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Cardinal Rules of Drug Rehab Centers

If you or a loved one is about to go through a drug rehab program, you should know that there are some important rules that must not be broken during treatment. While drug and alcohol rehab centers vary in the therapies, staff, activities and treatment modalities offered to patients, they almost all require that patients follow these 6 cardinal rules: 1.) No Drugs or Alcohol

It should go without saying that drug rehab programs disallow any type of substance abuse, drug possession, transfer, manufacture, etc. However, there are many instances in rehab centers all across the country where patients/residents procure and use drugs.

This is a serious offense considering the nature of the treatment at a drug rehab center. By bringing drugs into the facility or by entering the grounds while intoxicated a person places everyone else in treatment at risk of a relapse episode, emotional outbreak, or other disruptions.

Limitations on drugs and alcohol include normal household items and food that contains alcohol such as mouthwash, vanilla extract, etc. Even if not specifically mentioned on a disallow list, any substance that is abused – including cleaners, furniture polish, potpourri, etc will be considered a relapse under the terms of most rehab programs.

2.) No Relationships/Sex with Residents or Staff

Patients are generally not permitted to engage in romantic relationships with other residents and sexual intercourse at most facilities is strictly prohibited. The exception to the “no relationships” rule is when couples attend the same treatment center together. Additionally, relationships between patients and staff are forbidden and may result in serious consequences and professional sanctions.

3.) Maintain Confidentiality

All patients and staff at a drug or alcohol rehab center are required to maintain confidential any protected information they may learn during the course of their treatment. In some cases revelation of protected information can result in criminal charges or a civil lawsuit.

Most people who attend a rehab program want their information and experiences to be kept confidential, so maintaining the confidentiality of others is usually a natural inclination.

4.) No Harassment or Violence

Verbal harassment, threatening, abuse, bullying, name-calling and insulting will not be tolerated at most rehab centers. While it does sometimes happen that patients have difficulty getting along, they are still required to maintain their composure and learn to express their frustrations and problems in a healthy manner.

Violence of any type is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program and possible legal consequences.

5.) No Weapons

In keeping with item 4 above, no weapons are permitted on the grounds of rehab centers. This includes small knives, box cutters, multi-tools and any other potentially dangerous items. This is an important rule to follow considering that some rehab patients are suicidal and rarely, some can be driven to the point of violence if given an easy opportunity.

6.) No Unexcused Absences

A patient’s whereabouts must be accounted for at all times. The reason for this stipulation should be apparent; if a patient cannot be found, monitored or observed, then the integrity of their rehab program cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, patients must be accompanied by staff or obtain approval before an absence.

There are a number of other rules and of course each rehab is different, but these 6 cardinal rules are in place with good reason at nearly every drug treatment center in the country. Fortunately, most rehab programs are intense and leave little time for people in recovery to get into trouble. By focusing on the program at hand, most recovering addicts complete rehab in 30 days or less and return to their communities with a renewed vigor for sobriety.

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