What Happens In Drug Rehab?

If you or a loved one are wondering about entering a drug rehab program, you likely are interested in how they function.

What do you do all day? What kind of programs are you able to participate in? Understanding your options can make the process less stressful and more impactful.

Getting help for a substance use disorder in a treatment facility means you receive around-the-clock addiction treatment and care from medically trained professionals. This kind of treatment is recommended for people who have been struggling with drug addiction long-term and can’t seem to get out of their substance abuse on their own.

When you get into drug rehab, they don’t just help you stop using drugs; they also help you understand why you might be turning to drugs and what you can do to overcome your substance use. Drug rehab facilities incorporate a variety of therapies to get down to the bottom of your addiction and help you make changes for the better.

What Is the Process of Drug Rehab?

Getting into a drug rehab process will look very similar regardless of what facility you are at. You’ll want to reach out to a representative and discuss their substance abuse treatment options before signing up. Finding a treatment center that will work with you to get you help is the ultimate goal.

Intake Form

When you first get to a drug or alcohol rehab center, you will go through an intake process.

During this process, the rehab center will be able to get an overall idea of your substance use, medical history, family history, and social background. This information gives the facility a better understanding of you as a person and what kind of treatment program you are looking for.


Once you have undergone the intake process, your doctors and nurses at the facility will decide what treatment methods are best for you. Likely, they will want you to go through the detoxification process.

If you are using substances actively, the detoxification process will clean out the substances from your body. Unfortunately, this detoxification process brings along withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can be very uncomfortable.

When you go through the detoxification process in drug rehab, you are able to stay monitored and have continuing healthcare for your safety. Having 24-hour monitoring means you can get help when you need it. There is always a doctor or nurse on call who can assist you at any time, and they want to!

Treatment: Inpatient or Outpatient

Once you have finished the detoxification process, which could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, the staff at the drug rehab will work with you to make a treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your substance use, your doctors might recommend inpatient or outpatient programs.

Inpatient programs will keep you on 24-hour monitoring. If you are able to take time off to go into inpatient treatment, it can be very helpful in recovery. Inpatient programs involve healthcare experts who will work with you on a strict timeline to get you back on track and focused on recovery.

Outpatient rehab programs require you to come to the treatment facility but allow you to go home afterward. This is great for people who can’t take time off of work, who have families that they need to be there for, or who who simply may not need an inpatient program to overcome their struggles. Outpatient rehab allows you to have a space for a community outside of your family with people who are going through similar struggles while still allowing you to follow your normal routines to an extent.

What Is a Typical Day in Inpatient Rehab?

When you are in an inpatient program, you will have a strict schedule to follow. The day might look like this:

7:00 AM: Wake up, have breakfast, and take any medication needed

8:00 AM: Take showers, get ready for the day

9:00 AM: Morning group therapy session

10:30 AM: Personal time

11:00 AM: Individual therapy session

12:00 AM: Lunchtime

1:00 PM: Afternoon activities – exercise, art, games

3:00 PM: Afternoon group therapy session

4:30 PM: Personal time

5:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 PM: 12-step meetings

8:00 PM: Evening group therapy session

9:00 PM: Personal time

11:00 PM: Bedtime

While in inpatient care, you will go through several different therapy sessions, both group and individual. This will allow you to get to the bottom of your own issues one-on-one with a therapist, as well as gain a sense of community with other individuals who are struggling with similar issues.

Inpatient therapy is a great time for you to focus on yourself with no guilt. This is a time for you to get better, so make the most of it!

The amount of time you spend inpatient will vary depending on the severity of your substance use. You and your providers will know when it’s time for you to transfer to outpatient treatment.

What Is a Typical Day in Outpatient Rehab?

When you are a part of an outpatient program, you have a bit more freedom to come and go, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a schedule you need to follow. Outpatient programs can vary in their start times, but mid-morning will likely be your first group therapy session.

A day in outpatient might look something like this:

10:00 AM: You arrive to the facility for your group therapy session

12:00 PM: You break for lunch

2:00 PM: Individual therapy sessions

And then you are sent off for the day! Outpatient programs might not take up as much of your day, but they can take a bit longer because you will need to split your treatment up.

With intensive outpatient programs, you are able to keep somewhat of your outside life normal, being able to go to work and take care of your family while undergoing treatment. This gives you the best of both worlds.

Getting Help with Soba

If you or a loved one are interested in entering a drug rehab facility, consider calling a representative from Soba Recovery Centers.

With two separate locations, Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX, you can get addiction help when you need it and however best it will work for you. You can discuss with our staff what kind of treatment might be best for you before making any decisions.

After you go through the intake process, we will have a better understanding of what your needs are. We can craft a treatment plan with you catered to your individual needs so that you have the best shot of recovery.

Throughout your treatment, you will have our support and resources available to you at all times. With insightful group therapy, meaningful individual therapy, medically-assisted therapy (MAT), and full detoxification, Soba Recovery can help you achieve and maintain the life you deserve.

Addiction recovery can be a long and scary journey, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. You can find help from people who are trained to assist you and want to see you thrive. With help from Soba Recovery Centers, you can get your life back into your control.


NIMH » Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders | NIMH

Pharmacological Strategies For Detoxification | NCBI

Benefits Of Peer Support Groups In The Treatment Of Addiction | NCBI

What’s It Like To Go to an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Not everyone can commit themselves to an inpatient program, as it’s difficult to get time off from work, you can have responsibilities that require you to be present, and it can also be more expensive. No matter your reasoning, you still deserve professional and supportive treatment options that work with your schedule. 

While there are many counseling options and treatment programs to choose from, finding one that offers the best support system and treatment services for your addiction treatment is essential.

Intensive outpatient programs might be a great option for those that need more support than they can get on their own but might not require 24/7 around-the-clock care from medical professionals. If you do not need medically assisted treatment sessions but still want professional help, intensive outpatient programs might be right for you. 

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program is a treatment option that allows you to maintain many aspects of your daily life without completely interrupting the while you are getting treatment for substance use. With an outpatient program, you don’t stay housed at the treatment center, so you can come and go and are usually required only for sessions you are a part of. 

Intensive outpatient programs aren’t only reserved for those who struggle with substance use disorder. Outpatient programs can be geared towards individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, and many other mental health concerns that don’t necessarily need medical intervention or continuous supervision. 

For many people with substance use disorder, intensive outpatient care is a great way to find time for themself and learn to create good habits while finding a group of peers who can support and listen to their struggles.  

Additionally, people who have just undergone inpatient residential care might use an outpatient program as a way to transition back into their normal life. Going from spending all day around people trained to help you back to an environment that you might not have thrived in beforehand can make recovery more complex. 

Using outpatient program services works to ease yourself back into society and find new ways to cope with reintegration and facing your triggers. 

Inpatient Programs vs. IOPs

Your decision to enter an intensive outpatient program will come down to your personal needs. Still, it’s always helpful to learn about the differences between treatment options. 

Deciding whether an inpatient or intensive outpatient program is right for you comes down to some of their main differences. Each provides similar treatments and therapy sessions and focuses on your recovery, but there are different benefits to inpatient programs that IOPs don’t necessarily have. 

Benefits of an IOP

There are many benefits that intensive outpatient programs provide to their patients. 

It’s always good to weigh your options before making any decisions, especially when it comes to your health. Intensive outpatient programs allow you to maintain your routine while ensuring professional treatment and promoting healthier habits and a better community. Some key benefits of attending an intensive outpatient program are:

  • Flexible schedules and more accessibility options.
  • Lower costs compared to residential programs.
  • Ability to practice learned skills or methods every day when you leave the facility.
  • Being surrounded by a similar community that you can still access while at home.
  • Allows you to stay with your family and be present.
  • Learned responsibility.
  • Developing feelings of respect and trust.
  • Can keep your jobs and not worry about a pause in your income.
  • Able to find out about and use local resources easier.

Benefits of Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is an option that is great for individuals who need around-the-clock care and might benefit from medically-assisted treatment. Inpatient care has many benefits, though it is more pricey, considering you are housed there and fed throughout the treatment. Other key benefits of inpatient treatment are:

  • Assistance when you need it, providing a higher level of care
  • Not possible to get access to any substances
  • Surrounded by trained medical professionals
  • Able to undergo the detoxification process safely (even if detox symptoms develop)
  • Medication management (If any)
  • There is a very high success rate with inpatient care
  • Develop close relationships with other patients (peer support) and the medical staff
  • If you are currently dealing with a mental illness or mood disorders along with substance abuse, seeing a therapist or psychiatrist and undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (dbt) may be an option at your treatment facility.

Regardless of what you choose, you will get excellent care that is dedicated to your success.

What To Expect in an IOP

When you choose to get treatment with an intensive outpatient program, you should expect many therapy sessions, both individual and group, that will focus on ways to cope with triggers and find the best treatments for you. 

IOPs are still meant to be personalized to your own needs, allowing you to find the right treatment plan for you. You might find that you benefit from more group therapy sessions because finding a community through these sessions has helped you to overcome some of your anxiety about going home. 

Understanding what to expect when entering an IOP can help you decide if it’s right for you. Soba Recovery Centers offer an intensive outpatient program that can range from 30 minutes to six hours in just one day, depending on your needs and abilities. You’ll find that group therapy is the main form of treatment that IOPs will offer, but each session will be geared towards your individual needs.

Support Groups

It’s hard to understand the importance of a healthy support group until you’ve experienced one. It can make the road to recovery much easier when you have other people who have your best interests in mind, who might understand some of your hardships and are willing to help you. 

Many recovery centers will offer support groups like AA or other 12-step programs within their facility so that it’s easier for outpatients to access them. You don’t have to be in active treatment to join an AA meeting, so you can also find meetings that happen in your area for you to attend. 

Having support from those in your community can truly make all the difference on your recovery journey. When those around you are supportive and keeping an eye on you, it’s a lot harder to fall into a relapse, and if you do, you have an army of support behind you to help you through. 

1-on-1 Therapy

Along with other centers with outpatient services, Soba Recovery Centers will emphasize 1-on-1 therapy while undergoing treatment. 

This kind of therapy is extremely helpful as it gives the patient the utmost privacy to speak about their issues, relating or not relating to their substance use. For many people who struggle with substance use, there is underlying trauma impacting their addiction. It’s best to get to the bottom of things to treat the addiction properly. 

Individual therapy might be good if you are uncomfortable speaking in group settings. Still, the goal is to find a community to help you through your recovery, as it’s not as easy to get better on your own. By understanding things about yourself you haven’t been able to think about freely due to your substance use, you are setting yourself up for success in your recovery later down the line. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy will get much easier once you start to feel comfortable talking about yourself, your needs, and your substance use within individual therapy. It can be intimidating to speak about your past in front of strangers, but the end goal is finding community, connections, and feeling like you’re not alone. 

Soba Recovery offers group therapy for those that participate in the intensive outpatient program, and it’s a very useful tool to be offered. 

Group therapy tends to be the most useful form of treatment for IOPs because you gain a lot of knowledge from the different kinds of people you are introduced to. Everyone needs individual treatment, but learning about others’ paths can help you form your own treatment and find what is right for you.

Join Soba’s Intensive Outpatient Program

If you are someone who needs treatment for your substance use disorder but doesn’t think you have the ability to enter inpatient treatment, that doesn’t mean that professional and successful treatment is unavailable to you. 

You can find the right treatment with Soba’s intensive outpatient program. If you are dedicated to your recovery, this is the right center. We want you to be successful and find ways to improve your life.

It’s never too late to undergo treatment, and if you’ve read this far, you should call up a representative from Soba to discuss in more depth why our outpatient services might be right for you. We have two locations in Mesa, Arizona, and the other in San Antonio, Texas. If you are in the area and looking to improve your lifestyle choices, join us today!



Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence | NCBI

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) | American Addiction Centers

Chapter 8. Intensive Outpatient Treatment Approaches – Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment | NCBI