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5 Reasons You Should Never Leave Rehab Early

Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can be challenging. Many people experience a wide range of physical and emotional discomforts as they do the work of recovery. 

Identifying the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of addiction often come with setbacks and disappointments–and these can be hard to push through. But real, meaningful recovery happens when people stay committed to recovery and finish their treatment programs. 

Recovery takes patience, dedication, and above all else, time. Addiction is a complex condition, and simply going through detox alone isn’t enough to lead to lifelong changes. Many people are surprised by how rigorous rehab can be. Some become frustrated by setbacks or lose the initial excitement that brought them to treatment in the first place. But for many reasons, people may feel the urge to leave rehab early. 

Finishing rehab is critical to your recovery. If you or a loved one wants to leave rehab against medical advice–or you want to prepare to challenge this feeling if it comes up for you during treatment–reach out to the Mandala Healing Center for guidance and support. 

What Does it Mean to Leave Rehab Against Medical Advice?

Leaving treatment before the end of their treatment program is known as leaving rehab against medical advice. People may feel tempted to leave rehab early for many reasons. They may not want to face their stressors and challenges sober, feel anxious about a sober future, or may have other personal reasons to call it quits in rehab.

But there are so many reasons to stay in rehab. Comprehensive treatment programs offer the treatment and support you need to get to the root of your addiction and learn new ways to live a healthy, sober lifestyle of your choice. These programs are designed to help you set and achieve goals and work toward a fulfilling life. 

Your doctors and addiction specialists will adjust your treatment plan to meet your changing needs over time. But it’s essential to stay in treatment until your team believes you’ve completed your goals and are ready to manage your recovery independently. 

5 Reasons You Should Never Leave Rehab Early

Here are five of the most important reasons you should never leave rehab against medical advice.

1. You are not prepared to prevent relapse

One of the most important goals of addiction treatment is preparing people to live a sober lifestyle. For many, this means identifying the roots of addiction and learning healthy, effective coping skills. Several aspects of comprehensive addiction treatment support these goals, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Education
  • Group counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies like yoga, massage, nature therapy, mindfulness, and more

Learning healthy coping skills, improving communication, and increasing self-worth can reduce a person’s risk of relapse during recovery. A relapse occurs when someone begins to use substances after a period of sobriety. 

Relapses are relatively common–in fact, most people in recovery will experience at least one relapse during their journey to lifelong sobriety. A relapse can feel like a setback, but experiencing one can be a sign that you require more treatment and support. Learning what you can, adjusting your treatment plan, and moving forward are crucial. 

Staying in rehab can give you the time you need to learn the skills to prevent relapse and improve your chances of lifelong recovery from addiction. 

2. Your overdose risk is increased

If you leave rehab early and experience a relapse, your risk of overdose is increased. This is because when you stop using drugs and alcohol, your body loses some of its tolerance to the substance–meaning you may not be able to use the same amount of a substance you are used to taking. 

It’s critical to remain in rehab until your treatment team is confident that you have the skills to prevent relapse.

3. You don’t have an aftercare plan in place

Addiction can not be cured, only managed. During rehab, you will work with your treatment team to develop an aftercare plan that will keep you active and engaged in recovery. This can include activities like:

  • Living in a sober community after rehab
  • Joining a support group
  • Attending 12-step meetings
  • Participating in sober events and meetups
  • Joining an alumni group
  • Engaging in individual therapy

When people leave rehab against medical advice, they are unprepared for life in recovery. They may lack the skills and support they need to live the sober life they want.

4. You may still have withdrawal symptoms

While many withdrawal symptoms subside during detox, some linger for weeks, months, or even years. These can include:

  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nightmares

Understanding how to manage these symptoms without using drugs and alcohol is essential. Simply knowing that these symptoms can be a regular part of recovery can be helpful. People who leave rehab early may lack the support they need to cope with ongoing withdrawal symptoms, putting them at increased risk of relapse.

5. Rehab may cost more next time

Addictions rarely resolve on their own–they only get more severe. The longer drug and alcohol addiction goes untreated, the more time it has to wreak havoc on your life–and the longer it takes to treat it. People who leave rehab against medical advice often return to treatment later and require more intensive or longer treatment periods. Participating in higher levels of care or extended treatment plans can significantly increase the cost of treatment. 

Get Help Now

At the Mandala Healing Center, we are sensitive to the fact that every person we treat comes from a different background and has a unique set of needs. Our wide array of addiction treatment offerings allows us to cater to each patient’s strengths, and find the programs and activities that work best on an individual level. Our evidenced-based programs and holistic methods are designed to keep patients engaged in treatment, develop the necessary life strategies and skills to sustain long-term sobriety, and achieve optimal health and internal balance.

If you or someone you love needs addiction treatment or want to learn more about our holistic programs, contact the Mandala Healing Center specialists today.