What To Expect At A New York Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center

If you are ready to move forward from addiction into recovery, you might be wondering what to expect when you enroll in a New York drug and alcohol treatment center. Simply put, you will be entering into a safe, compassionate space filled with leading professionals who want to assist you in your recovery, and peers who are experiencing a similar journey. You can receive a safe detox in a comfortable environment and then progress into the rehabilitation portion to learn how to break destructive patterns and work through any unresolved issues. 

Once you have committed to the idea of drug and/or alcohol treatment, you will be taken through a comprehensive evaluation that allows the staff to better understand your unique situation, history, and needs. Using this information, a detailed and personalized treatment protocol will be created that will address the specific areas needed to help you recover. 

What To Expect During Rehab

Although everyone enters rehab with different addictions and histories, the basic format of rehab is similar for each person. For residential programs, days begin early with a nutritious breakfast and some sort of exercise, reflection time, or group therapy session. Certain activities and events may be planned throughout each day, depending on rehab program, in addition to one-on-one therapy, a healthy lunch and dinner, fitness and nutrition options, and alternative forms of therapy such as music or art. 

With outpatient rehab1 options, you can expect to visit the rehab facility daily for therapy sessions – both group and one-on-one, extracurricular activities, speaker sessions and more. You’ll likely notice that rehab programs run on a tight schedule and focus on nutritional and mental health – this is due to the fact that many people who are living with addiction fall out of touch with responsibilities and schedules, and tend to not take care of their physical or mental health. By rebuilding these habits once again, you will find it easier to transition to a non-rehab environment once your program is over. 

How Long Does Rehab Last?

One of the most common questions when it comes to treatment is how long does rehab last. There is not one right answer that works for everyone when it comes to program length. Some of the most popular drug and alcohol rehab program lengths are 30, 60, and 90 days, however, some programs can last from six months to a year or more. Program lengths are typically determined by the cost of the program, type of addiction,their specific needs, and if someone has been to rehab in the past. Usually, when someone has relapsed or been to rehab multiple times, longer programs are recommended. In addition, studies show that people who are immersed in a drug and alcohol rehab for more than 90 days, show greater percentages of abstinence and recovery once they leave the program. 

What Does The Average Day Look Like While In Rehab?

When in rehab, you can expect to wake up and start your day early with a nutritious meal, some prayer, reflection or meditation time, and then a group session or activity. As the day progresses, group and one-on-one counseling sessions typically take place, in addition to eating a healthy lunch and dinner. Depending on the rehab treatment center in New York you attend, you may engage in extracurricular activities, fitness options, special events, and have a designated amount of personal time allotted to you. Rehab environments, such as those found at Garden Heights, are intensive and kept on tight schedules in order to keep you active and engaged, and your mind off of drugs and alcohol. 

What Type of Therapy Happens At Rehab?

Various types of therapy are used when you attend a drug or alcohol rehab, such as psychotherapy, biofeedback, and potentially alternatives therapy such as acupuncture, or massage (each rehab will have its own protocols for specific therapies used). Multiple types of therapy3 are used in drug and alcohol treatment because they each have their own methods and specific purpose. Some therapies distinctly focus on the mind, while others focus on the body or a combination of both. The goals of these therapy types is to help you recognize and rebuild negative behaviors, break destructive patterns, reduce anxiety and stress, and/or to help the therapist recognize any mental health disorders that may be occurring alongside an addiction. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an important part of the drug and alcohol rehab process. It fulfills our basic need as humans to connect with one another while actively participating in listening to others stories, hearing a different perspective to common struggles, and sharing our own stories in a safe, comfortable environment. In rehab, group therapy is used to enhance one’s communication and socialization skills, and to help individuals express themselves and also learn how to better accept criticisms. Many people in rehab report that group therapy helped them find their voice while in recovery while also helping them feel less alone and isolated. 

One on One Therapy

With one-on-one therapy, you will be working privately with a therapist each week while in rehab. Depending on the rehab program length you agreed upon, you will need to fulfill a specific number of individual counseling sessions. While each addiction treatment counselor has his or her own approach to therapy, similar therapies are used when treating someone, including:

  • Emotive behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Rational behavior therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy and more

You may already be familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy, as it is the most commonly used therapy in the addiction treatment environment. While in therapy, you and your counselor will explore your behaviors, self-concepts and beliefs. You may be assigned “homework” such as keeping a journal, setting a list of goals, or reading certain passages from a selected book. Your therapist will be one of the closet relationships you may form during rehab, so take advantage of your time during each session and use what you learn as you pursue sobriety.

Sober Friendly Attractions near New York

When you attend a drug and alcohol treatment center in New York, you will have countless sober activities and events to enjoy when you have personal/free time from your rehab schedule. For culture and history buffs, New York has dozens of world-famous museums to take advantage of, in addition to renowned tourist attractions such as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. 

If you want to spend some time exploring outdoors, spend the day at Central Park or take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. You can typically find an abundance of outdoor concerts in New York when the weather is nice. Indoor shows are also a great way to spend the day, happening on Broadway or in the nearby areas. Treat yourself to famous headliners such as Chicago, Rent, Hairspray and Cats, or take in a comedy or burlesque show off Broadway. 

Last but certainly not least is the abundance of eateries located in and around New York. No matter your taste in food, you are sure to find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and pop up shops that will quench your appetite. Be sure to grab a slice of pizza or treat yourself to a donut – two of New York’s most famous foods. 

Whatever you choose, you can spend a fun and substance-free day exploring the amazing city of New York, enjoying attractions and events with a clear and sober mindset. Begin your journey to recovery now with help from Garden Heights and enjoy all that life has to offer you. Reach out today at 877-649-0440.



  1. McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D., Dougherty, R., Daniels, A., Ghose, S. and Delphin-Rittmon, M., 2020. Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing The Evidence.
  2. Treatment, C., 2020. 6 Traditional Settings And Models. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64182/> [Accessed 4 March 2020].
  3. Drugabuse.gov. 2020. Behavioral Therapies. [online] Available at: <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies> [Accessed 4 March 2020].