• Tyler Zuccarelli

What is Rehab Like Before and After Treatment?

Updated: Aug 25

Although each individual will go through different experiences throughout their rehabilitation program, we can still categorize the first four stages of rehab.

They are:

  1. Addiction And Abuse

  2. The Beginning of The Treatment Process

  3. How To Maintain Sobriety

  4. Aftercare and Your Recovery

These are the four significant stages of rehab before and after treatment. We will break down each stage below and explain what you may expect to experience during and after them.


life after recovery from addiction
Source: LA Valley Recovery

The 4 Stages Of Rehab For Substance And Alcohol Abuse


1. Addiction And Abuse

Addiction is when an individual takes more of their DOC (drug of choice). This can start gradually by taking a second pill later in the day or having a drink earlier in the evening. For addicts, once this starts, it will not stop. The progression of the disease of addiction soon spirals out of control, and the need for treatment is necessary.

The addiction and abuse process will look different from person to person, but in general, there are telltale signs once abuse starts and addiction begins to form.

According to The NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), people often begin abusing substances and alcohol to feel good, to feel better, to do better, and out of curiosity and social pressures.



"…drugs can quickly take over a person's life. Over time, if drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel "normal." They have a hard time controlling their need to take drugs even though it causes many problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take more of a drug or take it more often, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the signs of an addiction." (NIDA)

Since the early 1930s, It has puzzled scientists why people become addicted to drugs. So do not worry if you cannot figure this out for yourself; it is not an easy thing to understand. Sometimes things just get out of hand so quickly that we don't have time to act.


Regardless, once someone abuses substances and/or alcohol and an addiction forms, it is time for them to get treatment.


life after addiction
Source: LA Valley Recovery

2. The Beginning of The Treatment Process

Once we realize that we have no power over our drug of choice and admit that we have a problem, treatment is the necessary next step in getting our lives back.

Seeking professional treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction and/or in combination with mental health issues (also referred to as co-occurring or dual-diagnosis treatments) can be overwhelming, uneasy, confusing, and physically/mentally demanding. This is not meant to scare you off from getting help.

We are merely trying to let you know what you're getting into. It is fundamental that, before entering into treatment, you understand what you are signing up for.

This process can feel overwhelming and scary, and you may not know what to expect. However, this is normal, and nearly every addict who has been through treatment has felt like this. The key to starting your treatment on the right foot is to be open-minded, honest, and direct with yourself and the treatment center helping you.



3. How To Maintain Sobriety

Throughout your treatment, you will be given the knowledge and tools to maintain your sobriety successfully. Maintaining sobriety for one person may look different for another. You must figure out what works best for you.

There is no set-in-stone way of maintaining your sobriety.


Relapse (when someone breaks their sobriety and uses their DOC again) happens to the best of us.

The NIDA mentions this about relapsing,

"While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for some drugs, it can be very dangerous—even deadly. If a person uses as much of the drug as they did before quitting, they can easily overdose because their bodies are no longer adapted to their previous level of drug exposure. An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death." (NIDA)


But It may also just lead us to go back into a treatment program depending on the severity of the relapse (if it continues to happen and you end up actively using again), or it may just be a temporary setback.

If we have the proper Aftercare in effect, we should be able to recover from this setback quickly.

living after addiction LA
Source: LA Valley Recovery

4. Aftercare And Your Recovery

Many people do not understand what comes after the rehab program ends. LA Valley Recovery begins the aftercare planning process the moment you enter our program.

We hand-craft each client a unique, individualized treatment plan that includes rehab aftercare planning and strategizing their return home once they complete our program. From setting up a support group meeting schedule to appointments at an intensive outpatient program to touring sober living homes, we help prepare you for life after rehab from the beginning.


This is another crucial stage of your rehabilitation process. Click here to learn more bout our Aftercare planning.



The Next Stage After Everything

Life after recovery from addiction is unique to each person who goes through it. We will begin to see things differently and begin to restart our lives. There are some key things we should consider when entering our new lives.

According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) There are four Major Dimensions of Recovery.

Health: overcoming or managing one's disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.

Home: having a stable and safe place to live.

Purpose: conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.

Community: having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Life after recovery will be challenging yet very rewarding if you understand the four stages of rehab and have a good aftercare plan set up. You will live a life worth living. The key to any life in recovery is to take it one day at a time. Always know that there is someone out there to help you.

If you are considering getting treatment or know someone who may be suffering from the disease of addiction, contact us today by phone or email for a confidential callback and more information on our services.

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