Tennessee Addiction Resources: Going to a Drug Rehab and Understanding the Process


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Tennessee Drug Rehab

Addiction is a terrible and insidious disease.  What started out as recreational drug use or maybe drinking to get through a hard time becomes an insatiable appetite for more, more drinking or heavier drug use.  When addiction has taken full control of your life and no amount of willpower or self-control has proven successful in your attempts to stop, its time to start thinking about going to a drug rehab.  But how do you get into drug rehab and what does the process look like?  In the following, we will discuss the rehab admissions process and what’s to be expected in going to rehab. 

Picking the Right Drug Rehab

The first step in going to rehab is to find one that meets your needs.  Some rehabs specialize in dual diagnosis treatment which is treating substance abuse and mental health at the same time.  Some drug rehabs offer programs specifically for men or for women.  Still other rehabs offer trauma-based treatment for those whose using and drinking is closely related to trauma they have experienced earlier in their lives.  Lastly, some rehabs specialize in offering ancillary programming like music therapy, equine therapy, or art therapy to aid in the treatment process and make the experience more palatable by offering programming that supports their patient’s preferences and hobbies.

Once you have found a drug rehab that meets your needs and preferences the next step is to call and speak to the facility’s admissions department.  The admissions department is staffed by admissions coordinators who take your call and discuss their programs’ offerings with you.  The admissions coordinators will ask you a series of questions pertaining to your unique situation in order to begin placing you into a specifically designed program of recovery for your individual needs. They will also ask a series of questions to determine what level of programming will be appropriate for your condition.

Paying for Drug Rehab

Once it has been determined that your drinking or using and other health particulars make you eligible for their rehab program, the next step is to determine how you will pay for treatment.  For most drug rehab programs, while they accept a broad range of health insurance plans, they may not accept yours.  Shopping for the right program may require a few calls to different programs to find one that accepts your insurance.   

If you do not have insurance, nearly all addiction treatment centers have a set cash pay price.  This is typically structured as a set price for each level of care.  So, if you need detox there will be a set price for detox.  If you then need inpatient rehab there will be a set price for the rehab program as well. Self-pay or cash pay prices for rehab can range from $15,000 to $60,000 depending on the amenities and specialty services they offer.

Transportation to Drug Rehab

Once you’ve been approved for treatment at a facility and the financial subject has been resolved the next step is scheduling your admission and coordinating transportation to treatment.  Many facilities have a transportation department that offer door to door transportation services like Magnolia Ranch Recovery, while others require you to transport yourself. In either case when transportation is planned, the date and time of admission is when you are to arrive to the facility’s location for admission. 

Admissions to Drug Rehab

Admissions to a rehab starts with an intake assessment and assessing your vitals.  When you arrive onsite to the facility you will meet with an admissions counselor who will conduct your intake assessment so that you can be placed in the appropriate level of care.  You will also be seen by the medical department.  The medical department will check your vitals measuring your temperature, your blood pressure and heart rate.

Once your intake is completed you will meet with facility support staff who will perform a body search and search of your possessions.  This is standard practice and is done to ensure that nothing comes into the facility that would put anyone else in the facility at risk.  Typical concerns are weapons or substances of abuse.  Giving up using drugs is a challenging process and it is not uncommon for someone to try and sneak substances into a facility even though they are there to stop using.

 Support staff will typically wash and dry your clothes to ensure no pests or outside contaminants get into the facility.  Your possessions will be inventoried and the things you are allowed to have in the facility will be separated from the things you are not allowed to have in the facility.  Most facilities have policies that prevent cosmetics that are aerosol or alcohol based from being in the facility as there is a risk of consumption for alcoholics with extreme cravings.

Getting Started in the Rehab Treatment Process

The first day in rehab is usually filled with your intake process.  When everything is completed you will be assigned a bed and typically served your first meal.  You will be given a chance to settle in to your room and an opportunity to get acquainted with your rehab roommates. If you are going through withdrawal you will also be medicated to help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms.

Over the next couple of days you will meet your primary therapist who will gather a complete background on your using and anything else that has contributed to your drinking and using to excess.  From this a treatment plan will be formulated specifically for you.  Your treatment plan will include a schedule of the groups and meetings you will be going to  on a daily basis.  These groups and one-on-one meetings with your therapist and other counselors will include subjects or modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and sometimes EMDR for trauma.

As you move through the treatment process over the 28-day period you will become accustomed to the treatment process.  You will enjoy the feeling of community and will get to know and love your peers as you recover together.  You will learn about your disease and develop coping skills to deal with moments of weakness or cravings.  You will be taught life skills and learn new hobbies through vocational and ancillary programming. Sometimes it will be challenging and sometimes it will be fun.  The important thing is that it will make a huge difference in your life and get you started on the path of long-term recovery.

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Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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