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How is Life in a Rehab Centre?

March 1, 2021
Reviewed by: Rajnandini Rathod
how is life in a rehab centre

The image of a rehab centre in our minds is what we see on our television sets. The reality is much different from what we think of how an addict lives in a rehab centre.

There are numerous rehab centres spread across the country. Much of what each offers is the same, but they still have different features, appearances, and rules.

The best way to determine if a specific rehab centre, from a list of hundreds, suits you is by contacting them to ask all your questions. Most centres will encourage you to visit their facility to understand better how you will spend your time in their care.

The stigma exists, and rehab centres understand that. That’s why they make sure you and your family understand the procedure before taking the next step. They also make sure your family is always aware of your treatment plan.

Meet Your Counselling Team

The length of treatment depends on several factors, which your psychologists can tell you. Your discharge can take a few weeks or a few months. It’s up to you, your family, and the team of psychologists and psychiatrists to decide when it’s suitable to leave. Do ask about these details when you visit the facility.

The team that helps you become comfortable and treats you during your stay consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, and physical/yoga trainers. You will also meet several patients who will be part of the activities and meetings with you.

A Typical Day at The Rehab Centre

Every rehab centre maintains different but similar day and weekly plans. Rehab centres run by Cadabams Hospitals in Bangalore organise movie nights or lunches at restaurants with the counsellors. They also have yoga sessions, sports and other activities at the rehab centre. Their cricket team has won several matches in the local area.

Abhasa Rehab Centre has an organic garden, and gardening is encouraged. They organise several outdoor activities such as trekking since their facility is in the western ghats.

Your first day involves undergoing several assessments, managing withdrawal symptoms, meeting your counsellors, making new friends, and becoming comfortable with your surroundings.

Psychologists conduct assessments to understand the reason and severity of your addiction. They’ll ask about your childhood and your experiences as an addict to understand you better. Rehab centres conduct several group sessions where you can share your stories and support others, but it’s okay if you’re not ready to share. You will also attend several one-to-one sessions with your mental health professionals.

You eat local food cooked at the facility, so there won’t be any junk or outside food or excessive eating. Your diet is essential in recovery, and the facilities pay close attention to it. So is access to phone calls at most rehab centres. They don’t allow many phone calls, as it diverts your focus from your treatment plan. You are permitted to make calls as planned by your counsellors. You must know that they will inform every detail to help your family cope with the stress.

A typical day involves eating a healthy diet, taking medications, attending sessions with your counsellors, sharing circles or group meetings, and taking part in mental and physical activities such as yoga and Zumba. You will also get to celebrate birthdays and festivals.

The Case of Supported Admission or Non-Co-operation

Section 89 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 states that a person with impaired decision, harm to self or others, and self-neglect can be admitted to a centre without consent for an initial period of 30 days. The person/state nominated representative should initiate the supported admission. 

Independent psychiatrists and mental health professionals must conduct 2 assessments and submit a recommendation to admit if required. Patients are admitted if there’s no other alternative and are at risk of harming themselves or others.

The team has to submit a report within 7 days to the Mental Health Review Board led by a judge, which decides the further course of action within another 7 days. The state provides the patient with free legal support, and the law states that patients must be involved in the decision-making process.

The process of supported admission is complicated because many such patients are in denial, and each case is different.

Types of Therapy

Most rehab centres follow the WHO recommended 12-step program. The counselling team uses several approaches along with the 12-step program. Most rehab centres also use supportive and Group therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a widely-used talk therapy approach based on how we think, feel, and act. It teaches you how to control your actions and process your thoughts and feelings. CBT has proved to be a helpful tool in substance and alcohol addiction treatment.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy helps patients become motivated to stop alcohol and substance abuse. They’re taught coping skills and are encouraged to bring their family members to the sessions.

There are several approaches to therapy, such as RBT and IPT, that the counsellors might use to help you manage addiction in the long run.

Life After Discharge From The Rehab Centre

Discharge from the rehab centre doesn’t mean you’re cured completely. You have developed resilience and coping skills to combat addiction. You will still need to take your medication and visit your counsellors at the facility regularly. It takes time and effort to manage your cravings using what you’ve learned at the rehab centre.

It’s much possible to lead a healthy addiction-free life. The battle begins after you’ve gone into the outside world. Don’t consider relapse as a failure. It’s a learning process, and spending a little more time to learn skills can help you become more resilient.

Final Words

Rehab centres are beautiful, clean, and peaceful spaces where mental health professionals take good care of you. You are not a prisoner, and some time spent at a rehab centre can bring a lifetime of freedom from addiction. Addiction is an illness and needs to be treated with precaution. It can cause a lot of damage to your relationships with family and loved ones, destroy your work life, and cause serious physical diseases if not treated. 

Rehabilitation is not about de-addiction alone. The process teaches you how to take care of yourself and manage your emotions. It gives you a purpose and shows you how to live a full life. There are underlying reasons why people become addicts, including mental health issues. Your mental health professionals will help you understand your addiction, which can help you avoid relapses and achieve your goals.


Namboodiri, V., George, S., & Singh, S. P. (2019). The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 of India: A challenge and an opportunity. Asian journal of psychiatry, 44, 25-28.