7 Things to Expect at an Addiction Treatment Center

7 things to expect at a treatment center

If you are thinking of checking into drug rehab in Memphis, you might be overwhelmed with fear of the unknown. There are a variety of reasons why people avoid treatment and one of these is usually based on fear. Many people don’t know what to expect when they go to an addiction treatment center. Knowing what each step of treatment involves can help individuals prepare for rehab and motivate them to complete treatment. 

  1. Intake

Any reputable addiction treatment center will start the rehab process with intake or check-in. An addiction specialist will sit down with you and have you complete an intake interview or evaluation. The intake process will help the clinical staff learn about your alcohol or drug addiction and help determine if you have any co-occurring disorders that need to be treated. 


Each person who checks into rehab is going to have specific experiences and treatment needs that must be addressed. This evaluation is essential as it helps the staff learn more about you and develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. 

  1. Detox

Before you can begin participating in therapy, your mind and body need to be cleared of all traces of substances. Although detox and withdrawals are difficult on the body, medications can be used to make the detox process more manageable. It can be difficult to focus on therapy and your recovery if you are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. However, detox ensures that your body will safely adjust to a life without substances and allow you to focus on your recovery. (Alprazolam)  

  1. Behavioral therapy

A reputable addiction treatment center will use several types of behavioral therapies in their rehab programs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that behavioral therapies help engage participants in addiction treatment and provide incentives for sobriety. Behavioral approaches will help you change your attitudes, adjust your behaviors, and develop life skills to help cope you with triggers.[1]


Types of behavioral therapies you can expect to see at addiction treatment centers in Memphis include: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT is used to help individuals identify thought patterns and their reactions to enable them to develop more positive coping skills.
  • Trauma therapy – Trauma therapy is a form of CBT that helps individuals connect their trauma to their behaviors to increase their self-awareness and change their behaviors.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT is specifically helpful in treating co-occurring mental illness and addiction. It uses behavioral skills and motivational therapies to manage co-occurring disorders.
  • Interpersonal or group therapy – Interpersonal therapy helps clients build a support network to mitigate loneliness, depression, and other unpleasant feelings that can lead to relapse. 


  1. Individual therapy

In individual therapy, a mental health professional will sit with you during a private session that is structured around your specific needs. Using individual therapy in addiction treatment can help with depression, bipolar disorder, and other conditions that require additional attention.[2] An individual therapy session can cover a variety of topics, such as: 

  • Accomplishments in rehab
  • Challenges that you are facing
  • Cravings, withdrawal symptoms, or obsessive thoughts
  • Developing and practicing healthy coping skills
  • Setting goals for the future
  • Symptoms of mental illness


  1. Group therapy

Addiction treatment centers use group therapy to allow participants to engage in communication, learn from others, and find hope and strength in others. You will be able to meet others who have had similar experiences and challenges as you have, which will provide you with a sense of community. Group therapy sessions may also include family members, partners, parents, or other loved ones. Common subjects that are covered in group therapy are: 

  • Education on the disease of addiction
  • Learning healthy coping skills
  • Discussing trauma and grief
  • Developing and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Setting boundaries and understanding codependency
  • Dealing with symptoms of mental illness


  1. Support from your peers

A key aspect of recovery is having a support group. Checking into an addiction treatment center will give you an opportunity to be surrounded by your peers who can support you throughout your journey. 


“When a patient is able to talk about things that make them feel shame or afraid in front of others and learns that their peers often feel the same way and have similar experiences, the power of fear and shame are disarmed and patients begin to feel relieved.”


SAMSHA explains that the process of recovery is greatly supported through interpersonal relationships and social networks.[3] Having a support group will help you develop a sense of purpose, be a part of a community, and give you the opportunity to foster healthy relationships that will carry you throughout your recovery. 

  1. Aftercare plan

Aftercare is a crucial aspect of maintaining sobriety. Addiction treatment will consist of residential services and outpatient services to provide ongoing care after release from residential addiction treatment. An aftercare plan will be developed for you between you and your clinician, allowing you to stay on the right path after treatment. 


Since there is no cure for alcoholism or addiction, it is something that needs to be treated on a long-term basis. When you leave a residential program and are venturing into life in sobriety, you may face numerous challenges and temptations that can lead to relapse if you aren’t actively engaged in an aftercare plan. Taking advantage of an aftercare plan can help prevent relapse and is an important aspect of recovery. 



  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289146/
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.