Top 5 Reasons Clients Leave Treatment Against Medical Advice

Top 5 Reasons Clients Leave Treatment AMA

AMAA common problem for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers is high AMA rates, or leaving against medical advice. This means that after clients are admitted into treatment, they decide to leave the program before completion. This is when relapse and overdose rates are at their highest. A lot of times, people will find an excuse to leave treatment early that may sound reasonable, however, they likely just want to use. Most AMA’s happen because the client convinces a loved one that they are somehow victim of a disservice. The key is to quickly establish a rapport with the family in order to prevent an AMA before it even happens. Calling the family and reporting pre-signs of AMA, and putting the client into a position that takes away their resources to leave treatment will prevent an AMA. Here are the top five reasons that someone may leave treatment AMA.

1. “The food is terrible!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Even with a chef in-charge of the food, clients will use this excuse to convince their parents or loved ones to let them leave treatment early. Being able to discuss with the family that this is a common excuse that the clients may use can help to prevent them from allowing their loved one to pick them up from treatment.

2. “I need to get back to work!” A lot of times, clients will be in a complete financial mess when they first begin treatment. After a few days, these clients think that they need to start working right away in order to start fixing their lives. More often than not, when these clients leave treatment, they relapse within the first 24 hours. Creating a strong rapport with the family and creating healthy expectations from the family can help to prevent this excuse from becoming the reason the client leaves treatment.

3. “I miss my children!” This is a sad reality. When people are using, they aren’t completely attentive to their children in the first place. Helping to redirect the client and show them that they can use the treatment time to help build them up for a life-long relationship with their children is very important. Helping the client to schedule a family visit so that they can see their children or allowing them to talk to them on the phone may help to relieve the shame and guilt associated with this. Often, the client just wants to be heard. Listening to them and creating a space that encourages them to find recovery for themselves will help them to feel as though they are making progress.

4. “I don’t like it here!” Clients will use this excuse when they want to use, but don’t want to say that they want to use. Helping them to find honesty and their true intentions will prevent this AMA from happening. Again, family plays a huge role in preventing AMA. Having the family create boundaries and limiting the resources that they allow the client to have can prevent them from leaving treatment.

5. “I want to get high!” Often, a client will just want to use. Intervention is required from staff to attempt to help the client to see how a life of recovery outweighs the life of using. This is the most difficult AMA to block. Family involvement is key, and sometimes letting the client walk is the right move. More often than not, the client will return because they have nowhere else to go.

Training your staff effective ways to block an AMA is paramount in the treatment experience. Clients will attempt to use any excuse they can come up with to get out of treatment, if they want to use. Drug addiction is difficult however it can be treated with appropriate training. The Addictions Academy offers a modern approach training to help treatment centers better prepare to combat potential AMA risks. Lowering the overall AMA rate for a program will increase completion rates, increase the reputation of the program, and most importantly, increase the chances of sobriety for the client.

Ready to get your team trained?  Call us at 1.800.706.0318 ext 2

Why are clients constantly not engaged in clinical addiction treatment settings and what can you do to stop them from leaving?

Why are clients constantly not engaged in clinical addiction treatment settings and what can you do to stop them from leaving?

addiction treatment

As an addiction treatment center owner or marketing professional you get tired of all the work you do to get the clients into an addiction treatment And then they leave a few days into treatment or before treatment is finished. The problem with this is compounded. First, as a treatment center that accepts insurance this affects your insurance rate, the higher the AMA/APA rate the worse your insurance premiums and reimbursements will be. Second, this affects the clients currently in treatment and when one client leaves treatment against medical advice multiple clients will leave with them. This makes your AMA/APA rate worse and causes a lot of undue stress for your addictions counselors and addiction staff.

Third, when a client decides to leave against medical advice everyone is needed to triage that client. This causes mass chaos within the addiction treatment facility and it causes your staff to be pulled in multiple directions while other clients are not given the proper services. In addition your staff can get compassion fatigue and burn out with constantly dealing with negativity of one or multiple clients leaving. A lot of the AMA APAs occur on a Friday night or Saturday or Sunday when you do not have a primary staff on duty and you have the weekend staff or the BT team. Clients generally will try to do more things they should not be doing like smoking, shopping, gambling, having sex etc. on the weekends because you’re generally have less staff and you have staff that is spread thin. In addition, usually do not have multiple addictions counselors available to triage an AMA/APA or create an AMA block.

The addictions Academy developed the only AMA/APA block training class for all of your staff that is effective. Most of our Addictions treatment centers that have taken the AMA/APA block class have reported a 30% decrease in AMA and APA is within the first 30 days. Our class is available for your entire staff which we recommend you train or individually online at a self study online video series. Below you will find a professional value of our training and you can call for group discount at 1-800-706-0318 extension 2.  You can also check out our website at


Professional Value of our  APA/AMA Block Training

  • Learning the Proper Language to use to end the AMA/APA.
  • How to build rapport with the client before during and after the intervention process.
  • How to refer out and build referrals with partner Centers.
  • Key Questions to ask the person to stop the AMA/APA.
  • Increase Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Handling the angry and obstinate client.
  • Proper use of Assessment Tools.
  • Service Coordination for Client Retainment.
  • Objections 101.
  • Reducing the AMA and APA Rate from the beginning, not just in crisis.
  • Overcoming Objections to Treatment.
  • Dealing with the desire to ‘just get high”.
  • Handling guilt, remorse, and self-sabotaging behaviors.
  • Body Language Techniques/NLP
  • Stages of change
  • Active vs. Passive Listening Skills

How is your client retention rate? Learn how to reduce your AMA/APA rate



Did you know that The Addictions Academy is the largest online provider of addiction education in the world? We specialize in online classes such as addiction counseling, recovery coaching, intervention professional training, and more. We are pleased to offer our training to addiction treatment centers and Mental Health Institutions looking to increase their service platform and assist clients in receiving the best services possible. One of our most popular classes is AMA/APA blocking and this class assists counselors, techs, and other professionals in stopping clientele from leaving early. AMA/APA blocking (leaving Against Medical Advice, leaving Against Professional Advice) is a critical class that all addiction treatment providers need to have for all staff to reduce clients leaving early from treatment.

If you were looking to increase your retention rate of clients, increase your statistics to help your insurance premium rates and create an overall beneficial experience for your clients this class is a must for your staff. This five hour training can be completed either live online with an instructor or you can have your staff watch the video series which is a five-hour in-depth training. We offer it per student if you watch the video series or one flat rate to train the entire staff live online. We also can come directly to your facility and offer the class live or we can broadcast it if you have multiple locations. Every treatment center that has participated in this training has seen a reduction in AMA/APA with about 30% in the first two weeks. Our training is unparalleled and unduplicated. Click HERE to see the training.

After 20+ years in the industry, Dr Cali Estes created this training specifically to address the need within treatment centers that has not been handled. Click HERE to read her bio and click HERE to see our student and addiction treatment center reviews. Losing clients consistently when you own an addiction treatment center or a mental health facility can be detrimental to your bottom line. Check out the training below and give us a call so we can get you started right away retaining clients, and helping clients become more successful by completing your program. Every successful client to complete your program is worth 3 to 10 referrals. Every client that you lose due to an AMA or APA is worth 40 negative reviews. Can your company withstand 40 negative reviews or lose any more revenue than it already has?

Training can be purchased here or call 1.800.706.0318 ext 2