What to Expect from a Rehabilitation Program

Committing to a rehabilitation program can be a huge step for many people – but it’s often a necessary one. To make that step easier to take, this time on the blog we decided to talk about what you can expect from a rehabilitation program. Details may differ from program to program, but the core of the process and the broad strokes of rehabilitation usually follow a similar path.

What is a Rehabilitation Program Exactly?

A rehabilitation program, often shortened to just rehab, is a program for the process of treatment of chemical dependency through medical and/or therapeutic means. The program takes an addict through the beginning steps of the recovery, confronting their dependence, stopping the misuse and helping them begin their path of sobriety.

These programs often feature medication for other disorders that may act as triggers for substance abuse, counseling in one on one and group sessions, and sharing the experiences with other addicts in group meetings. How these features are used may differ but they are all common in the different types of programs.


Types of Rehabilitation Programs

Outpatient Treatment – In an outpatient rehabilitation program the patient lives at home and goes to a clinic/facility for regular sessions and treatment.

Inpatient Treatment  – Inpatient therapy has the patients staying in the facility, specifically a hospital setting, often for at least 28 days, where they receive intensive and highly structured treatment. 

Residential Treatment –  Residential treatment is the same as inpatient treatment, intensive and structured care but not in a hospital setting.

Recovery Housing –  In recovery housing, patients live in a temporary and supervised housing program.

Let’s take a closer look at a day in a residential program.

A Day in Residential Rehabilitation Programs

In residential (and inpatient) treatment programs, the day to day is highly structured, filled with activities and therapy to reduce idle time. This is because idle time and boredom are when those desires to relapse can be the strongest, when nothing else is occupying your mind it can go into those old grooves of habit seeking behavior and cause you to relapse. Instead, by filling the day with a schedule and activities it helps break patients out of those old habits, distract from cravings, and keep the time passing. There is of course personal time available between the activities and meals but much of the day is planned out. This can be difficult for some to accept, many people love to have ‘control,’ but when it comes to rehabilitation an addict needs to give up some of that control for now, to get it back later and take control of their lives.


The day will begin with a set wake up time, such as 7 AM. Morning medications and private time kick everything off. The morning may start with meditation or yoga, as their calming nature can help set the day.

Breakfast then occurs at the same time everyday, with patients eating together. Therapy will follow breakfast. With a break in between therapy and lunch for personal time or an activity – things like group exercise classes, walks, etc. Lunch occurs, again at the same time as always and then is followed by an afternoon session of therapy.


If the morning session was a group therapy meeting the afternoon will be a one on one session, or vice versa. The groups are made up of patients who are struggling through the same issues so that they can learn from each other and their experiences as they recover.

After the afternoon sessions, there may be another ‘alternative’ therapy class or options to go through. Things like art or music therapy make for fun activities but also provide therapeutic benefits to patients, allowing them to express themselves in new ways and learn new things. This can help create self-confidence and that’s something they’ll need to continue their journey to recovery.


Following that is dinner! Dinner, like every other meal, will follow at a regular time, and then be followed by a group discussion, meeting, etc. Most rehab programs in a residential setting will have a set ‘lights out’ time to encourage regular and restful sleep – it’s absolutely crucial for recovery.

Most days at rehab are going to follow the same schedule – keeping a regular schedule is what helps patients have a sturdy foundation to rebuild on.

Here at Direct2Recovery we offer an outpatient program that supports our patients where they need it, without rigorously structuring their every day. That may not be the right fit for everyone, but in our experience, it’s a program with a great success rate. 

If you or a loved one are dealing with addiction and are looking for help – Contact Direct2Recovery today to find out more.

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