The Value in Traveling Out of Your Area to Seek Treatment

Woman is traveling to treatment

When attempting to help a loved one get clean from addiction, there are many factors to consider before selecting a rehab program. Something to consider is the prospect of traveling outside one's area for treatment.

This may seem counter-intuitive to some, as many family members want to stay close to their loved one through the recovery process. And that’s understandable, but it can be quite beneficial for the addict if he or she travels for treatment. In fact, it’s often helpful for them to get out of their local area and experience a change of environment. Doing so can help make the recovery process work. While families often provide support, they also remind the addict of old behavior. Getting away from the environment in which one used can often be a good first step to overall recovery.

A New Environment Can Be Beneficial to the Recovery Process

There are benefits in traveling for treatment if only for the change of environment that such traveling brings. When someone leaves their area, they get a chance to immerse themselves in a new place, possibly a state or city or rural area they’ve never been to before. When recovering addicts travel for treatment, they leave a lot of the mental baggage and nagging thoughts and worries behind, and they get a chance to embrace an entirely different environment. Doing so helps clear the mind and heighten the senses, creating an ideal foundation on which to begin addiction treatment. In a lot of ways, traveling to a different area sets the stage for the changes the individual is about to make.

Narconon Ojai grounds

Traveling Can Open the Door to Better Options in Drug Treatment

Even if your loved one lives in a big city, there are still going to be only so many options in local treatment centers. And being that the decision of which treatment center to go to is a life-changing one, it's not a good idea to limit the decision based just off of what’s close by. Zooming the camera lens out and opening up to the idea of traveling immediately improves one’s options in the type of treatment they can attend. Now they can make their decision based on the quality and professionalism of the treatment center; not its location or distance from home.

Traveling Can Take Away Certain “Fallback Options” That May Sabotage Treatment

If a person goes to rehab in his or her hometown, there is no getting away from that underlying thought in the back of his or her mind of “If this gets intense, I can always check myself out and call for a ride to a friend’s house.” Having that fallback option may prevent recovering addicts from really committing themselves to the cause of getting clean. But when they travel for treatment, they no longer have that option.

There is a Sense of Privacy in Traveling Out of One’s Area for Treatment

One of the reasons why some people might be hesitant to seek treatment is they are afraid the “truth will come out,” and everyone will know they have a drug addiction. They’re worried that if they go to rehab, they'll see someone they know there, one of the employees will recognize them, etc. Traveling outside of one's area for treatment can lead to a more private, discrete experience.

Traveling to Rehab Can Create a Stronger Sense of Commitment and a More Dedicated Mindset

Some have attributed traveling to rehab with “taking the plunge” into their recovery. There is a sense of commitment and dedication that comes with taking a trip somewhere to get off of drugs and alcohol. It feels like one is making a change for the better when they have to potentially get on a plane and fly across the country or go for a very long drive in order to start a new chapter in their life. And all the steps leading up to the trip further solidify that commitment, the packing, the organizing, the bidding farewell to relatives, it all cements this idea of turning over a new leaf in life.

Going to a Different Area Removes One from His or Her “Stomping Grounds”

One of the most significant failings of going to rehab close to home is that it is not a sufficient departure from one’s “stomping grounds.” Let’s not forget, a rehab center cannot hold a recovering addict there against his will. Should he become compelled to use drugs again, all he has to do is check himself out of the center, call up a friend to come pick him up, and away he goes. This does not happen often, but when it does, it ruins all of the hard work and effort that family members put in to get their loved ones into treatment in the first place.

Traveling for Treatment Can Remove the “Revolving Door” Aspect of Treatment

When a recovering addict goes to treatment close to home and doesn’t fully commit himself to the endeavor of getting clean, that can set him into a revolving door trap of: rehab, relapse, rehab, relapse, rehab, relapse, and so on. Because it is so easy to check into a local rehab, the quality and value of a drug-free life may seem less compelling. The person’s logic may be something to the tune of, “I know I can check into _______ rehab just down the road, so if I use drugs this weekend, that’s okay, because I’ll just check into the center Monday morning and get my act together again.” That’s dangerous thinking, and it’s the kind of thinking that leads to an ongoing, often fatal drug problem.

Helping Your Loved One Find the Right Treatment Center

Narconon Ojai Detoxification

If your loved one is struggling with drug addiction or a drinking problem, call Narconon Ojai today. Far removed from the urban sprawl of southern California and positioned in a beautiful, serene location, Narconon Ojai offers a peaceful and safe place for recovering addicts to really recover from drugs and alcohol. Add to that the unique Narconon program and its proprietary rehabilitation techniques found nowhere else on Earth, and Narconon Ojai creates the perfect environment for leaving drugs and alcohol behind for good. Don’t let your loved one continue with such a self-destructive lifestyle. Please make sure they get help today.



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.