Dangers of Leaving Addiction Treatment Early
American R&B singer, Bobby Brown, is no stranger to addiction. An alcoholic by an early age, Brown began to heavily abuse drugs following his marriage to the late Whitney Houston.
Brown has a plethora of arrests associated with his addiction and many failed attempts at rehabilitation. In one such attempt back in 2012, Brown agreed to enter treatment as part of a plea deal stemming from a previous DUI conviction. Yet, instead of staying for the full drug rehab program, a source close to the family claimed Brown left as soon as he fulfilled the requirements of his plea deal; raising the concern that he would soon fall back into his old habits.
Sure enough, that was not Brown’s last encounter with the repercussions of his addiction.
Exiting Drug Rehab Treatment Early
Leaving addiction treatment early, or against medical advice, can be extremely detrimental to an addict’s path to recovery. While addiction treats every individual differently and there is no “one size fits all” to the treatment modality, programs are constructed to completely treat the addiction—detox, treatment program, aftercare and alumni programming. When individuals decide to exit their program early, he or she may not be ready to reenter society without the use of alcohol and drugs and will inevitably relapse back into addiction.
Five of the most common reasons individuals make the decision to leave treatment early are:
- I’m different than these people: A common contention of individuals struggling with addiction is that they are in some way different, smarter, or stronger than their peers. These thoughts make it easy to put up emotional walls between themselves and others, which block the soul-searching needed for long-term addiction recovery.
- I can’t handle detox: The first week of rehab is when most addicts are asking themselves what exactly they are doing in treatment. It is also the time where the withdrawal symptoms, drug cravings, and an unfamiliar environment can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety when an individual is deprived of their primary coping mechanism—drugs.
- I don’t like it here: When an individual struggling with addiction wants to go back to abusing drugs or alcohol they feel the need to find a justification to doing so; both for their own peace of mind and to appease their loved ones. So instead of accepting responsibility for their own recovery, an addict may place the blame elsewhere, such as on the food, accommodations, treatment schedule, staff, etc.
- I already know this, so what’s the point: Repetition is a vital way people learn; and when it comes to addiction recovery, certain themes are usually repeated throughout treatment because sometimes it isn’t until the second or third go around that the addict truly embraces the information. However, an individual struggling with addiction may use this as an excuse to avoid dealing with the painful memories and feelings being explored in therapy.
- I can do this on my own: While it can also be healing, at some point during treatment an addict may develop a certain level of confidence that may in fact be potentially damaging as well. For instance, after staying sober for a while, an individual may feel healthier than ever and are convinced of their ability to stay clean. This may in turn lead to some believing that they are “cured” of addiction and anxiously wish to return to their families and careers.
While many individuals struggling with addiction may want to find an excuse to leave treatment early, it’s extremely important to note that the benefits of seeing addiction treatment all the way through are unparalleled.
Research has in fact shown that the longer an addict stays in treatment the better their chances are of avoiding relapse. Addiction treatment helps to prepare and individual for what awaits them when they get back home, and leaving treatment early will greatly hamper that process.
Don’t let any of these excuses stand in the way of yourself or a loved one getting the help they need and deserve. Find the right drug rehab center for you. Call us today!
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