A Day in the Life of Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The fear of the unknown prevents many drug addicts and alcoholics from checking into rehab. They are afraid of what could lie ahead of them.

They also worry about relinquishing control over their daily lives to people they do not know. When you find yourself in this situation, you could be convinced to check into a recovery center by learning first what a typical day in rehab is like.

Wake Up and Breakfast

When you are in rehab, you can expect to be woke up at a fairly early hour. Most facilities require patients to be out of bed by at least 8:00 in the morning. They are expected to be showered and ready for the day well before they are actually served breakfast.

Breakfast is served around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. Depending on your particular health and dietary needs, you can expect to be served a variety of foods at this meal including eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, and gravy. Most rehab facilities also offer decaf coffee and tea, orange juice, and water for patients. They typically do not offer caffeinated beverages to prevent anxiety and nervousness.

Breakfast may last for a half hour to an hour. After it is finished, you will move onto the morning’s activities.

Meditation and Morning Meetings

Many rehab facilities encourage patients to meditate first thing in the morning after breakfast. You might take part in a guided meditation led by a therapist or counselor. You also may be allowed to meditate privately. Meditation calms the mind and body and helps you be more focused for the upcoming day’s activities and therapies.

Many patients also meet with their medical teams during the morning after breakfast. You could meet with your psychiatrist and primary care doctor assigned to you during your stay. They will check your vital statistics and also make sure you are tolerating any medications prescribed to you.

The meetings with your doctor and psychiatrist can last for up to an hour each. You may meet with them daily or every other day depending on your health and overall recovery goals.


After you finish your meditation and morning meetings, you will take a break for lunch. Lunch is typically one of the lighter meals of the day. It may include fare like sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit and vegetables, cold sides like cottage cheese or potato salad, and a dessert like cookies or a brownie.

Like breakfast, lunch may last around 30 to 60 minutes. If necessary, you may be given your day’s medications with this meal. If you have health concerns like high blood pressure, you also may have your vital statistics checked again by the nurses after you eat lunch.

Daily Therapy

After lunch, you can expect to begin that day’s therapy activities. As a patient, you will more than likely be required to take part in individual counseling. You will meet with a therapist who will counsel you and help you work out emotional, mental, and physical traumas you previously endured.

You also may be expected to participate in group therapy sessions. Group therapy gives you the chance to hear the stories of people who have gone through experiences like yours. You may find inspiration at hearing their recovery efforts and also take consolation in the fact you are not going through this struggle alone.

You also will have a chance to share your own stories and gain empathy from others in the group. Your individual and group therapy sessions may last two to three hours total.

Other therapies you might undergo as a patient include:

  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Biofeedback and body scans

This part of the day may also be a time when you get to engage in physical activities and exercises like:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis

As the afternoon comes to an end, you will get ready for dinner and relaxation time.

Dinner and Relaxation Time

Dinner is usually served around 6:00 p.m. and consists of a fuller meal to keep you satisfied until morning. After dinner, you will be allowed time to relax, play games, and visit with family and friends during visiting hours. Relaxation time comes to an end around 10:00 p.m., which after that time you will be expected to go to bed for the evening.

Knowing what a typical day in rehab is like could put your mind at ease. You may feel more ready to check yourself in and undergo treatment at a recovery center. Call one of our counselors today at 770-299-1677.