A big question a person considering getting clean and sober must ask themselves is, “should I travel for rehab?” I woke up from a 5-day blackout, realized I needed help, and proceeded to ask myself this question, among many other serious questions.
In my mind, the benefits of leaving my hometown in upstate New York to come to Divine Detox in Los Angeles, far outweighed the minimal drawbacks. I knew I was going to die if I stayed in New York. I called Divine Detox, and shortly after packed my bags and headed out to Los Angeles to begin a new life in recovery.
Travelling for Rehab
Leaving home can give you an important separation between you and everything you associate with using or drinking. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, going to inpatient treatment is much more effective than outpatient. Going to inpatient requires leaving home anyway, so why not come to the best treatment area available?
My entire life revolved around getting and using drugs, and because of this, my entire environment was drug infested. If you even have to ask yourself, ‘should I travel for rehab?’ the answer is, at least in my opinion, probably yes.
How to Choose the Best Rehab Facility for You
There are a few factors when considering how to choose the best rehab facility for you. For example, depending on how much time you can take off of work, or have someone watch your kids, you must decide whether inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment makes more sense for you. Another important thing when considering how to choose the best rehab facility for you, is how the reviews are for that particular rehab facility.
Going to a rehab facility may be the most important thing you do in all your life, so doing it correctly and thoroughly is of utmost importance. For me it was the difference between life and death. I wanted to find a place that had great reviews, offered inpatient detox and inpatient treatment, and had some form of aftercare offered as well. Divine Detox ended up being the facility I chose. Now, 6 years of sobriety later, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
Positives of Travelling for Rehab
In my opinion, the positives of travelling for rehab outweigh the negatives tremendously. Getting out of an environment that was quite literally killing me was crucial in my recovery. All of my associations were with people in the drug world, and I had distanced myself from all of my friends and family. Being in a new environment provided the safety and security to become a new person without the fear of running into people with whom I had been using.
People, places, and things associated with our using and drinking are exactly what need to be avoided, especially in early recovery. Being in a completely new city was invaluable in my recovery, especially in the beginning. The positives of travelling for rehab were so important to my success, I don’t believe I would have made it if I had stayed in my old environment. As you can clearly understand, the answer to, ‘should I travel for rehab?’ is most certainly a yes.
Disadvantages for Travelling to Rehab
The disadvantages for travelling to rehab exist, but never come close to comparing with the advantages. One of the main disadvantages for travelling to rehab is that it can cost a bit more money. Travelling expenses can add up if they are not covered by your insurance, which a lot of times they are. Another of the disadvantages for travelling to rehab is that being away from your loved ones can be an emotional burden.
The reality for me is that I was not present for my loved ones while I was using anyway. Taking some time to myself, away from them, in order to heal was the best option. I wanted to make this trip to treatment the first, and last time I had to go.
If you or someone you know is considering treatment, I suggest making a list of the disadvantages for travelling to rehab and the positives of travelling for rehab. This will help you to visualize the immense positives and how they most likely outweigh the disadvantages for travelling to rehab. It will help you to get a clear answer on the question, ‘should I travel for rehab?’
Risks of Staying Local for Addiction Treatment
Among the many risks of staying local for addiction treatment is the fact that at any point you can leave and go back to what you were doing before. When asking yourself, ‘should I travel for rehab?’ it is important to understand that early recovery is an incredible roller coaster of emotions.
Acute withdrawal symptoms and post-acute withdrawal symptoms can often play tricks on the mind and cause a person to leave treatment early. So, the risks of staying local for addiction treatment are that as soon as treatment becomes the slightest bit uncomfortable, you can leave and immediately go back to the life you are trying to get away from.
The Recovery Community of California
Another of the risks of staying local for addiction treatment is that there isn’t any place like southern California when it comes to a recovery community. Getting connected to a group of recovering addicts or alcoholics is one of the biggest factors in whether a person recovers or relapses. The groups of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California are as prevalent as they are effective.
I knew that for me, the risks of staying local for addiction treatment were pervasive, and posed too great a risk to my recovery. I had tried, and failed to recover in my hometown many times with no success. If you are anything like me, then the answer to ‘should I travel for rehab’ is absolutely yes, you should.
Benefits of Local Rehab in Southern California
The list of benefits of local rehab in Southern California is a long one. Southern California is a mecca of substance abuse recovery treatment. There are many well-established treatment centers, like Divine Detox, and the recovery community outside of treatment in Southern California is second to none. The many AA and NA meetings that exist in Southern California make it the best choice for treatment, and aftercare beyond inpatient treatment.
Other benefits of local rehab in Southern California are the general benefits of being in Southern California, including the weather, the beach, and the general communities. There are so many things to do sober in Southern California, which is a huge helping factor in early recovery. Staying busy can be the difference between relapse and recovery, and with all of the AA and NA meetings, the fantastic weather and beaches, and the plethora of things to do, the benefits of local rehab in southern California is a list that can go on and on.
Reasons to Choose California for Rehab Travel
Another list that is seemingly endless is the list of reasons to choose California for rehab travel. The weather alone can be an amazingly powerful tool to utilize for one’s mood. There really is no better natural anti-depressant than the sun, which Sothern California has a ton of.
One of the other reasons to choose California for rehab travel is that California, especially Southern California has some of the best AA and NA groups in the nation. The group I found, and have connected to in order for my own recovery is indispensable and a huge part of my life these days. I honestly feel like I owe a huge portion of my sobriety today to this group of men. Having a solid recovery community is a huge factor when it comes to sustained recovery, and this is one of the biggest reasons to choose California for rehab travel.
Other reasons to choose California for rehab travel is that there are many highly rated and very successful treatment centers, such as Divine Detox. If you answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘should I travel for rehab?’ then southern California is the place to come.
Rehab as a Foundation for Long Term Recovery
A fact that cannot be stressed enough is that treatment is only the beginning of the road. Treating rehab as a foundation for long term recovery is how people succeed and maintain a life in recovery. For me, it was extremely important to attend 12-step groups, work the program, get a sponsor, and stay connected.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recovery is a lifelong journey, and for me, it has been the best ride of my life. Using rehab as a foundation for long term recovery means that I was not ‘cured’ by Divine Detox. Rather, they provided me with the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary to live a life in recovery. Divine Detox was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Divine Detox was rehab as a foundation for long term recovery, and without them I don’t believe I would be clean and sober today.
Travelling and Aftercare Planning with Divine Detox
Once I decided that yes, I should travel for rehab, travelling and aftercare planning with Divine Detox was a relatively easy and painless next step. I decided to stay in Los Angeles for an extended period of time in order to give myself the best chance at recovery. Moving is not going to get someone sober, as no matter where you go, there you are. You can’t run from your problems. However, travelling can offer a huge advantage in that it allows for a completely fresh start.
Addiction cannot be cured, according to the National Institute on Drug Addiction. This is why aftercare becomes such an important aspect of one’s recovery.
Travelling and aftercare planning with Divine Detox included attending detox, then inpatient, and after I left inpatient, I decided to move into a sober living in order to attend outpatient as an aftercare strategy. Utilizing each and every level of care really made the difference for me, as I believe this is the reason I am still sober today.