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What Happens When You Leave Rehab Early?

A man thinking about leaving drug rehab early.
Challenging moments in treatment or feeling like you’re fully recovered can lead you to leave rehab early.

Imagine standing in line for a roller coaster with nothing to think about except the anticipation of the ride ahead. As you got closer to the front, that eagerness and anxiety of the unknown builds. You can’t help but acknowledge how intimidating the ride looks, triggering thoughts of turning back and leaving. Right before you step into the ride, your emotions get the best of you and you get out of line.

Many go through these same thoughts and emotions with drug and alcohol rehab. Going to addiction treatment is an amazing step in your addiction recovery, but the process isn’t always a smooth ride and can leave you wondering if you should leave early.

Why Do People Leave Rehab Early?

Addiction treatment can be challenging, especially in its early stages. After all, you’re addressing complex emotions while working through detox and the very beginnings of residential treatment. These challenges can oftentimes seem too difficult to overcome and make you doubt your decision to go to treatment.

Your difficulties in treatment can also lead to a distrust of your treatment team and the recovery process. That distrust can manifest itself in different ways; You may question how much the treatment team actually cares if detox and therapy are uncomfortable. Or, you may start to think that detox is all you need and you now have the tools to beat addiction on your own.

The true value of addiction treatment, though, is sticking with it from start to finish. Even though you might feel like leaving is the best option, you’re likely to have more difficulty reaching long-term sobriety as a result.

The Dangers of Leaving Drug and Alcohol Rehab Early

You Can Experience Serious Health Consequences

Leaving addiction treatment early – especially during the detox stage – can increase your risk of health complications. For example, high blood pressure is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal. This can evolve into a life-threatening condition without ongoing medical support and monitoring. One of the benefits of staying in treatment is you’ll be in a medically supervised environment where your withdrawal symptoms and discomfort will be managed appropriately.

Leaving Rehab Early Takes a Toll on Your Mental Health

Rehab providers like The Raleigh House give you tools for managing your addiction and mental health. Leaving addiction treatment early keeps you from gaining these tools and learning valuable recovery skills, like goal setting, relapse prevention techniques and how to maintain a pro-recovery diet. Without healthy coping skills, managing your cravings, impulses and emotions is a much more daunting task that can lead to relapse sooner rather than later.

You’ll Be at Higher Risk of Relapse and Overdose

Addiction rehab is a journey, and every step serves a specific purpose where you learn vital skills and lessons needed to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. These skills and lessons are often the best line of defense that keep you from returning to destructive behaviors. Leaving rehab early prevents you from developing these recovery skills, putting you at a higher risk of relapse.

You may also be more likely to overdose, as your body and brain will be less tolerant of the amount of alcohol or drugs you use. Rather than risk relapse and overdose, remember why you entered treatment in the first place and allow your rehab team to support you through the treatment process.

Don’t Give Up on Your Recovery, Let The Raleigh House Help

At The Raleigh House, we know how challenging the early stages of addiction treatment can be. While you might feel overwhelmed at times, you don’t have to go through it alone. At our wellness lodge for addiction treatment just outside of Denver, we use a personalized approach to treatment designed to address your unique needs and challenges.

If you’re ready to find healing for your body, mind and spirit, we’re ready to help. Contact our admissions team today to get started.

Call Now: 720-891-4657

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