Rehabilitation 101: How Does Drug Rehab Work?

Rehabilitation 101: How Does Drug Rehab Work?
The Siliconreview
30 April, 2021

While there are people who may be in denial about their addiction, there are also those who acknowledge that they are sick, that it has a negative effect on their lives, and that they need help. They may even have attempted to quit their addiction but failed because they lack proper support and treatment. How can rehab help them if they have tried quitting but can’t kick the habit?

Going into rehab is necessary for anyone who wants to recover from substance abuse, but not knowing what to expect can make people feel too intimidated or too discouraged to seek professional help. It is important to remember that drug abuse is not just a habit but a disease that requires proper treatment. The difference is that, instead of going to a hospital, patients might go to a Tampa drug rehab or a similar rehabilitation facility in their area as specialized care is required in addiction cases.

Drug rehab is a process, and there are four treatment stages that each patient has to go undergo.

Step 1: Intake

When the patient decides to enroll into a program, admission usually involves filling out some paperwork. This is to gather important information about the patient, including details about their drug usage and their medical history. These will be taken into consideration in the design of their treatment plan, which may be customized according to their needs.

Rehab facilities have their own “check-in” process, in which the patient undergoes a physical and psychological assessment before officially joining the treatment program. This allows them to get a more accurate view of the patient’s condition as well as check if they recently used any drugs and are at risk of an overdose. They will also have to orient the patient with house rules and search the patient’s belongings to make sure that they aren’t bringing prohibited items into the facility.

Step 2: Detoxification

The first few days of the rehab program usually focuses on detox, or allowing the body to clear out all traces of the abused substance. This can take a few days, as the duration varies on the type or types of substance used by the patient and how much they used. It can also be influenced by factors like the patient’s sex, age, and medical condition.

In many cases, patients undergo withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process because their bodies are accustomed to the presence of alcohol and drugs. Symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Some patients may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures, and depression and require urgent care. There is no way to predetermine how a patient may react to detox, so it is usually recommended to do it in a safe environment with medical supervision. The treatment team can also do round-the-clock monitoring of the patient to make sure they do not get dehydrated. It’s also important for the team to administer medication to relieve symptoms.

Depending on the agreed treatment plan, the detox stage may also include weaning off the medication given for withdrawal symptoms. In other cases, the patient may be advised to continue taking these drugs as part of their recovery process.

Step 3: Rehabilitation

Once the substances have been flushed out of the body and the patient is sober and stable, the intensive therapy sessions for rehab can begin. There are many types of treatment options, and the patient may undergo several or even all of these therapies, depending on what is advised for their needs.

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma resolution

The availability of different types of therapy means that there are several ways to solve a single problem. The goal of all rehabilitation efforts is to help the patient understand themselves better, address the causes and triggers of their addiction, and develop the necessary skills to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Step 4: Recovery

After successfully completing the rehab program, the patient is said to be “in recovery”. This is the goal of any rehab program, but achieving this does not mean the end of the journey. The patient has to maintain their sobriety or drug-free status using the skills they learned during rehab. Staying in recovery can be a challenge, and it is not uncommon for some patients to experience a relapse. While it is a temporary setback to a patient’s recovery, it doesn’t mean that the rehab process has been a failure.

Recovery may be the final step of the rehab process but it is not a permanent achievement. Sobriety is a state of being, and it is possible to still feel the urge to use substances again even after getting to recovery. Rehab works because the patient is now better equipped to handle these triggers, and they have a network of people who can support and guide them back to recovery.