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What Happens on the First Day at Residential Rehab?

Seeking help for alcohol or drug addiction is a courageous first step toward recovery. One of the options available for alcohol addiction treatment is residential rehab. This immersive, structured environment provides a supportive atmosphere in which you can focus on your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one is considering residential rehab, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about what to expect on the first day. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the typical experiences and processes that occur on the first day at residential alcohol rehab.

Is Residential Rehab the Right Choice for You?

Before delving into what happens on the first day at rehab, it’s crucial to consider if residential rehab is the right choice based on your personal circumstances and individual needs.

We asked Danielle Byatt, Treatment Director at Step by Step Recovery, a residential rehab in Essex, for her opinion on this.

“Taking the first step towards recovery from substance abuse and addiction can be one of the most challenging decisions a person can make. It requires courage, self-awareness, and a commitment to change. Residential rehab, often referred to as inpatient addiction treatment, is widely considered the most effective option for individuals seeking comprehensive and structured support to overcome alcohol or drug addiction.”

Before committing to residential rehab, it’s essential to assess your situation and determine if it aligns with your needs and goals. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Severity of Addiction: The length of time and severity of your addiction play a significant role in deciding the level of care you require. If you’ve attempted outpatient treatment in the past and struggled to maintain sobriety, or if your addiction is severe, residential rehab may be the best option. It provides a controlled environment that can provide a higher chance of preventing relapse.
  • Co-occurring Disorders: If you have co-occurring mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, addressing these alongside your addiction is crucial. Residential rehab often offers integrated treatment for dual diagnoses, making it a suitable choice for individuals with complex needs.
  • Stability and Support at Home: Consider your living situation and support system. If your home environment is conducive to sobriety and you have a strong support network, outpatient treatment may suffice. However, if you face environmental triggers or lack a strong support system, residential rehab provides a safe and supportive space to focus on recovery.
  • Time and Commitment: Residential rehab typically involves a more substantial time commitment, often lasting 30 days or more. If you can dedicate this time to your recovery and are committed to the process, it’s a strong indicator that residential rehab is a suitable choice.

What Happens When You Are Admitted to Residential Rehab? 

The first day at residential rehab marks the start of a transformative journey toward recovery and a healthier, more fulfilling life. It’s important to remember that every individual’s experience will be unique. However, there is a structure that many residential rehabs follow on the first day. Below is a breakdown of the day and what to expect.

Pre-Admission Assessment

The journey towards recovery often begins with a pre-admission assessment. You or your loved one will typically speak with an addictions counselor or be assessed by a psychiatrist, depending on your current state of mental health.  

This assessment serves several purposes:

  • It helps determine the level of care required, considering the severity of the addiction, any co-occurring mental health disorders, and other individual needs.
  • Based on the assessment, a personalized treatment plan is developed. This plan outlines the specific interventions and therapies that will be part of the recovery process.
  • You will be able to ask any questions you may have and ensure you have all the information you need to feel at ease.

Intake and Orientation

On the first day of residential rehab, you’ll undergo an intake process. This typically involves:

  • Welcome, and Introduction — The staff will warmly welcome you to the facility and provide a brief introduction to the rehab center and its rules.
  • Search and Inventory — For security and safety reasons, personal belongings are typically searched and inventoried to ensure that no prohibited items, such as alcohol or drugs, are brought into the facility.
  • Admission Paperwork — You’ll complete the necessary paperwork, including consent forms, privacy agreements, and medical history.
  • Medical Assessment — A medical examination will be conducted to assess your overall health and to identify any potential medical issues that need attention during your stay.
  • Orientation — You’ll receive a thorough orientation, which includes information about the daily schedule, rules and expectations, facility amenities, and an introduction to the staff and fellow residents.

Medically Supported Detox

For many individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, the first step in recovery involves detoxification. This process helps the body rid itself of the substance or substances you are physically dependent on. During detox, you’ll be monitored by medical professionals who can provide medications and emotional support to ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.

Next Steps

Group therapy
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Once the intake and detoxification processes are complete, you’ll meet with a therapist or counselor to discuss your individualized treatment plan. This plan will outline the various components of your recovery, which may include:

  • Group therapy sessions provide a supportive environment to share experiences and learn from others in recovery.
  • One-on-one counseling sessions with a therapist to address personal issues and develop coping strategies.
  • Family therapy or support to help repair and strengthen relationships strained by addiction.
  • Recreational and social activities to help you learn to live a sober lifestyle and make new connections.

If you’re considering residential rehab, remember that you’re not alone, and help is available. Your decision to seek treatment is a significant and courageous step, and it can lead to a brighter, alcohol-free future. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a residential rehab treatment facility to discuss your options and start your recovery.

Featured Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: