what is rehab like

What Is Rehab Like?

Inpatient rehab is a type of residential treatment where individuals reside full-time at a facility to overcome their substance abuse struggles. It’s the most intensive level of drug and alcohol rehab and often the first step people take in their addiction recovery. If you’re considering alcohol or drug abuse treatment and wondering, “What is rehab like?” knowing what to expect can help you make an informed decision. Keep reading for an overview of what daily life at a residential treatment center looks like and the services offered that may be beneficial for your recovery process.

The Admission Process

When you first arrive at an inpatient treatment center, you’ll undergo an initial assessment conducted by a team of medical professionals. This is to determine the severity of your addiction, whether you have co-occurring mental health issues, and any other crucial information about your physical health.

Once this information is compiled, the team will develop a personalized treatment plan outlining what services or therapies they believe are most beneficial to treat your specific drug or alcohol abuse struggles. This can include a combination of evidence-based or holistic therapies and medications to reduce drug cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and treat co-occurring disorders.

Some individuals may undergo medical detox before fully integrating into the inpatient rehab facility. Detox is the process of ridding the body of drugs and alcohol. By getting the toxic substances out of your system, you’ll be able to better concentrate on addressing the psychological aspects of addiction during drug or alcohol rehab.

Therapeutic Approaches

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 9.2 million U.S. adults are affected by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Attending behavioral therapy during inpatient treatment can uncover how underlying mental health issues may have contributed to your substance abuse.

Residential treatment centers offer several types of behavioral therapies, including:

  • Individual therapy. During individual therapy, clients meet one-on-one with an assigned therapist to address their mental health and substance use issues simultaneously. This helps them learn healthier coping skills for dealing with stress or negative emotions.
  • Group therapy. Multiple residents attend therapy together to encourage each other to stay sober and share coping strategies or advice. Group therapy helps individuals improve their communication and social skills by building community with others who share similar experiences.
  • Family therapy. During family therapy sessions, clients and their family members meet with a therapist to improve communication by discussing how addiction has impacted the family dynamic. This can strengthen relationships and encourage a healthy healing process for everyone.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of talk therapy helps individuals gain awareness of and challenge their negative thoughts so they can approach difficult or stressful situations in a healthier manner.

Daily Life in Residential Addiction Rehab

Residential drug rehab provides a structured environment to help clients develop healthy routines. Most treatment centers provide set times for waking up, eating meals and attending activities so clients know what to expect each day. This creates a safe, stress-free setting that allows clients to focus solely on their recovery.

Throughout the day, you’ll participate in scheduled therapy sessions, support groups, and other sober activities to establish healthier habits both physically and mentally. However, free time is usually available in the afternoon, so clients can take advantage of the facility’s amenities and explore other hobbies.

At Recovery Life Group, we offer on-site gym and wellness facilities to encourage healthy coping mechanisms. Our residential rehab center also has a personal chef to provide nutritious, customized meals that accommodate dietary restrictions and ensure clients have the energy and strength needed to participate in daily activities.

Inpatient treatment facilities also provide living arrangements to help residents stay comfortable. Clients in our inpatient program reside in private rooms with plush queen- or full-size beds. They have access to luxury amenities, such as massage therapy, recreational activities, and professional staff to provide emotional support and medical supervision, depending on each client’s individual needs.

Holistic therapies for Addiction Rehab

Additional Services and Activities in a Rehab Facility

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers provide numerous services and activities to personalize the recovery process for each client. Examples of additional services you may have access to include:

  • Holistic therapies. Rehab centers that use a holistic approach provide experiential therapies, such as equine, art, and music therapy. These allow clients to participate in creative and interactive activities to address past or present issues.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. Individuals diagnosed with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, receive dual diagnosis treatment. Mental health issues can often result from drug and alcohol abuse, and they usually require simultaneous treatment.
  • Life skills training. Clients have access to life skills training in areas such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and stress management to sustain long-term recovery after treatment.
  • Recreational activities. Alternative treatments are also offered to address each client’s physical and mental health and can include recreational activities such as art classes, horseback riding, and meditative yoga.

Transitioning Out of Residential Treatment

The recovery journey doesn’t end once inpatient treatment is complete. Aftercare planning ensures you still have access to professional assistance to continue practicing newly gained coping strategies and prevent relapse when transitioning back to your regular life.

Some individuals may choose to enroll in outpatient treatment. This is a less intensive type of drug or alcohol addiction rehab with a flexible schedule, so clients can attend therapy sessions around work or school. How often you attend treatment depends on how much help is necessary to maintain sobriety.

Finding local support groups can also be beneficial during the transition. This can help you build a support system in your neighborhood so you have people to turn to if recovery becomes difficult. Alumni programs and sober living homes are alternative methods that provide some structure and ongoing support to make the transition process less overwhelming.


Residential treatment provides a safe, secure environment for overcoming a substance use disorder and learning healthier coping skills that are crucial for sustaining recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, Recovery Life Group in Upper Marlboro, MD, is here to help. Contact us today by calling (301) 686-3233 to begin your journey.