​​How Does Rehab Work?

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How does rehab work is a common question. Data from NSDUH 2022 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) reveal that over 46 million people required treatment for substance use disorders in that year. Rehab offers a structured approach aimed at providing those battling addiction with the tools they need for long-term management of addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit narcotics. It typically includes both medical interventions and behavioral therapies blended with holistic therapies. Read on to learn more about how rehab works and find out how to engage with science-backed treatment.

Rehab Treatment Programs

Rehabilitation programs are designed to help people grappling with substance use disorders – the clinical descriptor for addictions – offering a pathway to a healthier, fulfilling, and substance-free life. Given the complexity of addictions, a variety of treatment modalities are available to address these issues. Rehab programs aim to support people with addictions in achieving and maintaining recovery.

These programs often offer a degree of customization to meet the specific needs of each participant. Typically, rehab includes a mix of detoxification processes, individual and group therapy sessions focused on substance use, education on preventing relapse, and planning for aftercare to promote long-term recovery.

There are two main categories of rehab:

  1. Residential or inpatient rehab: This type of treatment provides around-the-clock care and supervision by healthcare professionals in a live-in facility. Residential rehab is normally indicated for individuals with severe addictions or co-occurring mental health conditions, offering an intensive care level in a trigger-free environment.
  2. Outpatient rehab: While offering similar therapeutic services as inpatient programs, outpatient rehab enables people to return home after daily treatment sessions. The intensity of outpatient programs can vary, from low-frequency meetings a couple of times a week to intensive outpatient programs requiring several hours of therapy each day.
group high fiving representing How does outpatient rehab work

How Does Outpatient Rehab Work?

For anyone wondering “How does outpatient alcohol rehab work” or “How does outpatient drug rehab work”, this form of addiction treatment allows people to engage with treatment for substance use disorders while living at home and maintaining everyday commitments. This model of rehabilitation is structured around the person’s schedule, offering flexibility while maintaining a focus on recovery. Outpatient programs can vary in intensity and duration, but all aim to provide therapeutic support through:

  • Scheduled therapy sessions: People attend regular therapy sessions, which may include individual counseling, group therapy, and family counseling. These sessions are designed to address the psychological components of addiction, helping people understand their triggers and develop coping strategies.
  • Education on substance abuse: Participants receive education on the physical and psychological effects of addictive substances, enhancing their understanding of substance use disorders.
  • Relapse prevention training: Programs often include training to help people recognize the signs of relapse and take proactive steps to maintain sobriety.
  • Flexibility for daily life: Outpatient rehab enables individuals to integrate treatment into their daily lives, making it possible to maintain personal and professional responsibilities while seeking help.
  • Aftercare and support: Upon completion, most outpatient rehab programs offer ongoing support and aftercare planning to ensure a smooth transition into long-term recovery.

How Does Inpatient Rehab Work?

Inpatient, or residential, rehab offers a more intensive treatment experience for those with severe or chronic addictions. In this setting, patients live at the treatment facility, providing a structured and supportive environment away from daily stressors and triggers. Key components of inpatient rehab include:

  • 24-hour supervised care: Individuals have access to continuous support and medical supervision, ensuring safety and comfort during the detoxification process and throughout treatment.
  • Comprehensive treatment plan: Upon admission, a personalized treatment plan is developed, addressing not only the addiction but also any co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • Therapeutic activities: In addition to therapy sessions, inpatient programs offer a range of activities designed to promote healing and wellness, including physical fitness, nutritional counseling, and holistic therapies like meditation, mindfulness, or yoga.
  • Community living: Individuals live in a community setting with others in recovery, promoting a sense of solidarity and mutual support that is highly beneficial for long-term sobriety.
  • Intensive therapy: The immersive nature of inpatient rehab allows for a deeper exploration of the root causes of addiction, with various therapy models employed, including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), and other forms of talk therapy or motivational therapy.
  • Aftercare planning: Before discharge, staff work with individuals to develop a comprehensive aftercare plan, which may include recommendations for ongoing therapy, support groups, and strategies for relapse prevention.

Both outpatient and inpatient rehab programs are vital components of the addiction treatment spectrum, offering different levels on a continuum of care to meet the diverse needs of those seeking recovery.

How Does Getting Insurance to Cover Rehab Work?

Navigating insurance coverage for rehabilitation services can seem overwhelming, but understanding the process can help ease the journey to recovery. Most health insurance plans offer some level of coverage for substance use disorder treatment, including detoxification, outpatient, and inpatient rehab programs. Here’s how to go about accessing your insurance benefits for rehab:

  • Understand your insurance policy: Start by reviewing your insurance policy’s summary of benefits. Look for sections related to mental health and substance use disorder treatment to understand what types of rehab services are covered. Familiarize yourself with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires health insurance plans to provide the same level of benefits for addiction treatment as they do for medical or surgical care.
  • Verify coverage: Reach out to your insurance company directly (via the customer service number on your insurance card) to inquire about your specific coverage. Ask about any deductibles, co-payments, or out-of-pocket maximums. Some treatments may require pre-authorization from your insurance provider. This means that the treatment facility will need to submit a request to your insurance company proving the necessity of the treatment before you can begin.
  • Choosing a rehab facility: Determine whether the rehab facility is in-network (contracted with your insurance provider) or out-of-network. In-network providers usually offer services at a lower cost to you. Have the rehab facility verify your insurance coverage. Many facilities will perform this step for you, confirming what services are covered and any potential out-of-pocket costs.
  • Documentation and claims: Maintain detailed records of all treatments, communications with your insurance provider, and any receipts or bills. These documents can be beneficial for disputing any denied coverage or for tax purposes. If you are required to pay upfront for services, you may need to submit claims to your insurance company for reimbursement. Ensure that you fill out all necessary forms accurately and provide any requested documentation.
  • Appealing denials: If your claim is denied or coverage is less than expected, you have the right to appeal the decision. Your insurance provider must provide a reason for the denial, and they should outline the appeals process in their documentation. Consider seeking help from a healthcare advocate or legal advisor if navigating the appeals process becomes overwhelming.

By taking these steps, you can access the necessary treatment for recovery with a clearer understanding of your financial responsibilities.


How does drug rehab work?

Drug rehab involves a comprehensive approach that includes detoxification to manage withdrawal symptoms, counseling and behavioral therapies to address the psychological aspect of addiction, and support mechanisms to promote sustained recovery after discharge. The goal of drug rehab is to help people stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and improve functioning at home and work.

How does alcohol rehab work?

Alcohol rehab works by providing a structured treatment program that includes detoxification to manage alcohol withdrawal, counseling and therapy to address the root causes of alcohol addiction, and support groups to encourage ongoing sobriety. Alcohol rehab aims to equip people with the skills they need to achieve and maintain abstinence from alcohol.

How often does rehab work?

The success rate of rehab varies depending on variables that include individual commitment to recovery, the type of substance abuse, the strength of the person’s support system, and the quality of the rehab program. While relapse is a common aspect of recovery, many people achieve long-term sobriety and improved quality of life after completing a rehab program. Continuous engagement with recovery activities is central to maintaining long-term sobriety.

ohio recovery centers facility from curb view, representing How does outpatient rehab work

Get Effective Rehab for Drug & Alcohol Addiction at Ohio Recovery

If you have been looking for effective and evidence-based addiction treatment near you, reach out to Ohio Recovery Centers.

We treat drug and alcohol addictions in an outpatient setting, enabling you to pursue your recovery without neglecting your everyday commitments. For those who require a more structured approach to recovery, we also offer intensive outpatient programs.

All Ohio Recovery treatment programs deliver targeted and science-based treatments. Access a personalized blend of medication-assisted treatment, motivational therapies, talk therapies, counseling, and holistic interventions for a whole-body approach to addiction recovery.Call 877-679-2132 for immediate assistance in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Table of Contents

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn