Drug and alcohol rehab can take many forms but the traditional route is probably the best choice for most people. This would be the typical inpatient rehab that includes detox in a medically supervised facility. These are the treatment centers that used to have 28 day programs but most of them have been reduced to more like a week or two because so much funding has been cut over the last decade and the cost of treatment–and health care in general–has continued to rise.
There is not much difference between drug rehab and alcohol rehab. They are pretty much the same exact thing because alcohol is actually just another drug. It happens to be a very special drug though because:
1) So many people use it.
2) It is legal and “accepted” in our society.
3) It is extremely dangerous and toxic.
4) It is dangerous to detox from.
Because of these reasons, people have a tendency sometimes to put alcohol in a category all its own, but in fact alcohol is a drug.
What to expect in rehab
Now if you are going into rehab then what can you expect? Well first of all, if you have used drugs or alcohol recently, then you can expect to go through detox for the first couple of days of your treatment. In most cases they will give you medication to help you control the withdrawal symptoms and help keep you stable and comfortable. Some people are afraid that any medicines that they give you in treatment will cause you to become addicted to pills. This fear is unfounded because the rehab is going to ween you off of any medications while you are there and when you leave treatment to go home you will be completely drug free. There is no need to fear the idea of taking medicine if you are doing it in a controlled environment where they are trying to help you get clean and sober. Drug rehab centers have been helping people get off of drugs for years and years and they are not going to set you up to fail.
Of course you can also expect groups and meetings and probably a 12 step program at most rehabs. The 12 step program is not perfect but it is pretty widely used and the support that you can get from the fellowship can be pretty helpful at times. It will help for most people to be open minded about this approach because, quite frankly, there are not many alternatives out there.
You can also expect to talk with a therapist or counselor one-on-one in treatment. This is helpful if you have trouble opening up in groups.
But ultimately you are going to have to come out of your shell a bit in order to “make it” at rehab. Painful as this may be for some, opening up to others generally becomes pretty easy and natural in treatment because:
1) You find yourself with a group of peers that are supportive.
2) The environment is non-threatening and people are almost never judgmental in treatment.
3) You will naturally open up a bit as you detox from your drug of choice.
So go with the flow and try to participate in rehab. You at least double your chances of maintaining sobriety with active involvement in a program, especially in early recovery.