Is it better to travel away from home in order to increase rehabilitation success?
It’s hard to say, as what works for one person, does not necessarily work for another. With the prevalence of rehabilitation centers located all across the country, there is likely never a need to move far from home in order to go to an in-patient substance abuse recovery center. However, getting away from a place ridden with emotional and physical triggers can sometimes mark the difference between success and failure.
In general, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “to be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.”
For some people, leaving the state may not be an option due to legality concerns. But for those people still wondering how a move might affect their rehabilitation success rates, consider the following.
Advantages of Distance
1. Removal from a Harmful Environment
Whether you realize it or not, the ritual of using a substance is deeply entrenched in the place where you use. Substance abuse is a ritual that ties together visual and emotional elements that trigger one’s thought patterns. By removing yourself from the environment where you used, you are more likely to perceive rehabilitation as a chance to start over.
Staying in the same city might have you catching a glimpse of a mountain you used to gaze at while you drank or a road you used to use to score. Relocating strips superficial ties. What’s left is you.
2. A New Perspective
One of the most essential components of recovery is being able to readjust your perspective. Rather than just moving to a new place, you might consider traveling away from home as symbolic to your journey of recovery.
When you attend rehab far away from home, the road to recovery essentially becomes a literal road to recovery. As you watch your old place of residence slowly vanish behind you, you can imagine your old self vanishing along with it.
While this may seem silly, it’s mind tricks like these that can be surprisingly beneficial. Changing the way you think and see yourself is a giant leap forward.
3. Increased Privacy and Confidentiality
Going to an out-of-state recovery center will increase chances that you won’t run into any old friends. Of course, there is no guarantee, but it’s more likely that you will be with a group of people who don’t know you.
One of the advantages of being with a group of total strangers is that it allows you to start with a fresh slate. Checking into the same rehabilitation center as someone you know can be detrimental to your progress, as he or she knows you by your past habits. In this way, it will make harder for you to disassociate yourself with who you used to be.
4. Inhibited Ability to Make an Easy Exit
No matter how great a match a recovery center may be, bad days are bound to happen. Being out of state or miles from home acts as a buffer from making an early exit. If you are in a town where you know people, you can call up a person to come get you or arrange to stay with them.
Being away diminishes the convenience of an easy out. You’ll have no choice but to endure the bad day, which can only help you in your success of progressing through recovery.
1. Changing the External Can’t Change the Internal
You’ve probably heard it before: anywhere you go, there you are. In other words, just because you flee from the place that you have long associated with your drug abuse, doesn’t mean that leaving will magically solve your problems or end your cravings.
Change takes work. It’s okay to leave a place in order to help further disassociate yourself from your life. Just be careful you aren’t leaning on relocation as a sole means of healing.
2. Insurance Coverage Limitations
Depending on your insurance provider, attending an out-of-state rehab could hike insurance rates. However, it is a common misconception that your insurance provider won’t cover out-of-state rehabilitation. The best way to find out whether or not you will be covered is to call and ask.
3. Diminished Family Support
For those people who want their loved ones to be an integrated part of their recovery process, traveling far from home may not be the best option. Though, don’t forget that many substance abuse recovery centers won’t allow family integration until you are in the later stages of recovery.
There are also plenty of digital methods to keep in close contact with family, such as Skype or Facetime. Of course, nothing truly replaces seeing a loved one face to face.
Recovery Is Never One-Size-Fits-All
Whether you decide to stay close or travel away, the most important part of choosing a recovery center is finding the place that is the best fit for you and your needs. Take time and do your research.