Last updated: 04/10/2020
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Knowing the ins and outs of addiction treatment can help relieve much of the anxiety and doubt that comes when deciding to get treatment help. Getting well doesn’t happen all at once but takes time, which can be a good thing considering what’s at stake.
There are things to consider before rehab even begins. Likewise, knowing what to expect during and after rehab can also help soften the blow.
The good news is your questions about addiction treatment and recovery mark the first step towards taking back your life from addiction’s grasp and creating the kind of life you want to have.
The sticker price for drug rehab can be expensive, especially if you need intensive, long-term treatment help. While treatment costs do run high, most anyone has access to payment assistance options.
If you currently have a health care plan through your employer, or through Medicaid/Medicare, these plans will cover a good chunk of your treatment costs.
Other payment assistance options to consider include:
- Sliding-fee scales offered by drug rehab centers
- Free or low cost rehab programs
- Programs sponsored through nonprofit agencies, such as Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army
Once a person realizes a drug problem exists, he or she is likely to try to cut back or stop using altogether. When attempts to cut back or stop using fail, there’s something else driving the problem.
Many people think you have to hit rock button before there’s a real need for drug rehab. This is a misconception that can cause unnecessary problems down the road.
Ultimately, the sooner you seek out treatment help the easier the recovery process will be.
Getting treatment out-of-state has its benefits. Conditions where out-of-state options can actually help your recovery efforts include:
- Daily, local reminders of drug use
- Inability to detach from work obligations
- Inability to detach from family obligations
- Lack of available treatment options in your local area
Your gut instinct may also be a good indicator in terms of feeling the “need” to get away from your surrounding environment.
Rehab treatment costs can vary considerably with all the different types of programs available. As a general rule, the more intensive the program the higher the costs. So, expect an inpatient treatment program to cost considerably more than outpatient treatment.
The length of time spent in a treatment program also affects the cost, with longer running programs costing more than short-term programs. Cost factors also hinge on how severe your addiction problem is in terms of whether medication therapies will be needed or specialized medical care.
The ability to stop using drugs on your own gets harder the longer you keep using.
The brain and body develop a dependence on addictive substances over time. During the early stages of substance abuse, a person can still exercise a certain degree of control over his or her choices and actions.
After so many months or years of substance abuse, the drug’s effects take away your ability to choose. While it is possible to quit on your own, it becomes less so possible the longer substance abuse continues.
Preparing to enter rehab entails making the necessary preparations for your absence, such as childcare needs and household concerns. Family and friends can be a big help, especially those who support your decision to enter treatment.
If you have children or teens, making it a point to talk to them about where you’re going in terms that they can understand can help avoid confusion and hurt feelings down the road.
Last, but not least, having an open mind and a willing heart can go a long way towards preparing you for the rehab-recovery process.
It’s not uncommon for people considering addiction treatment to have feelings of guilt and shame over the life they’ve led. Likewise, negative attitudes towards “addicts” can easily feed into your own feelings of shame.
What’s most important at this point is taking back control of your life from the effects of addiction. Ultimately, negative attitudes don’t have to influence the choices you make for your life, especially when it comes to getting well.
Drug rehab programs may administer medication treatments under the following circumstances:
- Severe opiate or alcohol-based addictions
- Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety-based conditions
- Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease
- During the detoxification stage of treatment
At the start of your time in rehab, clinicians administer a comprehensive assessment to determine your treatment needs and draw up a treatment plan. Any medication treatments used will be included in your treatment plan.
Chronic and long-term substance abuse “naturally” breeds mental health problems so many rehab programs have ample experience in treating the effects of addiction and mental illness. Depression and anxiety disorders often develop out of chronic substance abuse.
Other types of psychological conditions, such as bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders may well require a more specialized treatment approach. What’s most important is to ensure you select the program that’s best equipped to treat your condition.
This information should be included in your “Welcome Packet,” so it’s good idea to review any and all information a rehab program gives you prior to your arrival. Most rehab programs only allow you to bring basic items, such as toiletries and clothes. As far as toiletries go, no alcohol-based or aerosol products are allowed.
Other allowable items include:
- Insurance cards and I.D. cards
- Money for vending machines and store purchases
- Basic jewelry items, such as wedding rings
- List of medications with dosage instructions
Considering you’re probably coming off months or years of substance abuse, the rehab treatment experience will be completely different than what you’re used to. The addiction lifestyle naturally breeds chaos and confusion.
Unlearning the destructive thinking and behavior that goes with an addiction lifestyle becomes the overall purpose of drug rehab. So your life in rehab will likely follow a structured, daily schedule that includes:
- Therapy sessions
- Support group meetings
- Free time
- Recreational activities
Overcoming the effects of substance abuse and addiction entails a process of growth and healing. This process is different for everybody.
Treatment lengths tend to vary depending on the severity of the addiction.
Treatment lengths also tend to run longer for individuals struggling with dual diagnosis conditions.
Ultimately, the longer a person remains in treatment the better his or her chances of a successful recovery outcome.
After so many weeks or months in a rehab program, the thought of returning home and resuming “everyday life” can seem overwhelming, or at the least disorienting for some. For the most part, life after rehab involves applying the skills and principles learned in rehab in your daily life.
As there’s no cure for addiction, recovery doesn’t end when rehab ends, but rather becomes a new lifestyle in terms of your mindset and the choices you make from day to day.
Support groups are another form of treatment that provides ongoing support and guidance as you manage your recovery on your own. In effect, support groups help you stay engaged in the recovery process.
As support groups can vary in structure and purpose, your own individual circumstances and preferences should determine what type of group will work best. Types of support groups to choose from include:
- Women’s/men’s groups
- Alcohol-focused groups
- Narcotics-focused groups
- SMART Recovery groups, which eliminate the Higher Power concept from the recovery process
Once you complete detox and rehab treatment, staying sober becomes a matter of choosing to stay engaged in the recovery process. This means reaching out to others for help when the urge to use seems overwhelming.
It also means “working the program” in terms of attending support group meetings on a regular basis and applying the principle of recovery in your daily life. Ultimately, the choices you make throughout any given day will take you down one road or another in terms of staying sober or falling back into addiction’s trap.
Addiction, in and of itself, is a chronic condition that can leave a person susceptible to relapse for months or even years after drug rehab ends. For this reason, it’s important to seek out some form of treatment help when a relapse episode occurs.
The type of treatment needed will depend on how far you’ve slipped. This means someone who relapses over the course of a week will likely need to go back to rehab. On the other hand, someone who’s only used once may only need to increase his or her support group meeting attendance, such as attending daily meetings for a couple weeks.