What is a Typical Day Like at a California Drug & Alcohol Rehab?

a day at a California drug and alcohol rehab center
Published in Addiction Treatment

Deciding to get help for your addiction is a major step and something you should be proud of. However, if you’ve never been to a residential rehabilitation facility before, you may not know what to expect and be nervous about what the future holds.

Residential inpatient rehab centers in California offer structured and organized treatment services. While you live in the facility’s safe, private housing, you may be expected to follow a daily schedule and establish a healthy routine. Routine is especially important in addiction recovery because having a healthy daily routine can help you prevent relapse.

Depending on your treatment needs, your daily activities may vary. Here is an example of what an average day may look like at a California addiction treatment facility:

Early Morning

Rehab is a time when you are supposed to dedicate your time and energy to your healing, so you won’t be allowed to sleep in all day. You will wake up at a reasonable hour (usually at the same time each day to establish a healthy sleep schedule) and enjoy a nutritious breakfast to get your day started. If you take any medications, you will receive your medication from a nurse or pharmacist in a designated location.

After breakfast, you may be encouraged to take part in healthy activities that help start your day in a relaxed, positive way. For example, activities such as yoga, meditation, or morning support groups may be available.

Late Morning

Once you’re awake and ready for the day, you will have your first group or individual therapy session. Therapy may cover a range of topics based on your treatment needs. Therapy aims to help you identify the root cause of your addiction, heal from the effects of substance abuse, and develop healthy coping skills that will prevent relapse.


After your first therapy session, you will have some free time to eat lunch, go back to your room, or enjoy the facility’s amenities. Then, you’ll continue your treatment by participating in your afternoon group or individual therapy sessions.


Dinner is served in the evening. Evenings in rehab are typically more relaxed than daytime, but there is still healing happening. You may engage in support groups or discussions with other clients or attend local meetings in the community.

Finally, you will be expected to be ready for bed at a decent hour and go to sleep at a reasonable time so you are well-rested and refreshed for the next day. If you take any medications in the evening, you will also receive them during this time. Before going to sleep, you may be encouraged to take time to reflect on your day, journal, or meditate.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Because your treatment at Sheer Recovery is based on your unique needs and medical necessity, your daily therapies and process groups may be different from other clients. As you progress through treatment, your needs may change, as well, meaning your daily treatment regimen may also be adjusted accordingly. Every day may not be the same, but every day sober is another day toward a healthier, happier life.

Types of therapies you may engage in on a daily basis in rehab include:

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy sessions are private meetings between you and your primary therapist. You will discuss your treatment plan, goals in recovery, and any issues that are currently facing. You can also discuss topics that you may not feel comfortable opening up about in group therapy sessions, such as trauma. Individual therapy gives you a safe, confidential space to recover from your addiction.

Group Therapy

Group therapy plays an important role in addiction treatment. Recovering in the presence of your peers, who are also seeking recovery, can promote feelings of belonging and hope. Watching others overcome their obstacles and get better can encourage you to work on your own struggles. Also, relating to others can make you feel less alone.

Group therapy sessions may focus on communication, problem-solving, relapse prevention, healthy coping skills, and much more.

Special Focus Therapy Sessions

Group and individual therapy sessions often use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and other evidence-based addiction therapies. However, there are additional specialized therapies that you may participate in based on your needs and medical necessity.

For example, if you suffer from trauma or PTSD, our licensed EMDR therapists may take you through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) sessions or employ other trauma therapies. Other specialized sessions may target topics like family issues, anger management, stress management, grief and loss, and intimate partner relationships.

At Sheer Recovery, we not only want you to get sober and stay sober, but we also want you to thrive in every aspect of your life. That’s why each of our clients receives specialized therapies targeting their unique situation.

Activities to do in Your Free Time

Spending your day in group and individual therapy sessions can be emotionally and mentally draining, so you will have some free time to unwind. During your free time, you can socialize with your peers, take time to reflect on the topics discussed in your therapy sessions, write in your journal, or meditate.

You can also take advantage of the numerous amenities the facility has to offer. Examples of amenities you may have access to include a pool, exercise facility, movie room, and game room. On the weekends, you will have extra time to enjoy amenities and engage in other fun, sober activities with your peers.

Start Your Recovery at our Southern California Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center

Each day you spend at Sheer Recovery will remind you of the fact that you are always in capable, qualified hands. Our team of talented medical and clinical professionals has more than 50  years of industry experience helping people recover from mental illness and substance abuse. Not only do we have one of the most talented clinical teams in the state, but we also have a state-of-the-art recovery facility, offering the ideal setting for optimal wellness.

Call us today to speak with an admissions coordinator about starting treatment with us. All calls are risk-free and confidential.


Still have questions? Give us a call today.

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