Feeling Safe in Rehab: Why It’s Important and Questions to Ask When Thinking about Treatment

How to feel safe in rehab?
Dominic Nicosia

Written By

Dominic Nicosia

There’s no question that you need treatment if you struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to feel nervous or unsure about rehab. Even if you’re just considering an outpatient program, during which you return home each day, it’s normal to have questions about your safety and security and whether your personhood will be respected. Feeling safe in rehab is critical not only to the success of your treatment and long-term recovery but also to your peace of mind. Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re going to a safe and supportive rehab center and why it’s important.

The Importance of Feeling Safe in Rehab

When a person is battling alcohol or drug abuse, especially when it escalates to the point of addiction, they’re often the most vulnerable they’re ever likely to be, both physically and emotionally. The reality is that many people who are new to treatment are looking for an excuse to leave because it’s a new and uncomfortable experience, and they’ll do just about anything to escape their withdrawal symptoms.

It’s important that the rehab center you or your loved one chooses offers security, safety, and clinical expertise to make you feel comfortable. When a person makes the courageous and proactive decision to seek treatment, they deserve to feel validated, protected, and taken care of, first and foremost.

What Can Prevent People from Embracing Rehab?

Literally everything. When a person enters treatment, they’re usually bringing a collection of traumatic experiences from their active use that they need help for, as well. This could be anything from family bickering and judgment to sexual assault, job loss, death of their friends from an overdose, severe withdrawal episodes, homelessness, or anything else. The places where substance abuse takes people can cause them to lose their trust in others and look at the world like a place that’s out to get them or take advantage of them.

Data from Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that some of the primary reasons why patients battling substance use disorder (SUD) “AMA” (leave care against medical advice) are:

  • Sub-Optimal Withdrawal Management
  • Ongoing Pain
  • Strained Relationships with Staff
  • Hospital-Imposed Patient Restrictions

Although these findings included exclusively hospital-based patients, it’s easy for patients to feel less safe in rehab if these needs and factors aren’t addressed.

The reality is, however, that you or your loved one will have your own reasons for not immediately feeling safe in rehab. Perhaps you had a difficult or traumatic experience with someone of the opposite sex, and you’re having trust issues associated with that experience; perhaps you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and you’ve been marginalized abused because of your identity; perhaps someone in a position of authority took advantage of you; your family abandoned you, or your last rehab experience wasn’t safe.

No matter what the case may be, it’s important that the rehab center you choose can carefully and effectively navigate these experiences to provide the right level of safety and care.

How Can You Feel Safer in Alcohol or Drug Rehab?

This often starts with a conversation. Call the rehab center you’re considering and tell an admissions representative about your or your loved one’s safety concerns. Ask them questions such as:

  • Do you offer medical detox to help me through withdrawal?
  • Is there security on-premises?
  • Is your facility certified and accredited?
  • Are there doctors and nurses on staff?
  • Do you offer trauma-informed therapy?
  • Are the residences safe and secure?
  • Do you cater to specific dietary preferences?

Rehab is designed to be a safe space where you can confront the difficult elements of your life that have led to substance use.

Rehab Should Always be Safe, But It’s Not Always Easy

Rehab is hard work. It can be emotionally and physically draining, and there will be days when you’re reluctant and downright resistant to continue. While you have every right to an expectation of safety and security, the process of rehab and ongoing recovery is hard work. Recovery Unplugged offers every clinical and therapeutic resource and accommodation to help you or your loved one feel safe. We use a universal connection with music to help our clients build trust and establish comfort with their treatment.

Our clinicians, therapists, and support staff work hard to build lasting relationships throughout your recovery. When you come to Recovery Unplugged, you’re more than a client; you’re family. Contact us today to start your treatment.

Dominic Nicosia

Dominic Nicosia

Dominic Nicosia, a seasoned content writer, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the realm of healthcare writing, particularly in the addiction care field. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Professional Writing from the University of the Arts Philadelphia (2009), Dominic has carved a niche for himself with over seven years of specialized writing experience in addiction care.

As the Senior Content Writer at Recovery Unplugged, Dominic is entrusted with the pivotal role of curating and overseeing the online blog, ensuring its alignment with the highest standards of accuracy, relevance, and trustworthiness. His responsibilities extend beyond the blog, encompassing all written communications within the Marketing domain. From articles and thought leadership pieces to web content, Dominic's penmanship is evident in every written facet of Recovery Unplugged.

Dominic's credibility is further enhanced by his contributions to esteemed publications like Austin Fit Magazine, where he delves into critical topics such as drug use, addiction, recovery, and mental health. His writings not only reflect his profound understanding of the subject matter but also resonate with readers, offering insights and guidance. Outside the professional sphere, Dominic's passion for music is evident. He has been writing and playing music for years, showcasing his versatility and depth as a writer and artist.

Dominic Nicosia stands as a beacon of expertise and credibility in the healthcare writing community. With a deep understanding of his subject matter and a commitment to accuracy, he consistently delivers content that is both informative and reliable, meeting the highest standards of quality and trustworthiness in the industry.


  • Proven track record in managing and enhancing online blogs, articles, and thought leadership pieces.
  • Adept at blending his passion for music with his writing, offering a unique perspective on topics.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Professional Writing from the University of the Arts Philadelphia (2009).
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