Checking into an alcoholism and drug rehab center is for most addicts one of the most frightening times they experience. All the components that made your life predictable and safe is all of a sudden turned completely upside down. You will be isolated from your family and friends and spend your life surrounded with strangers. And last but not least, your weird but safe comfort zone consisting of a life of addiction will be stripped away like a lightning strike. Let’s face it; many addicted persons people have no clue as to what to expect within their first 24 hours at an alcohol or drug rehab center, so here is a rough checklist you can prepare yourself with.
When you first arrive at an alcohol or drug rehab center, you will have to go through an intake interview. This is your first meeting with a highly skilled therapist. The therapist will ask several very personal questions. Try to cooperate as good as you can with your intake therapist, as your intake will help to stake out the course of your treatment. Your intake therapist will diagnose your alcohol or drug addiction problem as well as any coexisting psychological disorders through the use of very specific standardized criteria.
During or shortly after your intake interview, you will be given a so called information and orientation packet. The contents of this packet will vary between drug rehab centers, but will always include a Patient’s Bill of Rights or a similar document, which lists numerous rights to which you are entitled by law. Your packet will most likely also include a schedule of activities, information about the alcohol or drug rehab center’s history and goals, insurance details as well as other information that is important to your stay.
After that, you’ll most likely be shown to your room. This will be your living space for the next weeks or months. You will be searched and your items will be carefully examined. You will also have to give up any personal items not permitted on the premises for the time being, as they will be locked away in a safety deposit box or in a special area. Some alcohol or drug rehab centers have a dress code, so you will also have to comply if that is the case.
At some point you will meet your drug or alcoholism treatment team. The team will normally include a physician, therapist and case manager or maybe a social worker as well as support people. Some alcohol or drug rehab centers also provide a nutritionist and perhaps an activities director. The same staff members will remain on your personal treatment team throughout your time at the drug rehab center.
Within the first 24 hours at an alcohol or drug rehab center, you will have to go through a full physical examination. In cases where the doctor is of opposite gender from yourself, a nurse or staff member of your gender will be present as well. You will need to undergo urinalysis and most likely blood testing to determine which drugs are currently present in your system and in what amounts. You may also be screened for tuberculosis as well as other communicable diseases. The doctor or his staff will meet with you to discuss your test results and make recommendations for medical assistance with your drug addiction problem.
Within a couple of days, your treatment team will work out an individualized drug or alcoholism treatment plan. This will include the process for your initial detox, as well as the treatment that will take place next. You are the most important member of your team, so do not be afraid to speak up and contribute your own thoughts and opinions. If the company’s policy states otherwise, you should strongly consider changing to a different alcohol or drug rehab center.
As we already have emphasized, entering an alcohol or drug rehab center can be a frightening experience. However, when you know what is likely to happen, this experience can be a lot less traumatic. Don’t be afraid asking questions and carefully listen to the answers. The staff and a center like this has dedicated their professional life to help you in your battle against your drug or alcohol addiction problem and will do what’s in their power to make your stay as pleasant and useful as it can be.