What Happens in Rehab on the First Day?

Approximately 40% to 60% of people who struggle with substance use disorders relapse after getting treatment.

A treatment program tailored to the needs of the patient plays an important role in a successful recovery. But just as important are the first 24 hours of sobriety, when withdrawal symptoms start to kick in.

That’s why what happens in rehab on that first day is crucial to the rest of the treatment. The first day of rehab offers an opportunity, to be honest, get settled in, and come to terms with the fact that outside help is not only needed but necessary.

So how do treatment programs structure this critical day? Keep reading to learn more about what happens in drug rehab on day one.

The Intake Process

The intake process begins as soon as a phone call is made to the facility of choice. With that one phone call, you can ask all your questions regarding what happens in drug rehab. This is a good chance to sort out what facilities have a treatment that works for you and which do not.

Once you’ve decided on a treatment facility, you can call and let them know when you’re coming in to begin the process of recovery. Upon arrival, they usually have a nurse or recovery specialist to greet you ar the door. Their role is to make you feel both welcome, comfortable, and understood.

That same specialist will escort you and your things to an intake room. Here, you’ll be asked to sign a consent form that gives the facility permission to provide treatment. Ask whatever questions you may have before signing. 

Following the necessary paperwork is a meeting with a recovery specialist. This might be a therapist, counselor, nurse, doctor, or another professional who specializes in addiction and recovery. They’ll ask questions about your personal history, your drug use, as well as what you’d like to gain from treatment.

Once they’ve done a quick review of you and your goals, they’ll review the treatment program and daily schedule with you. Remember that you’re a part of this process. Engaging with the specialist regarding your needs will keep you engaged in your own recovery.

Phone Calls

After you’ve finished your meeting with the recovery specialist and you have a better idea of what to expect in the coming days, weeks, or months, you’ll be allowed to make phone calls. It’s important to contact your families to tell them you’ve arrived. There may be other pressing issues you need to address in these calls – everybody’s situation is different.

But after you’ve made those phone calls to your family, which are likely going to be supervised, you’ll be asked to hand your phone over to the recovery team. Most facilities don’t allow patients to keep their phones while in treatment.

In fact, many install a blackout period wherein you won’t be able to communicate with anybody outside the facility for a period of time. This gives you a chance to get settled, sit with your emotions, and process your new reality without outside influence. 

Medical Assessment

The medical assessment portion of your first day in rehab may occur during intake or before or after your phone calls and tour of your room. Regardless of when it takes place, it’s a crucial aspect of what happens in rehab on the first day.

The first type of medical assessment you’ll be given a physical. A medical doctor will assess your physical wellness and also ask questions about your medical history.

Tell them about any underlying medical issues such as asthma, high blood pressure, or hepatitis. This will allow them to make an informed decision about what medications to give you during detox and treatment if any at all. It’s especially important to tell them about any underlying mental health conditions that could be influencing your addiction.

You should also tell them about any prescriptions you’re taking. The facility will keep those medications for you. You’ll be able to meet regularly with the doctor to monitor any health conditions.

During your medical assessment, you’ll also be asked about your addiction. To make the most of your recovery, be honest with the person asking those questions. They’ll be assessing your relationships, family history, and behaviors to try and tailor the treatment for your specific needs. 

As part of your medical assessment, you might also be asked to take a drug detox test. This will tell the facility if you have any drugs or alcohol in your system. In some cases, this test will determine whether or not you need to undergo a supervised medical detox before the other aspects of treatment can begin.

Personal Property Checks

Usually, either before or after your medical assessment, you’ll be shown to your room by a member of the facilities team. They’ll go through your bag and belongings with you, to ensure you haven’t brought in anything that’s a risk to you or the other patients. Typically, they’re looking for prohibited items such as alcohol, drugs, or weapons.

But some facilities are more strict than that. They’ll take away communication devices such as computers and cell phones if they find them. It’s best to know in advance what you can and cannot bring with you.

Getting Settled

For people who don’t require immediate medical care, the rest of the first day of rehab involves resting. On their first day in a rehab facility, many people struggle with emotions like fear, sadness, and anger – and that can be exhausting.

That’s why, after dropping your things off in your room, you’re usually given some time to relax and settle in. 

What Happens in Rehab After Day One?

What happens in rehab on the first day involves intake, medical and psychological assessments, and getting settled in. The first day is an opportunity to help your recovery specialists better understand your addiction and how to tailor a program to your specific needs. It can be a day full of mixed emotions that are difficult to face, but it’s the first step you need to take in order to get well.

The first day of rehab is a drop in the hat compared to the days, weeks, or months, to come. To find out what happens in drug rehab the rest of the time, contact us for more information.