So many people approach treatment as a quick fix. Some view detoxification as all they need. However, as practitioners and researchers learn more about the process of recovery and what is most beneficial, they have realized that long-term support is the support that is most likely going to sustain recovery and enable you to fully heal from addiction. This means that leaving treatment early is likely to result in some dangerous consequences.
Leaving treatment is easier than sticking it out. Treatment and recovery are difficult and make you face your past and your future with a force you possibly have not experienced in years. Making amends and facing your past as part of working a 12-Step program may feel like more than you can handle in that moment. However, maintaining treatment goals and focusing on the end result can help your resilience in this difficult time.
2 Dangers of Leaving Treatment Too Early:
#1. There Is a Greater Risk of Relapse
Relapse happens even in the best of circumstances; however, leaving treatment before you have the skills to face old triggers means relapse is more likely to occur. As relapse occurs, there are multiple emotional side-effects that limit your ability to believe recovery is possible. Not only will your skills for avoiding relapse be limited, but your resilience to automatic negative thought patterns is limited, as well.
People, places, and things are supposed to be addressed in treatment. Plans are made in the recovery process on how to deal with former issues and the people that trigger you. Leaving treatment early means that you have not fully managed to plan to cope with those people, places, and things. Often, you return to them because that is what you know, and often the return leads to relapse. The diminished resilience might make it difficult for you to trust in your ability to overcome addiction to alcohol and other substances.
#2. With a Greater Risk of Relapse Comes a Greater Risk of Overdose
After detoxification, your tolerance is reduced, and overdosing can occur more easily. So, leaving treatment early can lead to relapse, potentially leading to accidental overdose as a result of using the same amount used prior to detoxification, in addition to having a new, limited tolerance. The overdose would be an accident resulting from you no longer knowing what and how your body will react to the alcohol and/or other substances.
Support and accountability are needed for effective recovery. Going to treatment in a group or a residence allows you to fully address all the stressors that led you to use and abuse alcohol and/or other substances.
Research is now finding that extended stays in sober living homes after a period in recovery foster even greater success in overcoming addiction long-term. So, you see that recovery takes time and cannot be accomplished just through detoxification. Leaving treatment early puts you at higher risk of relapse and overdose.
Mental Health Plays a Role
Your mental health is often ignored when you are abusing alcohol and other substances. As a result, you do not always realize the symptoms of the underlying problem. You are trying to solve a problem that you know is there but cannot quite eradicate.
One of the benefits of staying in treatment is learning to face the underlying issues of your addiction to alcohol and other substances. When you leave treatment early, you rob yourself of the opportunity to learn how and why you have spent time self-medicating. You are also depriving yourself of the opportunity for complete recovery.
Practitioners and researchers have finally realized that there are a myriad of reasons why people use and abuse alcohol and other substances. What they are finding is underlying mental health conditions, trauma, anxiety, a yearning to belong, as well as a yearning to escape the painful and perpetual reality of the person’s life. As a result of these issues playing such a powerful role in your life, the importance of staying in treatment and pursuing lifelong recovery needs to be a major focus of your reason for recovery. As stated earlier, leaving treatment early robs you of the chance to fully heal and overcome your past.
You need not be afraid of staying in treatment. Your Higher Power will be with you and just taking a step toward entering treatment shows that you are willing. Wanting to leave early is understandable, as recovery can be painful. However, the longer you stick with recovery, the easier it gets. Then, one day, you can claim you are a victor over your addiction.
Staying in recovery is difficult and not for the faint of heart; however, overcoming addiction is possible as you begin to face your fears and the realities of your life experiences. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer treatment for every step in the process of recovery, starting with detoxification and even helping you set up your life for after discharge. We do not expect you to handle even one step on your own. We are a clinically driven and gospel-centered facility focused on recovering all of who you are and who you are meant to be. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol and/or other substances, we are here to help. While the road is not easy, recovery is worth every step. Call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 and begin the road to recovery. You will not be alone, and we will help guide you through every step, even after treatment.