Out Of Town Treatment

When It Comes To Addiction Treatment: Stay To Closer To Home… Or Travel Out Of The Area For Treatment?

Here’s the scenario: Either yourself or a family member (or loved one) has made the COURAGEOUS decision to seek out professional treatment for their alcohol or substance abuse addiction.

Now the question becomes: Should this person seek out treatment close to home… or are there benefits to traveling out of state for treatment?

This is a question that comes up on almost every call we receive at our treatment center

There are many logical benefits to consider out-of-city (or even out-of-state) treatment centers, to include:

  • Experiencing a true “fresh start”

  • Creating distance between the person & areas where they “used”

  • Removing “easy access” to substances

  • Building new, healthy habits in a new environment

… and many more.

All of these are valid to an extent.

In addition to the “common sense” benefits listed above, there are scientific & psychology-backed theories supporting a change in one’s environment while undergoing substance abuse treatment.

Now… before I continue… 12-Step advocates (which includes myself) may be thinking: A change in environment is not the ONLY solution (or variable to consider) in long term recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse disorders.

The PERSON must undergo a profound inner change for success which is not (necessarily) ONLY accomplished by changing the environment he/she is in.

That said… let’s look at some of the psychology-based theory behind why this change of environment is (in my and other professionals’ opinion), a very good plan.

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We can’t talk about any recommendations on early treatment choices without covering two primary hurdles every substance abuser grapples with in early in recovery: 1) Cravings and 2) Triggers that lead to cravings.

A craving, simply defined, is a strong (almost overpowering) urge or desire for something.

A trigger is defined as a cue… possibly a person, place, thing, could be a smell, certain lighting, tv show, or anything… that brings about a memory of something.

So let’s combine these two nuisances and look at their role in a person in early stage recovery from a substance use disorder.

The Cue Reactivity theory proposes that a craving “is viewed as a multidimensional response to a variety of stimuli paired in the past with substance intake” (Kouimtsidis, 2000, p.299). [Which is a fancy way of saying: When a person with a substance use disorder encounters something (a cue) that is attached someway (a memory) to that person’s history of using… there can be a complex response to it.]

Examples of this reaction caused by a craving can be:

  • A sudden, irrational, & overpowering urge to use

  • Obsessive thoughts about a substance or use for a period of time

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Increased heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Feelings of euphoria or dysphoria.

The point is: Cravings are strong & extremely complex.  

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In fact, in early recovery, they are one of the most common causes of relapse.

They can be so all-encompassing, they’re routinely compared to “temporary insanity”, where all logical & rational thought disappears and the person seemingly loses control of their decisions/behaviors, making unpredictable/illogical choices such as going back to substance use and risking death.

And here’s the thing: Triggers can and will happen anywhere… and in some of the most unexpected ways.

A change of environment helps to reduce/limit them, but it doesn’t prevent them completely.

Circling back to the common-sense part of this concept… people in early recovery have a better chance of long-term recovery if they are able to avoid triggers and limit cravings as much as possible while they build the necessary skills and resources to abstain from mood-altering chemicals.

So yes, it is our opinion that it’s a healthy decision to ensure the person suffering from addiction removes themselves spacially & geographically (out of town) and create enough space between them & their usual “triggers”.

A treatment center that specializes in substance use disorder treatment, which includes a reputable, clinical component can help the sufferer manage both their reaction to triggers, as well as strong cravings.

In fact, this is a vital part of a successful treatment program whose sole focus is long term recovery for the sufferer.

Finally… you simply need to ensure they enroll in a safe and reputable treatment facility’s program.

Please feel free to call us at … or email us at … with any questions you may have about substance abuse treatment.

Kouimtsidis, C. (2000). Role of craving in substance misuse. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 13(3), 299-303-299-303.

8 Reasons You’ll Love Granite Mountain Behavioral

Typically in this blog, we try and bring our readers topics that will inform, educate, and inspire.  At the risk of seeming self-indulgent, I wanted to spend some time today highlighting eight things I feel make Granite Mountain BHC special.  While I have a vested interest in the work we do, I am incredibly proud of our facility, and everyone who works for us. We were founded in a collective effort to improve on the typical treatment experience.  Every single person who works with us shares our vision of creating a recovery community that is second to none. We try to accomplish this lofty goal at every level of our facility. Below I have attempted to provides some examples of the things that, to me, make us so unique, and why, I think you’ll love us: 

1. Recover Strong

Recover Strong is the cornerstone of our treatment model.  It is an innovative approach to treating substance use disorder and its common comorbidities.  Based on the neuroscience of addiction, Recover Strong is a therapeutic modality which endeavors to unlock the brain’s potential to heal itself.  It does this through engaging the natural functions of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. Physical movement is an integral part of our evolutionary past, we have evolved to move.  Each time our Recover Strong group meets we begin with a warm-up, and then head directly into the WOD (workout of the day). This workout is purposely designed so that each participant is able to push themselves to their personal level of exertion for the day.  Each time in the gym we are aiming to have all participants get their heart rate to 75%-85% of max heart rate for 30-40 minutes. Hitting these two markers creates some extraordinary effects in the brain. The direct impact of increased information processing capacity and the flood of hormones into the mind will last for 2-4 hours.  Our trainers and other staff who are present ensure that whether a particular patient is an advanced athlete or someone who hasn’t worked out in years they are able to work out in a safe and supportive environment. The community and camaraderie that has grown around Recover Strong is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

2. Small in Size, Big in Heart

At Granite Mountain BHC we have made the conscious choice to keep our community small in size. It is of paramount importance to us that we ensure that each patient has truly individualized care.   Suffering from addiction is often lonely and isolated. It is one of our core beliefs that creating an authentic connection is essential to recovery, and we work hard to create a community that encourages these relationships to form.  With a low staff to patient ratio, we are able to make sure that each patient has as much individualized care as he or she needs. At Granite Mountain, each patient becomes an integral part of our community. We believe that while we may all serve different roles within the community each is an indispensable part of the whole. 

3. Innovative Treatment

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The treatment industry is in many respects stuck in the past.  Many treatment facilities base their clinical approach on scientific research that is several decades old.  It is hard to imagine another healthcare environment where this would be the case. At Granite Mountain, we believe that when people’s lives are on the line “good enough” isn’t good enough.  We are continually finding ways to bring the newest and most significant research being done in the field to bear for the benefit of our patients and their families. Whether it is through the utilization of a neuro-scientific approach to addiction or utilizing some of the latest developments in the treatment of trauma we are continually striving to create better more permanent outcomes for our patients.

4.  Beautiful Natural Setting

granite mountain behavioral healthcare

Serenity may ultimately be an internal experience of one’s own consciousness, but it is often inspired by peaceful surroundings and the pure sublimity of nature.  Nestled in the high desert beauty of Northern Arizona, Granite Mountain BHC has its share of both. Our patients are treated to natural splendor on a daily basis. Each day we invite patients and staff to enjoy the sun and views from our facility. Additionally, we make many planned excursions into the local state and national parks including Sedona and the Grand Canyon. 

5.  Homestyle living

While a patient of Granite Mountain each person lives in a single family home style residence.  Each home is comfortable and well appointed. We have purposely avoided the institutional feel associated with many treatment programs.  We want our community members to feel comfortable and at ease while with us. After a long day of therapy, volunteering, or work it is great to be able to unwind in the comfort of one’s own home.  Whether watching TV, reading a book, or chatting with one’s housemates or one of the on-site staff, this time at the end of each day is often reported to be the most valuable. This style of housing also enables us to create a therapeutic environment that approximates living at home.  Patients are able to work with staff on many of the life skills that will be needed upon graduation.

6.  Commitment not Compliance

Too often when entering treatment, a new patient is greeted with a long list of “rules” that must be followed.  These rules aim to create compliance within the community. There is no evidence that this is an effective mechanism to generate long-term recovery.   We believe that for adults to recover they need to be engaged in their recovery process. One of the primary ways we accomplish this is by tapping into a patient’s fundamental commitment to growth.  Commitment, not compliance is the path to real change.

 7.  Committed and Involved Staff

The first thing most visitors notice when they attend our Recover Strong group for the first time is that our staff are in the gym sweating alongside our patients.  Our therapists, our house managers, and even our Executive Director, we all participate. You can’t just talk about community you have to build it actively. Our staff is hand selected for experience, training, and commitment to our patients.   No challenge is too big or problem too small for us. If it is troubling a member of our community, it is our top priority. Our leadership team is on site daily and is integrally involved in all aspects of community life. This sets the tone for the care and dedication we expect.  In addition to being “employees,” our staff are models of recovery for our patients. This is a responsibility all of our team take very seriously.

 8.  A Community dedicated to healing body, mind, and spirit

granite mountain behavioral healthcare

We are a community that believes in healing the whole person.  Our dedication to implementing innovative solutions to addiction, creating a community of authentic connection, and to all of our community members is what sets us apart and makes us a special place to be. 

Come schedule a visit at our facility and see for yourself what there is to love about Granite Mountain BHC.

Please reach out to us if we can answer any questions or provide other assistance, we are here to help.  We can be reached through our website or by phone at 844-878-3221

Until next time
Your friend in service,
Rob Campbell

To get help for substance use disorder today please contact us today