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How long should I stay in rehab? And the risks of leaving early.

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So you’ve decided to go to a rehab center? This is a wise decision, as a recovery center can be scary to newcomers. Fear of the length of stay in rehab deters more people from enrolling. However, if you follow the guidelines and advice of the medical specialists, you will reap multiple benefits from the rehab program.

Leaving the rehab center before the time recommended by the medical specialist or counselor is known as leaving Against Medical Advice (AMA). You must strictly adhere to your doctor’s orders if you want to be treated for a specific medical condition. On the same note, the risks of leaving rehab too soon can result in life-threatening dangers or death. Continue reading the article below to learn more.

What is the Length of Stay at a Rehab Center?

Treatment for any addiction in any rehab center takes an average amount of time. The treatment period varies on different situations, making an exact length of stay challenging to predict. However, we discovered that the average length of time a person can stay in the program is one to three months.

Short treatment programs that require detoxification, support care, or therapies significantly impact a small number of people. Treatment of drug use disorders, however, is more complicated and requires more extended periods. Most people want to leave the rehab center as soon as possible, but a recent study found that more extended stays help reduce relapse.

There are two kinds of rehab stays: short-term and long-term. The two average time frames involve the detoxification and evaluation processes between the first and second week.

  1. Short-Term stays: Short-term stays are recommended for people involved in tight programs. Picking this treatment option mostly depends on addiction severity, nature of work, or insurance coverage. Short-term options are affordable compared to long-term options. This means most people can use the insurance coverage to pay for the vote compared to extended stays.
  2. Long-term treatment options:  even if short-term stays are associated with some benefits, long-term stays also have a significant share when treating severe cases. The option isn’t a favorite for most people, and few people are patient enough. Long-term stays are recommended for individuals with mild relapses or those resistant to short-term options. Other advantages include:
  • The addict is enrolled in a 24-hour healthcare program
  • The period is adequate for the brain to recover fully
  • Additional time to acquire crucial life skills
  • Adequate time to talk about alarming psychological issues
  • It’s time to rebuild family and pal connections
  • Sufficient time to reconstruct the nutrition

In reality, there’s no perfect answer to the recommended period an individual must stay in a rehab center. Every individual is exceptional, and they respond to the treatment process differently.

More about Leaving Rehab Against Medical Advice (AMA)

Checking out of rehab earlier than the suggested period is against medical advice (AMA). This is among the most dangerous decisions any addict in the treatment program can make. The programs typically have devices and requirements to help you recover fully within the recommended period. Leaving before the set period will mean that you’ll not get the suggested mechanisms and skills you require to heal. Current research shows that the number of people leaving rehab against medical advice has recently skyrocketed. The standard groups exposed to risks of leaving rehab early are:

  • Young people
  • The male gender
  • People without insurance coverage
  • Those who are using the Medicaid plan
  • People with substance abuse disorders

Here are multiple reasons why people choose to leave AMA:

  • Not being dedicated to a recovery program and living in sobriety
  • They miss their family members and close pals
  • Prolonged withdrawal signs
  • Emotional effects of prolonged treatment
  • Family emergencies or the death of a close relative
  • Financial challenges
  • Not believing that they can’t heal fully.

The current report shows that most risks of leaving rehab early are due to prolonged withdrawal symptoms. This means there’s a need to prioritize care for withdrawal symptoms among individuals to improve the number of patients retained.

Dangers of Leaving Rehab Against Medical Advice

The first danger of leaving the rehab center early is that you may not get the required treatment care. This means you’ll not receive all the devices you need in your recovery and sobriety process; instead, you’ll be exposed to more stress. Other risks of leaving rehab early include:

  • You will have to re-enroll in the treatment afresh
  • You get exposed to the dangers of coping with false sobriety feelings
  • A wrong insight of the rehab because of incomplete treatment
  • Denial access to the follow-up care support, guidance, and prevention relapse
  • Not understanding the aspects that contributed to the previous addiction results in a repeat of the cycle.
  • Loss of connections with family members and close pals
  • Can result in a fatal overdose
  • Frequent collisions with law enforcement officers

Leaving rehab early is not recommended, as the dangers outweigh the benefits. Therefore, you must adhere to the doctor’s guidelines and suggestions during the healing process.

Support from Family to Prevent them from Leaving Rehab Early

When patients enrolled in a rehab program show signs of leaving, the best you can do is to stay calm. Shouting at them at this time can make them feel like going to the program early. It would help if you talked to them calmly without showing them any negative attitude. Here are other things you can do:

  • Show some love and support through regular encouragement.
  • Develop a habit of enquiring about things taught on a particular day and make them understand the resulting benefits after they’re done
  • Make them stick to the treatment program by reminding them of the main objective.
  • Engage the treatment specialist to encourage your loved one to continue with the treatment.


Now that you’ve understood the timeframe of staying in the rehab program and its benefits, it’s time to find the best within your reach. This guide has all the information you require throughout the recovery process.

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