The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that in 2012, 2.5 million people in the United States received substance abuse treatment at a specialized facility. Unfortunately, this only accounts for less than 11 percent of the over 23 million Americans age 12 and older who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. There are a variety of reasons why people don’t seek treatment – it’s too expensive, they aren’t ready to stop or don’t believe they have a problem, they’re worried other people will judge them, they don’t know how to find the right treatment center, etc. One reason that can be a huge stumbling block for people with anxiety in particular is not knowing what to expect.

If you’re concerned about what treatment may have in store or simply like having all the facts ahead of time, here are some things to expect from rehab:

When you first arrive, there are going to be intake specialists who will ask you a lot of questions. They might ask about what drugs you use, what led you to use them, any family history of substance abuse, your physical and mental health, or any other factors that might play a role in your specific treatment plan. It’s important to be completely honest so you receive the best care possible. No one is going to be judging you.

Someone may go through your belongings to make sure you don’t have drugs, alcohol, or weapons on you. Some places may also take cell phones or computers. Check ahead of time what is and is not allowed to come with you. You shouldn’t bring food or drinks, since most treatment centers have specialized meal plans. Also leave behind revealing or inappropriate clothing, any expensive items like jewelry, large amounts of cash, and opened medication.


The first step is likely to be detox, assuming that you’re still currently using drugs. During this process, you will stop all substance use and your body will have to process it out. This can be painful or uncomfortable, but a proper facility will have doctors on hand to help you through it, sometimes with medications that can help with the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

Life in a residential facility is structured, but it is not a prison. You’ll be provided accommodations, meals, the daily necessities for hygiene. Depending on the facility, you’ll have both individual and group therapy, as well as educational meetings on learning new coping skills and life skills and learning how to break out of self-destructive patterns. Despite the regimented nature of the days, you will have some time for recreation. Some treatment facilities offer activities in nature, yoga classes, exercise sessions, and even access to cable and Netflix.

If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504.