Emergency and Same Day Admission Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

3 min read · 3 sections
A host of factors may lead people to seek out same day or emergency rehab services. Explore the ins and outs of these options, including what to expect, how to find a same day rehab near you, and how to prepare for intake.
What you will learn:
Characteristics of same day and emergency rehabs.
What to expect from these treatment options.
How to find a same day rehab and prepare for intake.

What is Same Day Admission Rehab?

Same day admission rehab allows people to seek various types of treatment on the same day they contact the drug and alcohol treatment facility. People may do so for a variety of reasons. For example, some patients may be facing potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and may require medically managed emergency detox to ensure their safety.1 Others may simply want to take immediate steps toward recovery as their substance use issues have reached a crisis and/or their motivation is heightened.

Regardless of patients’ reasons, studies suggest that the longer patients must wait to enter treatment, the more likely they are not to attend rehab at all. In fact, a waiting period is often identified as one of the most common barriers to obtaining treatment.2

According to at least one study, the first 24 hours after a patient initially contacts a treatment facility may be a critical window for that patient to enter rehab. Some patients seeking treatment may be experiencing a period of time when minimal challenges and lessened work and family responsibilities allow them to enter treatment immediately. At a later date, these challenges and responsibilities—or new ones—may prevent them from receiving the care they need.2

When forced to wait to attend treatment, some patients may attempt to curb their substance misuse behaviors and may be temporarily able to do so. While they likely haven’t dealt with the underlying issues that have led to the initial behavior, these individuals may feel their temporary success means they didn’t actually need treatment in the first place. As such, they may forgo treatment when it becomes available.2

Additionally, each day a patient continues to misuse a substance poses an additional risk to the individual and to the public. These risks include intoxication-related risks of traumatic injuries and accidents, arrests and incarceration, serious infections among injection drug users, overdose, death, etc.3

Bottom line: When a person is willing and able to seek treatment, same day rehab may be an effective option for a variety of reasons.

What to Expect During Same Day Admission Rehab

Since substance misuse issues and personal situations are unique for each individual, the admissions and same day rehab process varies. Additionally, each facility handles same day admissions and patients a bit differently.

Generally speaking, however, the process will begin with your call to a treatment facility and a conversation with its admissions staff. Most facilities have helplines manned by trained staff who can explain treatment options, confidentially discuss your personal situation, and walk you through insurance verification, alternative payment options, and the entire admission process.

Ultimately, the facility will develop a care plan that’s customized for your needs. Granted, healthcare and addiction professionals will update this plan as necessary, but initial care options include detox, inpatient care, outpatient treatment, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), etc.

Many facilities, such as most of those under the American Addiction Centers’ umbrella, can accommodate same day admissions. Thus, once you’ve spoken to the admissions staff, your next step may be to simply check in with your chosen facility or provider. Often, the first step of treatment is detox, where you can receive medical supervision and support to ensure that you’re safe and as comfortable as possible during any withdrawal symptoms.

Once you’ve completed detox (if needed), you’ll continue treatment at the level of care you and your care team have selected. Treatment therapies can include everything from individual, group, and family therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational interviewing, 12-step facilitation, and more.

What is Emergency Rehab?

While there’s no standard definition for emergency rehab, emergency rehab is basically a type of same day rehab. However, it often involves severe medical or mental health emergencies, often requiring detox or emergency substance misuse care in order to prevent further harm.

When it comes to intoxication and overdose, urgent care and emergency department personnel can reasonably be expected to provide substance use assessments and acute biomedical care. But these settings typically can’t offer psychosocial or complete biomedical stabilization. Thus, ER and urgent care staff typically perform triage on these patients and then provide connections to ongoing detox services as part of emergency rehab.1

Similar to most forms of detox, however, emergency detox isn’t treatment in and of itself. Rather, it’s a single step in the multistep treatment process.

What to Expect During Emergency Rehab Admission

Assuming your emergency rehab involves acute intoxication, overdose, or the need for emergency detox services, staff will typically perform an initial assessment to determine the level of care necessary.

If you first visit an urgent care or emergency department, they will typically then transfer you to a detox and/or treatment facility. In some cases, however, patients may be able to contact a facility directly and proceed directly to its detox center following assessments and admissions.

Emergency detox typically takes the following two forms:1

  • Medically monitored inpatient detox. Providing 24-hour supervision, observation, and support for those who are intoxicated or experiencing withdrawal, this form of detox ensures that the patient is medically stable, assesses for adequate biopsychosocial stability, intervenes to establish stability, and facilitates engagement in inpatient and/or outpatient services. With this care level, physicians typically assess the patient within 24 hours and are available 24 hours per day by phone. Meanwhile, a nurse is typically responsible for monitoring the patient, and appropriate personnel administer medications according to physicians’ orders.
  • Clinically managed residential detox. These programs provide 24-hour supervision, observation, and support for those experiencing withdrawal or those who are intoxicated. However, they’re characterized by social and peer support. Additionally, the level of care for this service varies by facility with some offering medical supervision by physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses, while others offer minimal medical oversight.

In many cases, a traditional rehab center may offer some emergency services. However, it’s important to discuss the levels of care and detox options with each facility you’re considering.

How to Find a Same Day Admission Rehab and Prepare for Intake

When searching for a same day admissions rehab near you, you can certainly contact a local facility and ask about immediate admission options. However, the following steps may make locating a facility and preparing for intake a bit easier.

  1. Prepare for the admissions conversation. Typically, this simply involves gathering some information and documents regarding your health insurance and/or payment information (if any); your medical history including any care providers, surgeries, prior treatment, etc.; and personal and emergency contact information. It may also help to collect your thoughts—or maybe take some notes—about your substance use issues and history. The idea here is merely to gather the documents and information necessary to make your initial conversation with admissions staff a bit easier.
  2. Identify a treatment center that fits your needs. With facilities scattered across the country, American Addiction Centers offers multiple facilities with same day rehab and/or emergency rehab options. A quick call to our admissions navigators at can quickly put you on the road to recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also offers a treatment locater, which allows you to search for various types of facilities by location and a host of other filters. Once you’ve identified a few facilities that may meet your needs, contact them to inquire about their services and determine whether the facility has same day services. NOTE: If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, don’t wait. Dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room, where staff are equipped to manage crisis situations involving substance misuse.
  3. Prepare for your trip and the admissions process. While some people are admitted into nearby outpatient programs straight out of the gate, many people travel to a same day admissions treatment facility and stay there for an extended period to participate in detox and inpatient services. If you’re in the latter group, you may need to plan your travel and pack permitted items to enhance your stay in treatment. You may also need to take a few minutes to inform your employer, family, friends, etc. and/or to arrange for someone else to cover your critical responsibilities.

To learn more about AAC’s same day and emergency rehab options, contact an admission navigator at . The confidential conversation can answer your questions and help get you on the road to recovery today.



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