If you’ve been struggling with addiction and feel like you could use some professional help, you’re likely already asking yourself, “What is rehab like?”

Rehab is a significant commitment, so it helps to have a clear understanding of what you’re committing to.

To boil it down, the time spent in rehab is dedicated to habit breaking and habit making. The point is to spend enough time with people who are struggling like you to help forge a new way of living that you can continue in the real world.

What you experience day-to-day at rehab will vary somewhat in each facility, but they are consistent in providing structured days with the sole focus on breaking the cycle of addiction.

At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier habits and build a life in long term recovery.

Click to learn more.

Here’s what you can expect.


This will vary from rehab to rehab, but as a general guideline, standard daily activities will follow a schedule that looks like this:

7:00 a.m. Breakfast

  • 8:00 a.m. Physical therapy, which can include light exercise, yoga, or meditation.
  • 10:00 a.m. First therapy session. This will be a time for group or individual therapy
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. Group or individual therapy sessions. Whichever wasn’t done in the morning
  • 3:00 p.m. Recovery. This can involve any number of activities but the focus is on helping clients understand their addiction and ways to conquer it.
  • 4:00 p.m. Alternative therapy
  • 5:00 p.m. Dinner
  • 6:00 p.m. 12-step meetings
  • 7:00 p.m. Free time. Clients will have a number of healthy activities to choose from, including reading, journaling, physical exercise, music, movies, or just hanging out with other members.
  • 10:00 p.m. Lights out.

Having a consistent schedule is crucial to developing a healthy lifestyle. By creating a certain level of predictability in daily life, you’ll be reducing the risk of unwanted triggers.

What’s especially important is getting used to going to a 12-step meeting every day. This is often one of the only things most people will do for their sobriety once they leave rehab, so getting used to regular meetings can be incredibly helpful.


Therapies are thought of as the lifeblood of recovery programs. They give clients a greater understanding of themselves and their addiction. Few clinics will utilize every single one of these therapies, but every clinic will rely on at least one of them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is individual therapy and is one of the most popular methods for treating unwanted behaviors, such as addiction, depression, and anxiety.

CBT was developed around the idea that we have automatic thoughts that influence our actions that we aren’t fully aware of. Those automatic thoughts are learned and can be unlearned.

The end goal of CBT is to replace automatic negative thoughts that trigger destructive behavior with healthy responses to drastically improve your quality of life.

Group Therapy

With group therapy, people with similar addictions and illnesses will be brought together to talk about their lives — specifically, about how addiction has affected their lives.

These sessions help everyone feel a sense of camaraderie with each other. Knowing that you aren’t alone in your addiction and developing a support system with your peers is an essential part of creating lasting changes.

Family Therapy

While developing a support system of peers is helpful, including healthy family members in your life is an irreplaceable part of recovery, especially for when you transition back to your normal life

Family therapy can be as simple as just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company, or allowing them to be intimately involved in understanding the full recovery process.

Individual Specific Therapy

These are therapy sessions that will focus on the individual needs of each client. These could be anything from anger management to stress management to grief counseling.

These sessions will focus on developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with the specific stressors that trigger you to use or drink.

Alternative Therapy

Most clinics will have a few therapies that combine therapy with fun. This could be music therapy, art therapy, or equine therapy, among many others.

One increasingly popular alternative therapy is adventure therapy. Clinics use high-octane, low-risk activities such as kayaking, camping, and whitewater rafting to provide healing and stimulation for their clients.

The 12 Steps

Most, but not all, rehab facilities will focus on some sort of 12-step program for recovery. There will be time allotted every day for clients to go to in-house meetings (run by outside groups or by the clients themselves), learn and understand the steps, and work on whatever step they’re on (for example, filling out worksheets for your 4th step).

12-step programs are all spiritually based, but some provide secular alternatives to accommodate all types of clients.

Free Time

Clients should expect at least 3-4 hours of personal time on a daily basis. Most rehabs will have a number of healthy leisure activities to choose from. Journaling, reading, and exercising are all encouraged.

Free time is one of the most important steps in the recovery process since clients will begin to re-learn how to have fun without the need for harmful substances.

Developing healthy social and personal habits begins with your leisure time at rehab.

How Long is Rehab?

While the length of rehab will be based on the individual needs of each client, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends 90 days of treatment in order for rehab to be the most effective.

However, in practice, many insurance providers are not willing to pay for even close to that amount of time. It’s much more common that you’ll get 28 days (or even fewer).

This is why many clients choose to go to sober living or IOP (Intensive Outpatient Programs) once they leave rehab — 28 days in rehab is rarely enough to stay sober.

IOP at ASIC Recovery

Are you looking for addiction treatment in Texas? At ASIC recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping you develop healthier coping skills and build a supportive recovery network.

Click to learn more.