Sample Schedule for a Treatment Program

Statistics provided by the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that 23.1 million Americans required treatment for a drug or alcohol problem in the previous year; however, only 2.5 million of them received treatment at a specialized facility. All those who do receive care should understand what to expect prior to entering into an inpatient program. Knowing what to expect from the day-to-day schedule at a residential treatment program can help to alleviate some fears that are common early in the treatment process.

What Does a Client Do Daily in an Inpatient Facility?

In every treatment program, each client should receive a unique treatment plan that is tailored to the person’s individual needs and situation. Since addiction takes a different form for every person, facilities strive to take this into consideration.

Though the specific plan is unique, every client can expect certain activities and events on a daily basis. For instance, a client can generally expect to attend group therapy with other individuals at the center. This type of therapy provides a supportive environment where clients can learn from each other. In addition, clients can expect to participate in individual therapy where they will work one on one with a therapist to get to the root of the problem. During this time, the client is educated on ways to cope without drugs or alcohol, and they will learn how to deal with triggers to use that come up in day-to-day life. Family therapy is oftentimes included in a treatment plan, helping clients to rebuild connections with family members that may have been damaged during active addiction.

A facility may require that clients attend 12-Step meetings as part of the overall treatment plan, and these often occur on a daily basis. Other activities, such as time for exercise, meditation sessions, dance classes, or music therapy, may be included. While there may be time for physical fitness set aside daily, other types of complementary therapies, such as art or music therapy, may only take place once or twice per week.

Inpatient treatment facilities provide three nutritious meals per day, helping to balance out nutritional deficiencies that may have taken hold during addiction. These mealtimes also allow clients to socialize with each other and provide structure to the day.

What Does a Typical Day Look Like?

In most treatment facilities, clients are required to follow a fairly strict daily schedule. This kind of structure and routine is greatly beneficial in early recovery, filling up time that used to be spent thinking about or doing drugs.

Here’s what a typical schedule may look like:

  • 7 a.m.: Wake-up; time for personal hygiene, nurse checks, and medicine administration
  • 8 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 9-10:30 a.m.: Individual therapy session
  • 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.: Group therapy session
  • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1:30-3 p.m.: Exercise (e.g., yoga classes, free time to work out in the facility gym, swimming, etc.)
  • 3-4:30 p.m.: Free time (e.g., journaling, meditation, etc.)
  • 4:45-6 p.m.: Complementary therapy session (e.g., art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, equine-assisted therapy, etc.)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Dinner
  • 8-9:30 p.m.: 12-Step meeting
  • 9:45-10:45 p.m.: Quiet time in rooms
  • 11 p.m.: Lights out

Specific schedules will vary according to the treatment facility in question, but clients can expect a set level of structure at all facilities.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Greenhouse Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More