3) may be used to ease the withdrawal symptoms that the participant is feeling. Medical professionals will make a determination on which detox protocol to begin based on a number of factors including substances used, length of use, and overall health of the patient.

Counseling & Therapy Sessions

The therapeutic process is the cornerstone of substance abuse treatment. Sessions with a primary counselor are opportunities for the participant to meet individually with their clinician in order to discuss issues and problems specific to them. During these times, with the help of the counselor, the participant will examine their current lifestyle choices, where they may have come from, and ultimately how to overcome them.

Group Support Sessions

This type of therapy will involve activities and discussions related to various topics associated with the addiction process. During this time guided by the counselor, participants will be given the opportunity to share and hear from others about these topics in order to gain deeper insight and fresh perspectives on addictive lifestyle patterns.

Family Participation

Another great resource that treatment facilities will often utilize is family therapy. This time is similar to group therapy except the group participants will be members of the participant’s family. During this time, participants and their family will be able to discuss the impact of the drug and alcohol use on the family as well as steps moving forward to facilitate support from both the participant as well as the family impacted.

Preparing for Aftercare

Beginning almost immediately, the participant will begin to discuss with their primary counselor the options available for aftercare. This crucial piece of the treatment process ensures that the participant will have continued care and support throughout their time of transitioning from a more intensive level of care.

Nutritional Guidance

Treatment is centered around treating the individual as a whole. An important piece of this is ensuring that the proper nutrition guidelines are met. Unfortunately, nutrition and health commonly begin to decline as substance use increases. Part of recovery is regaining proper overall health as well as the self esteem and self value that is communicated through proper nutrition.

Holistic Treatment Approaches

Aside from the cessation of substance use, recovery and the treatment process deals with addressing the all encompassing issues of holistic health. Nutrition, spiritual wellness, exercise, and relational skills will all be addressed on some level throughout the treatment process.

Spiritual Care Programs

As a person begins the treatment process, they will begin to receive guidance and education related to spiritual health as well as physical and mental health. Though some substance use programs are centered around a specific religious framework, many are focused on the participant diving deep into what spirituality means for them and how it will begin to benefit their quality of life.

Relapse Prevention Strategies

An important facet of the treatment process is developing the skills required to avoid relapse long term. The implementation of these new coping tools early in sobriety is a crucial step in gaining momentum towards long term recovery.

Long-Term Sobriety

The ultimate goal of any substance use treatment facility is ensuring the long term well being and recovery of each individual. Treatment is intended to be the beginning of a life long journey not just a short term event.

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If you or someone that you love is interested in substance use treatment, contact Guardian Recovery Network today. Our trained team of intake coordinators are standing by now to answer any questions that you may have about the treatment or recovery process. You can begin your journey to freedom now with one easy phone call.

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Reviewed for accuracy by:

Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.