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The road to recovery is a journey marked by many ups and downs. This lifelong commitment that you or your loved one will make towards sober living will take great dedication, but in the end, the hard work is well worth the effort. Whether overcoming an addiction to prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin or Hydrocodone or reclaiming your life from heroin addiction, achieving recovery requires a defined treatment plan and integrated processes that help you to cope, learn, grow and change behaviors.

Together, most treatment centers utilize similar steps in the rehabilitation process. The journey begins with admitting that there is a problem and help is needed. Upon seeking treatment, the road to sobriety continues down a path of rehabilitation that includes intake, detox, counseling and long-term recovery.

If you have questions about rehabilitation, contact one of our treatment specialists. We can provide you with support, answer your questions and calm your fear of the unknown when it comes to receiving treatment for drug addiction. Our specialists are available 24/7 to take your call 800-466-0354 ( Who Answers?).

Intake and Assessment


A patient must be assessed prior to entering rehab.

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by relapse and recurrence that can make seeing “light at the end of the tunnel” a challenge at best. Fortunately, there is help and with treatment, recovery becomes more than just a dream; it becomes a reality.

Once you’ve decided that help is needed, and you’ve chosen a treatment center to provide you with supportive care, the first step in the rehabilitation process is intake and assessment. This can be one of the easiest and the most difficult steps of the treatment process for a variety of different reasons.

On one side, you can feel comfort in knowing that you are in the right place and getting help. On the flip side, churning up memories of your past substance abuse, discussing your health concerns as they relate to addiction and being open and honest can evoke extreme emotions. It’s important to remain positive, be honest with your intake advisor and keep in mind that you are doing the right thing—getting the help that you need.

Before true treatment can begin, an intake specialist much assess the individual. During the intake and assessment process, a doctor, nurse or similar treatment specialist will interview the patient asking a series of questions that are aimed at helping to define the scope of the addiction as well as an appropriate treatment protocol. Some of the questions that may be asked include:

  • What drugs are currently being used and how long have those drugs been abused?
  • Are there any prescription medications being taken and are they prescribed by a doctor?
  • Has mental illness been diagnosed or is there any family history of mental illness?
  • What is family history? Is there social support?
  • What effect has drug use had on the user’s family, social life, professional life, etc?
  • Is there a family history of substance abuse?
  • Is there a past history of substance abuse for the patient? Has treatment ever been received before?
  • Is there criminal history? If so is the criminal history the result of substance abuse?
  • What prompted the decision to seek treatment? (this could be the result of family intervention, job loss, changes in relationships, an ultimatum by a loved one, a court order or just the decision of the patient)

The treatment intake specialist will collect the interview information and use it to help the patient care coordinator and other treatment professionals in working together to define an appropriate course of action in treating the patient.

The entire process will take about an hour during which time the patient will also be asked to submit to drug or alcohol testing which may include urine analysis, a blood test and/or a breathalyzer. The information that the clinic staff receives from this testing will further help in defining treatment plans and goals.

Don’t be afraid of the intake and assessment process. If you have questions about intake or other questions about rehabilitation, call our helpline at 800-466-0354 ( Who Answers?) to speak with a caring advisor who can help you.



Following the intake process, patients will transition into a detoxification phase. The detox process varies greatly from patient to patient depending on a variety of factors including:

  • The drugs being used.
  • The amount of drugs being used.
  • The severity of the addiction.
  • The presence of withdrawal symptoms.
  • The individual health of the patient.
  • The individual desires of the patient. (Some will choose natural detox, others opt for medical intervention)

During detoxification, medications may be provided to help counteract the negative side effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with the discontinued drug use. The primary goal during this phase of the rehabilitation process is to help the patient overcome physical side effects associated with the drug addiction in preparation for psychological healing.

Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone may be prescribed to the patient to help ease symptoms of withdrawal and reduce cravings. While it is generally considered safe to take these medications under the direct supervision of a treatment professional, it is important to understand the possible repercussions of such medications prior to use.

Detoxing from an opiate such as heroin or a prescription painkiller such as Oxycontin may be difficult and uncomfortable, but not impossible. Generally, detox is a safe process, especially when undergone in a residential treatment center that includes 24-hour monitoring and medical care.

If you have questions about opiate withdrawal, detox or the rehabilitation process, call us at 800-466-0354 ( Who Answers?). We can answer your questions and connect you with a rehab center that will help you get through the process of detoxification and early recovery.


Once the initial physical symptoms of addiction are under control, true rehabilitation may begin. During this phase of the recovery process the patient will receive counseling and therapy that is aimed at understanding the addiction and its causes, honing in on situations that can lead to relapse and learning how to avoid it, and moving on with life by counteracting addictive behaviors and replacing them with positive routines.

Individual therapy is provided to assist the patient in determining the root cause of the addiction and in developing coping mechanisms that can help to thwart any future substance abuse. By teaching the patient about their addiction and helping him or her to see why they are abusing drugs, they can learn how to shift attitudes and behaviors to a more positive scenario.

Time management and social skills are also taught in both individual and group therapy sessions during the rehabilitation process. Patients learn how to effectively manage their time and are encouraged to take an active role in hobbies that will keep them busy when they are feeling bored. Socially, group therapy sessions help patients to work with their peers and reflect on their addiction while learning how to build strong, trusting relationships with others.

The entire rehabilitation process will involve participation in support groups, therapy sessions, counseling sessions and an array of enrichment activities aimed at preparing the patient for sober living outside of the treatment center.

If you or someone you love has questions about the support and counseling that will be received during rehab, or if you would like assistance in finding a treatment center that can show you the way to recovery, call our helpline toll-free at 800-466-0354 ( Who Answers?) for help. Caring treatment specialists will take your call anytime, day or night.



Attending a support group encourages recovery.

Although treatment may only take 90 days in many cases, recovery is a lifelong journey and a major commitment that doesn’t end when treatment ends. Following detox and rehabilitation, a patient will embark on the final, and longest, phase of the journey to sobriety—recovery. Support is essential during this ongoing phase of healing as the balance between living sober and healing can take many forms throughout recovery.

Rehab centers discuss aftercare options with their patients prior to their release from a treatment program. Often times, the follow-up care programs that are provided to these patients include long-term support, continued therapy and regular communication just to make sure that the patient is still “on the right path.”

Some will transition from inpatient treatment into a sober living home. Here, the individual can continue to work towards his or her long-term recovery goals while restoring a sense of independence into his or her life. Also called transitional housing, these facilities offer recovering addicts a place to live and transition outside of treatment but restrict their ability to take part in activities or behaviors that may not be conducive to their recovery. Residents are required to pay rent and other bills, maintain gainful employment, adhere to curfew, participate in group therapy sessions and submit to random drug or alcohol screenings to ensure their continued abstinence while in the program.

Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous are encouraged for those in recovery. Many recovering addicts not only actively participate in these 12-step support groups, they also go on to become mentors and sponsors to other individual in recovery. The support that is received in these groups is conducive to lasting recovery.

If you or someone you love has a question about rehabilitation, support groups or recovery, call us at 800-466-0354 ( Who Answers?). Our toll-free helpline is answered by caring treatment advisors who can assist in your search for help. Calls are confidential and secure for the protection of your privacy.

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Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.