How do I go to Drug Rehab?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Enrolling in Drug Rehab

More than 106,000 people lost their lives to addiction in 2021, with a startling national trend displaying an uptick in drug use and overdoses. The good news? You don’t have to become a statistic.


Taking the first step in your journey toward healing and sobriety by going to rehab can be daunting but necessary if you’re ready to break free of addiction and start working toward a healthier, happier you.

One excellent way to approach rehab is to take the time to understand what comes next and what to expect as you create a plan of action designed to address substance use disorder.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take a closer look at the various types of programs at your disposal, what you need to consider as you look for a rehab center in your area, and what the process of rehabilitation actually looks like so you can make an informed decision about your care.

1. Acknowledge That You Need Help

The resources are there for you to take advantage of, but you need to be a willing and active participant in order to get the most out of rehab.

The first step (and arguably the hardest one) to take is to acknowledge that you need help. While addiction might not be obvious to those who struggle with it, there are signs that you might be able to recognize. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Withdrawing and isolating from friends and family
  • Poor performance or attendance at work
  • Neglecting appearance and personal hygiene
  • Engaging in risky or illegal behaviors like stealing to acquire drugs
  • Having to take more of a substance in order to feel the way you want to or avoid withdrawal
  • Lying and aggression
  • Spending exorbitant amounts of money to get drugs

If you can recognize the signs, accept that you need help, and begin to cultivate a support system of friends and family who will help you navigate treatment, you’ve already made it past one of the biggest hurdles in your healing journey.

2. Understand the Different Types of Drug Rehabilitation Programs

Rehab is a term that is used to broadly describe the act of getting help for drug and alcohol abuse. However, there are multiple types of drug rehabilitation programs, and not all of them are necessarily going to be best suited for your needs at this point in time. You may even need to visit multiple as you work toward sobriety.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of rehab programs you should research further.

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs: Inpatient rehab programs require you to stay at the facility for the duration of your treatment. This allows you to get clean while providing you with the support and structure you need when you’re first starting out.
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs: Outpatient rehab programs consist of partial hospitalization or brief treatment visits (often around three hours) that give patients more flexibility in their care, especially if they need to manage work and other responsibilities.
  • Detox Programs: As their name suggests, detox programs are designed to help you safely navigate withdrawal symptoms. Quitting certain drugs can be deadly when done incorrectly, which is why many need professional support.
  • Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Programs: Comorbidities with substance use disorders are quite common, with patients also struggling to manage depression, anxiety, and beyond. Dual-diagnosis treatment programs can help you navigate these co-occurring complex disorders more effectively.

3. Evaluate Personal Needs and Circumstances

Not all drug use disorders look the same, and not everyone struggling with addiction will be able to access the same care.

It’s crucial that you evaluate your personal needs and circumstances early on to determine what’s best for you. Some key factors that will influence the help you receive include the severity of your addiction, whether or not you have any underlying mental health conditions that will need to be treated alongside substance use disorder, how you’re going to manage personal and professional commitments while in rehab, and what you’re able to afford.

4. Research and Choose the Right Drug Rehab Center

When it comes to your treatment, choosing the right rehabilitation center can make all the difference in your support and success. That being said, finding the right rehab center isn’t always obvious or simple. Here are a few questions and considerations to keep in mind as you look for the right rehabilitation center.

  • Look for accredited and licensed facilities. Vet any and all rehab centers you’re considering to make sure that they’re capable and legally able to provide you with the care you need.
  • Check the types of therapies offered and make sure they align with your specific needs.
  • Read reviews and testimonials written by patients and families. These can inform you as to what experience you may have and whether or not the facility is a quality one.
  • Ask for recommendations from healthcare professionals or support groups. They’ll have the experience needed to help you find a rehab center that has met their expectations and will meet yours as well.
  • Evaluate the location and environment of different rehab centers. Is it nearby? What does it have to offer? Is this a place that will help you work on your sobriety effectively? All of this will play a role in your experience.

5. Consider the Costs of Rehab

Going to rehab isn’t the same experience for everyone, and this certainly applies to the financial costs.

The reality is that rehab can cost anywhere from $0 to thousands per day. To give you an estimate, detox tends to range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, inpatient can cost around $6,000 on the lower end and $20,000 on the higher end (30 days), and outpatient can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Not everyone can pay for these costs out of pocket. Fortunately, there are ways you can get help without spending money you don’t have. Some ways you can reduce the costs of rehab and make recovery possible include:

  • Looking into various insurance coverage options such as Medicare and Medicaid, coverage offered by your private insurance, or even state-financed health insurance.
  • Taking advantage of government programs and grants designed to help you get back on your feet.
  • Asking rehab centers about payment plans and sliding scale fees, which can reduce the burden of rehab costs so you can get treatment without breaking the bank.

There are some rehabs that may offer free treatment, and this can be worth looking into as well.

6. Make Arrangements for Treatment

Once you believe that you’ve found the right treatment center for your needs, there are several steps that you need to take to make the proper arrangements. Here are a few things to take care of immediately as you prepare to make the transition to rehab.

  • Contact your chosen rehab center to express your interest, begin the assessment process, and learn more about the next steps.
  • Figure out how you’re going to pay for rehab. Whether you’re using your funds, insurance, or a mix of both, plan ahead. Additionally, figure out how you’ll pay for things like rent and other responsibilities while you’re gone.
  • If you’re in an inpatient program, it’s important to schedule your absence from work or school. Talk to your employers or professors about the situation so they’re updated and expect your absence.
  • Prepare for your stay by creating a packing checklist (if you’re entering an inpatient program). Items like clothes, personal hygiene products, and notebooks are allowed. Double-check with your rehab center to see what is not allowed prior to entering.

7. Prepare to Enter the Rehab Facility

You’ve planned ahead, and now it’s time to take your next steps to a better life.

Starting rehab begins with the admission process. While it may sound somewhat scary, the reality is that it’s quite simple. Once you arrive, you’ll meet your treatment team, provide them with more information about your health and history, and undergo an assessment. Here you will get your vitals checked, take a drug test, and fill out any paperwork necessary to complete admission.

Once you’ve been admitted, it’s important to reach out to family members and loved ones to let them know your status. This will give them peace of mind knowing that you’re there and you’re safe. They will be instrumental as you work toward sobriety.

Additionally, make it a priority to engage in the treatment plan once you’re in rehab. We’ll take a closer look at what this means in the following section.

8. Commit to the Recovery Process

Whether or not rehab works is entirely dependent on how dedicated you are to it.

If you’re not engaged, you’re not going to get much out of the process, which can mean relapsing as soon as you leave. If you are engaged and you came to work, it can be quite rewarding.

Here are a few tips that will help you make the most out of your rehabilitation program.

  • Actively participate in therapy sessions. Be present, be open, and be honest with both yourself and your care team.
  • Build a support network of people that you can rely on to be there for you as you make this transition in your life. No one can do this alone, and no one should be expected to.
  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms that will allow you to navigate stress and other unpleasant emotions. Whereas you previously relied on drugs to get through life, you will need to find healthier ways to do so now.
  • Create a post-rehab plan of action. This brings us to our next point.

9. What’s Next? Transitioning Out of Rehab and Aftercare

Completing a 30, 60, or even 90-day rehabilitation program is a major achievement and one that should be celebrated.

However, that doesn’t mean that the hard work is over. Sobriety is a lifelong journey, and your plan after rehab is essential to your sobriety.

Aftercare is one of the best tools at your disposal. Aftercare is treatment and services that you receive once you’ve completed your initial rehab program. Some ways you can pursue aftercare include engaging in outpatient therapy or support groups, attending an alumni program at your treatment center, and going to individual therapy.

You should also build a routine for yourself that support your sober way of life. The more work you put in, the more you’re going to get out of your efforts.

Understanding what to expect when you seek help can make it easier to consider rehab, but taking that first step is the most important step. Where do you begin?

If you’re ready to change your life, you’re not alone. Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery is here to support you! Our team is on standby to help you to find a drug or alcohol rehab program in and around Hudson Valley that’s tailored to your needs, regardless of your financial situation or where you are in your sobriety journey.

Everyone deserves help and a second chance, and we’re here to provide it. Commit yourself to recovery and take the first step in your journey by reaching out to speak with our recovery advocates today!


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