What to Expect on Your First Day at Rehab

Your first day in treatment, which consists of rehab center intake, should be the easiest day of your treatment. This is the day to get settled in, learn where everything is and find out what is expected of you. You will be asked many questions pertaining to your addiction and treatment. Be prepared to answer them as honestly as you can and cooperate fully with the staff.

What is the Intake Process Like?

woman calling for information on the intake process The intake process generally begins with the first phone call you make to the treatment facility. Ask as many questions as you can to get a good understanding about what they do and the processes they use. One of the most common questions individuals ask is: “What is rehab like?” When you arrive, you will more than likely meet one-on-one with a certified counselor. You will be asked about your drug history and what you are planning to accomplish while you are in rehab. You will need to explain when you began using and if there was any issue that you had that caused you to start using drugs. Tell your counselor about any underlying health issues that you have. This is especially true if you have a psychological disorder or if you are being treated for depression. The counselor will be able to assess the severity of your addiction based on your answers to these questions. It also helps the treatment center determine the optimal course of action for your treatment. Each treatment program is tailored to individuals’ needs based on their intake information.

After you meet with a counselor during rehab center intake, you will be given a complete physical in order to assess your physical wellness. You will be asked to take a detox test, which will determine if you have recently used drugs or alcohol. If you test positive for drugs and alcohol, your first step in the treatment process will be detox. If you are currently clean and sober, you will go straight to the treatment program. You will be required to give information about your medical history. Let the medical professional know if you have any underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure, asthma or hepatitis.

The facility will be in charge of your medical care, and they may even provide you with additional testing to evaluate your health problems. Provide them with any prescriptions you have. They will keep the medications in the pharmacy at the facility, and they will make sure you get the required medications each day. You will not be allowed to keep them with you. You will meet regularly with physicians who will monitor your condition.

Going Through Your Things

“Once you meet with the required individuals for check-in, you will be taken to your room where a counselor will go through your packed bag with you.”

Once you meet with the required individuals for check-in, you will be taken to your room where a counselor will go through your packed bag with you. He or she will check all your belongings to make sure you do not have drugs, alcohol, weapons or other items that are prohibited. Many facilities will take cellphones, computers or other communication devices. It is best to check beforehand to see what items they allow and what things you should leave home.

What Not to Bring

The list of items that you are allowed to have while in treatment varies from one facility to another. There are standard items that most facilities will not allow you to have. You can ask someone for this information during your rehab center intake or before you go. It is a good idea for you know what to pack if you are going to rehab. Examples of things you should leave at home include:

  • Over-the-counter medications that have been opened
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Pornography
  • Pillows
  • Bed linens
  • Weapons
  • Musical instrumentsv
  • Electronic devices
  • Excessive makeup or jewelry
  • Food or drinks
  • Herbs
  • Revealing clothing
  • T-shirts or other clothing items that promote drugs or alcohol
  • Fans
  • Large amounts of cash
  • Radios
  • Mouthwash

Items that you should bring with you include:

  • Seven days’ worth of casual, comfortable clothing
  • Current prescriptions
  • Laundry supplies
  • Hygiene items
  • Electric razor
  • Shaving cream
  • New, unopened, over-the-counter medications
  • Alarm clock
  • Calling cards

Settling Into Your Environment

Once you get checked in, you will be given the opportunity to eat dinner and relax in your room. You may be invited to join in if a group meeting is in progress. If you require medical attention, this is the time that it will be given.

If you or someone you love needs more information on rehab center intake, contact us at 1-888-287-0471 Who Answers? for more information.

Did You Know?
  • The entire intake process is confidential. No information is shared with other clients or individuals who call to check on you.
  • According to the SAMHSA, over 2.1 million individuals enter into a specialized treatment facility every year.
  • Each individual is allowed to take part in the planning of his or her treatment schedule. The schedule is compiled during rehab center intake.
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