Once someone makes the big decision to enter addiction treatment, the next biggest question they may have is where they should start their recovery. They also may wonder if they should attend a program in another state or join one that is close to home.
With more than 14,500 facilities that offer drug treatment throughout the U.S., there are plenty of places to consider for substance abuse treatment. There are pros and cons for each choice, but those will largely depend on the person and their situation.
Going away from home ensures that recovery takes place in new surroundings that can encourage the person to focus on the road ahead without any distractions that can derail their decision to do away with substance abuse. These “distractions” include familiar places and familiar people who all, in some way, have contributed to a person’s environment in which they abuse substances.
Traveling to a place that’s far enough away from home removes triggers to use as well as acquaintances who are not the right influences to have around when making the decision to get sober. This group of influential people can include people they know, including the dealer who supplies their drugs. Getting help in a place that’s away from your community may also make it harder to quit treatment when the going gets tough in rehab.
One consideration to make when deciding is if the person who needs treatment will be able to afford rehab away from home. A trip away from it also means paying for room, board, food, transportation, and more, and those bills can add up quickly. In this case, a person may want to review their options for rehab programs at facilities in their city, town, or state. Some benefits to starting treatment at or close to home are:
While a community where someone used substances may be a reminder of the life they are trying to leave behind, others may find it beneficial to attend treatment at a facility in their area because they can maintain ties to their family as they complete a program. Family support is critical to the recovery success of a person who is working to address a substance use disorder. Having family nearby can also make it easier to attend family therapy sessions, which are helpful not just to the person in treatment but others who have been affected by their loved one’s drug or alcohol abuse.
The person who is considering in-state or local rehab may want to check with their health insurance provider to see if it can find reputable facilities that offer quality substance addiction treatment at the local level. Staying in your state or city may increase the number of options from which to choose, and the available choices may include a variety of placements along the continuum of care.
People in the mild or early stages of their substance use disorder may find it easier to enroll in an outpatient program that enables them to attend treatment and keep up with their personal obligations, such as work and school, at the same time.
Outpatient programs are cost-effective and don’t require overnight stays at a facility or around-the-clock medical care. These kinds of programs also include intensive options that require more weekly hours to be completed. People who need a higher level of care, which is more than nine hours a week, may find intensive outpatient care to be a better fit.
If a rehab program in your area can connect you with quality aftercare services during your transition to life after treatment, it may be worth considering a facility where you live. Having a place to land after rehab is essential to a person’s stability and desire to start anew. Some say that’s when real recovery begins because you now must navigate life on your own without the structure of a facility to guide you.
Aftercare programs serve to help individuals find sober housing, employment, ongoing counseling options, 12-step programs, and more. It is essential to use services that promote moving forward in sobriety. This keeps the person motivated, focused, and encouraged to keep relapse at bay. Aftercare programs also connect like-minded people who help each other grow in their recovery journey.
Location is indeed important, so it should be given serious consideration. However, no matter where one chooses to go to treatment, there are hallmarks of a sound treatment program that should be present in whatever option is pursued, as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Quality facilities usually offer medical detox, educational courses covering addiction and relapse prevention, various therapies for the individual and groups, including families, life skills training, and continuing care.
Facilities should also have the proper accreditation and be in good standing with the state where they are located. According to SAMHSA, other key things to check for is if the facility:
Of course, it is important to ask facility representatives any questions you have to make sure the right choice is being made.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse highlights research that supports at least three months, or 90 days, of rehab services to treat substance addiction. The idea is the longer one stays in treatment, the better their chance of effectively addressing their disorder.
The medical community views addiction as a complex but treatable disease that changes how the brain functions and behaves. In some cases, substance use can even change the physical structure of the brain, as well. Ongoing care is needed because the changed brain makes an individual prone to relapse. If you or someone you know is battling a substance use disorder and needs help, don’t forget to review options in your area that can help.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
NIDA. (January, 2018). “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/drug-addiction-treatment-in-united-states
NIDA. (January, 2018). “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-can-family-friends-make-difference-in-life-someone
(May 13, 2015). What are the ASAM Levels of Care? Continuum: The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine. from https://www.asamcontinuum.org/knowledgebase/what-are-the-asam-levels-of-care/
“Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.”SAMHSA Publications. from https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Finding-Quality-Treatment-for-Substance-Use-Disorders/PEP18-TREATMENT-LOC
NIDA. (January, 2018). “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” National Institute on Drug Abuse. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment