What to do when your child wants to leave rehab
Getting your child into rehab can be difficult, but getting them to stay can sometimes be even harder. And when your child wants to leave rehab, it can be very difficult to tell them you won’t help them. Rest assured that that your child is in a safe place, and helping them leave rehab will not help them in the long run. Your child may beg, threaten, become angry, or anything else he or she can do to get you to help him or her leave rehab. However, you will not be saving your child if you help them leave rehab. You can enable them to be back on the streets doing drugs. We all know that addiction is a matter of life and death. Choose life for your child, do not enable them any further. If you really love your child (which I know you do), you will realize that leaving them in rehab is the only choice you have.
For more information on what to do when your child wants to leave rehab, let’s examine the most common reasons that make them want to leave:
What to do when your child wants to leave rehab: During the detox process…
Make no bones about it, detox is not fun. Withdrawal and drug cravings can be difficult to cope with in an unfamiliar environment. Your child knows that if he or she leaves rehab, he or she will be able to get a quick, but temporary, relief from the symptoms. However, the detox process is a necessary step to getting clean, and if your child leaves rehab, where will it end? After a while, they won’t even feel high because their tolerance will be so great. They will continue to use just to avoid withdrawal. It’s a never ending cycle. The only end to this is a safe, medical withdrawal. If your child wants to leave rehab because of withdrawal symptoms, counsel him or her to speak with the medical staff about adjusting their medication. The point of a medical detox is to make withdrawal as safe and comfortable as possible. If there is a medical need for an increase or change of their medication, the staff will be able to access this.
What to do when your child wants to leave rehab: Because they can’t relate…
If your child wants to leave rehab because they can’t relate, rest assured that this is part of the process. It is common for addicts in the early stages of treatment to focus on the differences between them and everyone else there instead of the similarities. Addicts try to convince themselves that they “aren’t that bad” or that they “don’t belong with these people.” They will also try to convince you that they don’t need this and that they should leave rehab. Don’t become overly concerned with this attitude. It is difficult for an addict to accept that they have a problem at first. Remind yourself of the reasons that your child went into rehab in the first place, and it will be easier for you to resist when your child wants to leave rehab because they can’t relate. Allow time for the process to work.
What to do when your child wants to leave rehab: Because the food is bad, they can’t use their phones, the staff is mean and any other excuse they can think of…
Let’s get real for a second.
At this point your child has used every and any excuse in the book to get to their drug of choice. They have lied, stolen, cheated and manipulated you, their sibling, family, friends, co-workers, and loved ones. They did all this because they wanted to get high – their drug of choice was their life. Anyone who is getting in the way of their high is in the wrong no matter what.
Going to rehab does not mean that it will be easy and that everything will go their way. Most often than not, things will NOT go their way. They will learn about the science of addiction, how it has affected their body, their brain chemistry and their overall health.
They will have to learn how to live with other people in harmony and be respectful of others feelings, property, time and space. They will learn basic life skills that many of them do not know coming in after many years on constant abuse to their bodies and everyday life. Lifeskills like how to wash and put away dishes, how to budget your money and go grocery shopping, how to wash and put away clothes and how to keep your living space clean.
They might be asked to get up and dance, shout, exercise, share a story, write a poem, express themselves. For some people this might feel uncomfortable at first but down the road they were thankful for the experience and happy that they did it.
They are in rehab to be “rehabilitated” to remove the toxins out of their body and learn how to function as a healthy, normal, productive person in society. That takes time and it might take them a while to grasp that no one at the rehab center is out to get them. The medical staff, therapist, clinicians and addiction specialist are there to help them in their recovery.
We want to help them not hurt them.
Do not help them leave if you know deep down that they’re just trying to manipulate you once again. Tell them to stick it out, to make it to the end. Tell them to give themselves a real shot at recovery.
They deserve it and so do you.
If your loved one is in need of alcohol or drug addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.