Should I Travel For Addiction Treatment? Published April 13, 2021 By Addiction Helpline America

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The decision of entering a substance abuse rehab center or looking for treatment for mental issues to cure you or your loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction and mental health concerns is tough but very brave.

The next step is to decide where to attend therapy for mental health or substance abuse treatment. You can do it locally, which has plenty of pros but cons as well.

But many people choose to travel to seek treatment for drug addiction or mental health rehab on a quest for a better treatment center and other benefits.

Let's compare all the pros and cons of traveling for rehab. The final word is yours, but seeing all the options is always great. By the end of the article, you'll be able to make an informed choice to seek treatment in or out of state for yourself or help a loved one make a decision.

Choosing What Addiction Treatment Center To Go To

There are many factors influencing the final decision. Going to a local treatment center may be less stressful because the surroundings are familiar, but there are disadvantages. Traveling is great due to the potentially better quality of treatment, but it might be more costly.

The choice should be based on various considerations, including:

  • The severity of addiction;
  • Your budget;
  • Therapy preferences;
  • The duration of treatment, etc.

Both options work very well if you’re determined to fight addiction. However, there are benefits of traveling for rehab and some disadvantages of traveling for rehab. Each option has its intricacies, which we will review in a moment.

Benefits of Traveling for Addiction Treatment

The benefits of traveling for addiction treatment are:

  • An opportunity to find the best treatment.
    Many towns and cities don’t have high-quality rehab centers. On a quest for proper treatment and an individual approach to your problem, it’s better to look beyond your city.
  • A metaphor of a journey to recovery.
    Going to another state for rehab symbolizes your journey to a sober life, full of health and pleasure achieved in friendlier ways than drugs and alcohol.
  • New lifestyle.
    When traveling, you go out of your comfort zone. And while it seems not a great addition to the fact that you’re going for addiction treatment, it’s not true. When out of the zone, you develop a new worldview, skills, habits, etc. You’re exposed to another kind of lifestyle, which is very good for overall psychological well-being.
  • Less temptation to leave.
    Usually, rehab centers will let you go if you choose. The temptations are plenty, especially at the beginning of the treatment. However, if you’re going to another city, it will be more difficult to get back home to your comfort zone.
  • Nobody will know.
    Sometimes, telling people at work or friends that you’re going to rehab may have bad consequences. People encounter professional problems, as well as judgment from others, which is totally unfair. Going to another city reduces the chances of anyone knowing about your story.

Some Disadvantages of Traveling for Rehab

While the process isn’t all roses by itself, there are some additional cons of going elsewhere for rehab:

  • You’re far away from friends and family.
    While they may be able to visit and keep in touch with you, providing their warm support, you’ll be on your own. This may work well because you’ll be able to take matters into your hands. However, we all know how hard it is at times to not be able to meet your loved ones when going through hard times.
  • Aftercare gets more difficult.
    Out-of-town centers may find it hard to plan your aftercare in the hometown. You may need to contact another center in your city to continue post-rehab recovery.
  • Money.
    A better treatment may also be more expensive. Make sure you have the budget to go through it without a problem. Friends and family might be able to help. And remember, your new life is worth every dollar.

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Benefits of Going to a Local Rehab

If your city has a decent rehab center, it should have some great benefits:

  • Saving money.
    While the treatment may cost as much or even more than in other cities, you save a lot of money on traveling.
  • Family and friends are nearby.
    Having constant support from loving people can make wonders. The process will go faster because you won’t feel that lonely. But even if you’re going through this alone, there are millions of people in the world who have done the same thing and are leading totally different lives now.
  • Easier aftercare planning.
    Local facilities are familiar with the city and its organizations. Specialists will plan a great aftercare program for you to finish treatment successfully.

Some Disadvantages of Staying Local For Treatment

Of course, there also are downsides:

  • The temptation.
    It may be too tempting to come back home when you feel sick and tired on the journey to sobriety. No one says it’s easy or smooth; everyone has difficulties along the way. But being in your city may make it too hard not to leave.
  • The distractions.
    While friends and family will be with you all the time, they may become a distraction. When your “normal” past life is so close to you, it’s hard to focus on the path you’ve chosen to walk.
  • The quality.
    Local facilities may not provide a sufficient quality level of your treatment. It’s always nice to know about your options before making the final choice.

FAQ for Those Who Want to Find Treatment Now

Should I Travel For Addiction Treatment?

The topic is controversial and often leads to unanswered questions. We decided to answer all of them in the FAQ section below.

Will my insurance cover my treatment stay if I travel?

You should contact your insurance provider and ask what programs are available for you, or contact the addiction treatment center directly to see if you do have coverage for a out of state drug or alcohol treatment facility. There should be several programs available. Some of them might even be local, but if you’re OK with traveling, the company will most likely have something suitable for you.

What should I do after the treatment is over?

This depends on your results, wishes, and specialist recommendations. While you may come back home, it may be difficult to maintain your new lifestyle right from the start. You’ll see people and be in places that associate with your old life, and losing all the benefits of treatment becomes tempting.

There are many communities across the US where you can engage in support groups like 12-step programs and meetings, find a great psychotherapist, etc. Having support from people who went through the same thing is vital for a full recovery. Consider engaging in such activities for at least a year after rehab.

How do I know if my addiction is severe enough for rehab?

It’s a misconception that you have to be absolutely lost in your addiction to get help. Actually, the earlier you start, the better. If you notice that your alcohol and/or drug use are getting out of hand or even bring slight inconvenience to you and your loved ones, it’s time to have a consultation.

Don’t wait for things to get worse. There are many specialists who can consult you and provide recommendations no matter what concerns you have. Don’t let your arrogance and assurance that it’s no big deal ruin your life.

How long do I have to be in rehab?

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This depends on the severity of your condition and the program you choose. The nature of your addiction, as well as your financial possibilities also influence the duration.

The most popular programs last 30, 60, and 90 days. There are longer ones as well for people with severe problems. Aftercare is very much recommended after rehab, which may last for a year or so.

The detox process is usually from 7 up to 10 days. Make sure your insurance can cover this stage completely.

Is it possible to fight addiction without rehab?

Everything is possible. However, it’s much better if you have a specialist nearby who can consult and help you with withdrawal syndromes and other issues that may arise along the way. Never try medical detox yourself without professional supervision. It may lead to severe conditions and even death.

The best thing you can do is admit to a rehab center and go through at least a minimal course. Then, it will be much easier to maintain the new lifestyle. Make sure you have a psychotherapist that will lead you after the treatment is over. Addiction isn’t only a physical thing. It affects your psyche greatly, and you must work on becoming a wholesome human being again.

Plus, it’s always better to have someone who knows what to do and can guide you.

The Final Decision Is Yours

Whether you travel or stay at a local facility, always remember why you chose to do this in the first place. Your loved ones are rooting for you, and it’s definitely time to bring your life back!

Even if you’re going through this alone and have nobody to support you, remember that there are over 7 billion people in the world. Leading a sober life, you’ll be able to discover new countries and people. You can make as many friends as needed for your happiness! But now, it’s time to focus on the dream life of yours!

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