May 20, 2019 Felicia Durling

A Day in the Life: What Does a Typical Day in Drug Rehab Look Like?

In 2013, 2.5 million people in the US received treatment for a substance use disorder.

There are over 14,000 facilities across the country. Treatment options are wide and varied. And while they may differ in their approaches, they generally follow a framework aimed at creating structure and a stable environment for those under their care.

If you or a loved one is entering drug rehab, you may be curious as to what to expect. Knowing what you can expect from the day-to-day in drug rehab centers can help you prepare and settle in more easily.

Keep reading to find out what a day at drug rehab looks like.

Mornings in Drug Rehab

The goal of going to drug rehab is to recover from substance use and abuse. Substance abuse disorders take over every aspect of a person’s life. Therefore, their substance use has interfered with their ability to function in a healthy and normal way.

As such, part of the goal of treatment is to help a person develop new, healthy habits. Over a 30, 60, or 90-day program, those habits become routine in a person. That way, they can carry that routine outside of the recovery center.

That means that sleeping in is generally not allowed. In some programs, you’ll have the option of early morning yoga or meditation session. Meditation and yoga can help with stress, depression, and anxiety, and is intended to help you start your day off on the right foot.

Therefore, you’ll likely be expected to be out of bed and dressed for breakfast before 8 am. Breakfast is usually taken in a group setting. You will be expected to get your own food and clean your own dishes. This is done to build a sense of responsibility.

As another part of teaching responsibility, you’ll have to clean up your room for daily inspection. That means having the bed made and the room tidy.

In most treatment programs, that morning routine is followed by a group therapy session. Depending on the type of treatment program, the counselor leading the session will, therefore, focus on addiction and recovery, the 12-step programs, or other topics related to treatment.

Group sessions can be very therapeutic. They allow you to build relationships with other addicts, who understand your struggles better than the non-addicts in your life. Most importantly, they offer an opportunity for camaraderie, fellowship, emotional healing, and compassion.

Afternoons in Drug Rehab

After a group session, you’ll typically break for lunch. You’ll be given some time to socialize with the other patients and even go for a cigarette. Following that, the hardest part of the day begins.

Afternoons at drug rehab are usually filled with therapy sessions. The most common types of therapy involved are individual and family therapy. But your drug rehab may also hold special sessions or alternative therapies.

We’ve listed the most common types of therapy involved, as well as some details on their goals, below.

Individual Therapy

The most common type of therapy used in drug addiction programs is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In these sessions, an individual works with a therapist to discover the triggers that lead them to substance use. The therapist can then provide coping tools for dealing with these triggers.

Family Therapy

Addiction is a family disease. It breeds codependent behavior as well as feelings of resentment and anger among family members. Getting past these behaviors and feelings is a critical part of the recovery process – as well as continued recovery after leaving from the facility.

Specialized Therapy

Some treatment centers offer special therapy and other sessions. The purpose of these sessions is to build life skills that will support them in their recovery.

Specialized sessions may be offered to help a person deal with issues outside of substance use, but which also greatly affects their lives. These might include stress or anger management and grief counseling.

Life skills training might include parenting classes, learning a skilled trade, or other skills that will help them outside of the facility. In some cases, these can help a person find a job after their time in drug rehab.

Fitness programs get people started on exercise. Exercise has both physical and mental benefits that can make life easier while at drug rehab and after you leave. It helps to improve mood, reduce cravings, and even stabilize and heal the brain.

Nutrition planning is just as important as physical fitness. Especially when it comes to healing the body, stabilizing mood, and maintaining general good health. These types of sessions might involve cooking classes, educational classes on diet and nutritious foods, as well as advice on meal planning.

Alternative Therapies

Some treatment program is based entirely on alternative forms of therapy. Others offer these therapies as a supplement to individual therapy, group sessions, and family therapy. They might include art, dance, music, equine, neurofeedback, or biofeedback therapies.

Evenings in Drug Rehab

After an intensive afternoon of therapy sessions, evenings usually start with a dinner. Dinner is structured in the same way as breakfast. Each person takes responsibility for themselves.

Following dinner, you might spend some more personal time with a doctor, nurse, counselor, or therapist. But usually, dinner is followed by a non-compulsory meeting. Meetings might feature a guest speaker who shares their own story. Or someone might be brought in to talk about post-treatment care.

There’s typically some free time allowed in the evenings as well. This gives you a chance to reflect on your day, share your perspectives with other patients, or simply relax and prepare for the next day. Most rehabs don’t have a set time you have to go to bed. However, with an early morning ahead, most residents don’t stay up too late.

Find Out for Yourself What Drug Rehab Is Like

A day at drug rehab involves taking responsibility for yourself and developing healthy habits. There are group sessions for forming fellowship as well as individual and specialized therapy to address the issues particular to your addiction.

But if you really want to know what drug rehab is like, find out for yourself. We offer a number of services for people struggling with


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