What Is Rehab Like and What Do You Do in Rehab?

Anyone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction or who knows someone with this struggle might wonder what happens in drug rehab. Although addiction recovery is a challenging and life-long process, the transformation begins in rehab, but those contemplating seeking help might wonder, “What is rehab like?” At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer a customized and professional approach designed to help each patient overcome addiction issues successfully. Since every patient is unique, we can’t tell you definitively exactly what happens in alcohol rehab because it will vary depending on an individual’s needs. We have created a fully customized program that begins with a free clinical assessment. A professional counselor takes the time to learn about the unique needs and struggles of every patient before recommending the best drug or alcohol addiction treatment. However, there are a few general commonalities about treatment at our private and accredited facility in Fort Myers, Florida.

What Happens in Drug Rehab

After the intake process, many patients begin the recovery process with a medical detox period designed to be safe and comfortable. During this time, an inpatient stops using drugs under medical supervision. Drug abuse can cause both emotional and physiological dependency, which will cause withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued. Depending on the type of drug, the symptoms may be mild, or they could be exceedingly uncomfortable and painful. Patients with a heroin or opiate addiction usually need methadone or buprenorphine during detox, which helps with common symptoms. Some addiction withdrawals can even lead to death if the detox process is not performed correctly. After the detox period, a patient is ready to move on to the rehabilitation phase of the recovery process.

What Happens in Alcohol Rehab

The detox process for alcoholism can be complicated, especially if the addict has also been using other substances. Some patients experience delirium tremens with hallucinations and even seizures during the acute withdrawal period, which could last several days. After the initial phase, the addict might experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Gradually, the patient moves into a period during which it’s possible to address the emotional factors of the addiction.


The rehabilitation phase of treatment involves behavioral therapy, which can include individual, group, and family sessions. Therapy is provided to help patients discover and address underlying issues that connect to the addictive behavior. The therapy also helps patients identify triggers that cause temptation to use drugs and alcohol. Therapy equips patients with new and healthy strategies for coping with anxiety, stress, frustration, and anger. Some patients require pharmaceutical treatment in conjunction with counseling, especially in a dual-diagnosis situation.


At the end of the rehabilitation period, patients return to the outside world with a fresh understanding and new skills for managing their lives. Most patients have prepared themselves for a lifelong process that will require them to remain vigilant about temptation and the potential for a relapse. White Sands Treatment Center is committed to patient recovery and relapse prevention. Every patient leaves our facility with a comprehensive relapse prevention plan filled with strategies they can use to stay sober. If you or someone you love is wondering, “What is rehab like?” and is ready to get help, call us today or fill out the form on our website to find the best solution to meet your needs.