Can I Leave Rehab Early?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Leaving an addiction treatment center early can be tempting, but there are often consequences involved in doing so. These include potential health risks, financial repercussions, and more.

Can I Leave Rehab Early?

The short answer to if you can leave a drug and alcohol addiction treatment program early is, generally speaking, yes.

Most substance abuse treatment programs are voluntary, meaning that you can check in or check out when you want to.

However, leaving a drug rehab program early can result in ineffective treatment and, depending on the stage of treatment, may even be dangerous, especially if you leave during the detox phase.

This could result in health difficulties related to withdrawal symptoms, intense drug cravings, and potentially a relapse.

Why Do Some People Leave Addiction Treatment Programs Early?

People may leave an inpatient substance abuse treatment program early for a variety of reasons.

Common reasons for leaving a drug rehab program early include:

  • lack of personal commitment
  • financial difficulties
  • overconfidence in the ability to manage addiction on their own
  • emotional or psychological overwhelm
  • personal emergencies, such as those related to a family member

Although leaving a treatment facility early may seem like a good idea at first, it often comes with consequences to your health and well-being.

Consequences Of Leaving A Rehab Center Early

Alcohol and drug addiction treatment plans are designed to address all factors related to addiction in a systematic, proven manner.

Leaving rehab early can cause you to miss essential steps in the recovery process, severely impacting your chances of achieving lasting sobriety.

Financial Consequences

Many health insurance plans require you to complete treatment to receive coverage. Leaving early might result in having to cover more of your treatment costs out of pocket.

Strained Relationships

Family and friends often emotionally invest in your recovery. Leaving early may strain these relationships, as loved ones may feel let down or frustrated with your decision.

Legal Implications

If your treatment program was court-ordered, leaving early could result in legal repercussions, including fines or jail time, depending on the specifics of your case.

Mental Health Costs

Deciding not to complete your treatment program could lead to a mental health crisis down the line, including a relapse of drug or alcohol addiction.

Benefits Of Completing A Drug Treatment Program

Completing treatment is critical for people with substance use disorders (SUD), in terms of both short-term and long-term recovery.

Throughout a recovery program, addiction treatment providers give clients the tools they need for lasting recovery, such as exposure to peer support, group therapy, and alumni programs.

An individualized relapse prevention plan usually isn’t provided until the later stages of treatment, and often needs to be adjusted once the client returns to life as usual.

Completing your recovery program helps ensure that you’ll receive the treatment options and support you need throughout your recovery journey.

Find Help For Substance Abuse Today

Contact today if you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to opioids, alcohol, methamphetamine, or another substance. We can provide the first steps to addiction recovery.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on


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