Deciding to enter a rehab program is a significant step toward recovery. However, the journey isn’t always effortless. If you choose to leave rehab early during a treatment program, the result may not be successful. It’s vital to understand that patients typically walk away from treatment hastily because of worry, not because they’ve carefully considered the benefits, drawbacks, and repercussions of that choice. So, what happens when you leave rehab early? This article will help you understand why some patients leave rehab early and the effect when a person quits in the middle of treatment.

What Happens When You Leave Rehab Early
What Happens When You Leave Rehab Early

Why People Leave Rehab Early?

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), 1st-month dropout rates in outpatient substance abuse treatment are over 30%, and before three months might be as high as 50%. Similarly, the lengthier the needed stay for inpatient treatment, the higher the dropout rates. Many patients stop receiving treatment and then decide to resume it later.

The rehab center and your counselors would not advise you to leave rehab early. It’s not the best thing to do. But it is your choice to leave rehab before completing your program, just as it is your choice to enter rehabilitation in the first place.

What happens when you leave rehab early?

If you’re already in a therapy program and thinking about checking out, the greatest thing you can do is communicate to the therapists and counselors about what you’re feeling. They’ve dealt with similar situations previously and can answer any worries you have regarding your worries or progress.
You may also wish to share your problems in group therapy, as other patients may also share similar feelings. You may be able to help each other to stay motivated. If it doesn’t keep you settled in staying for your recovery, then you are free to leave. Let us know first why people leave rehab early.

The Effects Of Leaving Rehab Prematurely

There are a variety of reasons why people would think about leaving rehab prematurely, some of those reasons are the following:

  • Intense withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal’s bodily, mental, and emotional impacts are difficult to deal with. People may reason that it is better to stay using drugs than to stop due to the tremendous cravings and anxiety they feel throughout the detox.

  • Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can arise after a long duration of withdrawal. When a person ceases taking an illicit substance after a long period of its use, PAWS can occur, marked by anger, anxiety, exhaustion, mood changes, loss of attention, and aggressiveness. The brain produces less oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin as a consequence of this. People in rehabilitation may experience unwillingness to find happiness on their own and seek to prove to leave rehab to begin drug or alcohol abuse.

  • Denial 

Denial may be felt by those suffering from addiction. Patients believe they are wiser or better than other alcoholics or drug addicts. This perspective may prevent individuals from confronting their problems and receiving the assistance they require.

  • I Don’t Need Rehab

Certain qualities must be taught over time to ensure that a person is well prepared to leave rehab. Some people, unfortunately, may believe they have learned everything they need to know about addiction after finishing detox and a few weeks of rehab. While optimism is a necessary element of the recovery process, it can also be harmful to long-term rehabilitation. Relapse may be difficult to avoid for people who exit rehab with a less established skillset.

The Effects Of Leaving Rehab Prematurely
The Effects Of Leaving Rehab Prematurely

What Happens When You Leave Rehab

If the reasons would undermine you as stated above and you decided to leave rehab early, you can’t possibly expect to get all the coping mechanisms. You’ll need to identify and understand your relapse triggers. This is what happens when you leave rehab early.

1. Leaving Rehab in the First 2 Days

Whenever people leave rehab within the first 1 or 2 days, it’s usually because they’re confused about their desire to seek assistance. Perhaps they’ve simply realized that they’ll be apart from their family, friends, and loved ones for a longer length of time. Another reason that people may quit treatment early is that they simply went to please someone else. They just go with it intending to get out as quickly as possible.

2. Leaving Rehab 3-14 Days After Arrival

Patients who quit early from addiction treatment are most likely to do so at this period. Detox is always the first step in recovery. When a person stops using drugs, it naturally departs their system. While detox is necessary for treatment, it is difficult because withdrawal symptoms are unavoidable. The severity of these symptoms varies for every patient and is dependent on the medicine used.

Extreme cravings, nausea, convulsions, and muscle discomfort are some of the symptoms that might occur. When people drop out of therapy between 3 and 14 days, they feel obligated to use it to manage withdrawal symptoms.

To avoid this, make sure you or someone you care about considering treatment is aware that withdrawal symptoms mark detox. Also, they should do some study on what to anticipate throughout this period of treatment. It’s a good idea to look for a treatment center that takes a medical approach to detox, which involves using drugs to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.

3. Leaving Rehab After 2 Weeks

There are a variety of reasons why people drop out of therapy. People who abandon treatment beyond the first two weeks remain vulnerable to overdose and overdose-related death. When people who have detoxed utilize a drug they were formerly addicted to after detoxing, their bodies are no more habituated to it. Sadly, the majority of overdose deaths occur in those who have relapsed and detoxed.

It is clear what happens when you leave rehab early is a dangerous health consequence. Leaving the rehabilitation process too soon can be harmful to both health and mind. This is particularly true if a person decides to quit during the detoxification process. It is one of the most difficult milestones to achieve, but it is also fulfilling. Those who do not finish their detox in a medically assisted facility risked allowing life-threatening conditions, as well as having an extremely unpleasant withdrawal experience. A person could have a heart attack, a stroke, seizures, or even die as a result.


The advantages of enrolling in a rehab program and completing it are limitless. These programs are intended to assist individuals in leading a happier and healthier life free of drugs and alcohol. So, what happens when you leave rehab early? Relapse, overdose, and even death are the most serious yet very real health problems that can happen if you leave rehab early. You may also not be able to fully heal mentally, so make sure to think about this when you decide to walk out of the door. Recovery is a lifelong process. Make sure to seek support and communicate to your therapist or family whenever you are tempted to leave early.

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