Second Step: Intake

Understanding Sunshine Behavioral Health’s intake process can lessen any uncertainties and fears that you might have about getting treatment. It also makes it easier to ease into addiction rehab, so you can more readily focus on healing.

The process moves pretty fast when you qualify for rehab. In fact, as soon as your insurance has been verified and your information gathered, you could be en route to one of our facilities.

When you arrive, you’ll go through intake and meet with our medical and clinical staff. We’ll ask several questions about your condition.

Once we have the information we need, your treatment team will work with you to build a personalized rehab plan.

What to Know Before You Arrive

To help the process go more smoothly, your Admissions Coordinator will give you a list of items to pack for your stay. We always recommend comfortable clothing because you’re going to focus on getting better, and something you feel good in can help.

It’s also a good idea to bring something for outdoor activities. We have centers in Southern California, Colorado, Texas, and southern Illinois. Our staff can advise you on what type of clothing will be best for the area and the time of year. You won’t need to worry about meals or snacks since our centers prepare three fresh meals every day, plus desserts.

It may seem a bit overwhelming to think of planning, packing, and other preparations, but having the right items can make your stay more comfortable and give you added peace of mind.

What Should I Pack? What Should I Leave at Home?

Our centers have a list of items we suggest you pack and bring along and a few we advise you to leave home.

Some of the things we recommend you bring:

  • Driver’s license or passport
  • Insurance card (or a copy of the front and back)
  • Prescription medications you’re currently taking (Be sure to keep them in the original prescription bottles.)
  • A list of current and past therapists, doctors, and psychiatrists you’re seeing (or have seen)
  • Comfortable clothing for a co-ed environment. We recommend packing for at least a week or slightly longer, so you won’t need to have things laundered all the time. Pajamas, slippers, comfy shoes, workout clothing, and outdoor wear are also advised.
  • Journals, books, and writing materials

We also allow laptops and cellphones at our centers, and you’re permitted to use them so long as you attend all the support groups, therapy sessions, and coursework that will be on your recovery schedule.

If you feel like bringing small mementos from home, like photos of loved ones, we encourage that, too.

Among the things we don’t allow are narcotic medications, unmarked pills, or anything with alcohol high on the ingredients list. Personal care items should be sealed, too.

How Do Clients Go About Getting There?

Generally, you’re going to have to travel — at least a bit — to get to one of our centers.

Depending on your starting point, you might just need to drive a few miles. In other cases, you may need to make travel arrangements.

It likely will be between your admissions coordinator and you or your loved one to decide on the best way to get to the facility you’ve chosen. It’s also worth noting that traveling for treatment is pretty common, and arrangements can be made to meet your needs and give you added peace of mind. That can include pick-up from the airport.

Learn More About Your Insurance Coverage

Don't see your Insurance Provider?

What is Intake?

Once it’s determined that you or your loved one could benefit from one of our treatment programs, your admissions coordinator will start the process of getting you to the center of your choosing.

We also understand that seeking addiction treatment is never an easy choice, so we work to get you in a program as swiftly as possible. That way, you can transition seamlessly from searching for help to getting the help you want and need.

Once you arrive, we’ll notify your insurance provider, and one of our behavioral health technicians will take you through the intake process. Once that is done, our medical staff and our caseworkers will do physical and psychological assessments on you. We’ll also get your full backstory. That way, we have a full picture of your health as well as what your needs are and what challenges you’ll face. (Don’t worry; we’ll help you every step of the way.) We’ll be using all of that information to draft a treatment plan for you.

What Happens When You Arrive?

Walking into a rehab center might seem scary, but our staff will be expecting you and greet you when you arrive. A behavioral health technician will be there to guide you through the admissions process.

We’ll have some paperwork for you to read and sign. We’ll also go over the rules of the center you’ll be staying at and discuss the expectations we have for you during your stay. If you have questions, we’ll answer those, too. We understand that this is a huge and sometimes scary step, but we’ll be there for you every step of the way.

Once the paperwork is complete, it’ll be time for your physical assessment. (Don’t worry. It’s not hard, and we’re not here to judge. We’re here to help.)

What Happens During the Physical Assessment?

During the physical assessment, one of our doctors (clinicians) will examine you. That’s important for a few reasons.

First, it gives an accurate picture of your current physical health. That way, we’ll know if anything needs extra attention. It also proves that you need inpatient addiction treatment. (Most insurance companies won’t approve rehab until a doctor says there’s a medical need for inpatient care.)

We also will do a mental health screening. That and the physical assessment help your treatment team acquire a complete understanding of your addiction, including what may be at the root of it and whether there are any underlying (or co-occurring) conditions to address. Treating any co-occurring mental health issues can ensure a better recovery.

Some of the questions we’ll ask at this time include:

  • How long have you been using drugs or alcohol?
  • How often have you been using?
  • What substances have you been taking?
  • When was the last time you took drugs or drank alcohol?

It may seem like a lot of questions, but it’s information that our healthcare professionals need to know. We’ll use what we learn to design a program for you. Also, when you undergo detoxification, knowing things like what you’ve been taking and for how long will tell us what you will need to go through withdrawal safely and comfortably. (And don’t worry: We’ll be there for you through the whole detox process because we know it’s not going to be easy.)

How Long Does the Intake Process Last?

The intake process will vary from client to client. It’ll include paperwork, any questions the patient will have, and the physical assessment. It can take one to two hours.

What Happens After the Physical Assessment?

Once the physical assessment is complete, clients will begin detox. They’ll get clean of drugs or alcohol either in a room of their own or they’ll share a larger room with a few patients who are also detoxing.

Patients will remain in detox for at least a day or two. Some people may need to stay more than a week. Exactly how long will depend on:

  • What substances they’ve been taking
  • How much they’ve taken
  • How long they’ve been using

Some patients might feel well enough to begin talk and group therapies while they’re still detoxing. Others may need more time before they feel strong enough to start therapy.

Sunshine Behavioral Health Centers

Luxury Treatment

Chapters Capistrano offers the most luxurious rehab experience available, all while maintaining the most premier levels of care in the world of addiction treatment.


Two six-bed houses

Co-ed housing

24/7 Doctor Access

3:1 therapist ratio

Upscale, luxurious

Seaside views


Top Care, Top Comfort

Monarch Shores offers a dynamic treatment experience, with incredible views of the California coastline and unparalleled comfort all for minimal expense.


Six different houses

4.51 :therapist ratio


Full-service detox

Electronic Friendly

Laptop friendly


Relaxing Environment

Mountain Springs Recovery can be instrumental in your quest for recovery. If you feel you have lost yourself to addiction, we will help you find yourself again.


Mountainside views

30-day treatment

60-day treatment

Electronic Friendly

Regular outings

Detox Specialists


Seclusion and Sobriety

Willow Springs is located on over 30 acres of gorgeous Texas countryside, with all the amenities you’d expect from a top rehab center with an affordable cost.


24/7 nursing assistance

Volleyball courts

On-site gym

On-site Detox

Detox Specialists



Comfort of the Heartland

Lincoln Recovery is an addiction treatment facility in rural Illinois. Offering a wide range of substance and alcohol abuse disorder treatment. Lincoln Recovery is an 86 bed private room facility


Beautiful Rural

Electronic Friendly

Pool and Rec Center

On-site Detox

Full-service detox

Dual diagnosis


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities


Chapters Capistrano


Monarch Shores


Mountain Springs


Willow Springs


Lincoln Recovery

Find out more about our admissions process