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What to Expect Your First Week of Drug Rehab

Woman's silhouette sitting on the ground smoking in pitch blackOne of the most common questions we hear about drug rehab is: What it will be like at the very beginning?

This is an understandable concern. Recovering addicts are in for some major changes when entering rehab, so it helps to know what to expect.

The process at many rehabilitation centers is quite similar. Here are some details to help patients and their loved ones prepare for the upcoming changes.

Drug Rehab Initial Intake

The first step in starting in-patient rehabilitation services with our program is to complete an initial intake interview.

This is an often frustrating, but necessary, step. Staff will collect detailed information about your medical conditions, history of drug use and personal background. You’ll also complete necessary legal paperwork, such as consent forms and providing up-to-date contact information.

The initial intake interview is used to determine what kind of treatment you need, as well as the suggested length of stay. Depending on your needs, intake may include additional examinations and an interview with a psychiatrist.


After you’re admitted, you’ll begin the process of detoxifying your body from addictive drugs. This can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can last days or weeks, depending on your personal situation.

Living in a new environment and experiencing withdrawal is a lot for any person to handle. Some say this is the most difficult part of rehab. But, just remember that you’ll have a team of experienced caregivers available to help you through the process.

Active Treatment

Unless your withdrawal symptoms are severe enough to require long-term, monitored detoxification, it’s likely you’ll begin active treatment for addiction during the first week.

As we stated earlier, treatment programs are unique to each person’s needs. Alpine Recovery Lodge uses quite a few different therapy approaches, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Life coaching
  • Anger management
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma resolution therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Emotional processing

Once active treatment begins, you’ll be meeting a number of counselors and other patients with whom you can share your experiences with.

Other Activities

Even during your first week, you won’t be spending 100% of your time in therapy. In general, you won’t be allowed to bring any of your electronics for entertainment to the facility, but you can bring books to read in your downtime.

We also encourage patients to engage in health and fitness activities — workout facilities are available for your use, and we often incorporate exercise programs into our therapies.

Settling In

The first week of rehab can be jarring. You’ll be exposed to a new place, new people and new rules. Even though it’s unsettling, these changes are helpful for recovery.

Just remember that Alpine Recovery Lodge encourages an environment of acceptance and equality. You’ll be surrounded by people who want to help you succeed, and others who are going through the same transitions as you are.

The first week is mostly about adjusting to your new environment. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have settled in and feel more comfortable with the program.

What do you expect the first week of drug rehab to be like? Share your thoughts in the comments below.