woman contemplating leaving a rehab center early

Leaving rehab before you complete your program is your choice, just like it was your decision to check yourself into rehab in the first place. However, if you’re in the middle of a treatment program and are making progress with your addiction, it’s important to remember that people most often impulsively walk away from treatment because of anxiety, and not because they’ve thought through the pros, cons, and consequences of the decision.

We’re here to help you understand exactly why someone would want to leave rehab early and some of the consequences that may arise while leaving in the middle of treatment.

Can You Check Yourself Out of Rehab?

If you’re currently enrolled in a rehab program and are considering leaving, talk to your therapists and counselors about how you feel. They’ve been through this before with other patients and can address any concerns you’re having about your recovery, treatment, or progress. You might also want to discuss your concerns in group therapy, because others may feel the same, and you might be able to strengthen each other’s resolve.

Lastly, if you really want to leave–you can, but just wait it out for 24 hours and see how you feel. Take recovery day by day, and every morning commit yourself to stay another day. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to recovery.

Addressing the Common Reasons for Wanting to Leave Early

There are many reasons and emotions that might make you want to leave your rehab prematurely, and it’s important to address these if you’re serious about getting sober.

Experiencing Withdrawal

One of the main reasons that people often want to leave early is the withdrawal experience. Withdrawal symptoms are a multitude of physical and emotional side effects of detoxification. Depending on the drug you are withdrawing from, symptoms may vary, but most common symptoms include nausea, irritability, depression and mood swings, sweating and anxiety.

We understand that experiencing withdrawal is hard, but the worst of this will pass in a few days, and a facility with experienced medical staff is the best place to endure detox and help you manage your systems and keep you safe.

Not Enjoying Rehab

Not enjoying the rehab experience is another common reason why people leave early. There are several things that come into play here, starting with personalities and denial. Sometimes patients think their addiction isn’t as bad as everyone else or they “don’t fit in.” Others think they don’t need rehab at all once they complete the detox process.

We like to emphasize that rehab is the beginning of many changes in your life and there will be some ups and downs.  But in the end, the recovery process takes time, effort, and perseverance and you really have to see it through before you can see the beneficial effects it will have on your life.

How Leaving Early Impacts Recovery

Leaving a rehab program means walking away from everything you’ve worked so hard for. Recovery is a process, and all the steps you’ve taken, all the days you’ve struggled through withdrawal, and all the progress you’ve made battling your addiction will be lost if you choose not to see your program through. Addiction and substance use require therapy, counseling, and healing, and interrupting this process can have a lasting impact on your ability to recover.

What Can Happen if You Leave Rehab Early?

Typically, leaving early is any time before the initial 30 days. However, this all depends on your unique treatment program. There are several things that can happen if you decide to check yourself out of rehab and the sooner you check out, the more dangerous the consequences.

Leaving During a Cleanse

The initial withdrawal process or cleanse period from a number of drugs can actually be life-threatening. Withdrawing from drugs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and even seizures. These symptoms may last a week or more, typically hitting their worst within 24-72 hours.

However, leaving the safety of a supervised medical detox during this time is never recommended because only a comprehensive rehab facility will be able to offer you 24-hour medical care and monitoring.  Also, patients are more likely to stick with a detox program when they have lots of help.

Chances of Relapse

Substance abuse treatment provides you with the building blocks that are necessary to not only treat addiction but to learn how to control and manage emotional and psychological health outside of rehab. By leaving treatment early, you may find yourself back to where you started as you have not had enough time to learn all of the coping skills that are taught in a treatment program.

Seeing Recovery Through

Inpatient rehab is an incredibly important part of the recovery process and seeing the program through is the only way to guarantee you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build lasting sobriety and a healthy future. Even if you’ve only been in the program for a couple of days, you have already taken the most difficult step on your path to recovery, and the road ahead is already much brighter because of the work you’ve done.

At Beachside Rehab Center, we offer detox and holistic treatment in a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere that is ideal for recovery. If you are considering leaving rehab early, we urge you to think of the positive impact recovery will have on your life and the lives of your loved ones before making your decision. Call Beachside today at 866-349-1770 to learn more.