Leaving rehab early will usually mean that the person will not remain sober for long after they go home; most people who leave abruptly end up in a bar or with their dealer within hours of their departure. The reality is that most of these people later regret their decision to checkout early and, in some cases, it can be their last chance of recovery. Here are six things you should consider before taking this type of drastic step.
1. It is Hard to Make Good Decisions When You Are Angry
If you are annoyed because of something somebody said or did then you might not be thinking too clearly right now. It is also common for those in early recovery to experience extremes of emotion, which could be affecting your decision-making ability as well. It is vital that you appreciate that the person who is going to be hurt the most by a decision to check out of rehab early is yourself. Taking this action to ‘show’ others is like ‘drinking poison to punish your enemy’.
2. Wait until Tomorrow before Leaving
It is strongly recommended that you wait at least 24-hours before making the decision to leave rehab and actually doing it. This will give you time to really consider your options and possibly have a change of heart. Unless you feel the facility is somehow a threat to your well-being, it will not cause you any harm to wait another day. This also means that you will have time to calm down if the decision is being motivated by anger.
3. Remember Your Reason for Going to Rehab in the First Place
The fact that you have decided to go to rehab must mean that life was bad for you beforehand, so what has changed? Staying in this facility can allow you to pick up all the tools you need to build a better life, and you will be returning home soon enough anyway. By leaving early, you are not going to have benefited from the whole process and it throws doubt on your commitment to sobriety. Remember, most people who leave rehab early end up going right back to alcohol or drugs.
4. Are You Looking for a Justification to Relapse?
Some people are not fully committed to sobriety, meaning they are just looking for an excuse to relapse. In some cases, the person will be doing this consciously but it can also happen subconsciously. You need to consider the possibility that this urge to leave early might be a sign that you are not fully committed. If this is the case, you need to fully commit now so you can have a chance of a much better future. A return to alcohol or drugs is almost certainly going to lead to further suffering and misery, and you deserve a lot better than this.
5. Speak to a Therapist about How You Are Feeling
The worst thing you can do is just storm out of rehab as this increases the likelihood that the decision you made was impulsive and not in your best interest. The therapist cannot make you stay, but you do owe it to yourself to get their feedback at this point. If you are upset because of something the therapist said or did, it will probably be helpful if you tell them this. Maybe there has been some miscommunication, or perhaps you need to be assigned to a different therapist; there can be personality clashes. If you do not talk about what is happening, nothing can be resolved.
6. Make Sure There is Aftercare Available for You
If there is no way you are willing to remain longer in the programme, you want to at least make sure there is going to be sufficient aftercare when you go home. The fact that you are leaving in a rush makes it harder to create an effective discharge plan, which is another good reason why you might want to delay your departure by a day or two.