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Should I Travel for Rehab? | Finding the Right Center Is Key

Making the choice to enter a rehab program is the first step toward a healthier life without relying on drugs or alcohol. Choosing the right treatment facility for you and your needs is the second step.

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Some people prefer traveling for rehab to put an emphasis on a fresh start away from everything. Other people prefer staying local. This decision depends on what is best for the patient, but ultimately, you should choose the rehab center with the best offerings for your specific needs, regardless of its location.

Why Choosing the Right Center for Your Treatment Is More Important Than Distance

Finding the right center for treatment is crucial in the overall process of getting sober. The location of the treatment center is not as important as finding the right place to get the proper help you need, paving a path to recovery.

The work done in rehab lays the foundation for a lifetime of sobriety. If a particular center feels like a better fit but is far away, this is a much better choice than a closer center that doesn’t offer the therapies and treatment approach you need. You’ll be much more likely to thrive in an environment that meets your needs and appeals to you personally, and that is essential in the early days of recovery.

Unlike outpatient programs, inpatient treatment centers have rules that usually do not allow the patient to leave the grounds of the facility during their stay. Because of this, the location of the facility is not always as relevant when choosing an inpatient rehab center.

What Are the Pros & Cons of Traveling for Treatment?

Going to a rehab center in a different part of the country can be a good choice for a lot of people. Here are some pros of traveling for rehab treatment:

  • Getting away from familiar surroundings can be good for recovery. Many times, old places and people serve as reminders of using drugs or alcohol. Getting a fresh start in a new location away from everything can help to pave the road of recovery.
  • You may be tempted to return home before treatment is complete. Finishing treatment is key to remaining sober, and ending a program before completion can interfere with the rehabilitation process. There is a clear association between longer times in treatment and lower relapse rates
  • The right location for you might require travel. Some areas are not equipped with the best treatment centers for addiction. Staying local and compromising your own health in a lesser functioning facility can be detrimental to recovery.

Conversely, there are also some disadvantages of traveling for treatment:

  • Travel can be expensive. Not everybody can afford to travel to another location for treatment. With monetary restrictions, travel might not be an option.
  • You are away from your loved ones. Some people prefer to be isolated from family and friends during treatment, but others need them nearby. Traveling to a treatment center could take away this support and comfort.
  • There is no local support group setup. Other clients, counselors, and doctors you met during treatment will not be there as a support group once you return home. Relying on support groups made up of people with shared experiences in treatment can help with staying sober. You can, however, potentially continue virtual therapy sessions with the therapist you worked with during rehab, and virtual support groups are also an option for many. 

What Are the Pros & Cons of Going to a Local Treatment Center?

For many people in need of recovery, going to a local addiction treatment center can be the most beneficial. Here are the pros of getting treatment locally:

  • It saves money and time. Not everyone in need of treatment can afford travel expenses, which can include airfare, rideshare services, gas, and lodging. Plus, the time spent traveling can put extra (and unneeded) stress on you. 
  • You remain close to family and friends. Keeping family and friends close can be an important factor to a person’s journey to sobriety. Visitation can sometimes be an option, but just knowing that loved ones are nearby can ease some anxieties of treatment.
  • You can create a new support group. Relationships formed and connections made during treatment can help to create a solid support group to help a person stay sober after rehab. Going to a local facility will further the chances of other clients and counselors being from the same area.

When finances are available and travel is a viable option, there are also some cons to going to a local treatment center:

  • New surroundings and people may be more beneficial. Sometimes, familiar surroundings can serve as triggers that make a person want to use drugs again. Traveling to a brand-new location can completely remove these factors and let you focus on staying sober. 
  • There is less of a temptation to leave treatment early when you travel. Having family and friends close by may make you more likely to leave rehab early before completing the program.
  • There might be better treatment centers for you elsewhere. Depending on your location, the local treatment facility may not be as suited for you as another treatment center that is in a different part of the country. You should not settle for a local treatment center if there is another one elsewhere that is better for you. 

What Are Things to Look for in a Quality Rehab Facility?

Finding the right treatment center is essential to maintaining sobriety and living a healthier lifestyle. Here are some things to look for when choosing a quality rehab facility:

The Credentials of the Staff

Experienced counselors, medical doctors, nurses, and support staff are all necessary when seeking treatment. The facility’s website will usually feature the credentials of staff members, which can help you determine if they are the right professionals for you.

Access to Medical Care

Depending on the severity of your addiction, access to medical care at the treatment center is essential. Withdrawing from a substance of abuse can have several severe side effects. Having trained medical professionals on site can be beneficial for any physical or mental issues that can potentially arise.

Tailored Care 

Treatment centers often have various programs and classes that have different ways of achieving sobriety. And specific treatment professionals may have different approaches to the recovery process for their clients. Ensure that the facility you ultimately choose has treatment plans that align with your individual needs.

Insurance Coverage

Depending on the amount of coverage, a lot of medical insurance plans cover some, if not all, of a rehab facility’s expenses. Confirm the facility you choose will work with your insurance provider to mitigate out-of-pocket costs.

Aftercare Planning

Continuing sobriety after successfully completing rehab is no easy task. A quality rehab facility should offer aftercare programs and support systems to help continue with recovery. Aftercare planning should be part of every treatment plan, so confirm this before signing on.

Updated February 7, 2024
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