What to Expect during Your First 30 Days in Rehab

A 30-day drug rehab program will require individuals to live at the rehab center for this period. During these days, individuals will attend therapy sessions, participate in support group meetings, and learn other techniques to stay sober. These programs can often be a good starting point for those who are beginning their addiction. Those addicted may not want to make a long-term commitment and some may think they don’t need rehab at all. This 30-day period is short enough that those who may not be willing to go to a program will give it a try. This time away gives someone enough time to clear his or her head, detox, and start to live a sober lifestyle. Some programs will allow you to extend treatment as needed, depending on what happens in the first 30 days.

Intake Exam and Interview

The first step when entering a rehab program is the initial exam and interview about addiction. This can also be called the interview and assessment process. Here medical staff and counselors will collect important information about the addiction, background, history, underlying medical conditions, duration and type of addiction, date of the last usage, and other information. Medical tests, such as a blood test or urinalysis, may also be done. The results of this interview will allow the facility staff to create a treatment program and also determine the recommended length of the stay if it should be longer than 30 days.


Detoxing from alcohol or drugs will be the next step and it’s the process of removing all traces of the substance from the body. Detox should be carried out under 24-hour medical care and supervision. Some treatment facilities don’t have medically supervised detox services on site so the patient won’t be admitted to the treatment until they have been alcohol or drug-free for 48 hours. This means that the detox period will have to be done somewhere else. Detox needs to be medically supervised because some of the symptoms that come with withdrawal can be life-threatening. Those with underlying medical conditions may also need special attention during the process. This period is usually one to three days, but long-term addiction or addiction to multiple substances can be longer. Certain medications can be used to help ease symptoms and to reduce urges.

Active Treatment

The main point of rehab is treatment and, once detox is done, individuals can expect to undergo multiple elements that make up treatment. It’s important to remain at the treatment center, as research shows that those who complete the program have a better chance of staying sober and clean and living a productive life. Checking out early can often lead to relapse. The longer a patient stays in treatment, the better the chances of lasting sobriety. Active treatment can begin with a patient learning about the disease, meeting with a counselor, and meeting in groups. Patients will learn ways to identify triggers and practice effective coping mechanisms. Therapy can also help a patient overcome emotional issues that may have been aggravated by the addiction. Many effective treatment programs will focus on the mind, body, and spirit, so there could also be medication or other relaxation techniques to help patients improve their mental state. Another component of treatment is preventing relapse. Before a patient can rejoin society, he or she needs effective coping strategies to avoid relapse. There can be various treatments used during this phase. This can include cognitive behavioral therapy, somatic therapy, or dialectical behavioral therapy.

Family Therapy

Family therapy can be an important part of an overall treatment program. Addiction can affect every member of the family. Family members should be educated about the disease of addiction and how to better support loved ones during the process. Becoming supportive of a loved one who needs to attend 12-step meetings or to find ways to reduce stress is an important part of treatment. Family members are likely to have very little communication with their loved ones during the first part of treatment and the facility staff will let you know when the right time is for a family to visit and contact.

A Safe and Supportive Environment

One of the main things to expect from a rehab facility is a safe and supportive environment. This is imperative to healing. When patients are able to stabilize medically and psychologically, they can better understand addiction and they can better learn about the disease and underlying conditions that lead to their addiction. They can gain the necessary tools to aid in ongoing recovery.

During these first 30 days of addiction treatment, it’s normal to experience mood changes and sensory overload. You may spend a good portion of these days thinking about using and your substance of choice. Even if you aren’t actively aware of it, you could find yourself daydreaming about it. You may also experience nightmares or cold sweats. Cravings can also be normal during this time period. You can manage them by keeping busy with meditation or mindfulness. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out. Contact us today at Rise in Malibu to get more information.

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