So, what should you expect, as a parent? The first step to rehab is usually a safe, medical detox. During this stage of treatment, your child will be monitored around the clock by medical professionals. They will be able to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure the safety of the detox process. This part of treatment is the most highly structured. If your child has a cell phone, it will likely be taken when they check into detox. This is for their own and other’s safety. Detox facilities know that if given the chance, some clients will try to call outside contacts and have drugs sent or delivered to them in detox. Your child will likely be able to contact you by phone at specific times, but don’t freak out if you don’t hear from them constantly. If you are worried, you can contact the detox facility for an update.
After detox, your child will likely be sent to an inpatient program that, on average, lasts 30-90 days. He or she will sleep at the rehab’s housing facility and attend treatment groups during the day. Rehabs vary widely in terms of the treatments they offer during inpatient treatment. Most offer traditional treatments like counseling, psychotherapy, group therapy, and 12-step support groups. Some rehabs also offer music therapy, art therapy, or drama. Holistic treatment centers usually incorporate practices that treat mind, body, and spirit such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, equine therapy, and Tai-Chi. Regardless of the type of rehab your child attends, their days in inpatient treatment are likely to be highly structured. Rehab programs provide three meals a day and down time for personal reflection and meditation.
At this stage of treatment, what should you expect? Well, inpatient rehab usually is a bit less structured than detox. Your child still probably won’t have access to their cell phone all day, but most rehabs have scheduled times every day when they will either give your child their cell phone to call family, or allow them access to a landline. Keep in mind, however, that their access to the outside world is usually determined by their therapist. They may, for whatever reason, not allow your child to call during the initial stage of treatment. However, if your child signs a release form, their therapist will be able to update you on their progress. Most rehab facilities also try to get the parents involved at this stage. Ask about their family therapy programs. Parent involvement can greatly increase a client’s chances of success. Finally, most rehabs will allow the clients to go out on a “pass” after a few weeks. If their therapist approves it, your child will be able to leave the facility for a few hours and spend time with you while they are in inpatient treatment.