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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Process

In 2021, more than 4 million people received substance use treatment, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.1 Deciding to seek treatment for substance misuse or substance use disorder (SUD) is a brave step toward recovery, and you may be wondering what you can expect during the rehab process. While recovery looks different for everyone, the rehab process may include a combination of detox, inpatient or outpatient rehab, and aftercare services.

This page will help you learn more about what you can expect during the drug treatment process and how to find treatment near you.

Addiction Treatment Process

The addiction and recovery process can vary based on several factors, including how severe a person’s addiction is, whether they have a co-occurring disorder (e.g., anxiety or depression), their medical history, their support system, and more.2 In general, a person who completes an addiction rehab program may expect the following during the addiction treatment process:

  • Evaluation.
  • Detox.
  • Inpatient and/or outpatient rehab.
  • Aftercare services.

What Is the First Step in the Rehabilitation Process?

When does the rehabilitation process start? The first step in the rehabilitation process is often evaluation. During the evaluation period, you may meet with a team of professionals to receive an assessment of your mental, physical, and social history. If you have a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety or depression, your treatment team will discuss additional treatment options to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of care and support.2 Receiving a thorough assessment helps determine the appropriate level of care and creates a tailored treatment plan for your unique needs. It also helps establish a baseline for monitoring your progress.

Drug and Alcohol Detox Rehab Program

While not always necessary, drug addiction treatment may include a period of detox.3 Certain substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms when a physiologically dependent person abruptly cuts back or stops using the substances.3 Detox services can help a person get through this period as comfortably and safely as possible by providing around-the-clock care, monitoring, support, and medications if needed. This can also ensure complications are addressed right away if they occur.3

While other substances, such as opioids, do not typically produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms, this period can be highly uncomfortable, and it may be in a person’s best interest to detox in a professional setting.3

While detox is an important part of the addiction treatment process for many people, it is not typically sufficient in helping people recover. Following detox with ongoing rehab in an inpatient or outpatient setting can help address the underlying causes of addiction.3

The fear of withdrawal can keep you from taking steps toward recovery. Our admissions navigators are here to help address your fears and guide you. For more information on detox, contact American Addiction Centers at .

Rehab: Addiction and Recovery Process

Rehab can take place in a range of settings and may vary in duration and intensity. As a person progresses throughout their recovery, they may move from one type of treatment to another. For example, a person may transition from an inpatient rehab to an intensive outpatient program.

Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Programs

  • Inpatient treatment: You live at a treatment facility and receive care, monitoring, and support around the clock. This can be a good option for those with more severe addictions or those without stable housing and support from family and friends.4
  • Outpatient treatment: You attend therapy sessions part-time while living at home or in a type of sober housing and can potentially maintain daily responsibilities.4
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): This is more structured than outpatient treatment and often involves frequent therapy sessions and support. This can be a good option for those requiring more structured care without 24/7 supervision.4
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): This comprehensive treatment combines medical and therapeutic support during the day, but you can return home in the evenings.4

Types of Therapy Used in Addiction Rehabilitation

Participation in different types of therapy is the foundation of long-term treatment efforts. It is through extensive counseling and therapy that you can start addressing the underlying issues related to addiction. Counseling and therapy can take place in individual, group, and family settings.

  • Individual therapy: In individual behavioral therapy, patients learn to identify when they began using the substance and why they started misusing it. They also learn strategies such as coping mechanisms and time management.2
  • Group therapy: In group therapy, patients recovering from addiction interact with others who are in similar situations. It is often helpful for recovering individuals to know that they are not alone in their struggles. This sense of community support is integral to the recovery process.2
  • Family therapy: Family therapy can help resolve issues so the family can serve as a pillar of support once their loved one leaves the rehabilitation facility.2

Recovery and Aftercare

Even after patients complete an initial rehab program, the rehab process isn’t over. Before completing their program, patients often work with their counselors to create an aftercare plan. Aftercare plans differ from one person to the next but are designed to sustain a patient’s recovery.

Many addiction rehab facilities host follow-up programs to help patients return to their daily lives. These aftercare programs might consist of additional counseling and meetings for alumni of the treatment program as well as other people in the community. Patients may also live in a sober living facility with other individuals recovering from addiction.

Many patients maintain regular therapy sessions post-rehab, and some submit to scheduled drug testing to keep them accountable for their sobriety. Regular group therapy attendance is a wonderful method for building a support system in your local area. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are a couple of the more well-known 12-step groups that host meetings throughout the country that many individuals recovering from addiction attend regularly.

Finding Alcohol and Drug Rehab Near Me

If you’re ready to take the next step, you have options. You might start by contacting your doctor or a mental health professional and asking for referrals for treatment. You can also use our rehab directory to find drug and alcohol rehab near you.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of addiction treatment with facilities throughout the U.S. Our team of admissions navigators is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions, discuss treatment options and using insurance for rehab, and help you begin the admissions process once you’re ready. You can call , or verify your insurance now and reach out for more information later.


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