drug recovery

Every year, thousands of people in Orange County check in for alcohol and drug recovery. But what is the process actually like?

Everyone who checks into an alcohol or drug rehab center has different needs. Not only do patients abuse a variety of substances, but their reasons for drug addiction vary tremendously. Some people get hooked by accident. For others, work stress leads to unhealthy patterns of behavior and reliance on specific substances, while for some, drugs help them avoid uncomfortable feelings.

It’s worth pointing out before we dive into the specifics that the experience of alcohol and drug recovery will vary from patient to patient. No two people will have the same experience, because no two people have identical drug-dependency issues.

What Happens During An Alcohol Or Drug Recovery Program?

The first part of any program involves a team of professionals with different specialties assessing the patient to find out more about their individual needs. Professionals will ask about a person’s history with alcohol or drugs, how long they have been dependent, their mental health history and their current physical condition. Finding out as much about the patients as possible is essential: the more that practitioners know, the better they can design the drug recovery program.

The next stage involves coming off the drugs that caused the addiction. This is the most critical phase for most patients and is often the most difficult.

Withdrawal symptoms can be mild for many people, but for some, severe addiction can be challenging to overcome. Alcohol and drug recovery programs in Orange County, therefore, offer medical support to help patients get through the first 24 to 72 hours.

The support comes in multiple forms. At the forefront is the use of medications that help to reduce withdrawal symptoms. The drugs that practitioners use to manage the recovery process are not substitutes for substances of abuse. Instead, they are drugs that specifically target the withdrawal symptoms without causing a “high” or any of the other effects associated with drugs a patient may have abused in the past.

Clinics use medication approved by the FDA for use in varying cases of alcohol and opioid abuse. All of the medicines are safe and will not affect a person’s ability to work, reduce their mental capacity, or affect them psychologically. Prescribed medications are merely a short-term measure designed to take the edge off the withdrawal experience.

After the body goes through detox, the final part of the process is to offer patients help, advice and counseling to break their addictive behaviors. Therapists will provide patients with specific techniques that they can use to avoid forming new addictive habits. Counselors will also help patients understand and process what led to the addiction in the first place. Often discussing the roots of addiction can help a person come to terms with the emotional drivers of addiction and resolve them, reducing the chances of relapse in the future.

Types Of Alcohol And Drug Recovery Programs

There are several different types of alcohol and drug recovery programs available in Orange Los Angeles. In the previous section, we described what typically happens in the inpatient setting, but there are other forms of treatment which you should be aware of.

Inpatient Programs

As discussed, inpatient programs are where a patient gets treatment in a rehab clinic, hospital or detox clinic. Patients stay at the facility for 24 hours a day and are discharged once they complete the detox process.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs are where patients live at home but travel to the treatment center for treatment during the day.

Patients often choose to continue using outpatient services after having spent time as an inpatient. Outpatient programs are usually less expensive than inpatient equivalents, thanks to the fact that patients do not need bed and board.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is where a hospital or medical center offers patients rehab treatment and ancillary services.

Residential Rehab

Residential rehab is similar in concept to inpatient programs, but usually for more severe addictions. A residential rehab program can last anywhere from one to three months and is often reserved for people who have repeatedly struggled to kick their substance abuse habit.

All patients, regardless of program, should receive follow-up care once they return home to buffer against relapse and offer support.


Insurers will pay for some treatment programs. How much you pay out of pocket depends on the type of treatment that you choose. Insurers usually like to cover only medically-necessary things, such as getting you off a substance, so they may be unwilling to include other essential aspects of care, such as counseling.


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