A Typical Day in Rehab: What to Expect


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Rehabilitation is about ending harmful habits and replacing them with healthy ones. For those looking to check themselves or a loved one into a rehab center, however, not knowing exactly what happens inside the facility’s walls can leave them feeling a bit anxious. Having an idea of what the routine may look like can help validate your decision as well as put you or your loved one on the path to recovery with much gusto. While every rehab program is different, the following provides a rough outline as to how a typical day in rehab can look like.

A Safe and Peaceful Environment

First of all, the environment at a rehab center is peaceful and supportive, which is one thing a recovering alcoholic or addict needs. Rehabs tend to focus on creating an inviting and soothing atmosphere where its residents can relax and focus on themselves and their recovery. Sometimes, rehab centers are located at scenic places surrounded by nature or perhaps a beach. They do not have to be in picturesque locations in order to be effective, but it’s definitely an added perk for the people in recovery.

Wonder what a typical day in rehab looks like? Here’s a quick run through of a basic center’s routine.

Waking Up With Purpose

Mornings usually start rather early, as sleeping in is not really encouraged at a rehab center. It always begins with breakfast. Some rehabs may also offer early morning classes like yoga or meditation to help get the day started on a positive note. After the first meal, many rehabs offer a group session that is usually centered on related topics such as addiction, recovery, 12-step groups and so on.

Unpacking Your Emotional Baggage

After lunch, you may have an individual session where you meet with a professional counselor. Individual counseling is important when it comes to beating addiction and embarking on the recovery journey. After all, you are trying to heal or “recover” from an addiction, which oftentimes leaves you having to emotionally deal with certain issues that the disease has brought on. During these sessions, you will be able to discuss any problems you are having and learn to develop valuable coping skills.

Freedom within Limits

Later in the afternoon, in some rehabs, you may have a couple of hours of free time which you can use to participate in a number of planned activities. Perhaps you can play games, meditate, take a walk, write in a journal or even take a nap. This afternoon break is primarily for you to use as you see fit.

Evenings of Reflections

Dinner will be served in the evening. Afterwards, you may have another group session or a 12 step meeting like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous that you can attend. While you do not have to share at group meetings, it is encouraged that you open up some, as it can be quite therapeutic.

Weekend Activities

Sometimes there are planned outings available on the weekends that you can attend as a group, which can include activities like bowling, watching a movie or attending a baseball game.

Phone Calls and Visitors

Some rehabs are very strict when it comes to policies on this matter while others are lenient. Most rehab centers do not allow visitors, but those that do only have certain visiting times. Use of cell phones may also be discouraged, but most rehabs allow you to make phone calls at certain times on certain days. It’s always wise to ask the rehab about their rules before you commit to going if you feel this could be a deterrent for you.

The End of the Day

Bedtime is usually encouraged at a decent hour so that everyone can be well rested for the next day. Granted, each rehab is different but all of them have the client’s best interest at heart—to put a stop to a toxic habit and learn to cope with a new life and a brighter purpose.

Should you have additional questions regarding a rehab center’s daily routine, feel free to call your local rehab and ask the staff on duty. If you or someone you know is seeking help with addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

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