Dr. Cali Estes - The Addictions Academy ®

3 Reasons Clients Leave Drug and Alcohol Treatment Early

addiction treatment

3 Reasons Clients Leave Drug and Alcohol Treatment Early

Drug and alcohol treatment dropout rates are usually pretty high. One study suggests that dropout rates from drug and alcohol treatment are about 30%. However, that’s just one report. Each facility will have its own dropout or successful completion rate. But the fact remains that people leave early, and we should find ways to help prevent it.

There are many reasons for early dropout, but three really stand out. Let’s take a look at three of the common reasons that people decide to leave addiction treatment early and what you can do about it.

1. Bad Clinical Relationships in a drug and alcohol treatment facility

One of the biggest reasons for people leaving against medical advice from drug and alcohol treatment is because of a bad clinical relationship. These addiction treatment centers often offer a method that is supposed to work for everyone. If you don’t fit into their clinical mode, you will not have a good experience.

So many people choose to quit addiction treatment because they don’t resonate with the therapist or the therapy that’s being offered. For example, many drug and alcohol treatments choose to follow the 12-step process. While that method is excellent for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. So, trying to force people to attend 12-step meetings that they aren’t getting anything from or don’t want to do can cause many people to walk out.

2. There Are Not Enough Interactive Groups in drug and alcohol treatment

One of the reasons that people leave drugs and alcohol treatment early is that there are not enough interactive groups. Many times, these facilities may have group therapy sessions, but no one seems to want to speak. For therapy groups to work, people need to be able to participate and have a good time doing it. Often, there are just too many people in a facility to really be able to have the small, intimate group sessions that are necessary for a strong recovery.

3. Untrained Staff in drug and alcohol treatment

One of the other reasons that people are leaving against medical advice from drug and alcohol treatment is simply because of untrained staff. Many times, the psychiatrist and counselors have never had an addiction of their own, and they don’t really know what it’s like to have an addiction.

They have a textbook education and may know about addiction on paper, but that is not what it takes to be able to meet people on the same level. For example, for someone to really feel like the therapist understands them, they need to know how it feels to go through an addiction.

Another example of untrained staff in addiction treatment is people who simply aren’t qualified at all to handle addiction. Many times, these facilities are like revolving doors for employees. People come and go, and they genuinely don’t have the training necessary to treat people with an addiction.

Often, people who are struggling with an addiction can feel that these people have no idea what they are doing. It causes them to decide that leaving against medical advice beats staying in such an unprofessional environment that doesn’t resonate.


Help Reduce Your AMA Dropout Rate

One of the most essential ways to help people stay in drug and alcohol treatment is to ensure that you have highly trained staff that know about addiction. There are ways to reduce AMA and dropout rates. The Addictions Academy offers a course to help you learn how to communicate with people who may be on the fence about getting help and help them decide to stay and get the help they deserve. Reach out today to take our course and help reduce your AMA dropout rates.

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