What Does Addiction Treatment Usually Involve?

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The exact rehabilitation process will depend on the nature of the addiction, the individual concerned and the required treatment method. If you would like more information on entering a treatment program or would like to know what steps would be required to overcome a specific addition use our contact form for free and independent advice without obligation.



On arrival at a treatment centre, a member of the clinics admission team will meet you and take care of all the formalities. The team will help you settle in and explain all you need to know about the program structure and any rules that may need to be followed. They will then ask you some questions to begin the process of creating an individualised treatment plan.

A doctor will usually perform a physical assessment and establish the extent to which medical supervision or pharmacological support may be required. It will be necessary to provide details of any medications that are currently being used and the degree to which they are required. In addition, the doctor will try to ascertain the extent of substance misuse (including alcohol) and determine whether a detox is required. Physical assessments will continue throughout the duration of treatment in order to monitor progress. A more tailored admission process may be required in the case of dual diagnosis, or where serious mental health issues exist. 

man during a detox from drugs


Detox Addresses the Physical Aspect of Addiction

A detoxification cleanses the body of the chemicals and residues accumulated from sustained substance misuse. It will often involve the use of medication and must be carefully managed due to the potential health risks associated with sudden substance withdrawal.

 Drugs like marijuana and cocaine may not require any medications during a detox. Alcohol, heroin and other opiates usually will require them, the extent to which will depend on the severity and duration of the addiction.

Medically-Managed-DetoxMany residential rehab centres will have facilities and qualified medical professionals in-house for a detox to take place on site. This means you do not necessarily need to be clean of substances before entering a treatment program.

It is important not to attempt to detox on your own without medical supervision as it is essentially a medical emergency that carries the potential for serious injuries and even death. If a detox is necessary, it is advisable to carry out this stage of treatment at a suitably equipped rehab centre as part of an extended program.



Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Rehabilitation is the process of treating the psychological side of addiction by addressing the reasons behind the addictive behaviour. By identifying and confronting the issues that have led to the addiction, an addict can then move forward to recovery. Treatment will include developing strategies to escape from an addictive cycle and teaching skills that allow you to identify triggers that might cause a relapse after completion of the program.

Rehab is a safe and supportive place where you can make real progress with a treatment plan. By sharing the experience with others in a similar position, you can maximise your chances of recovery. A reputable rehab facility will have a high staff-to-patient ratio giving a high standard of care from specialists in multiple disciplines. A treatment plan will encompass all teams within the rehab environment working together to address the individual needs of a patient.


What Happens During a Stay in Rehab?

Physical and Psychological Assessments 

Medical professionals will assess your physical condition and decide on the extent to which any medications may be required. You will need to explain some details about your situation and the history of substance use. It is important to be honest when answering any questions so you receive the most appropriate help. A psychological assessment will establish any issues you might be facing such as anxiety, depression, or other emotional and psychological disorders. Assessments will continue through the duration of treatment to ensure the highest level of care is being received.

Individual Counselling & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Learning to identify problematic behaviours and applying skills to prevent them from happening can help to combat addiction. Counselling and CBT aim to change the pattern of addictive behaviour by teaching coping strategies and the ability to recognise high-risk situations that could lead onto negative consequences. By addressing the thoughts and actions around the addictive behaviour, and through the development of strategies for self control, an addicted person can alter their mindset towards a healthy and happy life away from destructive actions that could lead to a relapse.


Group TherapyGroup-Therapy-for-Addiction

Sharing stories and experiences with others can be an effective component of the rehabilitation process. The support that is offered in a group therapy setting can help all those involved to reach a shared goal of recovery. It might sound daunting having to share intimate details about your life and your addiction but remember that everybody else in the group is in the same position!


Aftercare Planning

Making preparations for leaving a treatment environment will form a part of any stay at rehab. By learning skills to help maintain recovery and continue the progress that has been made during treatment, aftercare planning provides the tools and knowledge to lead a life free from addiction.


Alternative-Addiction-TherapiesPhysical Fitness & Alternative Therapies

Exercise is often encouraged at rehab centres. It is no secret that exercise is good for us and can improve well-being and motivation to overcome addiction. Meditation, massage, yoga and other alternative therapies may be offered, the extent to which will depend on the rehab centre and the facilities they have at their disposal. Off-site excursions may also be available to those who wish to participate, some providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially within the range of the luxury and premium rehabs.

Aftercare and Recovery


Aftercare Helps to Minimise the Risk of Relapse

Recovery is a lifelong commitment that must be maintained through aftercare planning and participation. It plays an important role in relapse prevention and reinforces what was learned during time in treatment. As well as providing support, it should also teach the necessary skill sets that help during the transitional period from leaving a treatment facility to returning to a normal life. Aftercare is not compulsory but it is highly recommended, especially during the first year of recovery.

 The duration of aftercare activities depends on the individual’s ability to maintain a life free from addiction.

What Does Addiction Aftercare Involve?

Support Groups

Support groups offer the chance to connect with other addicts in recovery and allows for the sharing of experiences in a safe and supportive environment. They also provide literature to help you reach your recovery goals and practical guidelines for coping with the challenges of addiction. Many services, including well-known 12-step groups are free to attend and cover a wide range of addictions. Attending support groups can help maintain a life free from addiction so if you decide to participate, you are encouraged to interact with other members of the group and help each other to abstain from addictive behaviours.

Individual Counselling

Counselling sessions with an addiction specialist can be a helpful component to an aftercare program. The extent to which counselling is necessary will depend on the individual concerned and may be recommended for a period of weeks or months following completion of a rehabilitation program.

sober and happy for 14 daysAdditional Support

An inpatient or outpatient rehab will usually offer an aftercare and relapse prevention service as part of a treatment program. They can advise you on the level of support that would be necessary when returning home from treatment and may be able to connect you with services in your area and offer additional support by phone, online, or in person if you live locally.