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What is a Typical Day in Drug Rehab Like? – Addiction Center

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When considering addiction treatment, you may be wondering what you can expect during a standard day in rehab.

There are many types of drug abuse treatments out there, but most follow a standard framework of therapies.

There are many types of drug abuse treatments out there, but most follow a standard framework of therapies.
Residential inpatient treatment centers are very structured and organized, with similar activities and therapies in most centers. This minimizes stress and uncertainty among residents, and also allows for the safest and most supportive environment for healing and recovery. Depending on the setting and the amenities offered, daily activities may vary.
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Here is an example of what a typical day in treatment might look like:
Sleeping in is not part of the program, so expect to rise early in the morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast. Some programs offer morning classes such as yoga or meditation to help you begin the day in a relaxed state of mind.
Part of the treatment and recovery process centers on developing new, healthy habits that are intended to become routine in post-discharge life.
I met a lot of great people and learned how to change my old behaviors on a daily basis… Go in with an open mind and be willing. Do it for you, not anybody else.
There is often a group session following breakfast led by a counselor or therapist that focuses on topics related to the treatment process, the 12-step program, addiction and recovery. A significant focus during treatment is on achieving clarity about the issues, people and surroundings in your life that have fueled the desire to abuse drugs or alcohol.
These daily meetings, in the safety of a controlled therapeutic environment, will help you to begin to recognize patterns of behavior you can change or certain triggers to avoid post-treatment.
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The middle of the day provides the most intensive treatment. After a healthy lunch, it is typical to begin a series of therapeutic sessions.
These often include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective methods used in addiction treatment centers. CBT hones in on your behavioral responses to specific triggers. Once those are identified, the therapist will guide you toward new, healthier responses to those triggers. The one-on-one therapy sessions provide a safe environment for you to feel free to open up and share your fears and concerns, allowing the therapist to provide tools and alternative behavioral responses to these sources of anxiety.
Participation in group sessions provides a certain camaraderie, as all participants have experienced the struggles of addiction. It can be very beneficial to the participants to share their personal stories with one another to allow for emotional healing. The group members often develop a sense of fellowship during the weeks in rehab, and as trust grows they become more open in their sessions and develop a sincere compassion and understanding for each other’s battles.
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Some treatment centers provide specialized therapy sessions. These could be tailored for anger management, stress management or grief counseling, offering coping techniques to help improve your ability to handle issues in a controlled manner rather than feeling the need to use drugs or alcohol.
Family support can be a crucial treatment element, which is why most drug treatment centers include it in their programs. Addiction affects the entire family, often culminating in destructive codependency, enabling behaviors or intense anger and resentment. During the family therapy sessions, many issues are resolved and feelings are addressed. Intrinsic to the long-term success of any substance abuse treatment program, family participation factors heavily in future support for the addicted person after they are discharged.
In addition to therapy, rehabs may also host speakers who share their own stories, offering residents a sense of hope about their own future. Sometimes the speakers delve into practical issues like rebuilding careers post-treatment, or simply offer inspirational speeches to help lift spirits.
Some drug and alcohol treatment centers have various supplemental therapies available, offering more of a variety of options.
Alternative therapy forms may include:
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There are usually a couple of hours of free time available in the afternoon to be used however the resident chooses.
Activities like pool or ping-pong, basketball, soccer and volleyball may be offered, and some facilities may have a swimming pool.
Some people choose to spend free time reading or journaling and others may use the time for prayer or meditation.
After dinner, there may be another short group session. Typically, a 12-step program is available in the evenings, which is highly recommended. The meetings provide a safe, respectful and anonymous environment in which fellowship can be fostered — which serves as an intrinsic element for long-term sobriety.
Bedtime is encouraged to be at a reasonable hour, as healthy habits are being cultivated during the inpatient program. By getting enough sleep, clients are more alert and have more energy to experience peak participation in daily treatment.
Now that you know what to expect for a typical day in drug rehab, the next step is finding treatment. Contact a treatment provider to discuss available treatment center options.
Last Edited: December 13, 2021
Jeffrey Juergens
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
Clinically Reviewed: January 22, 2019
David Hampton
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), David works closely with Nashville area treatment centers, nonprofit recovery organizations, and consulting with faith-based groups trying to bridge the gap between the recovery communities and faith-based organizations who wish to understand addiction.
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