When it is time to seek help for drug and alcohol addiction there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. The decision whether to stay close to home for treatment or to go out of state can often be seen as a minor part of the decision. I would urge the reader to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this decision carefully. There are many important reasons to seek treatment away from home and some equally good reasons one may choose to stay close. In this article we will examine these reasons in turn. This should serve as a good guide for anyone concerned with this aspect of where to pursue treatment.
Getting away from it all
First let’s examine the reasons someone may want to go out of state for treatment. The first reason that comes to mind is that leaving home will separate an individual from environments and relationships that may be toxic Addiction does not develop in a vacuum. Whether its proximity to the bars one frequents or many of the relationships that have created emotional and other challenges for an individual, staying close to home can prove problematic for an addict. If one seeks treatment geographically remote from home they have effectively removed these potential challenges, at least for a time. This in many cases makes the commitment to recovery easier. The distance can also help provide individuals with a different perspective on many of the relationships in their lives, helping them to make more health decisions when considering returning home post treatment.
Proximity as a Barrier to Success
Next, if someone decides to go out of state for treatment it becomes much more difficult to decide to leave treatment. If one is close to home and leave treatment he or she can just go home. On the other hand if an individual finds themselves in another state they may have to purchase plane tickets, arrange rides, etc. All of these barrier make the choice to leave treatment more difficult. Once one has committed to go out of state and have arranged travel these costs are an investment that can not be recouped if they decide not to go or not to stay. Sometimes these simple barriers are the very thing that encourages an individual to stick it out through the tough times and ultimately find recovery.
The third consideration is that going away for treatment gives an individual increased levels of privacy. When staying in one’s home town for treatment it is much more likely that he or she will run into someone they know either in the community or even within the treatment program. The individual may not be able to determine when and how they will disclose their new way of life to those they know. These privacy worries can be a major distraction to some clients. If an individual chooses to go out of state he or she will effectively eliminate these concerns.
Another consideration are the normal day to day distractions of work and family life. There is nothing inherently wrong with work and family. In fact for many these form the very essence of a meaningful life. That said at the outset of the journey of recovery many find it beneficial to get away from it all so they can focus on their recovery for a time. If one goes out of state to a brand new environment they can anticipate having far less distractions than if they stay close to home. Having a period of time where the sole focus of one’s life is their recovery can be immensely beneficial.
A Greater Chance for Success
All of the reasons mentioned above, and several not mentioned result in one simple fact. The likelihood of success is greater for an individual who goes away from home for treatment. Every time research is conducted it is found that individuals who go away for treatment have a much higher likelihood of recovering from addiction. Recent research indicates that there is a 12-15% chance greater likelihood that an individual who goes out of state for treatment will complete their program. When dealing with addiction and the pain and suffering it causes why wouldn’t we do everything within our power to maximize the chance for success and lasting recovery?
Proximity to the Love of Family
Above I have enumerated many of the reasons why one would seek to go to treatment away from home. I would be remiss if I did not include some of the very good reasons for staying close to home for treatment. The first and most important reason, the proximity of loved ones and family. Having family close can be a major source of support and inspiration for someone who is new in recovery. This is of course assuming that family is safe. Many facilities offer family programs that range from informational, and inspirational, to truly therapeutic. If family is near they can participate in these programs with the addict.
“In-Network” or “Out-of-Network”
Cost is of course an important consideration when making a treatment decision. Several insurance carriers prefer to have patients stay “in-network” when seeking treatment. Networks are often geographically driven (especially in the case of HMO, and state funded insurance). Staying in-network for treatment can have a profound impact on the cost of treatment. How important this consideration is to a family is impossible to gauge from the outside and is a decision each family must make in light of their current financial realities.
As a final thought, the decision of where to seek treatment is multifaceted, there are many important issues that must be considered. Geographic proximity is a very important one. I have tried to present some of the reasons for going out of state, and for staying close to home. Every individual situation is unique and requires careful consideration before ultimately making the very important decision of where to begin the journey of recovery. There is no one right answer for all.
If you or a loved one is considering your treatment options an would like an open and frank conversation about how to make this decision please contact us we would be happy to help.
Until next time
Your friend in service,
VP of Communications & Market Development
If you or someone you love is in need of help for substance use disorder please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We understand and we are happy to help.