Do I Have To Sober Up Before I Enter a Rehab Program? Will They Let Me In If I am Drunk or High?

The time has come for rehab. You\’re going to enter treatment and work on getting well. In the days leading up to treatment, should you stop drinking or using so that you enter rehab clean and sober?

This is a common question among people entering treatment, and friends and family often wonder as well. Don\’t feel bad, therefore, if you aren\’t sure of the answer.

The short answer is that, no, you do not have to sober up before going to rehab. You should come to the program as you are.

You are entering rehab for a reason. Quitting drug or alcohol use on your own is extremely difficult, and withdrawal side effects are common. In a supervised detox program, you will be monitored and encouraged throughout this period. By trying to get clean before your official treatment begins, you will be subjecting yourself to beginning withdrawal before you have this professional support system in place.

Perhaps you are concerned that program staff will think less of you if you arrive intoxicated or high.

  • Will they be disappointed in you if they know how much you really use?
  • Will they think that you aren\’t committed to recovery if you don\’t clean up before your arrival?

No, that\’s not how rehab works. The facility staff understands that you are coming to rehab to get off drugs. They don\’t expect you to do the work on your own ahead of time. Presenting them an honest picture of what you use and how often you do it will help them customize your recovery process to your individual needs.


Should You Binge Before Rehab?

If coming to rehab drunk or high is okay, does that mean that it\’s fine to binge in the days leading up to your treatment? Isn\’t binging an opportunity to make the most of this time?

Although you don\’t need to be clean and sober when you enter rehab, please don\’t binge ahead of time. Binging has the potential for serious consequences, including:

  • Accidents or injuries
  • Increased pain or discomfort during the initial stages of rehab
  • Alcohol poisoning or overdose

Instead of binging, what should you do as you get ready for rehab?

  • Hydrate well
  • Rest
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Maintain your normal schedule of drug or alcohol use

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