Pros and Cons
When a person enters substance abuse treatment, they tend to choose a local treatment center. Staying close to home provides the option of continuing to work or returning to work sooner, access to family and friends in their support system, and general familiarity with the area. However, staying close to home for treatment is not always the best choice. At Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, we encourage our potential guests to weigh the pros and cons of being close to home before selecting a rehab location.
Benefits of Distance
For some people, it is better to be further away from home while in treatment. The potential benefits of being in a rehab further away include:
- Fewer distractions. Even things that aren’t negative–like supportive family, friends, and colleagues–can be distracting at times. Some people in treatment find it easier to focus on their recovery when they are not juggling the obligations of everyday life.
- A chance to start over. Some people might appreciate the chance to receive treatment in a place where they are not continually reminded of past relapses or poor choices.
- The ability to choose a relaxing setting. Treatment centers are located in a variety of climates and environments. Getting away from the “hustle and bustle” of their typical surroundings may be beneficial to some people.
- More customized treatment options. Some centers are especially good at addressing alcoholism, dual diagnoses, or certain age groups or genders. Others may incorporate a spiritual component into treatment. Such specialization may be what a person needs to be most successful in their sober life. At Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, we strive to tailor treatment to each person’s full range of recovery needs.
- Distance from triggers, negative memories, and negative people. Not having continuous interactions with the places and people associated with poor choices may be beneficial in the early stages of recovery. Distance may also make it easier to recognize toxic relationships and determine how to address them in the future.
- It’s potentially easier to protect confidentiality. For those concerned about their confidentiality, going to rehab away from home may make it easier to prevent friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc., from knowing about the treatment.
- Harder to give up. If treatment is 1,000 miles from home, it’s harder to give up and walk out the door.
- Better quality. In some cases, the quality of treatment available in a person’s local area is poor. In rural locations, treatment options may be limited. Choosing to stay home for rehab may mean that they don’t get the best possible care.
Disadvantages of Distance
Because every recovery story is different, distance is not for everyone. Some people find that the benefits of entering treatment away from home don’t outweigh the disadvantages:
- Difficulty engaging family and friends. Distance could prevent the client’s family and friends from engaging as much in therapeutic services, which could mean that they will not be as well prepared to support their loved one after treatment.
- Time away from work. While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does prevent a person from losing their job for entering treatment, it does not guarantee a paycheck while in rehab, and some people find they cannot afford to lose income while seeking help.
- Lack of familiarity. The idea of being in a strange place may be too triggering to allow some individuals to relax.
- Inability to connect with local resources. When a person returns home after treatment, they will not be familiar with the local resources that could support their continued recovery. It can also be more difficult for the professionals at the rehab center to set up aftercare in a town they are not familiar with.
- Wherever you go, there you are. Because the problems left behind during treatment will still be waiting at home, some people feel it is easier to do treatment near home, where they can manage their issues with the help of their treatment professionals.
- Increased costs. Insurance does not always cover out-of-state treatment. It is important, therefore, to know what insurance will and won’t cover before making a decision.
- Shady programs. It’s extremely important to screen a treatment center before deciding to go there. It can be dangerous to enter a treatment center far from home without knowing whether it’s credible. It can also be more difficult to get out of an unsavory program if it’s far from home.
If you need help determining what kind of treatment is right for you, please feel free to reach out to us at Safe Harbor Recovery Center, in Portsmouth, Virginia, where a trained counselor can help you make a choice that will fit your unique recovery needs. At Safe Harbor, we address the physical symptoms of substance abuse while helping clients build the skills necessary for a life of continued sobriety.