General FAQs About Going To Rehab

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Going to addiction treatment is often the first step to recovering from addiction. Each facility varies in terms of policies, packing checklists, success rates, general treatment procedures, and more.

General FAQs About Going To Rehab

If you or a loved one are preparing to go to addiction treatment, you may have several questions about what to expect. What exactly is rehabilitation? What should I bring? Can I bring my cell phone?

Find answers to these questions and more below and set your mind at ease before your addiction treatment program begins.

General Rehab FAQs

Here are some general FAQs to help you learn more about going to a rehab program and what to expect.

A rehabilitation facility is a place that offers inpatient and/or outpatient treatment services for people facing drug and alcohol addiction.

Discover more about rehab programs.

Smoking policies at rehab centers differ depending on the facility. Some treatment centers allow you to smoke in designated areas.

Others will ask that you not smoke and require you to quit smoking as well as drugs and alcohol. They may even offer nicotine replacement therapy to help you.

Learn more about smoking during a rehab program.

Most inpatient treatment centers will give you a packing list for what to bring to their rehab program. These lists are usually specific about what items are allowed and what items are prohibited.

General items they may ask you to bring include current prescription medications, a journal or notebook, and necessities like clothes and personal hygiene products.

Find out more about what to pack for residential addiction treatment.

If you’re living with a substance use disorder, it may be time to seek addiction treatment.

Some indicators that you may be ready for treatment include trying to quit but not being able to, experiencing mental or physical decline as the result of substance use, and concerns from family and friends.

Learn more about when to seek addiction treatment.

Yes, a substance use disorder treatment program can help with depression. Depression can co-occur with substance abuse, so this is often a concern that is addressed in tandem with addiction through the use of behavioral therapy.

Discover more about how a treatment center can help you with depression.

While there are no lockdown facilities in which leaving is prohibited, there are court-ordered rehab programs.

A judge may order addiction treatment in lieu of jail or prison time, but a person will not be forced to remain in the program. The alternative to leaving a court-ordered program early, however, is jail or prison time.

Discover more about lockdown rehab centers.

In some rehab centers, you can get a private room. Some of these treatment facilities will charge you extra for the room.

Others are considered luxury rehab centers where privacy is one of many amenities.

Learn more about getting a private room at an addiction treatment center.

Some treatment facilities may permit cell phone use while others will not. However, most treatment centers that do allow cell phones will still place certain limits and parameters around phone use.

Find out more about cell phones in rehab programs.

You may be able to work while in rehab depending on the type of treatment program and level of intensity. Outpatient treatment offers enough flexibility for clients to continue working while receiving care.

You may also be able to work in residential programs that offer internet and phone access during certain times.

Learn more about working while in a rehab program.

Generally speaking, yes, you can. There are laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act that protect your right to take a leave of absence for medical reasons.

Learn more about keeping your job while you are in a rehab program.

No, you do not have to quit your job to attend a treatment program. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, you have the right to a leave of absence to take care of medical issues including drug or alcohol treatment.

Learn more about your job and addiction treatment.

Some estimate that around 43% of people who attend a drug and alcohol rehab program complete it successfully.

Learn more about the success rates of treatment centers.

Each treatment center has different rules about visitation. But in general, most treatment centers allow visitors during certain hours.

Learn more about having visitors at an addiction treatment center.

Yes, drug rehab centers must keep your information confidential the same way a medical center would. You can choose to allow certain individuals to have information about your treatment, but that is your decision.

Find out more about your privacy rights during addiction treatment.

Internet policies vary depending on the treatment facility. Some facilities permit access to the internet but on a limited basis, while others strictly forbid it due to potential relapse triggers.

Learn more about internet use at an addiction treatment center.

Some treatment centers may allow you to bring a laptop to their rehab program.

If a treatment center facilitates programs for business executives, young professionals, or students, they are more likely to allow laptops so these clients don’t fall behind in work or school.

Learn more about bringing your laptop to addiction treatment.

After a drug rehab program, it is time to transition back to life in your community. This may look different for everyone.

Some people have a strong support system in place; others may benefit from connecting with community support groups or sober living homes with other peers in recovery.

Many inpatient or residential treatment facilities will recommend that you step down to outpatient treatment to provide a smoother transition to recovery and continued support.

Find out more about what happens after a drug rehab program.

Rehab centers may take somewhat different approaches to relapse during treatment. For some people that may mean removal from the program.

A relapse after a program is common. If you relapse after treatment, seek support from recovery groups, try getting in touch with a therapist, or reach out to your aftercare benefits.

Discover more about what happens if you relapse during or after a program.

If substance abuse is affecting your work performance, causing you to neglect your physical and mental health, or causing concern among family members or friends, then you may need addiction treatment.

Learn more about when to seek substance abuse treatment.

You can attend addiction treatment no matter where you are in the recovery process. With that being said, lasting sobriety must be rooted in a desire to abstain from substance use.

Learn more about attending rehab even if you aren’t ready to quit using drugs.

Sometimes there is. A phone call to a potential rehab center will clear up whether or not you have to wait and how long.

If you need to get in right away, you should make it a priority factor in choosing a rehab program.

Learn more about waiting lists for addiction treatment.

Yes, it can. Many rehab centers focus on eating healthy meals while in treatment. Some will even provide nutrition classes so that people in recovery can continue this form of self-care after treatment.

Learn more about nutrition and addiction recovery.

That depends on the medications. A treatment center may let you bring non-addictive prescriptions to treatment or prescriptions that are not on a controlled substance.

Ultimately, the rehab center evaluates whether or not you can bring a certain medication to treatment.

Learn more about bringing prescription medications to a recovery program.

Yes, some do. Transportation assistance is a valuable asset for a rehab center because that enables clients to get from the treatment center to other locations if they need to.

Or, in the case of outpatient treatment, it enables clients to get from home to the treatment program.

Learn more about transportation assistance.

Each treatment center will have a different dress code. The best thing to do is to review the packing list to see what they say about clothing and whether or not there is a dress code.

Many faith-based treatment centers, for example, will have a dress code.

Learn more about what clothes to pack for substance use treatment.

You may leave your treatment program at any time if you choose to do so.

However, completing the course of treatment for your substance use disorder could mean the difference between staying sober and relapsing. It is crucial that you stay in a rehab program until the program is finished.

Learn more about leaving addiction treatment early.

In residential treatment, you will typically find such amenities as comfortable sleeping arrangements, healthy meals, and some recreational options.

In luxury rehab programs you will find high-end amenities including private rooms, gyms, and pools. Many luxury rehab facilities are also situated on secluded campuses with hiking and fishing nearby.

Discover more amenities that rehab facilities offer.

Yes, some do. The extent of the recreational activity will depend on the rehab facility.

Some treatment centers may have activities such as basketball, a foosball table, tennis courts, swimming pools, hiking trails, skiing, or fishing.

Find out more about recreational activities at a rehab center.

Some rehab centers offer vocational training and support. Some long-term residential treatment centers even provide skill training for new jobs.

Learn more about job training in rehab programs.

Some rehab centers offer programs for you to complete your GED. Others have partnerships for continuing education through local community colleges.

Rehab centers for teens will often have an academic component so students can stay on track with school.

Learn more about educational opportunities in treatment programs.

Addiction treatment can take as long as a year if you consider the continuum of care from detox to outpatient treatment.

But it depends on your circumstance and how severe your substance use disorder is. Some long-term residential treatment programs alone last a year. But the time spent is worth it if you gain freedom from addiction.

Discover more about the length of a treatment program.

It depends on what you consider a personal item. Most packing lists from treatment centers include clothes, personal hygiene items, and a notebook.

Beyond that, you will need to ask the treatment center what it allows.

Learn more about what personal items you can bring to a rehab program.

If you have a medical emergency during addiction treatment, people on staff will get you to the care you need or call an ambulance if needed.

Typically once the emergency is resolved, you can come back to treatment, but there may be exceptions.

Learn more about what happens if you have a medical emergency during a rehab program.

Some rehab centers may help you sort through legal problems by helping you fill out paperwork or helping you find legal counsel. But not every rehab center will do this.

Find out more about rehab programs that offer legal assistance.

Ultimately it depends on how many times a rehab center is willing to let you retake their program. At a certain point, your treatment team may decide to refer you to another level of care or adjust the treatment approach to help you to better meet your recovery goals.

People with severe addictions may require multiple rounds of treatment and longer-term solutions. For example, some clients need to be on a lifetime buprenorphine or methadone maintenance dose for a severe opioid use disorder.

Learn more about the number of times you can attend a drug rehab program.

Yes, there are substance abuse treatment programs for women who are pregnant or postpartum.

These programs play an important role in gender-specific treatment and some of them have services for moms who are parenting as well.

Discover more about addiction treatment for women who are pregnant or nursing.

If you are involved in the criminal justice system, then you may have legal obligations that you need to attend to.

Rehab centers will usually make provisions for you to attend court dates or appointments with your lawyers if you need to.

Learn more about handling legal obligations while you are in a rehab program.

There is no broad standard for an upper age limit for attendance in a rehab program.

Some rehab centers may provide addiction treatment for people under the age of 65 or people under the age of 55. Others may have no upper age limit at all.

Learn more about age limits for a drug rehab program.

Some treatment centers offer programs for couples who are both facing addiction. Others provide living arrangements for a spouse and young children, but these situations are not common.

Learn more about addiction treatment and your significant other.

Find Addiction Treatment Today

If you are looking for addiction treatment, you can find it today. Call us to learn more about your treatment options, the recovery process, and how to get started.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more
  • Was this Helpful?
  • YesNo
Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Canton, Massachusetts

Bedrock Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

View Center Profile

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ohio Recovery Center


Levels of Care:

Payment Options: Insurance Accepted, Self Pay

View Center Profile
Spring Hill Recovery Center


Addiction Resource Logo