How Long can an Inpatient Drug Rehab Keep You?

How long can an inpatient drug rehab keep you? They can’t keep you there at all against your will. This is true even if your treatment was court-ordered. The only exception would be in those states having involuntary commitment statutes like Florida’s Marchman Act. Even then, unless it’s a locked facility, you can still leave. The facility personnel cannot physically stop you, and they wouldn’t try. They’re not law enforcement, and they’re not authorized to detain you. A drug rehab is not a jail. They will, however, call the police, who can and will arrest you if they can find you.

Drug Court

The same is true of drug court participants. If you agreed to attend the rehab as part of an arrangement with the court, you have violated your probation terms the second you set foot outside the rehab without permission. If you leave, you’re setting yourself up for some very serious consequences. It’s just not worth it. Drug court offers some real advantages. You complete their program, and they dismiss your felony charge. If the rehab is truly that objectionable, call your probation officer and tell them that. Tell them why.

If your reasons are valid, they may move you to another rehab. On the other hand, they may tell you you’ll just have to do the best you can. If that happens, you’ll just have to cope however you can. Make sure you participate in the program, no matter how useless you think it is. For one thing, you could be wrong. More important, a negative report from the rehab will be sure to tick off the judge.

It’s better to work with the system than to fight it. Use your head. It’s bigger than you are. You’ll never fight the criminal court system and win unless you’re innocent. If you accepted a deal from drug court, you’re probably guilty of the felony you’re charged with. At least, give it a chance. Maybe the court will let you do an outpatient program if you’re cooperative and if you ask. If not, you’ll just have to complete the one they assigned you to. It’s not like it’s forever. Attitude is everything in drug court.

If you’re there involuntarily under a Marchman or something similar, you’ll be at large if you leave. You can and will be arrested and returned to the the facility you left or even one worse. You can’t win because the judge has already ruled that you need this treatment. It may anger you that your family filed the petition against you, but that’s not the court’s fault. The judge made a decision that he or she thought was legally justified. Like it or not, you’re obligated to comply with it.


If you’re under a drug court plan, and you leave treatment without permission, the court will almost certainly reinstate your original felony charges. You’ll be looking at the maximum jail or prison time the charge carries. You’ll get no leniency because you’ve already had your chance. You could be incarcerated for a long time. Worse, that felony will follow you forever. Many careers will be closed to you. Depending on your current occupation, you could be fired. Many employers, especially at the state and county levels, run regular criminal checks on all employees. If this applies to you, you can’t hide a felony arrest for long. There is still a tremendous amount of stigma regarding any kind of criminal record. Do you really want to risk your future? Is it really worth it? How hard is it, really, to just cooperate, do what they ask, complete the program, get your charge dismissed and then go about your life with peace of mind?

If you have a warrant for your arrest for failing to comply with drug court, you cannot live a normal life, anyway. The police do regular round-ups of people with warrants. Some police departments have officers who spend entire days looking for probationers and paroless at large. They find them, too. You could be driving along with a malfunctioning taillight and be stopped at any time. Routine traffic stops usually include a wants and warrants check. If you’re caught that way, you’ll go straight to jail and your car will go straight to impound. You don’t even want to know what it will cost to get your car back.

A Better Option

If you’re having any kind of substance abuse problem, let us try to help. We’re here 24 hours a day offering hope and help to anyone who needs it. Just call 833-846-5669. We look forward to that call.