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What Are the Drawbacks of Early Withdrawal from a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program?

Posted by on February 8, 2020 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 0 Comments

Drug and alcohol treatment centers, also known as rehab facilities, are effective methods for eliminating drug addiction around the world. However, low completion rates continue to be a problem and represent a major setback in curbing drug and alcohol use. So, why exactly do people choose to leave these programs early, and what are the drawbacks of checking yourself or a loved one out early?

Why do people withdraw?

In the first place, it is an extremely difficult and courageous decision to decide to go to rehab. Many people are not able to do this. There are a variety of reasons why someone will finally decide to go to rehab, and so conversely there are a variety of reasons why someone would choose to leave early.

The most likely reason is suffering from withdrawal symptoms. If the person is desperate to start using again, they will feel trapped in the rehab environment and be anxious to leave. The person may also start to feel lonely and miss their loved ones. They may feel anxious about their apartment or other living space, or anxiety about the job that they may have left behind. The program may not be living up to their expectations. They may not be getting along with other people in the program.

Another big reason is that they may believe they have recovered sufficiently to leave. However, even if one feels that they no longer need to be in the program, it is extremely important to stay the course and complete the program. Success in a drug treatment program does not just mean being successfully abstinent, but also involves improvement in one’s relationships with family and friends, psychological and physical wellbeing, and an understanding of one’s addiction. This will lead to improved self-worth and feeling able to rejoin the world and become a functioning member of society. Read on to find out the negative consequences of leaving a drug treatment program early.

Overdose Risk

One of the greatest risks of leaving a program after only putting in a few days, is that of overdose. Prior to the start of your treatment, if you were using your drug on a consistent basis, you will have built up a tolerance for it. So, after several days in rehab, your body will be drug free for the first time in a long time. If, after leaving rehab, you attempt to go back to the amount of drugs that you used before, your body will not be able to handle it. This will lead to an overdose and possible death.

The longer you stay in treatment, the less likely you will be to go back and start using again. However, be aware, that this risk is present no matter how long you stay in treatment before or how long you are abstinent for. If at any point you go back to using the drug again, there is a high possibility of overdose.

Health Risks

Another drawback of leaving a drug treatment facility early, are the health risks. At a rehab center, you are under supervision of medically trained professionals. While you are suffering from withdrawal, you may be at risk of seizures, stroke, or even heart attack. Your body needs a safe place to cleanse itself of the harmful drugs and toxins. If you leave during the withdrawal process, you are depriving yourself of safe treatment.

Benefits of Completing the Program

A significant drawback of leaving a drug treatment program early is one that many don’t think about. If you leave early, you are depriving yourself of the experience and knowledge to succeed after your treatment is over. There are so many things you miss out on if you do not complete the program:

  • Giving your brain a chance to heal. The damage that is done to the brain as a result of prolonged drug use takes a long while to heal. Many drug rehab facilities offer such treatments as neurotransmitter replacement therapy, proper nutrition, exercise, massage and chiropractic care. These processes will allow you to think more clearly, significantly decrease irritability and anxiety, and promote well-being. Soon, your brain will start producing its own “feel good hormones” when you are no longer dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • Learning new skills and forming friendships. If you follow the rehab facility’s own transition process to get you back into society and on your feet again, you will be provided with the opportunity to successfully deal with the stress and problems related to finances, a career, studying for school, writing a resume, and other life skills. You will also have other people around you going through the same process and be able to rely on the support of the facility.
  • Giving yourself the time to form new habits. Being able to properly recover from addiction requires a lifestyle change. You need to reform your habits, think differently, spend your time differently, and enjoy yourself differently. You will need time to build yourself a new daily routine that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol.


Choosing to enter yourself into a drug treatment program is an extremely hard decision. To hastily take back that decision and check yourself out, no matter what the reason, would be a huge mistake. There are many negative consequences to leaving a drug rehab facility before your prescribed time is up. In order to see all the benefits that you could receive from a drug treatment program, visit The Hope House AZ.

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