It’s safe to say that all addiction treatment centers in Florida deal with their share of patients leaving against medical advice (AMA). It’s a problem that might be unavoidable to a point, but certain things can help to retain patients and reduce the number of AMAs drastically. Many treatment centers in Florida are introducing new treatments and tactics to make clients want to stay.
Why Someone Leaves Against Medical Advice
Leaving AMA is never a good choice. You are in rehab for a reason, and if you choose to leave before proper discharge, you are almost guaranteeing a relapse.
There are a number of reasons that people AMA, here are some of them:
- They didn’t want to be in rehab in the first place. They may have been convinced to go to rehab by friends and family members, and now that they are there, they want to leave. Unfortunately, these types of clients cannot be forced to stay and have a very high chance of relapse even if they complete the program.
- They have an emotionally charged incident. As people detox, sober up, and face emotions that have been stifling with drugs and alcohol, emotions can go awry. Despite the efforts of doctors, nurses, and technicians, some people decide to leave and nothing can be done to stop them.
- They can’t stand detoxing. Despite efforts to make detox as comfortable and safe as possible, some people find the idea so overwhelming that once they begin to feel themselves detoxing, they feel the need to leave.
- They don’t like the facility and think rehab is a waste of time. Some people will insist they can sober up on their own, despite previous failed efforts to do so. Chances are they will fail again, and a full stay in rehab is inevitable if they ever want to achieve sobriety.
These situations are hard to diffuse and it’s very difficult for staff to convince people to stay once they have their mind set on leaving.
While some AMAs are inevitable, treatment centers are trying to come up with new ways to keep patients from leaving before they are ready to do so. The staff is trained to deal with people who are in crisis and want to leave, and luckily many times they are able to convince the patient to stay. And, if a patient seems like they are a high risk of leaving AMA, a staff member might shadow them until everything calms down.
New techniques are always being introduced in treatment as added benefits to rehab and to add more appeal for people to stay. Additionally, each client is given a unique treatment plan to make their stay as appropriate for their needs as possible.
Ideally, there would be no clients leaving AMA, but the most that addiction treatment centers in Florida can do is to treat each patient as a unique case. The goal is to make them see that their stay at rehab is worthwhile. Going to rehab saves many lives, so risking leaving AMA is never worth it.