What to Expect Day 1 at an Alcoholism Treatment Center
One thing that alcoholism treatment programs have in common is the fact that the days are structured. There is very little opportunity for residents at rehab facilities to get bored and to start thinking about cravings. As you prepare to enter an alcoholism treatment program, expect to stay busy cultivating healthy habits, learning new behaviors and enjoying sobriety.
The First Day in an Alcoholism Treatment Program
Your first day will likely be full of emotions. You may be scared, angry, and ashamed or in denial, and at the same time you might come to the understanding that you do need help and that this is the place to get it.
You’ll start by meeting with someone who checks you in and provides you with a schedule and a list of the rules. They’ll ask you a lot of questions about your medical history, including the last time you drank or used. Don’t be embarrassed if you last used a few hours before arriving. It’s important that the staff be prepared to help you through any withdrawal symptoms.
You should have brought a bag of luggage with you. The staff will likely search your luggage and your person. Alcoholism treatment programs need to have strict rules about what can and cannot be brought into the facility in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. For individuals struggling with withdrawal, it’s very tempting to ask someone to bring alcohol to them, for example. Understand that it is routine and for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.
After check in, you’ll meet your roommate or go on a tour of the facility. If you arrived in need of medically supervised detoxification or other monitoring, you’ll likely be taken to a secure area designed for this purpose.
Then it’s time to start participating in the daily routine.
The Daily Routine at Alcoholism Treatment Programs
Most residential alcoholism treatment programs divide the day up into 3 sections. First, you’ll have a healthy breakfast in the cafeteria. Don’t be shy; go ahead and interact with people. Most folks will be talkative and willing to tell their stories and to welcome you. Once you realize that you have many experiences in common with everyone else, you’ll begin to feel more relaxed and at ease.
After breakfast, you may have a group therapy session or class in which you learn about various aspects of alcoholism.
Lunchtime means heading back to the cafeteria for more nourishing food. Alcoholism treatment programs typically try to establish healthy habits among residents, including healthy eating and sleeping patterns. The good food and restful sleep should help your body heal.
In the afternoon, you may have an individualized therapy session. This is the time where you get the most focused and undivided attention from your counselor or therapist. Then there will be a few hours of free time where you can workout at the gym, go swimming, relax and read or take part in meditation. Your recreational or free time will vary depending on the facilities available at your specific program.
Dinner will be served in the cafeteria, and then there will be time for some group support meetings, such as 12-Step groups. Take the opportunity to attend these meetings, because they will build camaraderie and will also give you a valuable tool to help you in recovery once your program comes to an end.
Finally, you’ll go to bed. Adequate rest is encouraged during treatment.
For best results, try to fully participate in every aspect of the alcoholism treatment center’s offerings. A 30-day program will be over before you know it. Don’t be too scared or ashamed to address any concerns. Get it all out into the open from Day 1 in order to make the most of it.