Intake into a rehabilitation center may vary from site to site, but the process is mostly the same nationwide. The first step for the addict is to make the call. There is an initial process of evaluation where the doctors and psychologist will assess your level of addiction to drug and alcohol, and they will map out a plan of attack. Each plan will be tailored to your specific needs during this process. You can sit with the counselors and have your questions answered about the care you will be receiving.

Drug Testing

You may wonder,” Can I go home at night, can I smoke in the facility, and how long will I be there?” The first thing the rehabilitation unit will do is give you a drug test or breathalyzer to see if you need to go into detox based on testing results. Being drug- and alcohol-free usually will allow you entrance in to the care center for treatment. Many centers offer 24-hour helplines and may even come pick you up from your residence if you are admitted by a family member or parent.


You will be required to give a personal history, make financial arrangements, and be asked questions like why you are seeking treatment, when you began using, and what kind of drugs you used. You will need to be perfectly honest with the substance abuse counselors so they can care for you properly. You may be given a physical examination so the doctors can care for and treat you after detoxification and identify any problems after your detox, such as high blood pressure, heart issues, or communicable diseases. You will also need to give them a list of prescriptions you are currently using, which will be given to you while you are in the center if they are prescribed drugs.


In most cases, clients are admitted seven days a week and the stay will range from 12 hours to 24 hours a day, depending on location and treatment center. When you are in with the counselors who question you, remember these questions are important to your assessment for successful treatment. You need to be open-minded, responsive, and not be defensive in anyway. These answers will give you understanding to why and how you got to this point with addiction.

The Treatment Plan

Your treatment plan will be based on these preliminary examinations and questions. You will be asked if you had any previous treatments before, and if so, where, when and how it worked out for you. The staff will probably go through your belongings to make sure you have not brought in any illegal drugs or alcohol into the center that may jeopardize you or other patients’ health and recovery process. You may want to check before you go to see if cell phones or computers are allowed. You will want to bring comfortable clothing for at least seven days, as well as personal hygiene products. After all intake procedures are finished, you will be giving a chance to eat and be assigned to a room so you can get comfortable. Afterwards, you are invited to a group that is in progress or told what time you group meets and where.