There are many reasons that a person would enter a rehab program. The decision could have been voluntary or because of an intervention conducted by loved ones. Programs they enter could vary in length or duration. Rehabs programs with better success rates are often long-term and include an aftercare plan to continue recovery when their stay in the facility is over. However, there are cases where a person decides not to finish their program and leaves against medical advice. Keep reading this article to find out the answer to can a person check themselves out of a rehab center?

Can a Person Check Themselves Out Of Rehab?
Can a Person Check Themselves Out Of Rehab?

Why Can A Person Check Themselves Out of Rehab?

It is important to understand the reasons for wanting to check out in the first place. This way, you can properly address the question, can a person check themselves out of a rehab center. The goal is for the family system to work with the treatment professionals to help the individual finish their treatment plan.

Here are a few of the reasons why a person checks out of rehab:

  1. Withdrawals.

A person can experience withdrawal when they abruptly or suddenly stop using the substance they are addicted to. The symptoms of withdrawal may manifest physically, mentally, emotionally, or all of these together. The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person.

These symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Hallucination
  • Shaking or chills
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  1. Denial or overconfidence

A person might think that they don’t need rehab because their situation is not that bad. They think that they can recover on their own. Perhaps they simply think that it is a waste of time and money. In another case, they are already in rehab but don’t feel like they are the same as the other patients. They may have the mindset that they are stronger or smarter than those with addiction. This type of thinking is often a defense mechanism to not realize the consequences of their actions and addiction.

For others, they mistake the euphoria from early sobriety for being “cured” of their addiction. After making some progress, a person can feel that they are already better or have fully recovered. Therefore, they think they don’t need to stay in rehab anymore.

  1. Being unhappy or unsatisfied

There are instances where a person is not happy with the rehab they chose. They are not impressed with the surroundings and the facilities, uncomfortable with their accommodation, may dislike the staff, or have a misunderstanding with another patient. These must be taken seriously and you should encourage your loved one to file a grievance with the treatment center they are in. They may also be homesick and miss their family and friends, which intensifies their desire to leave early.

No matter the reason for wanting to leave the rehab program, it is important to note that these feelings of discomfort are temporary. It is encouraged for family members to educate themselves on how to support their loved ones in a program. This will help set healthy boundaries and a healthy line of support for the individual in the program to see their treatment plan through.

How Can a Person Check Out of Rehab

So,how can a person check themselves out of a rehab center? Leaving a treatment program is similar to leaving a hospital before being cleared by a medical professional. The term used is “leaving against medical advice, or AMA.” Without going through the proper channels, patients can request their belongings back from the rehab facility and leave the program. Most Substance Use programs in the country are not “lock-down” programs that would have the capacity to keep someone in the program that wants to leave.

Can A Person Check Themselves Out Of A Rehab Center and Stay Sober?

Can a person check themselves out of a rehab center and stay sober? We don’t believe in absolutes, so is it possible? Perhaps. Statistics prove that it can be extremely dangerous when an individual leaves rehab early, especially against medical advice for a couple reasons:

  • High chance of relapse

Without the supportive environment of a detox or a rehab program, those struggling are at a high risk of relapse upon leaving without completing successfully. When an individual struggling with addiction leaves a rehab against medical advice, they are often fearful, uncertain, and anxious about their next steps. These unregulated emotions can lead to high stress and a high likelihood of relapse.

  • Health Risk

Withdrawal from most drugs and alcohol can be very dangerous and even fatal. Symptoms can include digestive problems, violent shaking that can lead to physical injuries, paranoia, and extreme emotions such as anger or sadness, which can harm oneself or others, seizures, stroke, and overdosing. It is important to stay in a medically-monitored environment until you are cleared by the medical professionals to leave.

  • Financial toll

Many insurance companies will not cover a stay in rehab when the individual has left against medical advice many times before. It can become difficult to find help if insurance does not provide authorization for your rehab stay. Look for support amongst the staff or your family if you feel frustrated with your rehab program.

  • Long Term Sobriety

Recovery from addiction is not a one-way street. It is a commitment that lasts a lifetime. A goal in rehab is to learn the necessary skills to continue their progress after the person has completed the program and is discharged. Aside from this, rehab includes seeing a therapist, getting psychological or psychiatric services, and having the support of other people who are going through the same thing. They also have nutritionists and physicians that aid in the recovery.

When a person does not finish their treatment, they go back to society without learning these skills. Without this support, studies show the chance of maintaining long-term sobriety will drastically reduce.

  • Breaking Trust

Loved ones often don’t support quitting rehab if they are practicing healthy boundaries as a family member of an individual struggling with addiction. If this has happened several times before, a loved one leaving rehab could be a betrayal of trust. They might also not want to keep supporting someone who cannot commit to a treatment plan. Boundaries are a healthy way of supporting your loved one, but making it clear that you do not encourage their departure or support it in any way – financially, emotionally or physically.

How Can a Person Check Out of Rehab
How Can a Person Check Out of Rehab

Can a Person Check Themselves Out of A Rehab Center Like HEAL Behavioral Health?

The short answer: yes. HEAL Behavioral Health is a trauma-focused addiction treatment center geared towards adults, 18+ who want to willingly participate in their treatment plan. We are not a lock-down facility. The team at HEAL has an exceedingly high success rate with individuals that are “treatment-resistant.”

Marchman Act

In the state of Florida, a family or concerned loved one can go to courts to request a Marchman Act be granted to make treatment legally mandatory for the individual struggling. This way, they are less likely to check themselves out of rehab, before the Marchman Act is over. HEAL Behavioral Health works with families prior to admission, while they are working on the Marchman Act, and through the duration of the Marchman Act treatment stay for their loved one.


HEAL Behavioral Health has a Licensed Interventionist on staff, available to assist with patients who are trying to check themselves out of rehab. The interventionist is trained to speak to struggling individuals who are trying to leave rehab for numerous reasons. We have seen a high success rate with the crisis interventions on site. Ultimately when considering, can a person check themselves out of rehab, its important to choose a rehab facility for your loved one that has the resources and the team to help your loved one decide against checking out of rehab early. It can be highly dangerous physically, emotionally and mentally. The risk for relapse and even death is high when a person checks themselves out of rehab before the completion of their treatment plan.

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