An inpatient drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility is designed to treat people with proven methods of recovery therapy.
Nevertheless, what an individual truly needs to thrive through the process is based on a number of crucial factors.
As someone begins the vital journey of addiction recovery, a primary step is to research treatment facilities. Perhaps he or she, a loved one, or a health care provider is evaluating centers. During the selection process, it might be necessary to consider the advantages and disadvantages of rehab treatment away from home.
Pros for Rehab Away From Home
Inpatient treatment at a licensed care facility for drug and alcohol abuse continues to be a primary recommendation for recovery. But again, it’s important to weigh the impact of residential care and why location matters.
Individuals chose to leave home for rehabilitation for a number of reasons, including:
- Privacy. It might be necessary for a patient to seek treatment in an unknown location if his or her reputation or employment status may be compromised.
- Type of treatment. A facility closer to home may not provide the recommended addiction treatment for an individual’s condition, or have the optimum care plan for key mental health issues contributing to addiction, or offer a full opportunity for continuum of care necessary for a successful recovery.
- Distance from negative influences. Environmental factors are often catalysts to addiction. Certain behavioral triggers for drug or alcohol use might be prompted by people, surroundings, or circumstances. A person may be more likely to complete treatment in a remote facility if immediate access to these triggers isn’t available.
- Fewer distractions. The seclusion of a long-distance facility often feels like an extended respite, with permission, to focus entirely on self and individual wellbeing. This refuge from the challenges of daily life, whether as intensive as a toxic workplace or as mundane as doing the dishes, helps break the cycle of habitual use so new behaviors are formed.
- Safety. Some people using illicit drugs may also be involved with dangerous criminals. Choosing a facility away from these interactions may be important for protection.
People also purport that entering a treatment program away from home reinforces a commitment to wellness. Leaving the facility may not be as easy, and travel expenses factor into impulsive decisions to quit.
Cons for Long-Distance Rehab
Needing association with what’s familiar isn’t the only reason why someone may choose a rehabilitation center closer to home. Other factors include:
- Need for family alliance. Experts continue to recommend the benefit of whole family wellness for addiction treatment. If someone has loved ones near his or her facility, it makes it more convenient for visits, counseling sessions, and other stages of progressive assistance.
- Accessible support systems. An important aspect for many people in recovery is to have counselors, support groups, and other resources available for accountability, guidance, and reinforcement of healthy choices. If this network is developed through a care facility at home, it may be easier for some people to continue than starting from scratch after being away.
- Complications with employment leave. As of 2018, seeking treatment for addiction is protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. So technically, if someone has to take a leave of absence to recover from substance abuse, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, certain employer and FMLA requirements may influence the final decision of care, such as a shorter inpatient stay nearby immediately followed by an outpatient program through the same facility.
- Insurance coverage. As of 2018, the Affordable Care Act requires commercial health plans to cover treatment for addiction. However, policy conditions vary by plan and by state. An individual’s insurance coverage may not allow him or her to obtain care outside of the state of residence without substantial out-of-pocket expenses.
Check All Resources to Find Quality Care
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) created a guide to use when researching drug and alcohol treatment facilities. The success of quality inpatient care, whether local or long-distance, depends greatly on individualized programs that take into account the:
- Unique characteristics of someone’s problem
- Design of a treatment plan and its purpose
- Interaction between an individual and a facility’s health care providers
- Availability of additional treatment services necessary to aid the recovery process
According to the NIDA, someone choosing a treatment center needs to consider vital questions, including but not limited to:
- Are the center’s treatment programs designed with scientific evidence?
- Do treatment plans meet an individual’s specific needs, and adapt as he or she progresses with recovery?
- Is the length of the program effective for success?
The answer to the last question may also influence the decision whether or not to enter a facility away from home. The location of the center may, for example, make a difference if the treatment plan requires an extended period of time in care, such as 90 days, for effective recovery, plus a transition to a sober house for another 30-60 days.