What is Rehab Like?

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Learning “What is rehab like?” depends on the level of care selected.

  • Inpatient rehab involves residing at a treatment facility for a designated period, typically 30 to 90 days or more. This type of residential treatment provides 24/7 support and a highly structured environment. It includes a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, medical detoxification (if necessary), educational sessions, and activities aimed at promoting recovery.
  • Outpatient rehab allows individuals to live at home while attending treatment sessions at a facility on a scheduled basis. This option provides more flexibility for those who cannot commit to a full-time residential program. Outpatient treatment may involve individual counseling, group therapy, support groups, and educational sessions. It allows individuals to apply the skills learned in treatment to their daily lives.

Today, you will discover:

  • What is alcohol rehab like?
  • What is drug rehab like?
  • What is alcohol detox like in rehab?

A Typical Day in Drug or Alcohol Rehab

When entering a drug or alcohol treatment center, it’s helpful to have an idea of what is rehab like. While there can be variations depending on the specific treatment center and program, most rehab facilities follow a structured framework that includes various therapies and activities.

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Mornings in rehab usually begin with a healthy breakfast and early meetings. Residents are encouraged to rise early and engage in activities like yoga, meditation, exercise, or prayer to start the day on a positive note. These morning activities aim to promote relaxation and set a healthy tone for the day ahead.


 After breakfast, counselors or therapists lead group sessions. These sessions cover topics related to the treatment process, addiction, recovery, and 12-step methodology. The focus is on gaining clarity about personal issues and triggers that contribute to substance use.


In the evenings, the therapeutic process continues with a series of therapy sessions. Individual behavioral therapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), is often utilized to help individuals recognize the impact of their emotions on thoughts and behaviors. These one-on-one sessions provide a safe space to address fears, concerns, and stressors, while equipping individuals with tools to manage emotions in a healthier way.

 Group therapy is another key component of the afternoon schedule at rehab. Participants share their personal stories, providing support, empathy, and understanding to one another. Group therapy fosters a sense of community and helps individuals develop accountability, honesty, and open-mindedness in their recovery journey. Various forms of group therapy, including psychoeducation, process groups, life skills groups, and recreational groups, are utilized to address different aspects of recovery.

 Specialized therapy sessions may be offered to address specific issues such as anger management, stress management, trauma, or grief. These sessions provide coping techniques and tailored support to help individuals navigate challenges and triggers in a controlled manner.

 Family therapy is often a vital part of rehab programs, given the impact of addiction on loved ones. Family sessions create a safe environment for open communication and addressing negative feelings, ultimately strengthening the support system for long-term recovery.

 In addition to therapy, rehab programs may include speakers who share their own recovery stories or provide practical advice for rebuilding careers and lives post-treatment. These motivational sessions instill hope and inspire people to envision a brighter future unchained from drug addiction or alcoholism.

 While a typical day in rehab may differ slightly, the overall focus remains on promoting healing, self-discovery, and acquiring the necessary tools and skills for sustained recovery.

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Types of Rehab Treatments to Expect

Rehab programs combine a variety of evidence-based and holistic therapies to address the complex nature of addiction and support individuals in their journey towards recovery. Here are some commonly used therapies in rehab:

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy): CBT is a widely used talk therapy (psychotherapy) that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction. It helps people develop healthier coping mechanisms and provides tools to manage cravings and triggers. CBT also addresses underlying issues like trauma, self-esteem, and co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • MI (motivational interviewing): MI is a client-centered therapy that aims to enhance motivation and commitment to change. It helps people explore their ambivalence about substance use and guides them towards making positive decisions. MI focuses on building a therapeutic alliance, promoting self-efficacy, and eliciting intrinsic motivation for change.
  • DBT (dialectical behavior therapy): DBT combines elements of CBT with mindfulness practices. It is especially effective for those with substance use disorders and co-occurring BPD (borderline personality disorder) or emotional dysregulation. DBT emphasizes skills training in emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy brings together individuals in recovery to share experiences, provide mutual support, and learn from one another. It offers a safe and non-judgmental environment for participants to explore challenges, develop communication skills, and build a sense of community. Group therapy fosters empathy, accountability, and a sense of belonging.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy involves the participation of family members or significant others in the treatment process. It aims to address family dynamics, improve communication, and rebuild relationships damaged by addiction. Family therapy provides education about addiction, enhances family support systems, and helps establish healthy boundaries and coping strategies.
  • Trauma-informed therapy: Many individuals struggling with addiction have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Trauma-informed therapy helps individuals process and heal from trauma while addressing its impact on addiction. Therapies such as EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), TF-CBT (Trauma-focused CBT) and SE (somatic experiencing) may be utilized to address trauma-related symptoms.
  • Mindfulness-based therapies: Mindfulness practices like mindfulness meditation and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), are often incorporated into addiction treatment. These practices cultivate present-moment awareness, reduce stress, and promote emotional regulation. Mindfulness-based therapies can enhance relapse prevention skills and help people develop a greater sense of self-awareness.
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment): In certain cases, medications may be used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach. Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone may be prescribed to support individuals with opioid or alcohol addiction, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms while promoting stabilization and recovery.

 Treatment plans are personalized based on individual needs and may incorporate a combination of these therapies. The integration of various therapeutic approaches provides.

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Get Rehab Treatment in a Comfortable Setting at California Detox

Our by-the-sea rehab includes a detox program and inpatient rehab that provide access to withdrawal medications so that detoxification is as seamless as possible. Following detox, you can move directly into ongoing treatment. Our 30-day inpatient program delivers supportive and structured therapy that includes:

Call admissions today at 949.694.8305 for immediate assistance and help from detox to discharge and beyond.


Inpatient rehab involves residing at a treatment facility and receiving continuous care and support. It offers a structured environment with a variety of therapies, counseling sessions, and activities aimed at promoting recovery. Individuals have the opportunity to focus solely on their treatment without the distractions and triggers of the outside world.
Outpatient rehab allows people to live at home while attending treatment sessions at a facility on a scheduled basis. It provides flexibility for those who cannot commit to a full-time residential program. Outpatient rehab typically includes individual therapy, group therapy, educational sessions, and support groups. It allows individuals to apply the skills learned in treatment to their daily lives while still receiving professional support.


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