What is Drug Rehab Like?

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated May 23, 2014

My First Day in Rehab

I had a lot of questions about rehab. I wondered, “what is drug rehab like,” and if I was making the right decision. I tried to imagine what the other people there were like. I thought about how they might react to me and what I should say. When I made the decision to go to rehab, my doctor referred me for treatment in another state. I was really nervous at the time, but I was also glad to be getting help. I was tired of hiding and pretending there was no problem. I had never been to a treatment facility before or even thought about one until I needed it. So I wasn’t sure what to expect in drug rehab. At that time, I was really embarrassed that I had become an alcoholic, but fear of what my family and friends would think had left me with a feeling of hopelessness.

I recall arriving at the airport and waiting at the arrivals gate where I was to meet a representative from the treatment facility. After only a few minutes, a woman walked up to me, held out her hand and introduced herself. She was very friendly which helped put me at ease. She walked with me to the baggage claims area and helped me with my luggage. The drive to the facility only took a few minutes. Being in a strange city, I felt out of place. When we arrived, the representative helped me carry my luggage inside.

Once inside the treatment center, I was directed to a desk where I was checked into the facility. The woman who was filling out the paperwork was pleasant and made me feel welcome. She asked a lot of questions about my medical and psychological history. I had become so accustomed to hiding my drinking problem that I found it difficult to answer some of the questions. I wasn’t sure at what point I had stopped drinking “socially” and had become reliant on alcohol.

After the paperwork was completed, another woman searched me and my luggage. She explained that there had been occasions when people brought drugs or alcohol into the facility. I found it difficult to understand why anyone would spend the time and effort to undergo a treatment program yet bring illicit substances into the facility. I was desperate to be rid of my dependence on alcohol. It didn’t occur to me at the time that some people were pressured into entering the program by family or friends.

My luggage was returned to me and the woman who met me at the airport escorted me to my room. I was introduced to my roommate and given a brief account of the daily schedule. After I had put away my belongings, the woman showed me around the facility. Many of the other residents were lounging in the recreation center watching television. The facility also included a fitness center and clinic. At lunch time, I was shown the cafeteria where I ate lunch. A courtyard was located outside where residents went to smoke or socialize. Throughout the remainder of the afternoon, I met many other patients who would later become good friends and an excellent support team.

If you know someone with a substance abuse problem who is considering rehab, this information will give them an idea of what to expect in drug rehab. For those asking, “what is drug rehab like,” it may seem frightening at first, but a treatment program may help save their life. Northbound Treatment Services can help individuals struggling with alcoholism develop coping mechanisms by adopting a lifestyle of recovery. Northbound has helped thousands regain control of their lives and function as productive members of society.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.