Rehab is vital for people addicted to alcohol or illicit substances. It has many benefits, the likes of which will be discussed below.
Sadly, some people find it hard to deal with the structure of rehab. There are times when they feel the urge to leave the facility right away. That being said, most people can’t help but ask: can the patient check him/herself out of the rehab center?
But First, the Importance of Checking Yourself into Rehab
Addicts are mandated to attend rehab because of a variety of reasons.
For one, it’s a safe space. People who want to quit using drugs or alcohol may end up suffering from withdrawal symptoms, which may be fatal if left unattended. At rehab, they can undergo this safely through a well-managed detox process.
Rehab also focuses on recovery, which may be hard to achieve for a person who’s exposed to several triggers. At rehab, addicts are removed from such scenarios. That way, they get to focus their efforts on the recovery process.
Treatment also helps explore issues that may have driven you to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. For example, you may be using these substances to numb yourself from depression or anxiety.
More importantly, rehab offers peer support. Here, you can connect with people who feel the same way. You no longer have to feel alone like you did before. As you get into meetings with individuals who suffer from the same problem, you will get all the support you need to live a substance-free life.
Why You May Want to Leave Rehab
Treatment can be challenging, especially if you have been using drugs or alcohol for so long. As such, you may want to leave it due to the following reasons:
1. Withdrawal Symptoms
This experience is particularly unpleasant. Depending on the drug you have been using, you may end up suffering from depression, irritability, mood swings, or nausea.
These feelings may prod you to leave rehab and take the substance all over again. However, this is a bad idea as leaving during detox may be harmful – if not fatal.
2. Emotional Issues
A person who is in rehab because of family request or legal matters may feel like they don’t belong there. They may feel angry or frustrated, violent even. As such, they may be thinking of any other excuse to leave the facility.
3. The Rehab Experience
It is important to note that rehab is not a vacation. It’s not something that you should enjoy (though you could!) After all, it will make you reflect on the harsh realities of life as well as your deeply-ingrained issues. You may even feel that you don’t belong because you’re not as severely addicted as other people.
That being said, know that rehab is all about changing your life. While it may not be pleasant at the beginning, it’s what you need to live a life of sobriety.
Some patients feel that a few weeks in rehab are enough to be sober. They may feel overconfident, believing that they’ve learned enough to make them immune to temptation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. More often than not, these people have barely developed the skills that will help them resist alcohol and/or drugs. In the end, leaving the rehab just makes them prone to relapse.
So… Can You Check Yourself Out of Rehab?
The straightforward answer to this question is YES. You are free to leave rehab whenever you want. After all, this treatment is voluntary – so you have the option to walk out if you want to.
This event is what professionals call discharge against medical advice. As the name suggests, it’s the patient’s desire to leave – even if his/her healthcare worker deems that it’s not yet safe to do so.
What You Need to Do Before Checking Out of Rehab
If you’re bent on leaving rehab, it’s best to talk to your therapist first. Tell him/her what you feel and why you want to skip treatment. He/she might help you out by addressing concerns that make you want to leave in the first place.
Apart from talking to your therapist, you may raise this issue during group therapy. With the help of the counselor – and your peers – you may realize why it’s not the best way to go.
Finally, give yourself a day of reflecting before you walk out the door. It’s like what they often say – don’t make a decision when your emotions are strong. Waiting it out for 24 days will help you ponder on your thoughts – and why leaving rehab is not a good idea.
Why Checking Out of Rehab Early is Not Recommended
While you can walk out of the facility whenever you want to (for example, if you have a family emergency), it’s generally not recommended.
For one, it could be dangerous. If you’re severely addicted to substances, you might end up succumbing to withdrawal symptoms once you leave rehab. This is especially the case if you’re still at the early stages of detox.
More importantly, leaving rehab puts you at the mercy of using drugs or alcohol once again. Since you’re still not equipped with the right mindset and coping mechanism, you may find it hard to resist temptation. Remember, people who have completed rehab are at risk of relapsing. Since you have not completed the program, your chances of relapsing are markedly higher.
Can I Return to Rehab After Leaving?
So you left the rehab. You find yourself using substances again, which is something that you deeply regret. Because of this, you are interested in re-entering rehab. So, can you?
Well of course, yes! Rehab centers will be more than happy to accept you once again. Maybe this time, you’ll persevere and actually complete the treatment.
You may leave the rehab center whenever you want. This is, however, not recommended because of the risk of relapse. As for patients who are currently detoxing, skipping rehab early puts them at risk of suffering from potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms.
For best results, talk to your therapist first before leaving the program for good.
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