If you or a loved one needs addiction treatment, your first impulse may be to find the most convenient or local treatment program. But the truth is, recovery from addiction or a mental health condition are often life-saving processes. When the quality of your life (or the life of a loved one) is on the line, the quality of your treatment is much more important than convenience.
While you may be able to find a rehab center close to home, there are some very sound reasons to seek treatment out of state. In fact, recovery professionals often recommend that families choose a recovery program far from home. Here are a few reasons why:
- You get a fresh start. Pursuing treatment in another geographical area provides both a physical and a mental “fresh start”. A new location allows you to move forward without constantly being reminded of past mistakes. It may seem like a good idea to seek treatment “just around the corner” initially, but the greatest goal is long-term recovery, not short-term convenience.
- You face fewer distractions. Distractions are much less likely to derail recovery when you are far from home. You will experience greater privacy and you won’t run into acquaintances or colleagues in a program that is a little further from home. Your family and loved ones can be involved in the process in a safe, scheduled way. Seeking help is a life-changing decision, and ditching old, harmful patterns, harmful people, and harmful places is necessary. That’s much easier to do when you travel for treatment.
- You can avoid triggers and temptation. In a new location, there are no memories of past substance abuse. You won’t be near any locations or neighborhoods that are triggers. There are no old groups of friends that you’re tempted to track down. In a faraway location, you have the freedom to truly focus on yourself and your recovery, and that’s what the process should be all about.
- You may find a better fit. While you may know of programs close to home, that doesn’t mean those facilities are the best fit for you. Treatment programs vary—they offer different specialties, clinicians and levels of quality. Finding treatment that meets your unique needs is key.
Most people who seek help for addiction don’t initially plan to travel for treatment, but once they do, they see the benefits almost immediately. Treatment is a short period of time in the much longer process of recovery. Doing it right will give you the foundation you need for long-term sobriety and a happy, healthy future.