Drugs and alcohol rehab is something most of us are aware of, but what actually goes on behind the doors of a rehab centre is a bit of a mystery to many.
We constantly hear tales of celebrities being admitted for a period of rehab and then they re-emerge onto our screens seemingly all better.
In reality, rehab is part of a long term process of recovery and it is not just available to the rich and famous. There are dozens of rehab centres across the UK – some available on the NHS and others only accessible when treatment is privately funded.
Simply put, rehab is an option to boost and provide a springboard to the recovery process. It’s a period of intensive treatment, support, guidance and care away from the daily stresses, strains, habits, routines and tensions of daily life.
Rehab Varies Depending on the Centre Chosen
Firstly, it’s important to note that rehab is not one thing. Rehab and what goes on in rehab can vary from one centre to another. Different styles of treatment will suit different people.
The broad aim of all rehab centres is the same – to get someone clean and sober and form methods for staying that way into the future, but the journey of getting there is what varies.
A lot of rehab centres base treatment on the 12 steps of the traditional Minnesota Model associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As well as group and individual talking therapy sessions, there will likely be worksheets to complete.
Other rehabs involve a more hierarchical structure where each stage involves a different routine and responsibilities. Time is spent developing interests and skills and on education and training.
Some centres have a closer focus on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a talking therapy to help people change the way they think, respond and behave.
Days in rehab are usually well structured and routined. Meals will often be taken together.
There will often be a post-breakfast group session on addiction-related topics, led by a counsellor or therapist. The afternoon will often involve tailored sessions either in a group or individual settings. These may be related to particular issues such as stress or anger management or individual counselling. Some centres will offer complementary therapies and exercise around sessions, such as art therapy, yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
There are organisations who can advise on the specifics of various centres. Your GP or specialist healthcare professionals may also advise you.
What Happens Before Rehab?
Entering rehab is not necessary for everyone. Some people are able to make the necessary changes to break their addiction via support in the community. This may be achieved with assistance from their GP, NHS or private counselling, support groups and/or support offered through charities or specific projects.
It’s important to discuss your specific situation with a health professional or someone in the rehab industry to gain advice and insight into the best way forward for you.
In some, but not all, cases a detox is needed to overcome the physical withdrawal of alcohol or substances before moving onto therapeutic work to prevent relapse. This can be decided with advice. Some residential rehabs offer medical detox as well. In other cases, this can be completed elsewhere first.
What Happens After Rehab?
The work does not end on discharge from a rehab facility. There is much ongoing commitment and work to do to remain clean and sober. All good rehabs should offer an aftercare program which may involve returning for counselling sessions or group work.
Community support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can also be vital in helping to maintain recovery and a focus on sobriety.