Choosing to seek inpatient treatment for an addiction, although not any easy decision to make,
can feel like a relief for an individual who’s been struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse. But
the decision-making does not end there.
“I need treatment” is a powerful statement. “Where do I go?” can be a baffling next thought.
It’s common for people to assume their choices are limited to local facilities, especially if they
have commercial health insurance and cannot afford to pay privately for treatment. However,
this is not always the case, and seeking treatment away from home can be an accessible, and
effective, option for many people.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it is essential for individuals seeking
treatment to identify a program that best fits their needs, regardless of its location, to receive the
best care and achieve the optimal outcome.
NIDA recommends asking the following 5 questions when considering a treatment facility.
1. Does the program use treatments backed by scientific evidence?
2. Does the program tailor treatment to the needs of each patient?
3. Does the program adapt treatment as the patient’s needs change?
4. Is the duration of treatment sufficient?
5. How do 12 Step or similar recovery programs fit into drug addiction treatment?
After reviewing the answers to these questions, it is important to also think about location. It can
be easy for an individual to identify reasons to stay local, including family, friends, employment,
and familiarity. However, these things can also present as relapse risks for many individuals in
Focus on recovery…
Going to treatment away from home will help to minimize the external influence of daily
stressors and responsibilities that can cause distraction, and will allow the client to fully focus on
Change people, places, and things…
A new location allows clients get away from negative influences and break destructive patterns.
An entirely different environment will harbor no reminders of past substance use and can
encourage the development of new behaviors.
Try something different…
Some individuals struggle for years with addiction, going into treatment multiple times without
achieving lasting recovery. For those who have participated in treatment locally but continue to
struggle, it can be beneficial to try something entirely different. A distant location can minimize
the feeling of “having to do this again,” and encourage feelings of hope. Many clients even
report feeling excited to begin their recovery journey in a brand new place.
Commit to treatment…
Agreeing to enter treatment 3000 miles away from home may indicate a stronger commitment
to completing treatment, as it would be significantly more difficult to drop out and return home
when the purchase of a plane ticket is necessary to do so. In addition, the distance can assist
family members with maintaining boundaries, since they cannot simply drive to pick up the
client if they contact them wanting to leave treatment.
A treatment facility in another state will get clients away from toxic friends, family, and
coworkers, and provide an opportunity to build a supportive network of new friends. Clients can
fully embrace the person they are in recovery, instead of being constantly reminded of who they
were in active addiction.
Because you are worth it.
Choosing to go into treatment far away from home, perhaps in a highly desirable climate or
location, such as near an ocean or lake, up in the mountains, or out in the desert, can really
reinforce the idea of treatment as a healing experience, instead of the stereotype of rehab as
Although not appropriate for everyone, going into treatment away from one’s home environment
is more accessible than most people assume. You don’t necessarily need thousands of dollars
to seek treatment in a distant locale, as most private insurances that cover addiction treatment
programs will do so regardless of the facility’s location.
Individuals are encouraged to fully explore treatment programs that are available, reviewing a
wide variety of facilities in various locations to select the facility that best meets their needs.
Even those who are nervous about leaving their home area, can find the time away is a much-
If you are interested in learning more about Sovereign Health Group’s treatment programs in
California, please call (866) 819-0427, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to confidentially speak with
one of our admissions representatives.
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