Addiction Recovery - Drug and Alcohol

A Step-by-Step Guide: Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can be daunting if you don't know what to expect. Here's a step by step guide. Call The Forge today for help!

A Step-by-Step Guide: Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 10, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Deciding to get sober at a drug or alcohol treatment center is an amazing step, but it can be daunting if you don't know what to expect. Unlearning old habits and routines, steeling yourself to try new things, and accepting major changes in your lifestyle can bring uncertainty.

Knowing what the process will look like can ease these transitions and make your first steps toward a sober future easier.

Intake Exam

Intake exams can be intimidating as some individuals feel they won't be able to accurately represent complex interests, needs, and goals succinctly. However, it is important to be as honest and open as possible during these.

The purpose of an intake exam is to help the staff better understand the level of treatment you need and get an idea of what approaches may be most effective for you. These exams are just meant to be an introduction, and programs and approaches can still change and adapt as professionals get to know you better.

Ultimately, the intake exam will help you get placed in the right line of treatment for the severity of your addiction and get you on the correct path to bring you the most healing.

Be Prepared for a Stay

Drug and alcohol rehab programs often incorporate a dedicated detox phase. Detox is an incredibly difficult time for all beginning their journey to sobriety, and it can be filled with any number of emotional and physical hardships as a result of the sudden change in lifestyle and withdrawal symptoms.

Staying in a dedicated recovery facility ensures that you have access to professional care to make detox as safe and comfortable as possible.

Detox can be difficult, even scary, for many people. Many uncomfortable feelings and emotions come with the sudden cessation of addictive substances. However, the detox phase is the worst of treatment, and making it through this phase of the recovery process is something to be celebrated.

You might follow detox with an extended inpatient stay at the facility. This means you will live at your treatment center and have a fairly rigid schedule of events including therapy sessions, group counseling, and other treatment experiences. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may not need an inpatient stay, and may only require an outpatient or partial hospitalization program.

New Experiences and Opportunities

Drug and alcohol rehab facilities often have highly structured schedules and being ready for a very regimented day with many new experiences and activities is necessary.

This schedule may include various therapeutic activities, bonding experiences with the other people at the facility, chores, and a bit of free time. Trying new things always comes with a degree of anxiety and uncertainty, and this is normal.

Trying new experiential therapies, exploring artistic outlets, and developing life skills are all part of the recovery process. Being open to these new experiences is crucial for your continued success throughout your treatment program.

While each individual responds differently to various activities or approaches, being open to new ideas and allowing yourself to soak up everything you can is paramount for creating a new sober lifestyle. 

Many of these opportunities are meant to help bolster communication strategies. Individual and group therapy programs are common. Individual therapy allows you to explore your journey in an intimate, individual setting, whereas group therapy sessions help you build social skills and work alongside peers.

Finding new ways to communicate, whether through language, art, music, or writing, are all essential skills. 

Each new program has a purpose, whether to help you communicate or to reinforce techniques and skills that will help you stay sober post-treatment or anything in between.

Some are even dedicated to the idea that you need to permit yourself to have fun and enjoy your life, even amidst any harbored feelings of shame or guilt. While you may discuss with professionals the efficacy of each of these activities, giving them all a fair trial is important for long-term wellness.

Aftercare Planning

Though it may feel premature at first, aftercare planning is actually a part of the recovery process from the very beginning. It is a way for you to create your plan for living a sober lifestyle after you leave treatment and must implement the things you've learned into your normal life.

These aftercare plans can inform how you spend your time in a treatment program and the skills you want to focus on and are highly personalized to your unique situation. It is never too early to begin creating an aftercare plan. Working on these goals from detox to residential and outpatient care ensures that these plans are comprehensive enough to help you maintain the profound changes first explored during your treatment program. Even when taking your first step toward sobriety, it is always important to continue looking to the future. 

The First Step Towards Recovery Isn’t Easy

At The Forge Recovery Center, our staff understands how difficult this first step can be, and we can answer any questions you might have to make the process as comfortable as possible.

Caring professionals and peers are available to help you navigate these changes, all while implementing grounding strategies and therapeutic practices for your unique situation. Plus, we also think recovery should be fun!

For more information on how we can help you, call us today.

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