If you are deemed to be “alert and oriented,” meaning you know who you are, where you are, what place in time or situation you are in, etc., you can leave the hospital or be discharged.
Patients are often discharged if they violate serious hospital policies, including:
- Leaving the floor and going outside,
- Smoking, or
- Bringing substances into the hospital or having a visitor bring substances.
Patients are also discharged for being excessively rude, aggressive, threatening, or violent. If you are feeling agitated, uncomfortable, or even disrespected, still try your best to be courteous to everyone in a healthcare environment.
Hospital security can search your room if they suspect you or a visitor of bringing substances into hospital. You may refuse the search, but the hospital may ask you to leave if you refuse.
Remember that withdrawal from some substances can not only be excruciating but also deadly. Listen to your healthcare providers when they warn you about leaving against medical advice.
Also remember that the effectiveness of your care is often limited to the information you give to providers. An emergency room might not admit you if you say, “I am in pain,” because everyone experiences pain, but not everyone has an emergency. Instead, if you say, “I am going through withdrawal,” you should not be turned away.