What Happens in Residential Rehab?

Rehab is by definition a residential type of treatment. Addiction treatment programs can also be administered on an outpatient basis, but research suggests that long-term participation in a more intensive setting is better for lasting sobriety. If you can afford the time and the cost, residential rehab for at least a couple of months is your best option for addiction treatment.

What exactly will happen at your rehab facility depends on the program. Before you go, find out what the procedures are like and what kinds of therapy you can expect to undergo. Ask all the questions you have so that you are ready. In general, rehab is not like a hospital. It is more like a residence. You will probably have a roommate. You can expect that your days will be structured so that you will have activities and treatment sessions with only a little bit of free time.

Most drug rehab, out of state or in state, begins with an assessment and the creation of a treatment plan. You can then expect to participate in one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy sessions and possibly alternative types of therapy. You may participate in art or music therapy, exercise and nutrition education, animal therapy or holistic medicine practices.

You may or may not be able to have family visit while you’re in rehab. If that is a concern for you, be sure to find out what the policies are before you enter the program. Many rehab programs offer family days or opportunities for family to come and participate in therapy sessions with patients. A few facilities, however, do not allow family to visit until the end of a treatment program.

What Happens After Rehab?

Most rehab treatment programs will prepare you for life after rehab. Your therapists and other professionals will most likely provide you with an aftercare plan. This could include regular outpatient counseling sessions, family therapy or support group attendance. Good rehab programs will also go in more depth to teach you how to live life drug- and alcohol-free.

Going to rehab is important and a big step in your life. It represents a major change, and change isn’t always easy. If you’re scared and anxious about going to rehab, you aren’t alone. It’s normal to feel that way. Knowing what to expect will help you feel more comfortable, so be sure you find out exactly what will happen before you go and get answers to any questions you have.


Choose a better life. Choose recovery.