What Does Chemical Dependency Treatment Consist Of?

14. October 2015

If you or a loved one has a problem with drugs or alcohol and you are considering treatment, you probably have a ton of questions. For many people, a fear of the unknown is enough to keep them away from treatment, even though they are experiencing negative consequences from their addiction.

While it is understandable, it is important to realize that addiction is a deadly disease, one that takes the lives of thousands of Americans every year. Not only that, but it’s devastating effects impact families and entire communities.

The good news is that rehab is not as scary as you might think it is. Often, the only information about chemical dependency treatment that people have comes from television, movies and often unreliable sources.

What Is Chemical Dependency Treatment Really Like?

girl on drugs

Most treatment centers are set in a homelike setting where you will spend anywhere from 30 days to six months. Residential treatment centers such as this are often run under the community model, which helps residents learn responsibility and accountability, work together as a team and learn leadership and decision skills.

In this type of community setting, responsibilities for the running of the facility such as cleaning, preparing meals and planning excursions are often divided among residents. House meetings and consensus-based decision making are common. This is in addition to therapy and counseling, educational groups and more.

The Chemical Dependency Treatment Process

Typically, the process starts with an interview and assessment to determine eligibility for treatment at the facility. Once this process is complete, an intake is scheduled. During this intake, you will give staff information about your history, health, living situation, experiences, and other details. You will receive information on the program, what to expect, what your rights are and what your responsibilities are.

This last part is important. People are often put off by the idea of treatment because they worry about having choices, freedom and rights taken away from them. It is important to realize that unless you are court-mandated, addiction treatment is a choice. Even if you are court-mandated, you still have choices.

In treatment you have the right to be treated with respect, the right to air any grievances and the right to leave should you choose. It is equally important to remember why you are there. There may be times when you will be frustrated, uncomfortable or challenged by treatment, but if you stick it out, you will be rewarded with freedom from addiction and a deeper understanding of yourself and your life.

After the intake procedure, you will be shown to your room. You may share this room with another resident, or you may have a single room to yourself. There are generally communal areas for eating and socializing.

Most treatment centers have a structured schedule for groups, time with counselors, eating, etc. These schedules are typically posted so that you know what to expect.

Your First Few Days

forgetful man

It is common for the first few days of treatment to be somewhat of a blur. It may be that you do not have visitors or phone calls for the first week, this is to give you an opportunity to settle in and learn about the program without distractions. Once you have completed this period, you will have regular phone time, and days and times to visit with family or other loved ones.

Daily Life In Chemical Dependency Treatment

Time goes by fast in treatment. In fact, people often find that their graduation day approaches faster than they expected. It is common for residents to feel that they aren’t quite ready to leave treatment yet, and to look back on their time in treatment fondly. You will likely make friends in treatment, some that you may have for years.

Wake up times are consistent each day, and there are set times for daily meals, etc. The early parts of the day are generally reserved for group therapy and educational groups. You may have one group on relapse prevention and a group on anger management or life skills.

You may spend your afternoons having some downtime, time for individual counseling, assigned chores or responsibilities or visiting. Evenings may include other groups or outside 12 step meetings.

There will be regularly scheduled outings and events. There are often weekly scheduled activities such as physical fitness time at a gym, yoga, art therapy or hikes.

Different Levels Of Treatment


Many chemical dependency treatment centers split their program into levels or sections. For example, level one may last for 30 days or more, and will be the most structured and intensive part of treatment. You may then move on to level two, where you will spend more time outside the program and have more freedom. You may be encouraged to attend more outside meetings or activities and have less supervised time outside the facility.

In level three, you may spend the majority of your day outside the program, perhaps job searching or attending classes. You will return in the evenings for meetings, groups and bed. This is not the same with all treatment centers, but it is common.

After Completing Chemical Dependency Treatment

Once you are ready to graduate from treatment, you will move on to the next phase of your early recovery. This is an exciting and often overwhelming time. You will leave treatment and prepare to move on to the next phase of your life. This can look a lot of different ways. Some people will return to their homes, jobs and families. Some people will be starting over from scratch, and begin the process of rebuilding their lives — maybe even building a life for the first time.

Still others may realize that the life they left behind, including home and relationships, was unhealthy or unsafe, and may now take steps to move away from that and into a new lifestyle.

Regardless of the difference, people leaving their chemical dependency treatment center have one thing in common: They need plenty of support. This is why it is common for newly recovering people to go to some form of aftercare. This may include weekly meetings with counselors and relapse prevention groups. This kind of treatment allows you to go about your life while still getting many of the benefits of treatment.

Getting Help For A Loved One

Treatment is a positive, effective way to overcome addiction. Even so, a person who is in the grips of addiction is often resistant to the idea. This is often due to a combination of fear and denial. One way you can help break through this and get started in the healing and recovery process is by scheduling an professional addiction intervention.

An intervention facilitated by an outside party is an effective solution for a loved one who has previously been resistant to getting help. In fact, 90% of interventions result in the family member agreeing to go get help.

If you are worried about your loved one and have had enough, it is time to get help. Call Intervention Services, Inc. to get help today. You can speak to someone right now at 1-877-478-4621.