Drug Rehabs for Athletes

Anyone, including athletes, can be affected by issues like drug and alcohol addiction. Athletes must deal with potential injuries and stress on and off the field. This makes it easy to begin having trouble with drugs or alcohol. Getting help for these issues is important to continue a successful career and a happy life.

What Are Rehabs for Athletes?

Rehabilitation programs for athletes are created to deal with issues specific to those with careers requiring them to perform well physically. Stress, injuries – whether new or old – and public pressure all make being an athlete incredibly difficult at times. Staff members, therapists, and medical professionals at rehabilitation programs for athletes understand these problems and are ready to help clients learn to deal with them in a healthy manner instead of through the use of drugs and alcohol. Clients are able to learn to avoid triggers when possible, cope with cravings, and avoid instances of relapse through these programs.

What Do Rehabilitation Programs for Athletes Treat?

Rehab programs for athletes are able to deal with a variety of issues that athletes face. This includes not only the addiction itself – whether that be to illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication – but the root causes of the addiction. For athletes, this can include past injuries, improper coping mechanisms, and co-occurring disorders, all of which can contribute to the feeling of needing drugs or alcohol to make it through their day-to-day lives.

What Should You Expect at an Athletes Rehab Center?

Rehabilitation programs are typically broken down into different stages. Each stage must be completed before moving on to the next. First, clients will complete the intake process, where staff will come up with a personalized treatment plan. Next, clients will detox from any addictive substances present in the body. Finally, the client will attend various therapy programs before they graduate from the rehabilitation program. Most treatment programs will then offer clients aftercare services once they complete their treatment program in order to prolong their success with sobriety.

Intake Evaluations

The intake process is the first part of getting treatment after choosing a rehabilitation program. During intake, clients will be asked a number of questions by healthcare professionals. These questions will include demographic information, mental health history, family history, as well as occupational history, history of any past injuries that may have occurred as a result of being an athlete, and substance abuse history. The answers to these questions are confidential and will only be seen by the doctors at the treatment program to help them develop a personalized treatment plan for any athlete that attends the facility.

Detoxification Process

The detox process takes place after intake and is overseen by medical staff at the facility. During detox, clients allow their body to cleanse itself from any toxins that may be present due to their problems with substance abuse. Doctors at the program will also be able to monitor the client’s pain levels due to any injuries received throughout their athletic career. While the client detoxes, they may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms, depending on the substance they were abusing before entering treatment. These withdrawal symptoms can be lessened if necessary via the administration of medications.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Deciding whether to attend outpatient or inpatient treatment is an important choice for clients. While both forms of treatment provide the client with much-needed care, the levels of care received at inpatient vs. outpatient treatment vary. Outpatient treatment programs are more flexible than inpatient programs and allow clients to live at home and continue working while in rehabilitation. On the other hand, inpatient treatment requires clients to live at the treatment center for the duration of their treatment. Outpatient therapy is designed for clients with less significant substance abuse issues and a support system available to them outside of treatment.

Who Needs Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient rehabilitation programs provide clients with a higher level of care and a staff that is available to them day and night. Clients who have a long history of substance abuse typically benefit more from inpatient treatment programs. Additionally, those who have co-occurring disorders may want to opt for inpatient treatment, as they will have more of a chance to delve into the issues they have as a result of those co-occurring disorders than they would in outpatient treatment. Finally, clients who lack a strong support system are highly encouraged to attend inpatient treatment, where they will have a support system.

How Long Do Rehabilitation Programs for Athletes Last?

The length of time clients should stay in treatment varies depending on the client’s wishes, availability, and the recommendation of the treatment facility. Longer treatment stays are usually more beneficial, so clients are encouraged to stay as long as possible.

30-Day Programs: 30-day programs are typically the minimum option for treatment and are ideal for clients with more mild issues with addiction.

60-Day Programs: 60-day programs, a more standard length of treatment, enable clients to settle into their treatment while learning proper coping techniques and relapse prevention.

90-Day Programs: 90-day treatment programs are designed for those with co-occurring disorders and severe instances of addiction. These programs allow clients to discover the root causes of their substance abuse problems and learn how to live with any mental health issues that they may have.

Therapies Available at an Athletes Rehab Center

Clients will find many different kinds of therapy at treatment centers. Therapy will take place in either an individual or group setting. Individual therapy gives clients a chance to speak about issues that they may not feel comfortable talking about in front of a group, while group therapies give clients the opportunity to find peer support from others who are going through similar situations. Because athletes are so accustomed to being active, other types of adventure therapies are commonly available at rehabilitation programs for athletes.


Aftercare programs are offered to clients once they graduate from their treatment program. Aftercare is designed to help clients maintain their sobriety while transitioning back into their normal lives. While aftercare programs are not mandatory, they are highly recommended and often make the client’s recovery easier.

Traveling for Treatment

Deciding whether or not to travel for treatment is up to the client. When looking for a rehabilitation program, clients can choose to look for a facility closer to home if that would make them feel more comfortable. On the other hand, traveling for treatment may give clients a sense of a new beginning, allowing them to transition more easily into recovery. Clients willing to travel will also have more options regarding what therapies, services, and amenities they are looking for in a program.

Paying for Treatment

Rehabilitation is typically paid in part or fully by insurance through behavioral health coverage, depending on the carrier and specific policy. However, more high-end or luxury treatment centers may not be covered by insurance due to the services and amenities they provide. Therefore, the cost for these programs may have to come out of pocket.

Attending a Rehabilitation Program for Athletes

Deciding to get help for addiction can be tough, even more so when you’re in the public eye. Finding the right addiction recovery center with action-based therapies and confidential treatment is important for athletes. Luckily rehabs for athletes are available, keeping the safety and wellbeing of clients in mind.

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