When Clients Leave Rehab AMA, They Hold Recovery Back

For those who know someone who has been in and out of rehab, you may have heard the term, “leave rehab AMA.” Some individuals leave rehab before they’ve actually completed their treatments, which is dangerous for a number of reasons. The following will explain what it means to leave rehab “AMA,” the reasons why a person might choose to leave rehab before he or she is actually finished treatment, and why it’s dangerous to leave rehab prematurely.

What Does “Leave Rehab AMA” Mean?

People may end up receiving treatment in a rehab in a number of different ways. Sometimes a person decides to seek help for an addiction on his or her own, finding the right program for his or her needs and making the arrangements personally. In other cases, a person might be encouraged to seek treatment by family members, friends, and other loved ones via their staging an intervention.

There’s also the possibility that a person is encouraged to enter a program at a rehab by a doctor or primary care physician, in which case the treatment would occur as a result of a professional referral. Despite the common belief that, like a prison, patients are confined to a recovery facility and are unable to leave until they’ve completed treatment, in most cases patients can leave early if they want or need to do so.

The only time when a person may not be allowed to leave would be if the rehabilitation treatment was mandated by a court order, but even in those cases the individual can sometimes leave and begin a prison sentence instead as a condition of drug court.

In rare instances, leaving early may not be a major problem, especially if a patient is nearing completion of his or her program; however, in the majority of instances, individuals are discouraged from leaving rehab prior to finishing their programming.

When a client insists on terminating treatment and leaving rehab despite his or her being encouraged by the admissions coordinator to stay and finish treatment, the individual will decide to leave rehab AMA, or “against medical advice.” 

Why People Might Leave Rehab Before Completing Treatment

There are countless reasons why a person might choose to leave rehab AMA. In some cases, leaving rehab early might be unavoidable, such is in the case of a death in the family or some other personal tragedy that one cannot address while in rehab.

However, more often than not the individual who leaves rehab early could stay and finish treatment, but chooses not to do so against the medical advice of the staff and admissions coordinators. Some of the most common reasons why an individual chooses to leave rehab AMA include:

  • When the individual was coerced or forced into rehab and didn’t want to be in a treatment program in the first place.
  • When the individual feels overwhelmed by the intensity of his or her newfound sobriety, which often triggers a flood of emotion after an extended period of using substance abuse to numb them.
  • When the individual feels unable or unprepared to cope with withdrawal symptoms.
  • When the close quarters to other addicts, group sessions, and other social components of treatment make the individual extremely uncomfortable.
  • When the individual is simply not committed to recovery and, therefore, quits when it becomes difficult.
  • When the individual becomes overconfident and feels that they don’t need to finish the program in order to remain sober.
  • When the individual simply feels that he or she is unable to become sober and live without habitual alcohol or drug use.

How Leaving Rehab AMA Can Be Dangerous

Leaving rehab before one has completed the treatment program is discouraged and dangerous for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, rehab is an inherently difficult process as individuals complete programs that are designed to help them overcome a self-destructive habit that has become ingrained in and central to their day-to-day lives. One of the dangers to leaving rehab early is that individuals are not adequately prepared to remain sober on their own, making it likely that they will relapse soon after their return home.

Moreover, leaving treatment early means that the patient leaves rehab before thoroughly understanding some of the underlying reasons or prior experiences that led to his or her becoming addicted; as such, this means that the individual is still susceptible to those factors after leaving rehab early.

Additionally, people who decide to leave rehab AMA will have a skewed perception of what the recovery process is like since they’ll have only experienced the difficult early part of recovery rather than staying until the point at which it becomes easier and more natural to be sober.

Don’t Let a Loved One Leave Rehab AMA; Call Us for Help

Each person who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction has their own specific recovery needs, which is why it’s crucial for each addict to find the addiction treatment program that can address or target those recovery needs specifically. At Drug Treatment Center Finder, our top priority is to help every addict find the program that best addresses their needs, allowing them to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

If you or someone you love would benefit from a free consultation and assessment, call Drug Treatment Center Finder today at 855-619-8070. Our recovery specialists are available any time, day or night, to help individuals begin the journey toward a life of health, sobriety, and fulfillment.

    • Can you share more on how to deal with addicts leaving rehab pre-maturely? It’s becoming more of a big concern.

  1. It is better if they stay the course. But it is really hard to say what they are battling unless we have been there. I think, like with anything, change only happen if they really want it themselves. That is the only way it will truly stick.

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