The decision to enter rehab may be chosen by you or imposed upon you from outside forces. If you have the chance to go through a rehab program instead of going to jail, it could be a wonderful option to change your life. How long will rehab last? It depends on the drugs you’ve been using and the length of time you’ve been using.
For example, detoxing from heroin will take longer than detoxing from meth. Once you’ve gotten through detox, you will need to attend an inpatient rehab or an outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab generally takes about a month, while outpatient rehab takes 6 weeks. After that point, you will likely need to participate in maintenance appointments to provide you with support and help to build your new community around sobriety.
What to Expect from Start to Finish
You probably already know that detox can be very tough. During detox, you may well need medical support to stay hydrated and stay healthy during the most intense cravings, both physical and mental. Detox will likely change your personality. You may experience sensations such as
- extreme nausea, dehydration and vomiting
- severe constipation and gut pain
- muscle cramps and a lot of sweating
If you’re coming off of cocaine you may feel hungry when you’re not feeling exhausted. As your body sheds toxins, you may constantly feel like you need a shower, or you might feel as though your skin is crawling. After detox, you will move into rehab. Rehab may include
- private therapy
- group therapy
- family therapy
Depending on the attitudes and opinions of your family members, many of these therapies may be pretty tough. Your family (and you) may feel that addiction is a sign of weakness. Your parents may have grown up with an addicted parent and feel that they failed you, or that you failed them. The learning curve around what addiction does to the brain is not widely known in the lay community. Your family, if they choose to participate in your healing process, may need to open up their mindsets about addiction overall. Many who develop addictions start abusing illegal or prescription drugs as a means of self-medication. If you have long struggled with depression, cocaine may actually lift your spirits for a short time.
However, it’s not a good long-term solution or an effective way to build a healthy future. If you suffer from any underlying medical conditions, there’s a possibility that you will experience a harsh rebound. This rebound can include
- a spike in nerve pain as you are weaned off of opiates
- a return of anxious thoughts or depressive episodes as you stop using stimulants
- a wash of harsh emotions, such as self-loathing, as you detox from alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are an effective method of numbing harsh feelings. However, the damage they do while you’re using will make it very difficult to build a healthy life. Additionally, a numbed feeling is not a “deal with it and heal” feeling. When you stop using, it will come roaring back. Effective therapy in rehab may come in several different forms. If you have been using drugs that create a dopamine flood in your brain, your dopamine receptors may have shut down. To return these receptors to normal functioning, you may need to undergo reward therapy.
Retraining your brain to function as it did before you started using drugs will take time, but it’s a crucial part of a successful rehab. You may also find yourself quite isolated when you finish detox. If all of your friends are using, or if your family has turned away from you because of what you did while you were high, you will need to learn to make new connections and rebuild your mental health as well as your physical body. In these cases, you may have more success by starting in an inpatient facility, then switching to an outpatient program to help you learn to reach out for help.
Your rehab treatment should be done within 6 weeks of entering the program. Making the right choices about how you will move into recovery will be easier after undergoing a medically supervised detox, rehab that includes therapy, and a follow-up program that build community. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-610-1174.