Why do so many of us sign out of rehab?
Addicts and alcoholics are creatures of habit and it takes an awful lot of pain for us to call into a rehab and ask for help. If we are calling a rehab it’s safe to say that we’ve reached a whole new level of desperation. We’ve reached a point where we could no longer live with the physical, spiritual and emotional pain that addiction causes us. That pain becomes so unbearable that we become willing to do something different and that something different is crying out for help. That’s when we’ll dial up every rehab around, to see if they have any beds available. What’s interesting here is that on one hand, we’ve become so desperate, that we are relieved and grateful that we finally found a rehab that is willing to take us, you would think we would make the most out of our time there… so why is it that so many of us sign out just a few days later?
This is the dilemma, addicts and alcoholics are so used to this disease just ripping their lives apart with this overwhelming desire to use drugs over and over again, that they have no idea how this disease operates on them once we put down the drugs. When an addict enters rehab, the disease switches identities so fast that they can’t recognize it on their own. The disease (which is in our brain) knows that we’ve just entered a safe environment; it knows we’ve just entered a bubble and drugs aren’t available here so it doesn’t attack with the drugs, it attacks with 150 reasons on why we need to leave. The disease of addiction is usually accompanied by an innocent little voice that says “don’t tell anybody”, so they don’t, they keep it all to themselves, which cuts them off from any sort of help and they suffer silently. It doesn’t take very long before this obsession gains enough momentum that they just have to act compulsively so that’s when they begin the process of signing themselves out. At this point their minds are already made up. This mind-state is called “locked and loaded” and it’s EXTREMELY difficult to reverse. Next, in a fit of despair, they’ll usually try to make a call home in an attempt to manipulate or threaten a loved one into coming to pick them up. Hopefully, the loved one has enough education and knows to practice tough love and tell them “no”. But if they don’t, that loved one is coming to pick them up and they’re bringing them home. Once they arrive home, what do you think their first thought is? Yup, “I can probably use one last time”, and before they even know what happened they’re caught up in the grip of the disease all over again. People who sign themselves out of rehab didn’t stick around long enough to learn the tools they need, people relapse and people die.
Isn’t it alarming that an addict who was literally in tears on the phone begging for a rehab to take them in, finally gets admitted and in less than a week, they seemed to come up with every excuse in the world on why they can’t stay here and eventually they sign themselves out. The “This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful” and they also say “the same disease that gets into rehab will get you out of rehab”.