What is the Danger of Leaving Treatment Too Soon?

Whether you’re thinking ahead in terms of treatment or you’re nearing a point where you think leaving is a possibility, ending your recovery program too soon can be problematic. Even when you’re feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and recovered, consider why you should continue until the program’s official end.

Why Not to Leave Treatment Early

In general, you should not leave treatment early. Of course, exceptions apply. For example, if you find that the program is a terribly poor fit for your needs and you want to switch to another facility, leaving the initial center early can work. In other situations, however, consider the reasons for staying until the end of the treatment program:

  • experiencing all elements of the program
  • developing further strategies for navigating temptations and triggers
  • ensuring that you’re ready
  • continuing with a follow-up program

Experiencing All Elements of the Program

If you leave the program early, knowing exactly what you’re missing is virtually impossible. You might want to leave early because you feel the program hasn’t offered a certain critical component, but that part of your treatment plan might simply not have happened yet. Also, the later parts of the program might offer sessions on how to handle specific situations that you could encounter back at home. Leaving too early means you won’t get to absorb that vital information. Even if you feel ready now to move to the next stages of the program, understand that there may be reasons why waiting just a little bit longer is the better move.

Developing Further Strategies

The middle and end stages of some programs will focus more on techniques you can use for avoiding temptation and triggers back at home. Treatment programs seek to prepare you for returning to your living space, work, school and other familiar scenarios.

If you leave treatment too early, you could go back into those environments without the tools for navigating challenging situations, which could lead to a relapse or other problems. Staying in the rehab program might mean that you encounter situations or discuss scenarios that could prompt you to develop further strategies for managing your addiction upon returning back home.

Ensuring That You’re Ready

Treatment programs are designed to help clients from start to finish. During your time at the center, you’ll receive a great deal of support from the staff members, and you might form supportive bonds with the other clients as well. As you move through the program, you should feel accomplished and proud of yourself. Remember that treatment for addiction involves steps or stages though.

After you complete one stage of recovery, you may be ready to move on to the next stage, but you aren’t necessarily ready to leave treatment entirely. Instead of allowing a false sense of confidence and preparedness to trick you into leaving rehab early, consider how you can get even more motivated by finishing up the program. If you leave rehab before you’re ready, you might relapse.

Continuing with a Follow-up Program

After your initial treatment program, you may have the opportunity to continue with follow-up steps. For example, after completing treatment at an inpatient center, some clients will continue getting help through outpatient services that are associated with the rehab. If you leave the treatment program early, you may not qualify for these services.

The outpatient services may be designed to flow seamlessly from the inpatient treatment program. In other words, clients entering the outpatient program may be expected to possess knowledge of certain skills and techniques that were taught and discussed during inpatient treatment. If you do not complete the inpatient program, you would then be unaware of at least some of that information. In summary, leaving rehab too early could increase the chances that you relapse. Unless you’re experiencing serious or dangerous issues in the treatment program, consider how staying longer can ultimately be the best move. You can also call 833-820-2922 to discuss the options with a caring and informed professional.