Deciding to seek treatment is an important part in your journey to recovery. As you plan to go to a treatment facility, it is important to consider every possible outcome. Though you will spend your initial days in recovery overcoming the addiction, you may wonder what will happen if you want to leave the program early? While every aspect of the recovery process is important, it is your choice whether you stay or leave. Many people that feel they are ready to pursue a life of sobriety want to leave their detox center early, however, when considering this, it is important you understand the real weight of this decision.
Should You Leave a Detox Center Early?
The desire to leave a detox center early most often stems from the anxiety of going through recovery. This is typically true for individuals that are making progress in their treatment. As they feel they’ve overcome their addiction, they may think that there isn’t any work left to be done at the detox center. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if you’ve made progress with your recovery, choosing to leave a detox center early will result in you essentially walking away from all the progress that has been made. Though you may have battled through withdrawals, received therapy, and genuinely feel changed, leaving the detox center too early will likely undo all of this progress. While you may feel that the time you’ve spent is adequate, to fully heal from addiction, you need counseling, therapy, and to be treated by medical professionals that are experts in recovery.
Leaving Early Can Be Dangerous
Every part of recovery is equally important. Choosing to leave rehab early can result in a life-threatening situation. The withdrawals from certain drugs can result in seizures, heart attacks, and strokes, making the choice to leave a detox center early potentially fatal. As much as someone might want to hasten their recovery process, it’s best to let the detox take its course. As you go through withdrawals, it is essential for you to be within the confines of a detox center, as they will be properly equipped to handle any medical needs that may arise during your withdrawal. Even as the withdrawals begin to subside, it is still important for you to be in the detox center in the event that you continue to experience these symptoms.
Why You May Want to Leave Early
Many people want to leave rehab before they are ready to. It’s best to address these reasons beforehand to ensure that you’re fully prepared during recovery. Consider the following reasons most people want to leave rehab:
- The Withdrawal Experience: Withdrawal is a necessary but painful part of recovery. This part of the process is likely the most difficult. As withdrawal begins, many individuals find that they want to leave the detox center. However, recovery can’t fully begin until the worst of the withdrawal passed.
- The Rehab Experience Isn’t Enjoyable: Recovery is a process. To break an addiction, one must see this process through. While sobriety itself is well worth the journey, actively experiencing rehab is hardly enjoyable. The only way to combat this sort of thinking is to understand that rehab is not meant to be enjoyed–it’s meant to help you start your path towards sobriety.
- Rehab Can Seem Isolating: As it can be difficult to admit to having a addiction, being at a detox center can overwhelm you. Many people find that they feel out of place and extremely isolated when they arrive to rehab. These feelings should be acknowledged, as should the fact that in rehab, you will be surrounded by others that are going through the same thing you are. Though you may feel alone in the moment, each day at rehab will make you stronger.
What to Do If You Want to Leave Rehab Early
Wanting to leave a detox center early is understandable. Before making the decision, consider the varying lengths of certain treatment programs:
- 30-day Program: These programs are the shortest and focus on getting through the withdrawal process as quickly as possible.
- 60-day Program: These programs are intended to bridge the gap from 30-day to 90-day programs.
- 90-day Program: The length of these programs help to thoroughly cleanse the body of all addictive substances and ensure individuals are able to continue their recovery outside of the detox center.
- Extended Programs: These programs operate in conjunction with halfway houses or sober living facilities.
The length of your treatment will depend on various things. However, each individual will have their own treatment plan designed by medical professionals at the detox center. These plans are tailor-made to help each person recover from their individual addictions. By adhering to the recommendations of the treatment facility, you will ensure that you are fully prepared to leave rehab. If you anticipate you will want to leave your treatment early, it’s important to understand the weight of your decisions. While it is recommended that everyone see their treatment through until the end, some individuals do make the choice to leave. Those that leave early may do well in their sobriety, while others may return to rehab at a later point in life. Deciding what choice you will make comes down to your motivations for choosing sobriety and your level of self-awareness. Whatever reasons you may have to leave rehab are your own and it’s important to respect that.
However, it is equally as important to reflect on why you entered recovery initially. Before leaving early, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will leaving early help you to accomplish the same goals you had when you first entered recovery?
- If you leave before the recommended amount of time, what will your recovery be like after rehab?