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Learn / What Can You Go to Rehab For? A Clear Guide to Understanding Programs

What Can You Go to Rehab For? A Clear Guide to Understanding Programs

By 
Kayla Gill
|
 January 24th, 2024|   Clinically Reviewed by 
Rajnandini Rathod

When you think of rehab, you likely think of addiction treatment—but its benefits extend far beyond that. It’s a refuge for people facing a wide range of struggles, from overcoming substance abuse, to managing mental health disorders, to reclaiming control over destructive behaviors. 

Rehab is a safe space to rebuild, rediscover, and ultimately, become the best version of yourself. It’s not about stigma or shame; it’s about acknowledging your need for help and taking the brave step toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. Sometimes, the most empowering journey begins with admitting you need a guide.

Choosing the right program depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Here’s what you can expect at rehab for substance abuse, behavioral addictions, and mental health conditions: 

Substance Abuse and Addiction

Rehab for Alcohol Use Disorder

For those struggling with alcohol dependence, rehab offers a safe haven for recovery. The journey often begins with detox, a medically supervised process where the body rids itself of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications, so this stage requires professional care and medication support.

Once stable, individuals have two primary program options: inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient programs provide 24/7, structured support in a residential setting, ideal for those who need intensive therapy and relapse prevention strategies. In outpatient programs, patients live at home and attend an intensive therapy schedule, allowing them to maintain their work and family commitments. Both options typically include individual and group therapy to address underlying causes of addiction and develop new coping skills.

Rehab for Drug Addiction

Rehab programs address specific drug types to maximize effectiveness. Here’s a glimpse into different approaches:

  • Opioids (heroin, prescription painkillers): Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with medications like methadone or buprenorphine, combined with therapy, helps combat cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine): Behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) address underlying triggers and cravings. Your rehab might also use medication support for co-occurring mental health conditions.
  • Depressants (benzodiazepines, barbiturates): Withdrawal from these substances can be dangerous, and tapering medication under medical supervision1 is crucial. After detox, you’ll attend therapy to address psychological dependence.
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin): Because hallucinogens are not physically addictive,2 the primary focus is on psychotherapy. Rehabs may use specific treatments to address cognitive issues from prolonged use.
  • Marijuana: Mindfulness-based therapies and CBT are effective for managing cravings and preventing relapse.
  • Club drugs (MDMA, GHB): Individualized programs address the complex factors that affect use, often incorporating therapy and harm reduction strategies to prevent overdose and promote safer behaviors.

Rehab for Smoking Cessation

Smoking cessation rehabs offer structured support, behavioral therapies, and medication (as needed) to guide you through withdrawal, identify triggers, and break free from nicotine addiction. Many of these centers can also help you quit vaping.    

Note that these are general ideas of what programs entail. When you begin treatment, your clinical team will perform an assessment and create a treatment plan to address your needs. 

Mental Health Disorders

While you might associate “rehab” with addiction, intensive treatment programs exist for a range of mental health disorders, too.

Rehab for Depression

Rehabs use a combination of psychotherapies like CBT to disrupt negative thought patterns, medication management (if needed), and lifestyle adjustments like exercise and sleep hygiene. Together, these can effectively combat the darkness of depression and pave the way for an easier relationship with life.

Rehab for Anxiety Disorders

A number of treatment options can help with anxiety. Exposure therapy, for example, helps patients face their fears in a safe environment, gradually teaching them to manage anxiety with confidence. Relaxation techniques like meditation and mindfulness further equip you with self-soothing tools for everyday life.

Rehab for PTSD

Trauma-focused therapies, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), allow patients to safely process traumatic memories and reframe their emotional response. This, coupled with supportive therapy and stress management techniques, empowers people struggling with PTSD to move beyond the grip of the past and reclaim the present.

Mental health professionals can guide you in identifying what you need for your unique journey. A comprehensive assessment by your rehab’s clinical team can help you create the most effective treatment plan.

Behavioral Addictions

Beyond substance dependence, rehab also includes support for those struggling with behavioral addictions. 

Rehab for Gambling Addiction

Individual therapy helps gamblers address thinking patterns around wins and losses, while support groups encourage accountability and build relapse prevention strategies. Behavioral therapies like exposure and response prevention (ERP)3 help patients manage urges and impulsivity.

Rehab for Internet Addiction

Digital detox programs provide a structured separation from screens, followed by therapy to address motivations and triggers for excessive online behavior. Patients also learn digital hygiene techniques and develop new interests to create a balanced relationship with technology.

Eating Disorders

Rehab for eating disorders offers a sanctuary for healing, plus tailored treatment to address the unique challenges of each condition:

Rehab for Anorexia Nervosa

Intensive nutritional therapy and meal support ensure physical stabilization, while individual counseling helps patients work through distorted body image and unhealthy eating patterns. Group therapy, where patients connect with peers facing similar challenges, further supports the journey to healthier body acceptance.

Rehab for Bulimia Nervosa

Addressing the cycle of binging and purging is critical to your health. Rehabs might use medication to control impulsive behaviors, plus therapy to manage underlying anxieties. Patients also learn healthy coping skills and build a more positive relationship with food.

Rehab for Binge Eating Disorder

Mindfulness-based therapies empower patients to identify emotional triggers for binges and develop alternative coping strategies. Nutritional counseling encourages balanced eating habits while addressing body image and self-esteem.

Eating disorders are complex, and effective treatment programs will personalize interventions based on their severity. Professional guidance is important to effectively heal from these harmful behaviors.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance abuse and mental health conditions often go hand-in-hand, worsening each other in a vicious cycle. For those struggling with anxiety or depression, drugs might seem like a temporary escape, offering a relief from overwhelming emotions. But addiction further depletes mental resources, intensifies anxieties, and fuels depression, digging a deep hole that feels increasingly difficult to get out of. 

It’s important to find a specialized program that can treat co-occurring disorders simultaneously, as treating only one condition won’t completely address the problem. A truly comprehensive approach is the key to long-term recovery.

How to Choose the Right Rehab Program

Your background, mental health history, and preferences are unique to you—and your rehab program should work for what you need. To find a provider that meets your needs, browse our list of rehabs to search by location, conditions treated, treatment approach, and more. 

Once you have a shortlist, contact centers directly. Their admissions team can provide an initial assessment and answer any questions you have. 

Congratulations on taking the first step toward a better life!


What Substances and Conditions Can You Go to Rehab For? Frequently Asked Questions

Can you go to rehab for weed?

Yes, you can go to rehab for weed addiction. While not as physically addictive as some substances, marijuana can lead to dependence and interfere with daily life. Rehab programs for marijuana often use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based approaches to address cravings and help you quit, or build a healthier relationship with weed.

Can you go to rehab for nicotine?

Yes, you can attend rehab for nicotine addiction. Smoking cessation rehabs provide structured support, behavioral therapies, and medication as needed. These programs can guide you through nicotine withdrawal, help you identify triggers, and support you in breaking free from the addictive cycle. Quitting smoking is a significant step toward a healthier life!

Can you go to rehab for depression?

Yes, rehab is a great option if you want a recovery-focused environment and intensive therapy to treat your depression. Depression treatment programs use a combination of psychotherapies, medication, and lifestyle changes. These comprehensive approaches help disrupt negative thought patterns, manage symptoms, and pave the way for an improved relationship with life. 


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