The decision to admit yourself to rehab is often contemplated on the basis of what others have experienced. This is one of the most misleading factors that keep addicts from getting the help for recovery. It is helpful to get an insight into the process before making the decision, but what other rehab patients experience may not be true for every case.

What to Expect in RecoveryDrug rehab treatment and its pertinent experience cannot be generalized. It is different for everyone, as every case is unique and every addiction is different. The treatment plan is largely dependent on factors like the substance of abuse, history of rehab, duration of addiction, mental health of the patient, and the willingness to acquire sobriety. The treatment plan is developed on the basis of the medical and personal history of each patient. This makes every plan different, which leads to each patient receiving a diverse, individual experience.

Deciding to undergo drug addiction treatment can be overwhelming and worrisome. Getting some details about what to expect in rehab can be of substantial help to prepare your mind before you enter into treatment. This can help you make an informed decision and get in the right frame of mind prior to entering a program. While all recovery programs and plans are different, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has listed four basic stages that apply to all cases. These stages are:

  • Initiating the treatment
  • Early abstinence
  • Maintaining abstinence
  • Advance recovery

The first year of recovery depends largely on the specific substance. The stages of treatment program vary in terms of severity and time period. The first year in rehab is the most challenging one, where you have to let go of your addiction and get over the dependency developed to the substance of abuse. You will find yourself on a rollercoaster of different feelings. There will be a time when you will feel enraged and agitated. But, there will also be days where you feel more at ease and whole than ever. There is hardly room to visualize exactly how your first year of recovery will play out.

An important thing to bear in mind is that the rehab program usually lasts for 30 to 90 days. In some cases, treatment may get extended to six months. The rest of the year, however, is the recovering period where you have to prepare yourself for a life without codependency and addiction. While you may predict the stages of drug abuse treatment, the recovery period remains unpredictable.

Here are a few things that you can expect in the first year of your recovery process during and after the abuse treatment:

No General Process of Recovery

This is the first realization you are going to make when you step into recovery. As mentioned previously, you will come to realize that every person who is in the program with you is on a different road towards recovery. The destination is the same for everyone, but experiences getting there differ widely.

Even people sharing the same substance addiction won’t undergo a similar process. Your emotions, lifestyle, habits, and triggers will determine your individual recovery and cannot be compared to anyone else.

Multiple Stages of Detox

It is often assumed that there is only one phase of detox – at the beginning of the drug abuse treatment. This is not necessary in every case. For some patients, opiates addicts especially, frequent stages of detox are necessary. This is important to cleanse the body completely from toxic substances. In the case of co-occurring conditions, medical attention is mandatory to ensure that the patient recovers completely.

The first stage of detox is meant to eliminate toxins from the body. The second stage is planned off of the severity, and duration of the addiction. The first stage of detox lasts seven days on average. The second stage, however, can vary from two weeks to several months.

Letting Go of Toxic Relationships

This is another factor that you will have to prepare yourself for in the first year of recovery. If you opt for inpatient or residential drug treatment program, you will have to give up your social, professional and family life to focus entirely on getting sober.

Moreover, you have to reevaluate your relationships and friendships. You will have to let go of the relationships that encourage addictive and negative behavior. You will have to analyze your social circle and decide which people make your life better, and who pushes you toward triggering situations and behaviors. This stage can be hard, but is equally necessary to ensure long-term recovery.

Relapse Risks

In the first year of recovery, be prepared for the risk of relapse. When you are fresh out of rehab, settling back into the same environment with a different mindset can be very challenging. You have to adhere strictly to the coping mechanism learned during treatment in order to fight triggers successfully.

Your mind will still want to give in to temptations despite all the training you receive during treatment. In such cases, you have to maintain follow-up appointments with your rehab consultant and carry out aftercare programs to ensure your transition back into the normal life is smooth and successful.

Recovering from alcoholism or substance abuse is an individual journey which every person experiences differently. It is a ride of ups and downs, and full of hard challenges. Attending rehab does not guarantee the longevity of sobriety. You will face obstacles and triggers that will compel you to go back to your addictive behaviors. It is necessary that you work on developing strong coping mechanisms and get the right assistance from the very beginning.

Scottsdale Recovery Center offers its patients a high-quality rehab center. With our professional team and highly equipped facilities, we provide the best possible treatment plan for your specific addiction. The wide range of services offered ensure that you not only overcome your addiction, but also develop long-term habits that will help you in the long run. We also offer aftercare services and counseling to help deal with post-rehab challenges. Call us today for more information.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.