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When it comes to seeking treatment for your alcohol or drug addiction, the first step is usually the hardest. That first phone call or first meeting with an employee of the treatment center can be scary and stressful, but it is absolutely necessary to take that first step if you are serious about recovery. One way to ease the stress of the initial process is to learn what is involved so you know what to expect when you pick up the phone or walk in the door.

About the Intake Process

The intake process basically refers to the admission portion of your treatment program. There may be a number of components included in the intake process, which allow the staff at the facility to determine the most effective course of treatment for you. These components might include:

  • Initial interview with a counselor, psychologist or medical practitioner
  • Substance testing to determine placement in detox or rehab
  • Collection of medical information and a possible medical examination
  • Sharing of an introductory packet that explains the facility’s policies and amenities
  • Review of financial obligations and payment options

During the intake process, it is important to be open and honest with your interviewer about your substance use, medical conditions and medications you might be currently taking. The purpose of the intake process is to place you in the appropriate treatment program that will provide you with the greatest benefit. Lying in any of these areas could result in improper placement and less chance of a successful recovery process.

Detox or Rehab?

Most facilities determine whether a patient will be placed in detox or rehab by substance testing performed when the person first enters a facility. If the individual tests positive for a drug or alcohol, detox is the likely first step. If the tests are negative, most patients can go directly to the rehabilitation portion of the program.

Many individuals that initiate contact with a treatment facility do so for detox purposes. Unfortunately, the detox process will get you clean from the substance initially, but will not provide you with the tools you need to remain clean over the long term. While it is true rehabilitation typically requires a longer stay at the facility, it is usually a necessary step to kicking and addiction and moving to sober living.

The intake process can be intimidating and anxiety-provoking, but it is an absolutely necessary step on the road to recovery. At Pasadena Recovery Center, we understand the fear associated with the intake process and will do everything possible to ensure you are safe and comfortable throughout. Rest assured that once you get past the first step, the rest of your treatment will become progressively easier. To learn more about our treatment services, contact Pasadena Recovery Center at 866-663-3030.

The Experience

Admissions Process

Many people find the very idea of entering a rehab facility daunting. We at the Pasadena Recovery Center want to ease your fears and assure you that we will be here with you every step of the way. Many people believe that the hardest step is the very first one – contacting us – and then it gets progressively easier.


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Typical Day

A typical day at PRC consists of specialized groups such as Anger Management, Grief and Loss, Relationships, Relapse Prevention, Gratitude Group, Groups hosted by Mackenzie Phillips, Gary Richman, and more. Also you’ll get one-on-one counseling sessions with our specialized treatment team, as well as family sessions.


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Expert Speakers Series

At the Pasadena Recovery Center we regularly bring in community leaders and addiction experts to educate our residents, alumni and staff. For example, the Nation’s top drug official, Gil Kerlikowske (photo right), spoke about the California marijuana legalization ballot measure (Prop. 19) prior to the 2010 election.


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  • "Bob is the most talented chemical dependency counselor I've ever seen. Simple. Period."

    ~ Dr. Drew Pinsky

  • “Shelly the Shark always has the answers to everything. I want to thank you for being so tough on me.”

    ~ Ricco Rodriguez, Former UFC Champ

  • “That’s what we need, we need Shelly there everyday kicking our ass.”

    ~ Seth Binzer, Shifty Shellshock