In the intake they went through my belongings and made sure that I was not taking in any drugs, weapons, books, etc. The books we were allowed to read while in the program were AA and NA type literature and not novels or other reading materials. They pretty much wanted us to focus on recovery while we were there.
I was upset when I got to the facility and the doctor there informed me they would be taking away my Klonopin. I had not abused it, I thought, and so could not understand the need for this. He told me that addicts will abuse pretty much any drug that changes their mood, and that Klonopin could indeed change my moods and be addictive.
I had a roommate, another woman who was coming off of heroin .The room was clean and plain, pretty much like you would expect in a hospital environment, even though the treatment center was not a hospital. We were kept busy day and night. We had three good meals a day. We attended morning devotions, lectures, AA and NA meetings, group therapy, and individual therapy. We did have some free time in the evenings, but even that was spent in a group watching movies, or eating pizza or some other treat.
We were not allowed to have sugar or caffeine and for me this was an additional hassle because I am a heavy user of both. I was especially unhappy about the caffeine part. We were allowed to go outside on a patio with supervision, and smoke a few times a day. Not all treatment facilities will allow this. They kept the cigarettes and lighters behind a desk and these were locked up.
The staff there was made up of doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, and aides. Many of the people on staff were in recovery themselves and this helped me to feel safe. I did not feel judged by the staff, rather I believed they really wanted to help me. Some of them were stricter on the rules than others. Some had a sense of humor, some of them…not so much.
My only complaint about the place I went to was that in the beginning they told me they thought I was “pretty sick” and needed to stay at least 30 days. Then they checked my insurance. I was told how much better I was doing and that a short term stay would be fine for me. They recommended that I do 90 AA meetings in 90 days and released me five days into my stay. While I was a little upset at first, this has turned out to be a true blessing for me. I have been sober and clean now for 7 years. I credit most of that to my twelve step program but had I not had that initial treatment, I might not have followed through.
My advice if you have a chance to go to treatment is go. Listen, pay attention, take their suggestions, focus on yourself and not on other people. Learn about your illness and what you have to do to take care of yourself.