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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Traveling vs Staying Local for Rehab: Which is Right for You?

When considering drug or alcohol rehab, some people might prefer to stay close to home, while others may wish to travel out of state. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of traveling for rehab vs staying closer to home and how to find the right rehab for your, or your loved one’s, needs.

Should You Travel Out of State for Addiction Treatment?

Out-of-state rehab or remaining closer to home can both have pros and cons. While your main concern should be finding a licensed, quality rehab that can see you quickly, location can also play an important role in your decision.

Pros of Traveling Out of State for Drug & Alcohol Rehab

Out of state rehab programs may offer different advantages, such as:

  • A fresh environment free of distractions. You’ll be removed from your day-to-day surroundings so you can focus on recovery.
  • Distance from cues/triggers. You may have less exposure to triggers, like people or places that remind you of using. 2
  • You’ll be less likely to run into people you know in a new environment.
  • More treatment options. You may have access to more types of treatments, such as holistic or alternative treatments, if you expand your geographic area.
  • Shorter waiting lists. Local rehabs might not have the space to accommodate everyone who needs treatment, so you might have a better chance of being seen sooner at an out-of-state rehab.

Cons of Traveling Out of State for Addiction Treatment

Traveling for rehab can present different downsides, such as:

  • The cost of travel. You’ll have to get to the rehab, which may involve associated travel costs.
  • The time commitment. You’ll have to arrange for time off from work and find ways to take care of other responsibilities.
  • Varying insurance coverage. There could be restrictions for out-of-network facilities or differences in coverage depending on the state you live in.3
  • Time away from loved ones. You’ll be temporarily separated from family, friends, and loved ones.

Pros of Choosing a Local Addiction Treatment Program

A local addiction treatment program might be the right choice for some people. Some of the pros include:

  • Not having to take time off. You may be able to work and attend to daily responsibilities at an outpatient program.
  • Insurance coverage. Plans might be more likely to offer more coverage for preferred providers or in-network facilities in your area, although you should verify your exact coverage.4 if you have insurance
  • Low cost of travel. You won’t need to make extensive travel arrangements.
  • You’ll be near familiar places and people, which can help if you have a strong support network.

Cons of Staying Close to Home for Drug & Alcohol Rehab

A drug and alcohol rehab that’s close to home could have potential drawbacks, such as:

  • Triggers to use. You might be exposed to people, places, or things that remind you of using.2
  • You might be concerned about running into others or having people see you enter a rehab in your town.
  • No distance from friends or family. You might have negative or toxic relationships that contribute to stress and substance misuse.2
  • Easier to drop out. Quitting treatment early could be easier if you’re closer to home.
  • Transportation problems. You may have to rely on public transportation on a regular basis or deal with logistical issues, such as finding parking in a larger city.6
  • Scheduling difficulties. You may have to adjust your daily life to your treatment schedule.6

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Drug & Alcohol Rehab Facility

Additional factors to think about when selecting a rehab can include:

  • The substance you use.
  • The duration of treatment.
  • The cost of treatment.
  • Whether you prefer a specialized program (such as for Veterans or those in the LGBTQ+ community).
  • Whether you require medication (for example, to treat opioid or alcohol addiction).
  • Whether the facility uses evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.1
  • Whether they offer aftercare to support ongoing recovery.1

Start The Journey to Recovery

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance misuse or addiction, you might first consult your doctor to discuss your concerns and ask for referrals to rehab. You can also find rehabs near you using the directory, or call a caring American Addiction Centers admission navigator at to learn more about rehab and verify your insurance.

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