Finding effective treatment for a substance abuse problem can feel overwhelming. It’s completely normal to have questions about the entire process. Many people are confused about what really goes on inside drug rehabilitation programs and what life is like for those in treatment and beyond. There are several practical issues that may come up before and during rehab for you or your loved one.
Rehab programs typically last a minimum of 30 to 45 days, while others offer 60- or 90-day stays at residential or inpatient treatment centers. The length of stay is determined by a range of factors such as the client’s specific addiction, personal history of addiction, the severity of the addiction, and the discovery of additional medical, mental health, or behavioral health related conditions. Treatment facilities also take under consideration each client’s unique mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual needs. Whether you or a loved one necessitates a medically supervised detox program, a residential mental health and/or addiction treatment facility, or an outpatient rehabilitation center, there are a plethora of options that may be right for your individual circumstances.
Because treatment may be offered in a variety of settings—a private office, a community-based clinic, an inpatient residential facility, or even a hospital—the right treatment setting depends on you or your loved one’s unique needs. Depending on the setting, and the amenities offered at the treatment center, daily activities and permission to participate in certain activities may vary. This is especially true for use of digital electronics.
For instance, depending on the type of facility where you or a loved one receives treatment, phone usage may be restricted then allowed after a certain period of time, although it is almost always monitored by a trained professional working at the facility. Many drug rehab centers forbid clients to bring their electronic devices, or if clients are given permission to use them, they may have restricted access. Higher end treatment centers like Cliffside Malibu, for example, are more accustomed to treating busy professionals with demanding careers and therefore understand the importance of patients maintaining their personal and professional responsibilities while completing treatment. In that setting, clients are invited to bring smart phones, tablets and laptops with them to rehab. Be sure to confirm what a particular facility’s policies are in advance so you can prepare accordingly.
At facilities like Cliffside Malibu, staff will typically reclaim devices from a client’s possession during the first 72 hours of his or her stay, typically during the most critical stages of detox. It is important to remember that detox is just the initial step on a long road to full recovery. Because detox is defined by the abrupt cessation of drug and/or alcohol intake, it is a critical period for one’s body to begin cleansing itself of past toxins. Most clients can expect the detox process to last between three and 10 days. However, the length of detox can vary depending on which substances the patient has been abusing and the length of their usage. After detox is complete, electronic devices are usually returned to the client.
As a client, you will likely have limited phone and Internet privileges throughout the week to give you an opportunity to connect with family and close friends. Some facilities offer WiFi in all guest rooms and feature amenities such as plasma TVs in each room with DVRs, cable, Direct TV and Netflix. At other places with more stringent guidelines, if you need Internet access to complete important work, you can always request that you be provided access for a limited time on a case-by-case basis. In general, rehabs designed to cater to the needs of busy professionals tend to have less lenient policies regarding phone and computer usage.
Another concern often raised is a client’s ability to stay in contact with friend and family. After detox is complete, most facilities allow contact with your loved ones. Some centers offer intensive family programs where loved ones come together for an entire day or even a weekend to undergo family therapy and experience support from other families in similar circumstances. Loved ones also receive professional guidance accompanied by resources to facilitate their own healing processes.
Restrictions on technology are often put in place by treatment centers to improve patients’ chances of successful recovery. Patients in treatment need to focus on rebuilding their mental, physical, and spiritual health during rehab which can be hindered by distractions from phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Please note that depending on the treatment center you choose, you may have to get electronic items checked for safety and security before they are permitted for use inside the rehab facility. Before entering a drug rehabilitation facility, you or your loved one should confirm with staff what, if any, electronics are or are not permissible under their guidelines so that the incoming resident can fully prepare alternate options for entertainment such as books, magazines, DVD players, e-readers or MP3 music players.
Beyond the physical and emotional challenges presented by rehab, clients may also need to make significant changes to their social habits in sobriety. You or a loved one will need to invest time and energy in developing healthier behaviors and finding new interests that can act as fulfilling substitutes for the time previously spent drinking or using drugs. Rehab is only the beginning of the recovery process from a drug or alcohol problem. Continued treatment will also help clients develop improved social skills, as well as practical strategies for avoiding situations that may have led to destructive behaviors in the past. With a solid, customized plan for aftercare in place, the prospect of long-term recovery from drug and alcohol abuse is strong. And by prioritizing relapse prevention and practicing facing real-world challenges while in recovery, you or your loved one can feel proud of and confident in a healthy, sober lifestyle and a new lease on life.