FAQ’s on Addiction Rehabilitation

Do I have to go to a facility to get treatment? What do the terms “inpatient” and “outpatient” mean?

Inpatient treatment facilities will require that you stay there for the duration of your treatment. Inpatient facilities have staff on hand at all times and allow the patients to focus only on their recovery without the responsibilities of the outside world. With outpatient treatment, the patient comes in for a certain number of hours per day to receive therapy and other services and leaves at the end of the session. Whether your treatment will be inpatient or outpatient depends on your addiction and its severity. For more on this, visit our pages for inpatient and outpatient treatment.

How long does rehabilitation take?

Treatment length depends on the addiction and its severity. Some treatment lasts only 30 days, while others last three to six months. For drug addictions, detoxification takes about five days to one month, then the patient is moved to another facility for aftercare rehabilitation to help them adjust to sober life.

What are rehab facilities like?

You are allowed to bring clothing, toiletries, and minimal personal items such as photos with you to rehab. Most centers to not allow cell phones or other electronic devices. If treatment is for a substance addiction, detoxification at an in-patient facility will be the first step. This phase allows the person to get the drug out of their system under the supervision of medical professionals who can monitor their withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, the patient is often moved to a more casual residency to help the person slowly adjust to daily life. These residencies vary, but many are houses or apartments where the person lives with roommates who are also from the program. Each day will involve any combination of one-on-one therapy and group therapy. The person will also be given responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning around the house. Some programs offer classes during this time to help study for the GED or get college credit.

I don’t want anyone to find out I was in rehab. How do I keep it a secret?

Rehabilitation facilities fall into the medical field and are bound by HIPAA laws in the US that require them to keep patients’ identities secret. Many facilities have “first name only” rules that prevent people who are in rehab together from sharing their last names to retain anonymity.

Where can I go to get treatment options for myself or loved one? How do I find a good facility?

Rehab Center Network has resources to help you find the best treatment for you. It is important to only go through vetted programs, as the quality of different programs varies from facility to facility. See our “Resources” page for more information.

Can my family visit me in rehab? Can I contact them?

Different facilities usually allow structured visiting or phoning hours based on where you are in your course of treatment. For the first portion of the treatment, they will likely not be able to visit or call, but this portion only lasts a few weeks on average. Later on in therapy, you may be given a “day pass” to leave the facility with a parent or spouse for the day and return by a set time in the evening.