Generally, recovering addicts are recommended to stay in rehab for the entire treatment process, which can last about a month at a minimum. In an alcohol or drug treatment center, those looking to recover from addiction wean off their substance of choice in an environment closely monitored by professionals who can help them through withdrawal symptoms, teach them about addiction and send them off with the knowledge they’ll need in their sobriety journey.
However, it’s not unheard of for some addicts to check out of rehab without sticking it out through the end. Some of them leave early because they feel like they’ve already gotten better. Perhaps, after staying for one or two weeks, they conclude that their mental and physical health has improved and, with or without their doctor's approval, simply decide they want to go back home.
While treatment centers play a key role in assisting addicts with their sobriety goals, it’s ultimately up to the addict to receive help.
Here are the 5 most popular reasons people choose to drop out of rehab.
1. They feel out of place.
It’s common for those attending rehab to feel out of place. They may feel anxious and overwhelmed by having to be around others or sharing their feelings. After all, addiction can take a very strong emotional toll. Sometimes, people just don’t feel like they fit in and decide to leave early. Maybe they’ve met someone who rubbed them the wrong way or simply feel insecure around others, causing them to pack their bags.
2. They don’t agree with the treatment regimen.
Some people leave rehab because they don’t believe that the treatment regimen is a good fit for them. Maybe they don’t like attending group therapy sessions or they have a tough time feeling comfortable in a 12-Step meeting. It’s also possible that they just don’t feel like they are ready to quit drinking or drugging entirely.
3. They get bored.
Sometimes, people in recovery leave because they’re not used to the slower pace in rehab, where there’s usually plenty of time to relax. They may be accustomed to being involved in many things at once and generally living in a busier atmosphere, so they get bored and they miss their old activities.
4. They miss their family and friends.
It can be difficult being away from family and friends for an extended period of time. They feel homesick and leave because they just truly miss their loved ones.
5. They get scared.
Entering a new phase in life can be quite frightening, which is another common reason people don’t finish rehab. Some of them feel anxious and fear what’s to come, so they seek comfort in returning more familiar surroundings.
The sheer difference that rehab can make to turn people’s lives around is insurmountable, but it won’t work if a desire to work the process isn’t there. However, it’s important to note that leaving rehab early doesn’t necessarily mean that your path to recovery gets shut down. You may explore other treatment options, including outpatient treatment, 12-Step groups and the help of professional counselors.
So whether or not you finish your rehab treatment or opt for other methods to get off your substance of choice, know that the most crucial aspect of recovery involves your drive to take back control of your life and willingness to reach out for help when it is needed.