Attending a treatment program or a drug rehab center located down the street from where you once used drugs is probably not an effective way to achieve sobriety. There are many convincing arguments to attend treatment in another city or state, not the least of which is the fact that if you attend treatment locally, you’ll likely be airing your “dirty laundry” to other locals – people you know and encounter on a regular basis. The following are a number of other reasons why going away for drug rehab can be much more effective than staying near home.
Fewer Triggers and Cues
If you go to a rehab far from where you live, you’ll experience fewer triggers and cues to use. Because the brain forms contextual associations during active drug use, those associations can come back to haunt an addict when they see a person they used with, a building or street where they spent a great deal of time or other local triggers that cause the addict to feel a severe compulsion to get high.
Fewer Negative Influences
At a rehab just around the block from your old “using grounds,” there’s likely to be a number of negative influences around. This can include family members who would be better left out of the early stages of recovery, people you once used with, of perhaps counselors or treatment staff that you’ve burned in the past. All of these negative influences can be mitigated by going to rehab in another city.
Not so Easy to Leave and Get High
If you live in Maine and you attend treatment in California, it won’t be so easy for you to leave treatment and go get high if you feel like giving up on your recovery program. This can be a powerful deterrent for people who just need a little extra “motivation” not to use – especially during the initial phases of Acute and Post-Acute Withdrawal.
The Warehouse Effect
One of the most successful elements of a long-term rehab program is the Warehouse Effect. This refers to the idea that it takes around 28 days for a person to “break a habit,” and in general the idea works. By “warehousing” addicts in a safe place that provides therapies and education, people in recovery can benefit from the warehouse effect while remaining productive and learning new skills and resources to help in the effort to stay clean for life.
New Environment, New Perspective
Sometimes, going to a new place can entirely change your perspective. From meeting new people with different ideals and experiences to the inspiration of a strange new landscape, addicts sometimes need some beauty; some change or just some new way of thinking, and this is often found by traveling to somewhere you’ve never been before. Addiction is a highly repetitive condition that leaves people feeling like they’re in a rut. The best way out of that rut is to travel a new road – metaphorically and literally.
If you could make a choice right now between attending rehab in Northern Michigan or anywhere in Southern California during the month of February, which would you choose? Most people seeking recovery do actually have this choice because there are no laws or regulations that require a person to attend a rehab locally. In fact, you may find that a rehab in a warm-weather climate will achieve a better success rate for you personally, especially if you are someone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder.
What you May Not Know
Live in Montana but want to go to rehab in Florida? You can. All you have to do is call the rehab of your choice and in most cases the staff will work to get you into the treatment center that you feel will work best for you. Some rehabs will even help you with transportation or court issues involved with getting you into treatment. And because the average inpatient program costs about the same nationwide, there’s really no financial reason to stay near your old stomping grounds when going through a substance abuse program.
When it comes to breaking free from the chains of addiction or alcoholism, don’t settle for what’s local or easy: determine what the best possible treatment plan is for you and take action on that plan before it’s too late.