What to Expect When Entering Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder

It is estimated that approximately 40 million American’s met the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD) in 20201. However, only a small percentage of those struggling with a substance use disorder accessed treatment services2. The consequences of an untreated SUD can be devastating, from physical and mental health issues to social, familial, and legal troubles. For many, specialty treatment will be necessary to help them recover from a substance use disorder.

The first steps in the recovery process are often the most difficult. Admitting you need help and making the decision to enter a treatment program can feel overwhelming.   Just know that it is an act of courage to ask for help when you need it. Understanding what to expect from the admissions process will allow you to focus on more important elements of your recovery. 

At Greenbriar Treatment Center, we believe that recovery begins as soon as you reach out for help. Our simple admissions process focuses on reducing barriers to treatment and getting you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. 

Making Contact

Once you’ve made the decision that you or a loved one need to seek treatment for a substance use disorder, reach out to a treatment provider for help. The compassionate staff at Greenbriar Treatment Center will walk you through the early stages of the admissions process and provide essential information on how the treatment program works.   During the initial phone call, you will also have the opportunity to discuss any questions you have about the facility, amenities, or treatment process you have.

Pre-Intake Screening

As part of the initial phone call, the admissions staff will also complete a preliminary screening to ensure you’re being connected with treatment that fits your individual needs. This screening can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour. You’ll be asked to provide demographic information and information that will assist staff in determining the most appropriate level of care for you. The admissions staff will ask questions in the following areas:

  • Demographic Information
  • Chemical History 
  • Treatment History
  • Mental Health History
  • Medical History
  • Current Medications
  • Employment Status
  • Legal Status
  • Insurance Information

By the end of this initial phone call the Greenbriar staff member will schedule your intake appointment. If you are being scheduled for detox or inpatient services, you will be given information on items to pack for your stay and provided with instructions relevant to your arrival at the facility. For outpatient services, you will be given instructions on how to prepare for the initial assessment. 

Verification of Benefits and Payment Options

After the initial phone call is complete, your insurance benefits will be checked by representatives of the facility. Greenbriar Treatment Center is currently in network with most major insurers and also offers self-pay options. After your benefits are verified, a representative of Greenbriar will contact you to make you aware of any out-of-pocket costs you will be responsible. During this time, you will also have the opportunity to inquire about financial plans. 

Assessment and Admission

Once you arrive at the treatment facility for your scheduled assessment or admission, you will be greeted by compassionate staff members. Whether you are seeking Inpatient or Outpatient services, a full intake assessment will be completed to gather necessary information for your treatment. The information gained during the initial assessment will be used to create your individualized treatment plan. Practical matters will also be handled during this time including finalization of payment arrangements and signing of required documentation. At the conclusion of the assessment, your level of care will be established and you will then be ready for admission to the selected program. For those entering an outpatient level of care, an official admission date will be selected during the assessment process. For those entering detox or inpatient levels of care, you will be admitted to the program upon successful completion of the intake assessment. 

Special Considerations

Preparing to enter a treatment program is an important part of the recovery process. Tying up any loose ends prior to starting treatment will allow you to fully focus on your recovery. Thinking ahead will allow the admissions process to run as smoothly as possible. Some things to think about prior to entering treatment are:

  • Taking time off of work – will you need to take a leave of absence from work to enter a treatment program? Greenbriar offers case management services for employed individuals. Contact us today to learn more.
  • Arranging child care/pet care – Consider who will be caring for your children and/or pets while you are in treatment. Ensure you have safe, reliable accommodations to reduce stress while in treatment. If you are in need of assistance, a representative from Greenbriar can discuss available options. 
  • Securing transportation – Whether you are attending Inpatient or Outpatient services, you will need to have reliable transportation to the facility. You will need to determine your mode of transportation and who will be providing it. If you would like more information on available transportation options, contact the Greenbriar admissions staff.
  • Financial Maintenance – If you are planning to enter detox or inpatient treatment, take time to consider any financial responsibilities you will need to take care of prior to entering a program. Paying any bills, rent, or mortgages prior to entering treatment is recommended. If that is not possible, make arrangements with a trusted loved one to help you.  

At Greenbriar Treatment Center, we understand that everyone’s treatment needs are unique. Whether you are coming to us from home or being referred by an outside entity, we are committed to helping you begin your journey. Greenbriar currently offers a full continuum of care to help you build the foundation of your recovery. Our continuum of care includes:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Continuing Care

Our Admission Counselors are available and ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the admissions process at Greenbriar Treatment Center. If you or someone you care about is struggling with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help. 


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Highlights for the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2021-10/2020_NSDUH_Highlights.pdf
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2020. Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2021.