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What Is Rehab? Types, Treatments, and Options

When you want a sober life, be prepared for a battle. Getting help for your addiction, whatever it may be, is not always as easy as you’d hope it’d be. Doing it on your own might be next to impossible, and addiction rehab facilities can be quite beneficial.

Of course, not everyone can stop what they’re doing and enter a rehabilitation center, so knowing your options can help you make the right decision. Rehab looks very different for each individual undergoing the process. Specializing your treatment plan to cater to your needs can make this process easier.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or substance use disorder, keep reading to learn more about the types of rehab and treatment options that are commonly available.

What Is Rehab?

Rehab is the process that a person struggling with addiction goes through to become sober. It is meant to enhance the life of a person struggling to care for themselves and looks different for every person who tries it.

Rehab often includes a mix of methods to help a person into recovery. A person might undergo medical treatment as well as therapy or detoxification. Most rehab centers will help to create a personalized treatment plan that is specific to your own needs. This way, you can get the most benefits out of the process.

The goal is to help you become sober by offering support and resources you might not have access to outside in the real world. Everyone’s rehab journey will be different and take a different amount of time to complete.

Why Would Someone Go to Rehab?

Entering into rehab is a scary thing. It means that you have admitted that something is wrong and that you need help from professionals. Most rehabilitation centers don’t just treat addictions related to drug and alcohol abuse. People can seek rehab for addictions such as gambling, porn, food, and even shopping.

Rehab is the place where people know they have a good chance of success. Trying to become sober or beat an addiction takes a lot of willpower and effort, so being surrounded by trained addiction professionals takes away some of the anxiety around it.

What Are the Types of Rehab?

There are two main rehabs that a person would enter into: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. The kinds of treatment that you would endure during either of these can vary.

The main difference is that inpatient treatment (or residential rehab) is where you stay at the rehabilitation facility 24/7 and have a very strict routine. Outpatient treatment allows patients to go to and from their homes and other responsibilities like work and school while attending drug rehab sessions (group therapy, individual therapy, and other types of treatment).

Many people who go to rehab programs enter the detoxification program before moving forward. This is especially important for people struggling with severe addiction and drug use, who can suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms during their recovery journey.

It’s best to go through the detoxification process surrounded by professionals who can step in and help you at any given moment.


Before you even start any of your therapy or sober programs, you need to have rid of the substances from your body. Detoxing from a substance that you are addicted to can be very dangerous.

Specifically, when thinking about drug and alcohol addiction, trying to come off of a substance on your own can result in symptoms like:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Paranoia

  • Tremors

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach pain

  • Muscle aches

  • Dehydration

  • Seizures

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate

  • Hallucinations

  • Delirium

Not everyone with an addiction will have to undergo the detox process, but you can decide this with your doctors at the rehab facility during your intake session.


Inpatient or residential treatment requires a patient to be there 24/7 under medical supervision. People who struggle with severe addiction can benefit from this kind of care because they are in a safe environment with staff trained to handle various situations.

People suffering from co-occurring disorders can also benefit from this care to treat all aspects of their addiction and mental health. A person might need more help than they think, and inpatient serves as a way to get all the help they need plus more.

Inpatient is not for everyone, however. It can be a bit more expensive than other addiction treatments and requires more undisturbed time. You will have to push pause on many of your responsibilities as you’ll be away from your home during your inpatient stay.

If this does not work for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t get treatment. There are other options out there.


With outpatient programs, a person will come to the rehab center for a few hours every day that they’re required to be there. Some people might need three days a week, others five days a week, to get the necessary treatment.

Patients always return home after outpatient, so this can be a much more flexible treatment option for someone who can’t afford to take a leave of absence from their job or school. For those that have children or other family responsibilities, outpatient offers an alternative to treatment.

Many of the same therapies and treatments are offered in outpatient programs. You will still come up with your own personalized treatment plan while in an outpatient program; it just might look a little different from how it would in an inpatient program.

Treatment Options

Rehab facilities offer various treatment options, but if you’re looking for one in particular, you might have to scout out a few before making final decisions. In general, your rehab will offer you both group and individual therapy sessions, treatment for dual diagnosis, and the option to enter a 12-step program.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

For many, CBT is a very useful form of treatment when dealing with addiction. CBT helps with how your thoughts influence your mood and actions. CBT helps people reframe their negative thoughts and feelings to provide themselves with healthier alternatives to dealing with those thoughts and feelings.

CBT aims to take control of their own cognition and create healthier habits. Instead of letting negative thoughts drive you to abuse substances, you work to change your thinking so that the result is positive. This has been shown to be successful when treating various disorders, including eating disorders and substance use disorders.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis, also known as having co-occurring disorders, is very common in people who suffer from substance abuse. To properly treat your substance use disorder, you must also pay attention to what’s happening behind the scenes.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental health disorders, you may not see major advancements in your treatment for substance use until tackling your mental health. Simultaneously treating both conditions can help you get to the bottom of your deep-rooted issues, which provides you with more accurate treatment.

12-Step Programs

Another form of alcohol rehab treatment that might be offered is the 12-step program for sober living. This is the program that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has created and used to help its members through their substance abuse treatment and recovery process. It relies on giving yourself to a higher power to help you overcome the addiction and improve.

This program does work for people with both spiritual and non-spiritual backgrounds, as it takes some of the pressure off of you and can help by filling you with hope. This program isn’t just for alcoholics; anyone struggling with an addiction can follow the 12 steps to seek treatment.

Seek Community Through Sober Sidekick

There are many options out there if you want to receive treatment for your addiction. Rehab is a great place to start if you feel unsure about what to do. Maybe you find out that the facilities aren’t for you and want to seek guidance and support elsewhere. Maybe you want this kind of support in addition to entering a rehab facility!

With the Sober Sidekick app, you can gain support from other sober-seeking individuals. When you download it on the Android or iPhone, you can begin talking to other people with addiction who are looking for guidance.

Opening up and sharing your experiences with people who can truly understand you can make you feel less alone. We believe that connection and community are essential pieces to beating your addiction.

Sober Sidekick provides people with a place to build their own community anonymously and learn about different methods that have worked for others in the same position. Addiction is a lonely disease, but with Sober Sidekick, you don’t have to feel like you’re trying to get better on your own.


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