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Inpatient Drug Rehab: Your 7 Most-Asked Questions Finally Answered

7 Questions You May Have Regarding Inpatient Drug Rehab

The decision to enter drug rehab is a major turning point in your life, but it can seem like an understandably daunting process, too. The more you know about what to expect, the better, so check out our answers to some frequently asked questions. The better prepared you are, the quicker your recovery can begin.

Will I Be Free to Leave?

Yes! Rehab is not a prison, even if your attendance there has been mandated by a court. You are free to leave before your treatment program has ended if you wish, although doing so may greatly increase the risk that you relapse into your addiction. Ultimately, recovery starts from within, so being forced to stay in rehab would be counterproductive.

Will I Have to Go Cold Turkey? That Scares Me.

Before rehab can begin, it’s essential that your body is free from the toxins of your problem drug. For this reason, all patients undergo a detox process under careful 24-hour medical supervision. Depending on the type of drug you have been using and the severity of your addiction, this may last for just a couple of days or it may last up to 14 days.

It’s true that the detox process is no picnic, but the symptoms you experience are a positive sign that your body is ridding itself of the drug’s poisonous effects. Depending on your individual case, you may experience aches and pains, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, flu-like chills, agitation or even hallucinations. However, you will be under the care of qualified, experienced and supportive medical staff who will be able to help you manage your symptoms and stay positive.

Will I Get Methadone or Some Other Medication to Help Me Detox?

For most addictions, no, you will detox without substitute drugs. However, for opiate addictions (e.g., heroin, morphine, oxycodone, etc.) it is sometimes appropriate to prescribe drug substitutes for a short period. This can also be the case with some benzodiazepine addictions (e.g., diazepam). This decision is made on a case-by-case basis with your specialist care providers.

Where Will I Live?

You will have your own private room within a larger communal living situation shared with other inpatients. Typically, there will be common living spaces and a kitchen, and you will share housekeeping tasks with your housemates.

What Happens When I First Arrive?

You will be welcomed, shown to your accommodation and helped to settle in; you will also have an initial medical exam and an interview. This will help staff take a history of your drug use and any underlying conditions or comorbidities. You may need to give a urine sample and a blood test.

What Does Therapy Actually Involve?

Following your detox period, rehabilitation will begin. During this period, you will attend regular “talking therapy” sessions, both in private and in groups. You will also have regular medical checkups and you’ll take part in therapeutic activities such as journaling, arts and crafts, family therapy and physical exercise. Your days are kept busy to fully immerse you in the program, and to provide distraction from your cravings.

The point of the ongoing therapy is to re-educate you and to help you understand your addiction triggers, so that you may be able to avoid them. You will also receive counseling to help you come to terms with any underlying life issues which may have led to a self-destructive cycle in the first place.

Will I Get Any Free Time?

Yes, of course! Free time to socialize is very important, as it will help you learn to interact with others without needing drugs as a social crutch. You’ll find that you form strong bonds with others who are in rehab with you.

You’ll also have plenty of free time to enjoy the rehab center’s recreation, leisure and sports facilities, and just to “chill out”. Some rehab centers also organize regular excursions and trips for patients.

Ultimately, rehab is what you make of it. Enter rehab with a genuine desire to get clean, and you will find it an immensely loving and supportive experience that will truly give you a brand new lease of life.

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