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What Happens In Rehab?

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Medically Reviewed By: Ashley Levin

Clinical Director

Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people all over the world. It’s a chronic disorder characterized by compulsive substance abuse despite negative consequences. Fortunately, many with addictions eventually decide to enter treatment when they come to accept that they have a problem. They understand that their addiction will ruin or even end their life.

The decision to enter therapy can be daunting. They may wonder “What happens in rehab?” At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand everyone has a unique story. Therefore, our approach to recovery is based on each client’s individual needs.

What is Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

Rehab centers are uniquely equipped to help individuals struggling with addiction achieve lasting sobriety. A rehab center treats addiction by providing personalized care and support. They use evidence-based therapies to give individuals the tools they need to recognize their triggers, and manage cravings. They also learn how to develop healthier coping mechanisms for managing stressors in their life. Through this personalized approach to treatment, rehab centers promote long-term recovery and improved quality of life.

Treatment occurs in a residential setting where clients receive 24/7 care and support from experienced professionals. In addition to providing around-the-clock monitoring, rehab centers also offer evidence-based therapeutic interventions. The goal of these addiction treatments is to help individuals recognize their triggers for substance use. Afterward, they learn to develop the skills needed to resist temptation and manage cravings in the long term.

Additionally, rehab centers provide relapse prevention strategies and aftercare planning to ensure smooth transitions back home. Aftercare typically includes follow-up visits with a therapist and regular attendance at 12-Step meetings. There are also sober living homes, or outpatient treatment programs. Staying connected to an addiction support network helps individuals stay motivated and on track with their recovery goals. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we successfully treat drug and alcohol addiction as well as dual diagnosis disorders.

Rehab For Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing mental health disorder that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and continued use despite harmful consequences. Also, there is an inability to stop using drugs even when an individual wants to. Drug addiction not only affects individuals’ physical and mental health, but it can also cause serious social, legal, and financial repercussions. 

Over time, drug use alters the brain’s reward pathways and inhibitory control centers. Therefore, it is difficult for individuals to resist cravings or make rational decisions regarding their substance use. As a result, individuals in active addiction often prioritize obtaining and using drugs over other essential activities such as work, family, recreation, and health.

Eventually, addiction completely takes over every aspect of someone’s life including: 

  • Physically: Long-term drug abuse damages internal organs such as the heart and lungs, as well as weakening the immune system. Moreover, there is the risk of overdose and death.
  • Psychologically: Drug addiction leads to impaired judgment, distorted perception of reality, poor decision-making skills, memory recall, depression, anxiety, increased risk of suicide, or personality changes. 
  • Financially: Prolonged substance use can cause job loss due to decreased productivity at work or frequent absences from work. Sadly, addiction can also lead to homelessness.
  • Socially: Substance abuse increases an individual’s risk of legal issues due to criminal activities related to obtaining drugs, and endangerment of others.

Due to its potentially devastating effects on an individual’s life, it is important for individuals struggling with drug addiction to seek professional help at a specialized treatment center to take back control of their lives. Typically, rehab begins with detox to rid the body of toxins. Then, our clinical team guides each individual through their personalized treatment plan based on their unique needs.

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Visit the admissions page at Pacific Sands Recovery today to learn more about drug rehab.

Rehab for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a mental health disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to drink excessive amounts of alcohol despite the risks associated with it. Alcohol addiction can be a difficult condition to recognize. Many people do not admit to having a problem or may minimize their drinking behavior. Often, family members become aware that something is wrong before the individual does. 

Signs of an alcohol use disorder may include: 

  • Repeatedly drinking more than intended
  • Trying unsuccessfully to cut back on drinking 
  • Neglecting responsibilities due to drinking 
  • Using alcohol in dangerous situations such as driving after drinking 
  • Continuing to drink despite relationship problems caused by drinking

Long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to serious health problems such as liver damage and nervous system damage. Treatment for alcohol addiction typically includes medications, counseling, and lifestyle changes. Recovery from alcohol addiction requires commitment and dedication. However, with the proper support, it is possible to live a healthy and productive life free from alcohol. 

When friends and family suspect someone they care about has a problem with alcohol, encouraging them to seek help is essential. It is also beneficial to learn more about addiction and what happens at rehab to provide support to them. Professional treatment can help them develop coping strategies to manage cravings and learn how to make healthier choices. 

The recovery process for alcohol addiction is unique for each individual, but some common components are typically included in treatment programs. These include detoxification, psychotherapy, group therapy, relapse prevention, and aftercare planning. Treatment can also involve medications such as antidepressants or medications that reduce cravings.

Rehab For Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, is a term used to describe when an individual suffers from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. This condition is characterized by two distinct diagnoses, one related to substance abuse and another related to a psychiatric disorder. Common mental health disorders associated with dual diagnosis include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. 

Individuals who suffer from dual diagnosis often find it difficult to manage their symptoms without professional help since they are dealing with two complex and intertwined conditions. Treatment typically involves an integrated approach that combines medications, counseling, lifestyle changes, and other therapies. These treatments address both substance abuse and mental health disorders simultaneously. 

It is important to note that dual diagnosis can be challenging to diagnose due to overlapping symptoms of both disorders. In some cases, it may take multiple assessments or evaluations before a proper diagnosis is made. It is also important for those suffering from this condition to receive treatment from clinicians who are experienced in treating people with co-occurring disorders. Our personalized treatment plans detail what happens at rehab for each client based on their specific needs. This includes treatment for dual diagnosis.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Options

Addiction is a complex disease that can affect many areas of a person’s life, and it requires individualized treatments. Treatment should address the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease, as well as the consequences substance use has on different areas of a person’s life. This includes their ability to socialize, their physical and mental health, and consequences at work, home, school, or with the law. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we offer many types of programs and therapy to effectively treat addiction. 


Drug and alcohol detox is a critical first step in the recovery process for individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Detoxification helps to reduce cravings, minimize withdrawal symptoms, and reduce potential triggers that could lead to relapse. It also allows the body to cleanse itself of toxins associated with drug or alcohol abuse while preparing an individual for further treatment such as psychotherapy and lifestyle modifications. 

Residential Addiction Treatment

Pacific Sands Recovery Center offers comprehensive residential addiction treatment for individuals suffering from both substance use disorder and dual diagnosis. The center provides 24-hour medical care and monitoring in a safe, supportive environment that encourages recovery. Clients can benefit from the latest evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and medications as needed to address both the addiction and underlying mental health disorders.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

This program is designed to help individuals progress in their recovery journey while offering the flexibility of being able to remain in their own homes and maintain a supportive environment. The IOP consists of group therapy sessions, individual counseling, and educational lectures. Clients also have access to medication management services and peer support groups. Through this program, clients can make long-term progress in their recovery journey while developing the necessary coping skills needed for lasting sobriety.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses medications, in combination with counseling and other therapeutic techniques, to provide a “whole-person” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications relieve withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings. Research has shown, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects. This evidence-based practice improves the physical and mental health of clients living with a substance use disorder. 

12-Step Programs

The 12-Step program is a set of principles and strategies designed to help individuals who are struggling with addiction. It involves 12 steps that guide the individual through their recovery journey. These help them identify and manage triggers, build a support system, and practice self-care. The 12 steps also provide an opportunity to reflect on how addiction has affected their life and how to move forward in recovery. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we provide ongoing support with the 12-Step program.

Addiction Therapy

If someone has spent time looking to begin addiction treatment, then they’ve probably noticed there are many types of therapy available. Personalizing treatment plans to suit each of our client’s individual needs is how we can give them the best chances at staying sober after they leave rehab. After an initial assessment, our clinicians can further explain therapy options and what happens in rehab.

Some types of therapy offered at Pacific Sands Recovery include:

  • Individual therapy: Everyone’s story is unique to them. Therefore individual psychotherapy is necessary to uncover and understand the thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to substance abuse. With help from a trusted therapist, individuals have an ally who will guide them through this process to reach positive change. Through honest communication about past experiences as well as present feelings and treatment goals, building trust with a therapist is essential for success.
  • Group therapy: A dynamic and supportive form of psychotherapy where individuals unite to tackle challenges like addiction and mental health. Typically, a circle of five to 15 people—all facing similar struggles—provide diverse perspectives and experiences. In this collective journey, fellow members offer understanding, empathy, and practical suggestions to help conquer personal concerns and combat the loneliness often tied to these issues. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy dives deep into the roots of stress, trauma, depression, and anxiety. In this comprehensive approach, CBT plays an important role in helping individuals fight addiction and substance abuse. A CBT therapist’s mission is to work closely with their client, unearthing destructive thoughts, and creating a path toward positivity and mental well-being.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): An evidence-based therapy designed to help individuals with addiction and dual diagnosis manage their symptoms and behaviors. It combines cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness techniques, and other strategies to promote acceptance and change. DBT focuses on helping clients learn new skills such as emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

How Long is Rehab?

Recovery is a lifelong process. The length of rehab depends on several factors. The first involves each client’s unique needs. The second is how long their addiction has gone on, as well as what substances they used. Lastly, depends on the progress they make during treatment and the support system they have in place after rehab.

Many inpatient programs have a minimum stay requirement of 90 days. Most clients stay in treatment between 90 and 120 days after they complete detox. For those with a severe addiction to opioids or alcohol, treatment may last longer. Stays of  six months to a year have been shown to provide more success in staying sober after leaving treatment.

Discover More About What Happens in Rehab at Pacific Sands

At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we strive to provide quality care that addresses the needs of individuals struggling with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis. Our team of professionals understands how difficult it can be for individuals living with these conditions. Accordingly, we offer personalized support through our evidence-based treatments in a safe, supportive environment.

Contact us today to learn more about what happens at rehab and take the first step toward recovery.


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


    Pacific Sands Recovery Center

    1909 W Carlton Pl
    Santa Ana, CA 92704


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      Ashley Levin

      Clinical Director

      Ashley always knew she wanted to be a therapist since she was 13 years old. Ashley believes in helping individuals and families by encouraging openness in communication, restoring trust to self and others, and setting boundaries. Ashley started as an Associate Marriage and Family therapist in 2016 and obtained her license in 2019. Ashley is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Attachment Behavioral Therapist. Ashley has experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of different settings. Ashley obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology from California State University Long Beach in 2013 and received her Masters Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy in 2015.