Surviving Your First Day of Rehab in New Jersey

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If this is your first time getting ready to go to a New Jersey rehab center, you are probably extremely nervous and a little scared. You might be anxious about leaving behind drugs and alcohol and uncertain about what the future holds.

Going to rehab is overwhelming, but it helps tremendously if you are prepared and if you know what to expect on your first day of rehab. Even though every addiction treatment program is unique, most will follow the same general process on your first day.

Arriving at Rehab: The Intake Process

When you first arrive at the treatment facility you will be greeted by a staff member who will get you started with the intake process. You will be asked to sign paperwork agreeing to your treatment and the rules as well as provide your ID, insurance information, and any other applicable paperwork.

After you have been checked-in by an administrator, you will be brought to an intake area for a baggage and personal items search. Even though it may feel like an invasion of privacy to have someone digging through your belongings, this is essential for your safety and the safety of everyone else at the facility.

A behavioral health technician will search your belongings to make sure you didn’t bring any prohibited items to the rehab facility. This includes, but is not limited to, weapons, drugs, alcohol, aerosol sprays, paraphernalia, and most electronics.

If an item is discovered that is prohibited, it may be discarded, locked away for safe-keeping, or sent home with a family member depending on the nature of the item and your situation. However, you can make your first day of rehab a lot easier by asking the treatment center what you should bring to rehab before you arrive.

Physical and Psychological Assessment

The best addiction treatment centers in New Jersey are those that offer individualized treatment plans that are tailored to meet your individual needs. As a result, it’s important that the clinical team spends time learning about your health and your substance abuse history to better help them develop a treatment plan.

After you have been cleared to enter the facility and the intake process is complete, you will meet with a doctor and a psychiatrist for your assessment/evaluation. You will be asked a series of questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, what medications you are taking, your substance abuse history, and any other relevant medical information. A psychiatrist will also evaluate your mental state.

You may also be asked to provide blood and urine samples as well as undergo a general physical exam to evaluate your physical health and make sure no medical care is needed. Then, the clinical team will work together to curate a customized treatment plan that targets your individual needs.

Getting Settled on Your First Day of Rehab

Your first day of addiction treatment isn’t supposed to be terribly overwhelming. While you may get invited to attend a group therapy session if there is enough time left in the day, you may not be required to participate.

Instead, most rehab centers will give you a tour of the facility and let you settle into your room after you finish your initial assessment. This may also depend on how you are feeling – if you are sick from withdrawal, you will be allowed to relax. If you are feeling well and have finished detox, there is no reason for you to not make the most of your time and attend a therapy session.

After your assessment, a staff member will give you a brief tour of the clinical building. You will learn where the therapy sessions are held, where your therapist’s office is, where the doctors and nurses station is located, and what the general rules are.

You will also be taken to the living quarters to learn where you will be staying for the duration of your treatment. You will get to see your room, meet your roommates, and begin unpacking your items in your bedroom.

Toward the end of the day, the rehab facility may bring in a 12-Step meeting or transport you and the other patients to a 12-Step meeting in the community. This is a great way for you to get introduced to the local recovery community on your first day.

Find a New Jersey Rehab Center Today

At New Jersey Addiction Interventions, we know just how overwhelming and scary it can be to go to rehab. However, we also know that a quality rehab center with compassionate staff members can make all the difference in helping you feel safe and welcome at treatment. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you find an addiction treatment center that is right for you.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction and are ready to begin on the road to recovery, contact one of our dedicated treatment providers today.

Medically Reviewed: March 5, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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