Those who are pursuing treatment of their addiction commonly struggle with the temptation to leave therapy early. This can occur for several reasons. Many times, people choose to leave therapy early because they feel that they are recovering already and since they are feeling better, they assume that everything will be fine when they are on their own again. This doesn’t tend to work as planned and many of the people who leave earlier than expected find themselves sliding back into addiction again. This can be very harmful because they might go on addiction binges and cause more damage to their bodies, if not overdosing.
Other times, people leave therapy early because since it is so early in the program, they feel as if they’re not making any progress. Since they don’t feel any different or they don’t notice anything different immediately, they think that the therapy treatment is not working. They don’t see any personal progress so they assume nothing is happening and leave the program. This is harmful because these are individuals who have not received enough treatment to even know how to manage their triggers or how to deal with the rush of emotions when they are out of rehab again; therefore, they are more likely to get involved with substance abuse again.
When individuals leave therapy early, it puts them at a higher risk to harm themselves and abuse substances again. Some people leave their therapy program just so they can abuse substances again and go on binges. Some people binge to the extent that it causes fatalities and they never have another chance to go back into a program. Other times it may lead to crime and spending time in jail, which doesn’t always include rehab as an option. There are many negative consequences to leaving a therapy program early.
Although you may feel as if you’re not getting the results that you want, it doesn’t mean that the program isn’t working. It doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless. It only means that progress isn’t always visible and isn’t always immediate. Just like it took time to develop the addiction, it can also take time to break the habit as well. For that reason, it’s important to be patient with the treatment program and give it time to work out.
If you feel that your therapy program isn’t meeting your needs, you still shouldn’t leave. Instead, you should communicate your feelings to your counselor or the group leader. They will be able to provide you with suggestions or send you to a program that may be able to provide you with the results that you are expecting. Sometimes people do better in therapy sessions that use a different approach, so if you’re not getting enough fulfillment out of your current therapy method, consider these options instead of leaving.