How Does Drug Rehab Work?

Written by Jackie Calkins

If you are dealing with an active drug addiction, the thought of going to rehab can seem utterly frightening or even laughable. But there is nothing scary or funny about drug rehab, rather drug rehab is something that can save your life. 

When you are abusing drugs and are unable to control your behaviors surrounding your use, it is time to reach out for help. A drug rehab, such as JourneyPure, can help.

What Does Rehab Consist Of?

There are several misconceptions as to what rehab is all about. Some people might view it as a place to sober up before getting back to their everyday lives, while others see it as a place where they will be unable to do anything (e.g. see family and friends, do the things they like). When done right, rehab is none of those things. 

When you enter into rehab, you can expect to follow a structured schedule that is designed to meet your treatment needs. Your day-to-day lifestyle will reflect the needs that you have, as well as allow you the freedom to still be you. Drug rehab consists of a combination of detox, medication, therapy, and aftercare. Based on your unique relationship with drugs, you may participate in all of these services or just some. 


With drug addiction often comes physical dependency. When someone is dependent on a drug, it means that he or she experiences painful withdrawal symptoms when unable to use. If you are dependent on one or more drugs, detox can help by:

  • Making you more comfortable by minimizing your withdrawal symptoms through the use of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications
  • Providing you with a safe, quiet environment to detox in
  • Getting you sober so that you can be of sound mind when beginning therapy


Used on a case-by-case basis, medication is prescribed for a number of conditions. Your needs will dictate what types of medications you may need in order to restabilize yourself. Some of the most common medications that are prescribed in drug rehab include:

  • Buprenorphine or methadone for recovering opioid users
  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for patients who are experiencing a dual diagnosis (as well as any other medications designed to help treat mental illness)
  • Medications to help treat post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS (which is when you continue to experience certain withdrawal symptoms after you have completed detox)

group therapy in rehab


Therapy is the core of all drug rehab programs as this is where the real, transformative work comes into play. Across all levels of drug rehab programs, therapies such as individual, group, and family therapies are offered to help you identify the underlying causes of your drug addiction, process them, and work to build a strong foundation for your recovery. Some more specific therapies that are offered in drug rehab include:

Not every single drug rehab is structured in this manner because not every single drug user requires the same approach to care. While there are a handful of varying levels of addiction treatment programs available, one of the most common is inpatient rehabilitation.

What is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

People who are struggling with a severe and/or persistent drug addiction often enroll in inpatient rehabilitation. This is because inpatient rehab is the highest level of addiction treatment available. If you enter into an inpatient rehab program, you will be living at the facility for the duration of your treatment. Usually, patients remain in inpatient rehab for 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on their needs. 

Inpatient rehab offers a structured schedule that keeps all patients actively working on their recovery. You will spend the vast majority of your days engaged in individual and group therapy sessions, going to meetings, listening to informational speeches, etc. When in inpatient rehab, your only job is to find stable footing in your recovery. 

When you complete inpatient rehab, you may still require further care, such as that offered through outpatient treatment. 

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is similar to inpatient treatment in the types of therapies that are provided but are different in several ways. For instance, when enrolled in outpatient treatment, you can continue to live at home or in a sober house. You will not be living at the facility. You will, however, attend several therapy sessions and meetings at the facility for the six to eight weeks your program lasts. Unlike in inpatient rehab, you are able to maintain a life outside of outpatient treatment, as you are not spending most of your time there. Instead, you will go to the facility a few times per week for a couple of hours at a time. This allows you to get the care that you need but also continue living your life. 

While outpatient treatment is an excellent option for people transitioning out of inpatient rehab, it is also a top option for those who do not have a severe drug addiction and/or who is able to live responsibly on his or her own. 

What is the Success Rate of Rehab?

As with most other things, rehab has the potential to be as effective as you make it. Those who succeed in response to their time spent in drug rehab typically put in their best efforts in order to achieve that success. However, that does not mean that you have to run yourself into the ground to ensure that you are going above and beyond while in drug rehab. You can have success post-rehab when you do a number of things, including the following:

  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable during your time in treatment so that you can access the emotions you need to address in order to heal the root causes of your drug abuse 
  • Build a support system both in rehab and out of rehab so that you have people to turn to if/when you feel like you are slipping in your recovery
  • Pair your time spent in drug rehab with a solid aftercare plan that supports the strides you have made in drug rehab and adds on to your continual progress

Drug rehab can provide you with all the tools you need in order to maintain your sobriety and stay strong in your recovery. It is up to you to learn what those tools are and how to use them on a regular basis. When you are able to do this, you can achieve the most success possible. 

Do You Need Help? Call JourneyPure Today.

If you are addicted to drugs, do not wait another minute to reach out for the help you deserve. At JourneyPure, we can help you stop your active addiction and begin a happy, healthy life of recovery.