The Addiction Recovery Process

Recovering from an addiction is not easy. It requires tremendous dedication, effort and a strong commitment. The rewards, however, are enormous and are very much worth the effort that you put into it.


A Step-by-Step Guide to the Addiction Rehabilitation Process

The process of addiction rehabilitation depends on the type of addiction, the treatment methods used and on the individual concerned. There are usually four stages that form part of a complete rehabilitation and recovery program. They are:

We discuss each of these stages in detail. If you have any questions regarding the addiction treatment process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our support representatives for more information.


The intake and admission process determines the suitability of a rehab center. It gives you and the treatment provider an opportunity to ask questions that will form the basis of an individualized treatment plan.

You will be asked specific questions by a treatment support adviser at the rehab center about your condition. You may be required to undergo diagnostic screenings or tests based on your specific needs and the stage of addiction that you are at.

The rehab facility will want to know about the seriousness of your addiction, your medical history and drug use history, whether addiction runs in your family and if you can make the required financial arrangements to facilitate your stay.


Find A Program That Meets Your Needs

The most important thing is to choose the right program that matches your requirements perfectly. You should choose a facility that you feel comfortable with, where you believe you can achieve long-term health benefits and regain your sobriety.

Types of Rehab Facilities

There are essentially three types of rehab:

Inpatient rehab services
Outpatient rehab services
• A combination of inpatient and outpatient rehab.

medical assessment

Let’s discuss each of these treatment options in detail.


Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient (residential) rehab facilities help those that have been affected by the most serious of addictions. Patients are placed in a proper treatment facility, where their recovery takes place under the strict supervision of trained medical staff.

At an inpatient rehab facility, the patient is kept away from all temptations and there little chance of a relapse, either during the detox or post-detox stage. Inpatient treatment is highly recommended for those that have long-term addictions, serious health issues or mental health problems. This form of treatment can be conducted at…

  • Hospitals – Which offer a more intensive, 24/7 access to medical services and expert supervision by trained health care professionals.
  • Residential Facilities – Which offer 24/7 supervision in a non-hospital setting. Some inpatient treatment facilities in Asia have specialist medical facilities attached to the primary treatment center for more intensive supervision during the early stages of recovery.

Inpatient rehab facilities in Asia can consist of basic or luxury rehabs. Most are located at resort-like facilities in naturally beautiful surroundings that provide a high level of privacy.

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Outpatient Treatment

The treatment methods at outpatient rehab centers are similar to those of inpatient facilities, except that the patient travels to and from the facility every day for the duration of the treatment.

Outpatient care is usually preferred by those that have family obligations such as caring for elderly parents or children, or cannot afford to skip work for an extended period. Outpatient treatment is recommended to those with moderate levels of addiction, where the impact is not too severe or damaging.


Detoxification or detox is the most important part of any treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.

This process is intended to get rid of all traces of alcohol or drugs from the body and is aimed at easing the withdrawal symptoms associated with some drugs such as heroin or prescription drugs.

The intensity of the detox will depend on the following factors:

  • Metabolism and body composition of the individual.
  • The duration – the number of months or years – for which the drug was taken.
  • The type of drug taken and the dosage.
  • Whether there are other co-occurring addictions.

A detox performed under strict medical supervision is the safest way to withdraw from a substance. Sometimes the withdrawal symptoms during this stage can be severe. Detoxification should be done only in a rehab center or clinic where there are trained medical specialists, not by yourself at home.



When someone consumes alcohol regularly, or takes drugs for years, the body gets used to the substance. So when the substance is taken out, the body starts showing withdrawal symptoms, which can appear within a couple of hours or within the first 24 hours following the last drug use. The withdrawal symptoms depend on the type of drug used but can include the following:

  • Extreme depression
  • Agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Cramping
  • Heart attack
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Seizures

Medications Used During Detox

There are numerous medications that can be prescribed during the detox stage of treatment, including some that are based on the type of addiction being treated. Before a detox, your condition should be assessed by trained medical professionals to determine the type and degree of any medication needed during the process.

While behavioral addictions don’t require a detox, addictions to substances such as illicit drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol will require a comprehensive detoxification. Some of the most common forms of medication used to ease the withdrawal from substance abuse include:

detoxification meds


Methadone is used while detoxing from opiate prescription drugs or heroin. It relieves some of the conditions that those having the addiction deal with and helps them get off the drugs. The methadone dosage is gradually lowered over time in order to reduce and completely eliminate drug dependence in the long run.

Many recovering addicts take methadone for months or even years, some even for a lifetime. This can become addictive if taken for so long and hence care has to be taken when recommending this drug to patients.



Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs used while detoxifying from alcohol use. This drug minimizes the chances of seizures, reduces withdrawal symptoms and helps relieve conditions such as anxiety and depression associated with the detoxification process.

Looking for Addiction Treatment? Ask An Adviser for Independent Advice.


Buprenorphine is another effective drug that treats heroin addiction and addictions to opioid prescription medications. This drug has become a replacement for methadone over the years as it is not as addictive and does not give the patient the same sort of “high” — this help to ensures that it does not get abused by the recovering addict. The goal is to reduce the intake of this drug over the years. Many patients take it for months or sometimes even years after starting the treatment.



Barbiturates are mild sedatives that are effective at relieving some of the anxiety, discomfort and irritability associated with the detoxification process. They are similar to benzodiazepines and lower the risk of suffering from seizures, which is often seen during alcohol withdrawal.


Once the initial detox from alcohol and drugs is complete, the rehabilitation continues. During this phase, the root causes of the addiction are addressed, and a concerted effort is made so that the patient can get back to their life without ever resorting to drugs or alcohol again. This process consists of the following…

Individual Therapy

During individual behavioral therapy, the patient identifies the causes that led to an addiction to a substance or a behavioral disorder. They learn several different strategies on how they can combat the temptation if it was to arise and focus on new interests or hobbies.

The patient learns valuable time management skills so that they can make better use of their time and focus their energy away from destructive behaviors. They learn to identify specific triggers and how to avoid situations that can cause a relapse.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps an individual make significant changes to their life and alter the manner of thinking. It helps them lead a healthier and more sober life and reform themselves from within. They develop an action plan to avoid a relapse at all costs.

individual counseling man

Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions involve interaction with others who are in the same position as you. It is very effective at helping you recover from drug or alcohol addiction. Drug or alcohol addicts often believe that their situation is unique and that they are all alone in the world. This is not true, a lot of people go through the same problems.

Group therapy sessions bring people from various walks of life that share a common addiction together. Everyone within the group can share their stories and form a comprehensive recovery plan. The community support that they get during this phase is considered very important to their recovery process.

Family Therapy

Many rehab centers offer family therapy as a part of the rehabilitation process. Addiction to drugs and alcohol affects a lot of people, not just the individual themselves, but also their family and friends. That’s why family members are invited to participate in their loved one’s recovery process.

family discussing addiction

Your family should be seen as a vital component of your recovery and are hence asked to join family therapy sessions. These sessions will have free and frank discussions on how the addiction has affected everyone in the family and why the near and dear ones of the patient are so eager to help him or her get better, recover from the condition and lead a healthy life.

Family therapy can also help resolve pernicious issues and acts as a bedrock of support during a harsh time and helps the patient get better faster.


The addiction recovery process does not end once the rehab is complete. In fact, rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol is a lifelong process that requires a lot of hard work over a lifetime. The path to a complete and comprehensive recovery is not easy; there is always a temptation somewhere that can lead to a relapse. That’s why any support you receive should be over an extended time, and should not end the moment you step out of the rehab facility.

Before leaving the rehab program, you will meet with counselors who will formulate a plan for the post-rehab phase or the aftercare. Most rehab centers now offer follow-up programs. The goal is to help patients get back to a normal life. Such plans may consist of weekend visits to the rehab facility or remote support if an individual feel like it could help them.

The patient could also spend time at a sober living facility for a few months after leaving the rehab center. Here, they meet other recovering addicts, perform their own chores, do something productive such as working at a job, and take part in group therapy sessions.

group therapy circle

This part of the process is considered to be very important and provides much needed support during a transitional time for patients that are recovering from the addiction.

Group therapy is a great way of building an excellent local support system for the individual. Two popular self-help groups that offer excellent post-rehab aftercare to recovering addicts are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They make use of a 12-step program to aid the individual in their recovery and provide them with great support for years to come. Some of the other groups that work in the same manner as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are…

  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
  • Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA)
  • Emotions Anonymous (EA)
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)

If you are a recovering addict, you should choose which type of 12-step group is most suitable for your condition, where you can get all the assistance you need, and which offers more help than just a general support group.

To get the most out of these support groups, you should contribute as much as possible yourself and try to help others around you – the more you give, the more you will receive. You should interact with other members of your group and fully understand their experiences. Once you are able to fully recover from your addiction and regain your sobriety you can choose to mentor other newly recovering addicts that need your help.

Need Help? Get Confidential Advice from Rehab Placement Specialists.

Helping You Find the Right Treatment

If you or someone you know has questions concerning the rehabilitation process, contact us or request a call back for more information. The team at are here to answer your questions and provide you with information to help you find treatment and long-term recovery. Our service is free and confidential at all times.


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Pharmacotherapies National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

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