Drug Addiction Rehabilitation: How Does It Work?

Learn About Addiction Treatment Options and What to Expect

JCAHO Accredited Drug Rehab Treatment Center

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Phases of Drug Addiction Rehabilitation

If you are struggling with drug addiction, it can seem impossible to quit.

Knowing your drug addiction treatment options can be confusing. We can answer any questions.

Ventura Recovery Center provides all levels of care for adult men and women who require drug addiction rehabilitation. Comprehensive pre-admission evaluations and subsequent updates allow us to customize each client’s individual path to recovery. We implement a unique treatment plan for each client that takes into account the severity of the addiction, mental health issues, dietary needs and personal preferences.

A Comprehensive Drug Addiction Treatment Program offers several phases of treatment 

As each person progresses, they “graduate” to a new phase of treatment that is tailored to their personal needs. Someone with only one day of sobriety needs a different level of care than someone with several weeks of sobriety. That’s why each phase is necessary for successful drug addiction treatment.

If you don’t take care of this the most magnificent machine that you will ever be given…where are you going to live?

Karyn Calabrese

Phase One: Medical Detoxification

Medically Supervised Drug Detox

While different drugs require specific protocols, chances are that you will need to go through medically supervised detoxification to clear the body of toxins. Medically supervised detox at Ventura Recovery Center is closely monitored to assure the highest quality care for our clients. Our physician has experience treating those with substance abuse issues.

Comfortable and Secure Drug Withdrawal

Many people fear that the detox phase will be painful or unpleasant. While it is not exactly fun, we strive to make sure that you are comfortable at all times. Rest is a big part of detoxing and we make sure you have a quiet, cozy place to rest and renew. Withdrawal from drugs usually takes about 5-7 days. Sometimes it is a bit longer for alcohol. Our staff supervises each client’s progress as the substances leave the body.

A Clear Body and A Clear Mind

Medications are available to alleviate stress and make the client as comfortable as possible. Our staff addresses any changes in a client’s physical, mental or emotional condition. Because your detoxification progress is so closely monitored, there is little risk of medical complications or relapse. There is really nothing to fear about the detox phase. In the scheme of things it is far less painful than prolonged drug abuse and it’s repercussions.

Other Medications

If you have other prescription medications you need, our staff will make those available to you as well. To keep everyone safe, all medications are kept in a secure place that remains locked at all times.

Phase Two: Residential Inpatient Treatment

Once physical detoxification is achieved, our clients become more active in our program. This is called Inpatient or Residential Treatment. They are still living in a residential home with other clients, but are now consistently attending group therapy, life-skills training, individual therapy sessions, and doing 12 Step work. We help each client find a sponsor to take you through the 12 steps. Clients attend daily AA meetings and start to meet new people in recovery.

It is not all work here at VRC. We often go on excursions. One day we might go for a hike. Another day we all go to the movies. Our clients enjoy gym membership and playing and attending the games like bowling and pickle ball.

Physical exercise is also very important to your healing here at VRC. We offer yoga. We play sports like pickle ball and bowling. We take trips to the beach regularly. Our amazing full time chef offers delicacies all along the way so your stay here is not only productive, but very enjoyable as well.

Everyone is still closely monitored by our staff to ensure everyone’s safety. Co-occurring disorders like PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder and other traumas are treated at this phase. This is commonly called “Dual Diagnosis Treatment.” It means, simply, that mental issues as well as addiction disorders are treated at the same time. We are one of the few drug rehabilitation programs that offer dual diagnosis treatment. It has been proven that treating co-occurring disorders leads to better success rates and less relapse. Treatment here at Ventura Recovery Center is more comprehensive than other treatment programs that do not provide dual diagnosis treatment plans.

Phase Three: Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

When our clients move into PHP, there is still structured, individualized treatment. Clients still attend daily 12 Step meetings. Group therapy and individual therapy are still offered several times a week. Many clients opt for EMDR treatment to minimize past trauma. We also offer CBT and DBT therapy options. We also now offer Neurofeedback services.

Partial Hospitalization also means that our clients enjoy a bit more freedom to engage with the local sober community. There is less need for medical care.

The recovery community is exceedingly strong here in the Conejo Valley. There are dozens of 12 step meetings every day in this area alone. We make sure you have access to these guiding forces through your sponsor and comradery with other people in recovery. We want to make sure you have access to all the resources that we know will get you sober and help you stay that way. We know, because we have been there. It is through community and continued interaction with others in recovery that you will be privy to guidance and a feeling of purpose in your life.

Phase Four: Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

Intensive Outpatient Treatment is the part of your treatment with the least restrictions. While still attending weekly group and individual therapy sessions with VRC clients who are in this phase of development. You will have full access to your phone, your car, and can even start part time employment after 90 days of sobriety!

During the IOP phase you will start transitioning into normal daily living situations. You can start your sober life with the new skills you have learned in therapy and life skills training. New friendships can develop. Your sober mentor will be available for guidance and advice. You will learn new coping skills.

You can explore employment opportunities and spend time with family members. You will essentially start returning to regular life while still interacting with other sober people in recovery. We make sure you have rides to therapy and meetings. We offer daily meals. The living quarters are comfortable and well appointed, with pools and work out rooms.  Many of our clients love this phase and stay in the IOP phase for many months, up to a year. It is an amazing way to transition into your new sober life.

I want to thank everyone at VRC for helping my son through his darkest time to being free of drugs. From detox to residential to intensive outpatient treatment, this place is exceptional! The staff is kind and caring. I will always be grateful to everyone involved at VRC. If you are looking for a place for your son or daughter, look no further than VRC!

Phyllis G.  Los Angeles, CA

Medically Supervised Detox at Ventura Recovery Center

alcoholism recovery help center

Why do I need drug detox?

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and want to recover, you will need detoxification. The toxins that are left in your body after drug or alcohol abuse should be safely removed before you can move to the other phases of recovery. Medically Supervised Drug Detoxification is the safest and easiest way to remove these toxins. We make sure you are healthy and safe by providing nursing care, medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms, and periodic examinations by a licensed physician.

Drug Detoxification is not always pleasant, but it is absolutely necessary. Without this phase, excess toxins remain in the body and cause cravings, emotional and physical pain and other disturbing medical conditions. Without medical supervision, dangerous health complications, emotional upset and relapse are possible. Quitting “cold turkey” can be dangerous and even fatal in some cases. Relapse after partial detox can have grave consequences. The body is no longer used to the doses before the detox phase. Overdosing is a very real danger. That’s why we strongly urge you to detox medically and completely. Our doctor and health professionals supervise the process to ensure a smooth and safe transition into chemical and emotional stability. Once the physical and emotional dependence on the drug is calmed, we can start the next phase of healing.

Detox at Ventura Recovery Center: How It Works

People with substance abuse disorders are often plagued with negative or irrational thought patterns they may not even be aware of. Here are some examples of harmful thinking patterns:

Step 1: Pre-Assessment: Our clients answer important questions about their drug use history with our intake coordinator. This is a completely confidential conversation, as are all interactions at VRC. Your privacy and dignity are jealously guarded here. When we know about your habits and past, we can make an accurate pre-assessment of your detoxification needs and be ready for you when you walk in the door for the first time.

Step 2: On-Site Intake: When you arrive, you will discuss your need in private with our intake staff. We can assess your dietary needs, the necessary level of care, and personalized program of action at this point. Paperwork is signed and you can begin the first phase of your new life.

Step 3: Clinical Evaluation: Our medical staff will visit with you to complete your medical history, physical health, and psychological status. Medications for the easing of withdrawal symptoms are prescribed at this time.

Step 4: Gradual Reduction: Drug type and usage levels determine how long detoxification meds are given and for how long. At a prescribed point in time, the drugs are tapered off. Each person’s experience is unique, so we take great care to make sure your individual needs are met during the withdrawal process.

Step 5: Start Recovery Treatment: Immediately after our client has successfully detoxed, we transition them into residential treatment. It has proven that those who wait for a period between detox and treatment are very likely to relapse. For that reason, we transition our clients as quickly as possible.

Detox FAQ

What is Detox?

Medically supervised detoxification is the first step in a successful addiction treatment program. When someone stops taking drugs or alcohol after a time of being physically dependent, they can experience symptoms of withdrawal. These can be fairly easy to take, like headaches, fatigue, or sweating. Withdrawal symptoms can also be much more serious, like seizures or stroke.

Each person’s body and history is unique, so it is hard to foretell how someone will react to cessation of the drugs they have taken for a prolonged time. That is why it is strongly urged by the medical community that drug detoxification be done while under the care of health professionals. That way, vital signs, physical and emotional symptoms can be closely monitored.

Doesn’t withdrawal hurt? I am afraid to go through detox.

Withdrawal symptoms are easily managed by our staff and licensed physician. We give you medication to counteract stress and anxiety. As time goes by, the symptoms of withdrawal lessen in severity and your return to physical and emotional health can be amazingly quick.

What is detox like at Ventura Recovery Center?

You will have a cozy room in a beautiful residential home. You will be able to rest in peace and quiet. Our staff is on hand to assure your comfort. You will be allowed to heal and renew at your own pace. Our licensed psychiatrist will visit and help with any co-occurring conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD or bipolar disorder.

How long does the detox process last?

Each story is different so there is no hard and fast rule. Usually, with opiates, the detox period is 5-7 days. Alcohol withdrawal can take longer. The length of the detox process depends on several factors:

  1. Drugs Taken: What kind, how much, how often and how as it taken?
  2. Addiction Intensity: How long were they addicted? How did it progress?
  3. Dual Diagnosis: Are there emotional issues like depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder?
inject heroin addiction rehab

Addiction: What is it?

Addiction is a chronic medical condition that occurs when a person cannot control the urge to drink or take drugs, no matter how dire the consequences may be. If someone takes drugs or drinks for so long that the body experiences withdrawal symptoms when the person ceases use, it is called physical dependence. At some point, a person no longer takes the drugs or drinks to “get high.” They are now just trying to feel “normal.” The withdrawal symptoms can become so drastic that they rule a person’s life. Psychological dependence occurs when someone cannot function emotionally without drugs or alcohol. The drugs and alcohol become a psychological “crutch” to help someone get through the day.

Often, when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, no amount of logic or outer influence can make them stop. It seems physically and psychologically impossible. That is why medically supervised detoxification, long term therapies, and learned coping skills are necessary to put addiction behind you.

Addiction doesn’t happen to just certain people. No one is immune to addiction. While some people can abstain or drink moderately, a vast number of Americans struggle with addiction. Some studies say 1 in 10 Americans have an addiction disorder. Addiction affects everyone: all races, economic levels and faiths.

How do you know if you or your loved one is addicted?

If someone experiences three of these problems within a year as a result of taking drugs or drinking alcohol, they are addicted and need treatment.

  1. Greater tolerance: more and more of the drug is needed to achieve the original “high”
  2. Money and resources allocated for basic survival(housing, food, electricity) are used for drugs instead
  3. If someone stops drinking or taking the drugs they experience withdrawal symptoms like:
    • The shakes
    • Nausea
    • Sweats
    • Pains
    • Throwing up
  4. They take more than they originally planned to take
  5. Inability to taper off, moderate, or quit even though they genuinely want to
  6. The main goal nearly every day is to get high or drunk. The majority of the day’s energy is spent getting the drugs and staying high
  7. They no longer engage in the things they used to love: hobbies, interests, relationships
  8. No matter how bad the consequences are, they are unable to stop taking drugs or drinking

If you or a loved one struggle with addiction please call us. Have a confidential conversation with our Addiction Expert. (800) 247-6111

signs of addiction woman

Regular Use Can Become Addiction

  1. Using a drug or drinking regularly can lead to tolerance (the need for more and more of the drug or alcohol to experience the first high.)
  2. With tolerance, the user becomes physically dependent. (when they moderate or do not take the drug they experience withdrawal symptoms)
  3. With physical dependence comes craving: the physical urge to have more of the drug)
  4. Craving is the last component of addiction. Someone can start out just taking the drug recreationally and then, sadly, find themselves addicted by developing a tolerance, then physical dependence, then craving.

Signs of Chemical Dependency (or Addiction)

They just don’t feel well: Cold or flu-like symptoms happen often. They have fatigue or low energy.

Different eating patterns: Eating far more or less than normal, binging, going without food for long periods

Sleeping differently: Staying in bed more, sleeping at strange times, going without sleep for long periods of time

Developing new health problems: Asthma, problems breathing, liver problems, heart problems, mental health issues

Alarming mood swings

Physical illness that disappears when drugs or alcohol are used (withdrawal symptoms)

Will not spend time with family or friends

Will not handle commitments or go to work

Cannot handle finances

Will not look after one’s health

Changes in hygiene/ self-care

inpatient drug rehab therapy

How do you know if you or your loved one needs treatment?

Sometimes addiction can develop over a long period of time. At other times, addiction can become apparent far more quickly. Women have been proven to develop substance addiction in shorter periods of time than men. Regardless of sex, age or culture, each individual’s experience includes specific stages. The difference lies in how long each person stays in each phase.

Phases of Drug and Alcohol Dependence


Attempting new drugs or different alcoholic beverages. Trying to experience different “highs.” This can be seen as a harmless rite of passage into adulthood.


Still using the drug or substance past the experimental phase. While many “normal ” drinkers can stay in this phase for a very long time, drug users can pass through this phase very quickly.


Continued substance use that can lead to dangerous life situations (driving while high) create health complications (heart problems) or endanger livelihood (losing a job or a home.)


Someone in this phase needs drugs or alcohol regularly to feel “normal.” They cannot quit by themselves. Life has become unmanageable. Relationships, livelihoods and health can be severely damaged.

What is an intervention? How do I organize one?

Addiction affects everyone. Family members, coworkers, neighbors and friends can all be affected. Someone who has a substance abuse problem may not see how far gone the problem is. Often, but not always, once someone has reached the point of physical addiction to drugs, their life has become unmanageable, with harm done to relationships, livelihood and way of life. Others, who are “high functioning” can appear to “have it all together.” They may still have a job, home, car, intact relationships, but they are using drugs regularly in secret. These people can be very hard to help. They may deny their addiction or feel they have everything under control. Sometimes only close family members know the extent of the drug use. With these people, an intervention may be necessary.They may not see how much damage they are doing to themselves, their lives and their relationships. They may not be aware how much pain they are putting their loved ones through. They may not know how much treatment can help them or know all their options. That is one case where an intervention can help.

An addiction intervention is a planned meeting between family members, the person with the addiction disorder and perhaps a professional intervention specialist. In this meeting, the family is able to express to the person living with addiction how their lives are affected. The addict is made to see how their actions are harming themselves and others. They are also offered a chance at treatment and all the support they would need.

If you need help organizing an intervention, here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Keep the group small so your loved one does not feel overwhelmed. You should include 3-5 people at the maximum.
  2. So that everyone knows about the process and what each person’s role is, have a preliminary meeting and discuss your plans.
  3. Everyone will have something personal to say. A script for each person should be written in advance and edited to make sure that it is not judgmental, overly sentimental, or resentful.
  4. Keep in mind that the addiction is not the “fault” of the person struggling with it. Addiction is a medical ailment that requires medical attention and professional therapy.
  5. Inform him or her that you will no longer “enable” the drug addiction behavior, but will provide whatever support they need while they are in treatment and active recovery.
  6. Enroll your loved one in a reputable drug rehabilitation program before the intervention.
  7. Plan to send your loved one to a drug rehabilitation clinic IMMEDIATELY after the intervention.

Please call us before planning an intervention. We can help.

medical doctor drug alcohol detox

What About Withdrawals? Isn’t DETOX painful?

The first step in successful long-term addiction recovery is medically assisted detoxification. Dependence on drugs and alcohol usually means that someone is taking them very often. The body has become used to having the drugs or alcohol in its system. When someone stops taking the substance, the body can exhibit a range of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the health and age of the person and the severity of the addiction, the symptoms can be very mild to potentially lethal.

There is no way to predict how a person will react when they stop putting drugs into their body. Therefore, it is highly suggested detoxification be closely monitored by medical professionals. With the proper mix of non-addictive anti-anxiety drugs, therapeutic rest and nutrition, and a calm, restful atmosphere, detox can, in many cases, be managed with little or no physical discomfort.

Inpatient Residential Treatment or Outpatient Care? Which one is the best for me or my loved one?

There are a myriad of choices when it comes to types of addiction treatment. Different services, goals and modes of delivery, environments and philosophies all come into play.

Inpatient residential drug rehabilitation treatment is considered the best and most proven method of treatment. During the first phases of recovery, inpatient clients receive round-the-clock care and monitoring, and are immersed in a program dedicated to healing.

Outpatient services are for those who cannot attend inpatient treatment or who may already have extended periods of sobriety. Some outpatient programs require you to attend a certain number of group therapy sessions a week. Your room and board, when you enroll in outpatient treatment, is up to you. Some intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs provide a living environment for you to reside in while you attend treatment. Another option is a simple “sober-living” program. In this program, you stay in a home or facility with other people trying to live a sober lifestyle. You will benefit from living with others in the same situation as you. Often, all residents attend 12-step meetings together as well.

residential drug rehabilitation treatment

How do you choose whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you?

If it is at all possible, inpatient residential treatment is the best possible treatment choice. It has been proven to provide the most solid basis for continued sobriety. The foundations required to learn to live a sober, productive, healthy life are all provided for in a good inpatient program. People who have other mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or PTSD need psychiatric therapy to heal completely. This kind of healing is best achieved in an inpatient drug addiction rehabilitation program that offers dual diagnosis care.

Many people feel that 30, 60 or 90 days away from work, family and responsibilities is far too long. If you feel that way, ask yourself this:

Have I been able to get sober on my own in the past?

How much is time spent at work and with family worth if I continue to struggle with addiction and cause damage to my relationships and way of life?

Is 30, 60 or 90 days really that long on the scheme of things?

Wouldn’t I prefer to be sober and strong in 90 days, or to be still struggling and hurting my family and loved ones?

What is Aftercare? Do I need it?

Alcoholism and drug addiction is a chronic disease. Like diabetes, it can be managed and minimized, but it requires continued attention. Inpatient drug or alcohol rehab or outpatient treatment is the beginning of an ongoing plan of action. Long-term recovery necessitates additional services and healthy habits.

Here are some aftercare options following treatment:

  1. 12-Step Meetings and Support Groups
  2. Continued one-on-one therapy sessions
  3. Work with a sober companion or life coach
  4. Alternative mindfulness techniques like meditation, yoga or animal assisted therapies