The Dangers Of Leaving A Rehab Center AMA

Leaving an inpatient addiction treatment center against medical advice (AMA) can lead to a range of consequences. For those considering exiting treatment early, it’s important to first understand the risks in order to make an informed decision.

Leaving a rehabilitation center against medical advice can pose serious dangers to people with addiction, including medical risks, increased likelihood of relapse, and legal repercussions.

Before leaving treatment, it’s important for individuals to understand the risks, so they understand all of their options and can make an informed decision

What It Means To Leave Rehabilitation AMA

When a person who is undergoing addiction treatment discharges themselves before completing their treatment plan, it is called leaving against medical advice (AMA).

For people who are receiving care for drug addiction or alcohol addiction, the choice to leave is often impulsive or due to feelings of frustration, discomfort, or a desire to return to substance use.

However, leaving a substance abuse treatment program AMA creates a disruption in the recovery process, potentially hindering progress toward long-term recovery and negatively impacting the person’s well-being.

Some of the potential consequences include:

  • increased risks of medical complications
  • heightened chances of substance use disorder (SUD) relapse
  • strained relationships with friends or family who supported their treatment journey
  • legal implications if treatment was court-ordered or if relapse results in illegal activity

Health Risks And Potential Complications Of Leaving AMA

Leaving a rehabilitation center before completing treatment can result in a higher risk of health complications, amplifying the challenges faced by people in addiction recovery.

Examples of adverse health risks include incomplete detox, increased risk of overdose, and worsening physical health.

Worsening physical health is especially concerning if the person is suffering from organ damage or a blood-borne disease that requires regular treatment.

Incomplete Detoxification

Many individuals in rehabilitation require medical supervision during the detoxification process to safely manage withdrawal symptoms.

Exiting AMA can interrupt this process, leaving people vulnerable to severe withdrawal symptoms including vomiting, seizures, and even delirium tremens in cases of alcohol withdrawal.

Increased Risk Of Overdose

Upon leaving a rehab center, people may be tempted to resume substance use at previous levels without considering their reduced tolerance due to abstinence during treatment.

This increases the risk of overdose, particularly if they use opioids or other substances with a narrow therapeutic index.

Worsening Physical Health

Substance abuse takes a toll on the body, often leading to various health issues such as liver damage, cardiovascular problems, and compromised immune function.

Leaving a rehab program without completing treatment allows these health problems to persist or worsen, potentially leading to further damage or death.

Psychological Consequences

Addiction is often intertwined with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and trauma. Rehab programs typically include therapy to address these co-occurring conditions.

Leaving AMA means missing out on psychological support, which can exacerbate existing mental health problems or lead to new ones.

Factors To Consider Before Leaving AMA

Before making the decision to leave drug rehab treatment early, it’s essential for individuals to carefully consider the potential consequences.

The Disruption Of The Treatment Process

Reflect on the progress you’ve made during your time in addiction treatment.

If you have not completed your treatment plan, leaving prematurely may mean missing out on essential components of treatment that could aid in your recovery, including aftercare programs.

Increased Risk Of Relapse

By leaving rehabilitation prematurely, clients miss out on the opportunity to learn essential coping skills, relapse prevention strategies, and tools for managing triggers and cravings.

This increases the likelihood of relapse and prolongs the recovery process, potentially resulting in cycles of addiction and treatment failure.

Potential Legal And Financial Consequences

Depending on the circumstances, leaving a rehab facility AMA can have legal repercussions, especially if it violates court orders or probation terms.

Additionally, individuals may face financial penalties for terminating treatment prematurely, such as losing insurance coverage or paying cancellation fees.

The Impact On Relationships

Addiction can strain relationships with family, friends, and employers.

Leaving an addiction recovery program AMA can further erode trust and support from loved ones who may have facilitated treatment, leading to feelings of frustration and resentment.

How To Re-Engage In Treatment If You Leave AMA

If you leave a rehabilitation center against medical advice (AMA) but later decide to re-engage in treatment, there are proactive steps you can take to resume your recovery journey.

First, reach out to the healthcare professionals or counselors at your rehab facility to discuss your decision to return to treatment.

Staff members can help you develop a plan for re-entry, which may involve assessing your current needs, scheduling appointments for medical assessments, and identifying recovery resources.

Additionally, reconnect with your support network, including family, friends, or peers in recovery, who can provide encouragement and assistance during this transition.

Remember that re-engaging in treatment is a positive step towards reclaiming your health, and there are resources available to support you on your journey.

Learn More About Substance Abuse Treatment At Spring Hill

If you or a loved one is experiencing substance abuse, professional treatment can help. Contact Spring Hill today to learn more.

  1. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  2. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  3. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  4. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  5. National Library of Medicine: PubMed

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

Published on: February 21, 2024

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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