What Is a Typical Day in Drug Rehab Like?

What Is a Typical Day in Drug Rehab Like?

If you struggle with substance abuse, you may feel worried about the idea of going to rehab. Staying at an addiction treatment facility can seem like an unknown quantity. You might wonder how intense a typical day in rehab will be, or which alcohol or drug rehab program is right for you.

It’s natural to be concerned by things that are unfamiliar to you. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn about what happens at treatment centers for addiction to drugs or alcohol. Knowing what to expect will help ease your transition into residential rehab programs (otherwise refered to as addiction treatment facilities) or outpatient treatment. You may find that a typical day in rehab, whether outpatient or inpatient, is far more rewarding than you originally expected.

At Crossroads Antigua, from the moment you call, our in house admissions team will walk you through the process and answer all your questions, there is no charge and no time limit. When you or a family member is looking at the potential of going into treatment it is important to make sure you connect directly with a treatment centre and not through a 3rd party broker.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs

Even though 130,490 people in the UK started treatment for drug and alcohol problems in 2021, an estimated 82% of adults in need of specialist treatment for alcohol were not receiving it. Many of these people likely avoided treatment out of fear of the unknown – and not knowing what it may be like to attend a rehab facility.

Alcohol and drug treatment programs are carefully designed to help those suffering from substance use disorders. Treatment centers exist to provide people with the skills and resources to live a healthy life long-term. The common lengths of stay in a drug and alcohol rehab are 30, 60, or 90 days, and while treatment of any length is helpful, longer stays can give people more time to work on the skills needed for sobriety.

Recovery promotes physical, spiritual, and psychological well-being, and this is why the rehabilitation process takes time. In some cases, inpatient rehab may be the better choice for a person’s substance abuse treatment program. For other people, outpatient rehab may be more suitable. If you are uncertain, speak to a medical professional to discuss your options.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab programs require a person to live in the facility in which they are receiving treatment, thereby benefiting from continuous safety, stability, and support in a sober environment. Residential treatment programs have the big advantage of providing 24-hour care for those battling with substance use disorders, which can be essential in preventing relapse and completing the treatment process.

Prolonged and or heavy drug and alcohol misuse may require a supervised detox program, an unsupervised detox or self prescribed reduction of use or total abstance without medical supervision could be dangerous. Please speak to your doctor or your local mental health services administration so they can help advise you on whether you or your family member needs an inpatient or outpatient detox program.

Outpatient treatment involves a person living at home while going to a treatment center regularly. Intensive outpatient programs can resemble inpatient programs but on a shortened schedule. A person may engage in treatment in the morning, attend another therapy in the afternoon and then return home for the rest of the day.

Outpatient treatment allows for more activities outside of a rehab center – including applying the skills learned in treatment to daily life. People in outpatient recovery may visit an addiction treatment facility five days a week, with treatment sessions lasting from four to eight hours a day, and typically including a counselling session and group educational sessions, depending on their diagnosis and treatment plan.

If you go to outpatient rehab your experience will be different from that of someone who joins an inpatient program. This stage of your recovery journey will involve your home life and you will not have all of the supervision that a person receives on a residential stay.

A Typical Day in Inpatient Drug Rehab

A day in rehab will be filled with activities that are in the best interest of the client. This includes healthy eating, attending therapies, establishing sober friendships, and enjoying exercise, hobbies, or recreational activities.

It is important to know that in a residential rehab center’s program, there is time set aside to relax or have fun. While rehab involves a lot of structure, it does allow for free time to engage in activities that interest the client, or that contribute to healing.

There will be standard routines throughout the day, which – like most of the rehab process – are all centered on well-being and aim to replace negative behaviors with positive habits so that they become part of daily life post-treatment.

Morning in Drug or Alcohol Rehab

A set wake-up time may be followed by a healthy breakfast and perhaps partaking in some kind of relaxation activity such as meditation or yoga. Morning theraputic sessions begin after, which may include a one-on-one therapy session or a group therapy session.

Afternoon in Drug or Alcohol Rehab

Depending on the program, there may be personal time set aside before or after lunch. Here a person may take a walk with a friend, relax or write in their journal. They may want to attend one of the activities offered by the treatment facility, such as art or music therapy, or massage therapy.

There is usually an afternoon therapy session which depends on what a person tackled in their morning session. If they attended individual therapy in the morning, the afternoon therapy may involve group therapy sessions. Depending on the drug rehab center, there may be free time after the afternoon session end.

Nighttime in Drug or Alcohol Rehab

Drug or alcohol rehab relies on a routine again when it comes to bedtime. A structured bedtime ensures that a person gets enough sleep – an essential aspect of the recovery process – so that their body may heal and their brain gets enough rest. Good sleep encourages good mental health and motivation throughout the next day.

The schedule outlined above describes a typical day in rehab, but there may be some exceptions or special occurrences. The specifics of routines will also vary depending on the treatment center.

Addiction Treatment for Substance Abuse

Addiction treatment typically involves a combination of therapies that focus on addressing the causes of addiction and teaching people the skills needed to limit or stop the use of alcohol or drugs. While specific schedules may differ from program to program and according to each individual’s needs, there are some consistencies in the addiction treatment process.


Detox is usually the first part of addiction treatment programs and involves ridding the body of drugs or alcohol after prolonged use. This may be a difficult period for many, as those in the early stages of detox may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Detox undergone in a treatment center is the safest and most comfortable choice for someone battling a substance use disorder. Specialists in addiction medicine can help manage withdrawal symptoms. They may provide medicine to reduce cravings while managing any other discomfort.

Detox is essential as it ensures that a person is ready, both physically and mentally, for the next phase of recovery, which involves therapies addressing mental health.

Individual Therapy Sessions

The first part of most treatment programs for drug addiction involves individual therapy, which is one on one sessions with a therapist. Most commonly, cognitive behavioral therapy is used, which delves into the identification of any dysfunctional thought, or underlying cause that may have led to drug abuse.

Other beneficial and widely used therapies include

12 Step therapy

Motivational Interviewing

DBT – Dialectical behavior therapy

Therapy also identifies triggers for returning to drug use and helps a person to create new, healthy neuronal pathways as a response to these triggers. An old and negative mindset is dismantled and replaced by a healthy alternative and solid coping skills.

Group Therapy

A common form of group therapy sessions for addiction is a 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Group therapy is another form of psychotherapy. It involves a group session where people meet to discuss their issues and concerns together, under the supervision of an addiction specialist or therapist.

Therapeutic groups give people the chance to build sober peer relationships, while also providing a great outlet for discussing personal experiences, difficulties, triumphs, and tips in recovery. A group setting encourages opening up and forming healthy relationships with others. 

As a person learns a lot about the struggles of other group members, they develop empathetic skills, as well as insight and a strong support network for abstaining from drug abuse. This helps to prevent relapse and strengthens long-term recovery.

Group therapy is most effective when combined with individual therapy, which is why both are usually timetabled as part of a treatment plan.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is considered a vital part of the theraputic treatment program. Family members play a crucial role in the recovery process.

At Crossroads Antigua Family members are asked to attend a 3-5 day intensive at no extra cost.

This kind of therapy allows all the family members to begin to heal by expressing their feelings and concerns while learning about substance misuse disorders and relapse prevention resources.

A family therapist may guide members to behavior that can help their loved one abstain from drug abuse after treatment, such as avoiding enabling behaviors. As a family can be the most vital support group for a person in recovery, the dynamics of the unit are addressed by most rehab centers.

Specialized Therapies

Some rehab centers may offer treatment programs that address specific problems, such as co-occurring mental and behaviourial health issues. Mental health issues were seen in 59% of people in the UK who received treatment for substance use in 2020.

Trauma informed therapy is often available at inpatient treatment programs and at outpatient services.

Additional Therapies

Treatment centers often include additional therapies or activities that are meant to ensure that a person’s needs are addressed holistically. These activities may involve physical exercise, creativity, self-expression, spirituality, or relaxation and focus. Depending on the individual and the rehab program, additional therapies complement standard therapies and are typically available for residents at treatment centers.

Activities available as part of residential treatment could include:

  • fitness or exercise programs
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • acupuncture
  • supervised excursions
  • mindfulness-based relapse prevention
  • art theray

Where Can I Find an Addiction Treatment Program?

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Crossroads Antigua can help. Our beautiful location by the Caribbean sea gives you the privacy to heal, away from the stressors of everyday life.

We know that addiction is individual and personal. That is why we utilize evidence-based therapies combined with mindfulness, fitness, and nutrition counseling to create customized holistic treatment plans.

We offer medically assisted detox, individual and group therapy, and a wide range of additional therapies. Crossroads Antigua’s qualified, caring and compassionate staff will support and help you heal in mind, body, and spirit. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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