What Do You Do During Rehab?
What Do You Do While You’re in a Drug Rehab Program?
Let’s shine some light on that.
What you do during your days in rehab will vary by the facility you enter and the type of drug rehab you are participating in. You could be in a residential drug rehab program that will encompass your full days and nights for the length of your stay, or you could go to support groups, office visits or outpatient treatment programs that take a few hours out of your schedule each day or week.
We’ll focus on inpatient drug rehab treatment since that’s the type that would evoke imagery of being stuck and bored, without the option to come and go as you please. But you’ll discover that a stay in a residential program can fill your time in productive and enjoyable ways. In particular, we’ll focus on what days are like in our own Lumiere residential facility Ohio location.
A Day in the Life at Lumiere Healing Centers Rehab
We have a basic daily schedule at our residential drug rehab facility that varies slightly depending on the day of the week. On weekdays, you wake up at 7:00 am and go to bed by 11:00 pm. The time in between is filled with activities:
- We carry out a community meeting with daily goals each morning, first thing after breakfast.
- Before lunch, we offer different group sessions or relapse prevention, varying by the day.
- After lunch, there is a daily lecture to learn important information or skills, with recreational therapy on Fridays instead.
- Then, you go to one-on-one sessions, which include assignments.
- Before and after dinner, you have recreation and free time, with the exceptions of Wednesdays, which include a medical lecture and family group time.
- Evening activities vary by the day and include 12-step meetings, an aftercare group, a social skills group, a skill building group and visitation time.
- At night before bedtime, you have time to reflect on your goals of the day.
Weekends are scheduled a bit differently. First of all, you gain an extra half hour to sleep in, but you still spend time working on your recovery on these days (with a little extra free time on Saturday). Like the rest of the week, weekends include a daily community meeting with goals, a goals reflection period, recreation time and free time. Weekends also include family group time and visitation, a movie and an outside 12-step meeting. After you’ve completed our rehab program, you can visit our alumni group on Saturdays.
Counseling, Groups and Medical Care
Your time in rehab will include individual counseling based on an assessment our team performs in the beginning, although that can be adapted if needed. We have licensed counselors to provide individual counseling, which gives the opportunity to work on your individual problems, needs and goals in a private, safe and focused way.
If it’s part of your care plan, you receive medication in the morning from our staff nurses. We also have physicians on staff if you need them for a safe and effective recovery.
As mentioned in the schedule, we also provide a variety of group sessions to help you work on problems associated with your addiction. These groups provide the guidance of the professionals running the group and the support and perspective of other people going through a similar situation.
Our Lumiere groups include:
- an honesty and denial group
- an anger and rage group
- a triggers and impulses group
- a stress and anxiety group
- a goal group for making daily goals
- an aftercare group for creating goals for after the program
- a wrap-up group to discuss feelings and benefits of being in treatment
- a psychoeducational group for learning about addiction
- a family group to help with how addiction has affected the family unit
We provide three scheduled meals a day and snacks. We have two chefs that make nutritionist-approved meals. These meals are well-balanced and nutrient-rich to help your body recover from nutritional imbalances that are common with addiction. Plus, our patients rave about how amazing the food is, and our chefs genuinely care about creating meals the patients will enjoy. They can even customize dishes to fit specialty diets and personal preferences.
What About Downtime?
During your stay in drug rehab, there will inevitably be some blocks of time without a scheduled session, meal or other activity for you to attend. To stave off boredom and make the most of your stay, there are various ways you can fill your free time:
Different residential drug rehab facilities offer varying activities for their patients. For instance, at Lumiere, we’ve been carrying out experiential therapy with ponies. We also provide opportunities for various activities that take place on-site or off our premises. These include:
- Art therapy
- Exercise classes
- AA and NA meetings
When you come to our Lumiere Ohio facility, you can bring a journal for writing and paper to write letters to your loved ones. When the staff allows it, you can read books and magazines and listen to music on an MP3 player. In addition, we have a Wii video game system, board games and Netflix to keep you busy and amused. Every room has a flat screen TV in a comfortable environment with a Tempurpedic mattress.
Our patients also sit outside, where you’re able to smoke cigarettes if it helps you. “It’s also a great tool that they sit out there and share their experience and strength with each other,” says a Lumiere behavioral health technician. From our residential site, you can enjoy views of beautiful and relaxing ponds and a peaceful golf course in the background.
Whether you’re inside or outside, talking to other patients is a valuable opportunity open to you. You can commiserate with other people who might understand your situation and gain perspective from each other. You can even build a support group that you can carry with you into the next stage of your life, free of addiction together.
Free time in drug rehab can be an amazing opportunity for reflecting on your life and what you want out of it from this point forward. You have time to yourself, free of relationship demands, cooking and cleaning, work and other responsibilities. If you choose, you could use this time to think about what you have been learning and discovering in counseling sessions and groups. You can work on what brought you to your addiction and what needs to change in your life.
In addition, you could imagine what you want your new life to be like. You could come up with new goals for your life, such as going after a certain occupation, taking care of your health and working on relationships. HelpGuide.org notes that meaningful goals offer you motivation and hope, which can help counteract addiction.
Gary Gilles, LCPC, writes for MentalHelp.net that free time in general is perfect for finding out what interests you and what you need out of life. You could use what you learn for when you leave rehab and enter a new stage of your life.
“Some of us are so busy we never ask ourselves what we really need to feel human,” Gilles says. He suggests creating a list of activities you have enjoyed doing, even if it has been a long time since you’ve done any of these activities. Then, prioritize your interests and realize how they could make your life better, such as helping you with personal growth or relieving stress. Finally, figure out how you could incorporate the main interests into your life. You may need to come up with compromises, such as choosing a less expensive or slightly different option.
Gilles notes that people need interests to enrich our lives. “Our purpose in life can easily be reduced to survival when we are not re-creating those parts of ourselves that need renewal. Consider creative renewal as vital to your existence, not simply a luxury.” But it’s important to spend time on these activities, even when the stressors and responsibilities of life fill up your days.
You can always find some time when you would be sitting in front of the television or scrolling through social media posts, or in this case, spending time trying to get or use drugs. Instead, take time for fulfilling social and personal activities. Gilles says to add this personal time to your schedule and stick to it as an important commitment. It will help your life and self-growth, and help prevent stress and burn-out.
During your downtime, you can also try methods for relieving stress. HelpGuide.org points out that when you use substances to deal with stress, emotions and problems, those elements will still be a part of your life when you’re sober. In other words, you have to find another way to manage them than leaning on substances. You could start the exploration while you’re in rehab.
First of all, keep in mind that substance use doesn’t really solve the problems or emotions – it just helps you escape them for a little while. But they hang around and even worsen when you don’t deal with them. Plus, addiction ends up causing its own problems as it progresses, including financial burdens and relationship strains, so it actually makes your life harder in the end.
Rely on the professionals in your rehab program to work through underlying problems that have lead you to addiction and with new coping skills and strategies. During your free time, you can reflect on what you learn, try some strategies to see if they work for you and even come up with your own. For instance, you could try:
- Breathing exercises and meditation
- Yoga, tai chi and exercise
- Working on changing your negative thoughts and perspectives
- Spending time in nature
- Listening to music
- Taking a bath if possible
- Imagining a relaxing place
Even though the treatment process can have its own stressors, you’ll be away from your regular stressors, such as family problems and work responsibilities. This time away is a prime opportunity for practicing stress-relieving activities that you can use when you go back to the stressors of everyday life.
The Exception: The Detox Process
We also offer a detoxification program at both of our Lumiere Ohio location. This process takes place before drug rehab with the goal of safely getting past the symptoms of withdrawal caused by stopping use of a substance you’re dependent upon. Activities are a bit different when you’re going through detox than in the next stages of drug rehab.
During the detox process, you cannot engage in physical activity like you can start to do during the rehabilitation process. When patients ask why they can’t take part in more activities during detox, a Lumiere behavioral health technician, or BHT, explains, “At this stage of your recovery, it’s hard enough to keep your blood pressure and your heart rate at a decent rate.” The goal of detox is to have you safely get past withdrawal symptoms. It might be too much on your system for you to engage in physical activity when your body is going through so much.
A number of patients have expressed the desire to have massages during the detox stage, but like exercise, it could pose problems to your health. The BHT notes, “When you get a massage, it releases the toxins out of your muscles, and we can’t have that. It would put [the patients] into a rapid detox. Some of them are uncomfortable at this point. Imagine how bad it would be with that – having the toxins flooded out of your muscles. It’s not good.”
So during this phase, you need to focus on calm activities instead. You can do many of the same activities you could do in a rehab program. You could still watch TV and Netflix, play video games, enjoy time sitting outside, play board games, write, read, talk, reflect and perform stress-relieving activities.
And we even offer groups within our Lumiere Ohio facility, which is different from most other drug rehab centers. During the detox phase, groups are optional, but they give you something to do. They also start your journey of reflection and learning, and they get you used to groups for when you move into rehabilitation.
If you’ve been hesitant about entering a drug rehab program because of uncertainty about what your days would be like, we hope this post gives you a clearer idea of a day in the life at Lumiere’s residential treatment program.