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Can Patients Check Themselves Out of a Drug Rehab Center?

Deciding to seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is one of the most important decisions you can ever make. Going through treatment can be challenging at times, but the rewards are immense. Completing treatment means having the chance at a healthier life, better opportunities, and improved relationships. But what if you want to leave after you begin treatment? Can you leave rehab early? If your loved one is in rehab, can they check themselves out of the rehab center?

This article will discuss if it’s possible to check out of rehab early, what can happen if you do, and the benefits of completing treatment. If you have questions, want to explore your treatment options, or simply want support during recovery, reach out to the caring specialists at the Mandala Healing Center today. 

Can You Check Leave Rehab Early?

Family members and friends may get very excited when an addicted loved one chooses to go to rehab. But it isn’t uncommon for people to check out of rehab early. On average, about 17% of people in rehab decide to leave rehab early–which is defined as leaving before being in treatment for more than 30 days.

Rehab is voluntary. People in treatment choose to continue or check out of rehab early. While staff, doctors, and concerned loved ones may attempt to convince someone to stay in treatment, it is ultimately the addicted person’s choice whether or not to continue. Nobody can force them to stay.

What Might Happen if You Check Out of Rehab Early?

Leaving rehab early can result in some serious consequences. The addicted person may face physical and emotional problems and may be put into risky situations. Their loved ones may also feel the weight of this decision.

So, what happens if you decide to check out of rehab against medical advice? Here are some potential risks associated with leaving rehab early

Days 1-3

It’s common for people to leave rehab early after only a day or two. The shock of leaving the familiarity and comforts of home can be overwhelming to people. Withdrawal symptoms, such as muscle aches, insomnia, nausea, tremors, and cravings, may also set in during the first few days. Some people are so uncomfortable during withdrawal that they relapse before detoxification is complete. 

If someone leaves during the first few days of rehab, it’s likely they will relapse. People who have had a period of abstinence from a drug are more likely to overdose because of a lowered tolerance.

Week 1

In rare cases, people will choose to leave rehab after detox is complete. Some people believe that addiction is only a physical condition and that detox alone is sufficient. But lifelong recovery requires identifying the roots of addiction, learning new skills, and building new routines that support lifelong sobriety. 

Leaving rehab early means that you don’t get all the benefits of time, distance, therapies, and support rehab offers. Completing a treatment program is the best way to understand and treat the underlying causes of your addiction–which can lead to lifelong recovery. 

Why Do Some People Want to Check Themselves Out of Rehab Early?

Rehab can be challenging and uncomfortable. While the end results are often wonderful, the process of getting there can test your limits. Many people want to escape the work of rehab for different reasons. Here are some of the most common causes.

Being ambivalent about rehab

Many people go to rehab because they feel pressured by their loved ones to seek help. They may not feel like they want to be there or need help recovering from addiction. People who don’t want to be in rehab may choose to leave early.

Emotions running high

Going through detox and engaging in therapies to address the roots of addiction can unearth uncomfortable emotions that have been hidden by substance use. Facing these intense feelings can cause some people to want to check out early.

Detox discomfort

Medical and support staff do everything in their power to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms and stay as comfortable as possible during detox. But the truth is that detox is often a challenging and uncomfortable process. Some people decide to leave rehab early because they can’t cope with the discomfort of detox. 

Doubts about rehab

Some people may doubt whether rehab can help them at all. Some people decide they’d be happier attempting detox at home–even if this has been unsuccessful in the past. 

While it can be frustrating and discouraging to watch an addicted person check out of rehab early, it is ultimately up to the person whether or not to continue treatment. Loved ones, doctors, and staff members may attempt to remind the person why they chose to seek treatment and encourage them to focus on the healthier future they want–but ultimately, they must decide to continue treatment. 

Find Help Now

Can you leave rehab early? Yes, you can. But our programs are designed to empower people on their journey and give them the skills they need to thrive in recovery. If you or a loved one need support during detox or want to explore addiction treatment options, contact the specialists at the Mandala Healing Center for support. 

Contact our team to learn about our holistic approach to addiction recovery. Don’t wait for the help you need. Call today.