Image of Intake Doctor with Male Patient

In this article we’ll cover the following:

One can’t simply tell a person who’s struggling with drug addiction to suddenly go cold turkey. The drug abuse treatment has to have that tender, loving, care so that the person will have a better recovery and may overcome his or her addictions.

Drug abuse treatment usually involves a four-step process. The first step in the rehabilitation process of a person is called the intake process. In these step, the medical professionals will have to account everything about you and your addiction.

It’s important that anyone who wishes to undergo drug rehabilitation has to understand this step so that a better drug abuse treatment plan can be designed for them. They’ll also know what to expect from this first step in the rehabilitation process.

What Happens During the Intake Process?

When you’ve decided to undergo drug rehabilitation, you’ll be interviewed with medical professionals once you check into their treatment facility. You’ll be asked relevant questions by the staff or by medical practitioners at the treatment facility. Make sure that you’re sincere and honest with your answers. It’ll help both you and the staff in the success of your recovery from drug abuse or addiction.

There’ll be a detailed discussion with you, the doctor and the staff. It’s important that you’ll fully understand everything about the treatment program, including the rules and regulations of the treatment facility.

Intake Form

At the start of your interview, you’ll have to provide your personal details. Staff will give you an intake form where you’ll put your basic information. The intake form usually contains the following:

  • Patient’s Name
  • Patient’s permanent and mailing addresses
  • Patient’s contact number(s)
  • Email address
  • Patient’s birthdate
  • Patient’s referral source like how the patient find out about the treatment facility
  • Emergency contact information for a person

You may be interviewed for other relevant information. It’s recommended that you answer the questions honestly so that an appropriate treatment plan will be designed for you.

Family and Medical History

You’ll be asked questions about your family’s background history especially about their mental health and drug abuse (if there’s any). You may have anyone in your family that have been diagnosed with a mental illness or had undergone a drug rehabilitation treatment.

You’ll be asked about any medical condition like food or medication allergies and underlying diseases if there are any. The interviewer will also note any history of trauma or abuse.

Specific behavioral changes and current health issues experienced caused by drug abuse, or addiction will also be documented. Some of these behaviors and conditions are restlessness, isolation from family and friends, depression, upset stomach, anxiety, and loss of interest in any activity.

Mental Health History

Mental health history may include questions about your mental health issues, previous mental health consultations, hospitalizations, and any suicide attempts.

History and Severity of Drug Abuse

You’ll be asked about your drug abuse history. Questions like how long you’ve been addicted to drugs and how much you use will be raised. Other questions like previous drug rehabilitation treatments, drug-related charges, and currently abused drugs will


You’ll be asked if you’re taking current medications and how much you’re taking daily. The interviewer may ask contact details about the doctor who’s providing the prescription.

It’s also important that you include any medications taken recently which aren’t prescribed by your doctor. The presence of any medications in your system may affect any medications that’ll be given to you by your doctor during your course of treatment.

Social Activities and Hobbies

Casual questions may be asked from you, such as your favorite past time activities and hobbies. You may be asked about your social media activities and how much time you spend on the internet. The interviewer may also ask your preferred mode of communication.

The information obtained may help the staff know your brighter side and may lighten up the conversation. Your answers will help the staff can understand who you are behind your addiction. They’ll use the information as an anchor to pull you through the changes that you’ll undergo as a result of treatment.

Medical and Laboratory Examinations

The intake process may include medical and laboratory examinations for further evaluation of your overall health. These laboratory tests include drug tests, urine analysis, blood tests, and breathalyzer tests. The results obtained will be very useful in the creation of your drug rehabilitation plan.

The medical results that’ll be obtained may be compared to your answers so that an appropriate treatment plan will be designed for you. Sometimes, these medical results may tell if you’re honest with your answers.

Goals and Expectations

You’ll be asked why you want to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment. You and your doctor or staff will discuss your expectations and goals on the treatment program. The rules and regulations of the treatment facility may also be discussed with you.

All data collected will be carefully examined by the doctor and staff so that an effective drug abuse treatment program will be designed for you. It’s advisable that you’ll be honest with your answers as the entire program is for your overall well-being. You may ask questions if you have any doubts or hesitations about the program or the treatment facility.

How Long Is The Intake Process?

The intake process usually takes at least an hour and a half. But it depends on how the interview will go. Conversations may extend depending on how you respond to the questions asked. Some questions may be too personal or straightforward and may put you in an awkward situation. But if you’re checking in to help in your struggles with drug addiction, you’ll have to cooperate and be truthful with your answers.

Other questions may be difficult for you to answer and you may have to take time to answer. There may also be questions that may be too striking and may put you in a guilty feeling.

Between Intake and Treatment Process

  • Before the start of detoxification, a small period of time will be given to you for a few reasons.
  • It allows the doctor or the staff to conduct a proper observation and assessment of you. They may detect other symptoms that weren’t stated during the interview which is important to be included when drafting your treatment plan.
  • The treatment team will have enough time to formulate a suitable treatment plan for you.
  • This small period of time may be used to get more information from other people regarding your behavior, social conduct, physical and mental health, and drug abuse history.
  • You’re given enough time to prepare yourself before treatment. This is because checking into a treatment facility may be intimidating and overwhelming for you. Staying in a totally different place may make you anxious and hesitant of undergoing treatment.

Things That You Can’t Bring In The Treatment Facility

The staff from the treatment facility will give you a brief discussion about things that you can bring with you for your stay. Here are some items that you can’t bring with you:

  • Caffeinated foods and drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Foods that may interfere with your medications
  • Chocolates
  • Jewelries
  • Cigarettes
  • Electronic gadgets
  • Reading materials that may promote use of drugs
  • Sharp items

There may be random checks conducted in your rooms to ensure that you abide by the rules and regulations of the facility. The staff may impose warnings or penalties if you violate any rules. You might also be discharged if you won’t cooperate.

Payment Methods

Payments are usually settled during checking in process. Treatment facilities may offer various payment methods for your convenience. You may pay thru the following:

  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • Health insurance
  • Personal loans
  • Health care
  • Home equity loans