The Dangers of Leaving Treatment Early

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For the addict who is in a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, the temptation of leaving treatment early and against medical advice is ever present. Those feelings are bolstered by the sense of separation and isolation from family and friends as well as thoughts that you have some clarity and can pursue recovery on your own. While those thoughts are understandable, leaving treatment early can be detrimental not only to your recovery but can also be detrimental to your health and in some cases can potentially be life-threatening.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is not meant to be easy and its purpose is to uncover and acknowledge the underlying mechanisms of why you use and abuse drugs and/or alcohol and give you the tools to succeed in recovery for the long term. In order to understand the benefits of staying in treatment, we need to examine the common excuses that people may use in wanting to leave treatment early and understand why those assertions are detrimental to your recovery and health.

Reason #1: “I Am Different Than These People”

There is a common contention among individuals struggling with addiction they are in some way shape or form different, smarter. If one sticks around the drug and alcohol treatment center with an open mind, they will see that addiction is a selfish disease and that selfishness is blinding and distorts perception. They will also be surrounded by peers with similar stories to themselves who also felt they were special, only to find out their addiction with nothing but smoke and mirrors. or stronger than their peers. These types of thoughts make it easy to put up emotional walls between themselves and others, which block the soul-searching and deep self-examination needed for long-term addiction recovery. The disease of addiction allows people to view themselves as special or different when in reality those mindsets make the addict sicker and more detached from the reality of their situation.

Reason #2: “I Can’t Handle Detoxing”

The first couple of weeks of treatment can be uncomfortable and even unbearable because of the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the drug, the length of time the drug was used and the quantity of the drug consumed, the withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable both physically and mentally. Many drug treatment facilities provide excellent detoxification programs in which licensed and trained medical staff provides around the clock supervision. The goal of detox is to minimize the pain and discomfort of withdrawal.

You are not alone in the management of your withdrawal, you have the support of medical and counseling staff who are encouraging and empathetic to the situation. Many counselors who work in drug and alcohol addiction treatment are in recovery themselves so they can identify and relate to the struggles of detoxification.

Reason #3: “I Don’t Like It Here”

Let’s face it…treatment is not the place we want to be. When an individual struggling with an addiction has thoughts about abusing drugs or alcohol they feel the need to find a justification for doing so. Instead of accepting responsibility for their own recovery, an addict may place the blame elsewhere, such as on the food, accommodations, treatment schedule, and staff. These thoughts are a clear example of an addiction that is still active and it is those types of thoughts that treatment can help correct and redirect. The truth is that while many addicts may resist treatment, deep down inside they are screaming for help and when they acknowledge this need they can begin their journey to recovery.

Reason #4: “I Can Do This On My Own”

It is common for a person early in drug and alcohol addiction treatment to gain confidence in their sobriety. After the toxins that have accumulated in the body have dissipated and the addict starts feeling better they may feel as though the process is completed. While the addict may feel better physically, that is only half the battle. The bulk of work done in treatment is the mental and psychological work that addresses the ongoing underlying mechanisms of addiction.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment provides the newly recovering addict with the tools necessary not only to overcome those underlying emotional and psychological mechanisms, they also can be of great assistance in dealing with the temptations and situations that can be encountered once treatment is over. Drug and alcohol treatment can be disoriented, frustrating and scary. However, you need to learn to trust the process and the truth is that you are not alone in your fight against your addiction. Understanding and supportive staff will encourage and empower you. Additionally, addiction treatment allows the participation and support of family and friends who are supportive in your decision to be in recovery.

If you or someone you know is in need of help with a drug and alcohol problem call The Palm Beach Institute now, and speak to a qualified addiction specialist who can help you take the first step in the journey of recovery from drugs and alcohol. Call now at 1-855-534-3574 before it’s too late.

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