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Should You Travel Out of State for Drug Rehab?

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. ASAM states that dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. It is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward relief by substance use and other behaviors. 

Addiction is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s actions and interpersonal relationships, and dysfunction in emotional response. Being in an environment where obtaining drugs or alcohol is a phone call or walk away puts the user in a situation where abstinence is nearly impossible. 

Easy access to drugs and being around friends or peers who are using drugs will make it difficult to get sober. Even when someone decides on getting treatment near the place they use drugs, they run the risk of falling back into old habits once they get out of treatment. Should you travel out of state for drug rehab?

woman in distress

The answer to that question depends on the person. While each of us possesses unique characteristics, our approach to treatment must also be unique. For some, attending treatment in their hometown can be successful. Some who need rehab will have the strength once they leave the facility to abstain, but for others, it is an entirely different story. Traveling out of state for treatment could be the only option they have for long-term abstinence.

Treatment that is far from home gives a person the chance to start over in an entirely new environment. Sobriety is a fresh start, and sometimes being placed in a situation that reflects that can reinforce these new emotions that are going to be experienced.

It is easy to go back into an environment where you were once using and begin to imagine the good times spent with your old friends. Fantasizing about drug use when placed into these old environments can lead to a relapse.

Friends and family are there to love and support us at our times of need, but when someone is struggling with substance abuse or a mental health condition, they need to find their own identity in a recovery lifestyle. An individual who is struggling with addictive behaviors needs time and space to become responsible for their behavior. To do this, being away from family and friends allows this space to grow and start coming into your own. It may be a tough transition, but it seems to be that we develop the most when we are placed outside of our comfort zone.

Will Traveling for Treatment Help Me?

For those who may be trapped in dysfunctional families, traveling out of state for treatment can be their way to heal from their poor family dynamic. It can give the entire family a chance to start therapy and start the recovery process. Addiction is known as the family disease, and everyone is affected in some way or another. 

If you find yourself stuck around negative influences, you may struggle during recovery. Family programs can incorporate the family at the proper stage allowing everyone the ability to heal and receive support. Traveling for treatment also makes it more difficult for friends or family to jeopardize your early recovery, and you will be encouraged to create a new, healthy identity in an environment where you must hold yourself accountable.

When traveling out of state for treatment, it will be harder to walk out of the program to seek drugs or alcohol. You will not know anyone in the area, and you will have nowhere to stay. It may be the difference between sticking with the program or being homeless in a foreign place. The fear is enough to keep someone in their program. Treatment is an essential process, and it requires a transition, time, participation, and room for growth. 

Individuals will want to revert to their old lifestyles during the process, and if they are near their hometown, they can leave treatment and go home. When they are far from treatment, the physical and emotional distance can inspire them to stay and continue embellishing their road to recovery. It is often an overlooked portion of treatment out of state. The further away someone is from home, the more it will encourage a commitment to finish the process.

Sober Friendly Environments

For some, the ability to leave their usual surroundings will be enough to inspire this change. Travel and vacations are refreshing for business-oriented individuals and those who love to embark on new journeys. 

The same way these changes in latitude shape attitudes, attending residential treatment in a different state can allow drug users to escape the rigors and stresses of their daily lives. It can help them stay in the positive frame of mind that is required to stick with their therapies and control drug cravings.Evidence-based counseling services are the foundation of rehab centers, but some clients need services that aren’t offered everywhere. Some clinics may specialize in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), while others focus on a different approach. Choosing the right situation for your current needs is vital. Treatment is a tailored program that must have each party involved on the same page.

The Negative Side of Out-of-State Treatment

There are many downsides when it comes to attending treatment out of state. Those who leave for residential services may not be able to see their family for months at a time. If they live with their spouse, children, or parents, this will mean they are unable to participate in essential family counseling sessions. While the new environment can be refreshing, it will also be challenging to avoid relapse when transitioning back into life at home.

While cost is a significant barrier for many entering into treatment, attending a facility out of state can be much more expensive than at home. Insurance companies can’t operate across state lines, and provider networks will typically only accept in-state facilities.

If you decide you need addiction treatment at home or away, there is a plan for you. If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is imperative that you get help immediately. You don’t have to suffer another day in the grips of addiction, and it can take just a single phone call to change your entire life. Are you ready to change your life?

Call Serenity at Summit for Drug Treatment Today

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that will never have a good outcome if you continue using. It is, however, a treatable disease with advances in addiction treatment such as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). The hardest part should be admitting to the problem and overcoming it, not choosing the place that will treat you.If you or a loved one is battling a drug or alcohol addiction and needs treatment, look no further.

Our addiction specialists at Serenity at Summit are ready to help you take action. Feel free to give us a call 844-326-4514 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.


American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from

Treatment, C. F. (1970, January 01). Chapter 1 Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Retrieved from

What is Evidence-Based Therapy: 3 EBT Interventions. (2018, August 17). Retrieved from

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