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Traveling for Rehab: Pros, Cons & How to Get There

Finding the right rehab for drug or alcohol addiction can be daunting with so many options nationwide. Are you asking yourself, should I travel for rehab? Depending on what is locally available, traveling for residential drug treatment may be beneficial. Treatment in a different location can make a difference in the resources available, treatment setting, the individuality of treatment plans, and preventing relapse.

This article will explore the pros, cons, and details of traveling to another city or state for addiction treatment to help you make a more informed decision.

Benefits of Traveling for Rehabs

Traveling for rehab can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Enrolling in a program outside your local area for residential or inpatient addiction treatment may provide:

  • Better quality treatment. Your local treatment centers may or may not be accredited or have adequate staffing to meet their needs.
  • Varying levels of treatment. For people who have co-occurring disorders or additional medical conditions, finding a treatment center that can properly address all their needs may require travel. In 2017, 37.9% of adults with substance use disorders also had mental health disorders.1
  • A fresh start. A change in location can inspire other life changes as well. People with unstable home situations or an unsupportive community may benefit from distance.
  • More focused recovery. Removal from situations, people, and environments that were once associated with substance use may reduce stress, triggers, and potential cravings during recovery.
  • An appropriate length of treatment. Having adequate time in treatment is essential for recovery.2 If your local rehab if highly impacted, it may not be able to accommodate you for the time you need to recover.
  • Access to specific accommodations. Luxury or executive treatment centers may provide alternative therapies (such as equine or massage therapy), gourmet or customized food options, private rooms, or flexibility to maintain work during treatment.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Principles of Effective Treatment, quick access to treatment is important for recovery.2 So, even if the treatment program nearest to you is not “ideal,” getting started with treatment of any kind can be more beneficial than continuing in patterns of substance misuse.

Downfalls of Traveling for Drug Rehab

While some people may benefit from traveling for drug rehab, others may have more successful recovery close to home. Some downfalls of enrolling in out-of-state drug rehab centers may include:

  • Distance from supportive family or friends: Some residential rehabs allow visitors, which can be beneficial for those whose key motivation for recovery includes their loved ones. For those who would benefit from family therapy, long-distance may be a barrier to involvement.
  • Travel expenses: If you are looking for a rehab outside of your area, it could be costly to travel for drug rehab.
  • Limited visits before enrolling: Many centers provide detailed descriptions of their program and facilities online, or by phone through staff members, but visiting in person may provide a different perspective.
  • Insurance coverage: Depending on your insurance plan, it may be more difficult to find a non-local or out-of-state rehab that falls within your benefits.
  • Establishing aftercare: This may be more difficult if you plan to return home after rehab. Non-local rehabs may not have as many connections or resources in your area to ensure continued recovery.

How to Get to Rehab

Making the decision to go to rehab is a big hurdle for many who need treatment. In 2014, less than 20% of people who needed treatment for a substance use disorder received any treatment that same year.1 After deciding, figuring out how to get to rehab can provide another hindrance. However, there are many options for travel to help you receive the treatment you need wherever it may be.

Make Your Own Travel Arrangements

For some, making their own travel arrangements may be the easiest approach. Some suggestions for getting to rehab on your own are:

  • Taking yourself: You can fly, ride by bus or train, or drive to rehab. If you are driving, be sure to check if you can keep your car at rehab. If you are flying, it may be best to use a rideshare or public transit before and after the airport to avoid the high costs of airport parking for an extended amount of time. Additionally, you may want to contact the treatment center beforehand to determine if same-day admission is available and arrange another place to stay nearby if it is not.
  • Riding with family or friends: Having a loved one bring you to rehab can provide a free ride, accountability, and support amidst a difficult decision. But it may help to know if they are allowed to accompany you into the facility when you arrive.
  • Third-party transportation: There are many ride-share, bus, taxi, and public transit options available across county and state lines. Public transit may take more time but may ultimately provide a more cost-effective and convenient way to get to rehab.

Rehabs That Arrange Travel

If you are looking for rehabs that will pick you up, some rehab centers can provide transportation for you. After phone enrollment and an admission process, treatment centers may offer pickup by car or bus that can travel across city or state lines. Utilizing travel through your rehab may help with:

  • Any hesitation that may appear during a long travel process.
  • The difficulty of saying goodbye to loved ones.
  • Avoiding any hindrance to planning travel or arranging transport.

Many rehabs that provide it offer free transportation to rehab or it is part of treatment costs If you are flying to a rehab out of state, transportation services often include picking up from the nearest airport. Asking about transportation options at your rehab of choice is always free and may provide you with invaluable help toward recovery.

Choosing a Nearby or Out-of-State Rehab

Choosing to enroll in a local or out-of-state rehab can be difficult if you have many options. Some additional factors to consider in your decision are:

  • Insurance coverage. Will your insurance cover out-of-state rehab or non-local options? Can you afford to pay out of pocket if it doesn’t?
  • Level of care. Do you have co-occurring mental health conditions or other health disorders that require treatment? Do you need full-service treatment from inpatient detox to aftercare planning?
  • Reviews. What have previous patients said about this treatment center? Do they have good results?
  • Specific amenities or alternative treatments. If you desire luxury or executive treatment, facilities are often spread out and require travel.
  • Accreditation and individualized plans. Is the program accredited? Are the staff accredited? Do they provide individualized treatment plans that can be adjusted to your needs?

Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Rehab

American Addiction Centers rehabs can help people recover from substance misuse and substance use disorders (SUDs). To find out if your insurance covers treatment and rehab, for you or your loved one at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a local rehab treatment center near me.

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