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What to Do if Your Loved One Leaves Rehab Early

Supporting a loved one struggling with addiction is challenging and sometimes painful. Watching the self-destruction that can occur with addiction is devastating. When the decision for treatment and hope reigns high, it can be excruciating to see your loved one leaving rehab early. However, you and your loved one understand that to remain sober, the recommended treatment plan needs to be adhered to stay sober.

There are some ways to support your loved one. First, be prepared for this moment by educating yourself. Keeping your worries, fears, and memories from disrupting your clear thinking is challenging. You must remember that you are not responsible for the mistakes your loved one makes. When your loved one is set on leaving rehab early, you must put a plan into action.

Why Do People Leave Rehab Early?

In addiction treatment, there is always a possibility of relapse and leaving rehab early. Leaving rehab early means the patient is discharged against medical advice or AMA. There are many possibilities for leaving early, but the greatest is the inability to deal with fear. What could they be afraid of? People who cannot process fear feel the fear is too big to handle. Leaving rehab before completion could be from the fear of:

  • The unknown
  • Fear of living sober
  • Fear of confronting their demons
  • Fear of what they will discover in therapy

Recovery treatment is designed to deal with physical, psychological, social, and environmental aspects of life without addiction. Treatment is hard work, and it is very challenging to learn new methods to cope with feelings and emotions without relying on drugs or alcohol. Rehab can feel overwhelming at times. Other reasons why your loved one might be leaving rehab early include the following:

  • Treatment is just too hard for them to handle.
  • There is still denial present about their addiction.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are still lingering, and they want relief.
  • Feel doubt about the commitment they made to become sober.
  • Your loved one thinks they can do it on their own.
  • Too emotionally exhausting to explore past traumas
  • Anger, boredom, and loneliness are overwhelming

The Risks of Leaving Rehab Early

Recovery from addiction is possible with a completed treatment plan and a sound support system. Every day that passes in treatment, there must be a renewal of the commitment made to quit using drugs and alcohol. Rehab is a challenging process, and to decide on leaving rehab early can mean possible relapse. The struggle to fight against cravings and withdrawal symptoms may be too fresh and strong to resist.

Leaving rehab early before completing essential education to live a sober lifestyle is dangerous. Treatment is designed to learn how to identify the triggers that cause the need to use. In addition, exploring how to replace drug use with healthy and positive coping skills is vital for continued sobriety. Finally, learning to process emotions and feelings positively through therapy is crucial to remain sober.

You can encourage your loved one not to leave rehab early by identifying the risks of leaving treatment before completion. But, again, reinforcing the goal of sobriety is vital. Pointing out the negative possibilities may not be enough to change their decision of leaving rehab early. Be sure to take care of yourself through this disturbing experience.

The risks of leaving rehab early include the following:

  • Necessary coping skills have not been obtained
  • Relapse
  • The possibility of an overdose
  • Finding recovery the second time could be more demanding
  • Extreme emotional distress could cause self-harming behaviors
  • Their relationships could be damaged further

What To Do if your Loved One is Leaving Rehab Early

It is frightening and challenging when your loved one in addiction treatment is leaving rehab early. You may feel angry and defeated, but try reflecting on what you learned in family support therapy. You must establish favorable relationship rules immediately. Following these guidelines, you can offer healthy and positive support for your loved one.

Establish Boundaries

Caring for a loved one with an addiction history is challenging. But, above all, you must worry and care for yourself first. When your loved one is leaving rehab early, they will likely return to drugs and drinking again. Therefore, you must set boundaries if they want money or to live with you. Inviting dysfunctional issues into your own home is never a good idea. Set the rules and stick to them.

Do Not Be an Enabler

Behaviors that support your loved ones’ use of alcohol or drugs enable their addiction. Providing your loved one with money, a roof over their head, and covering their relapse is unacceptable. Leaving rehab early did not allow them to learn all the necessary skills to maintain sobriety. Your behaviors cannot allow them to continue to be self-destructive.

Ready Addiction Treatment Resources

If your loved one has a change of heart, have resources ready for them to get back into treatment quickly. The goal of sobriety never changes. Leaving rehab early doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind again. Be ready and encourage treatment at every possible moment.

Find Support For Yourself

The experience of your loved one leaving rehab early will take a toll. Leaning on individual and group therapy can help you understand the situation and be supported with your emotions. In addition, being an example of positive and healthy coping strategies is good for your loved one to observe. Finally, use self-care techniques for a calm and peaceful time to reflect.

Find Help If Your Loved One is Leaving Rehab Early in Tennessee

If your loved one is leaving rehab early and you feel confused and helpless and don’t know how to react, contact Freeman Recovery Center for help. Our experienced counselors can listen to your fears, advise you and speak to your loved one if they respond. Sobriety is the goal; if we can help you and your loved one, it’s worth the effort. Contact us today to see if we can hold an intervention.

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