When choosing an addiction treatment program for a patient, particularly for a patient who has a co-occurring disorder such as depression or schizophrenia, it’s common for providers to limit their searches by geographic boundaries. By keeping care close to home, they can follow the progression of the treatment program, and presumably, they can stay involved in some aspect of treatment.
For some patients, this could be the right approach. However, there are times when a limited search restricts options to such a degree that the patient isn’t helped. In some cases, patients might benefit from traveling to a faraway place in order to get help.
Care Close to Home
Outpatient care programs are based on the premise that the person will have another place in which to live when appointments aren’t taking place. Sometimes, patients enroll in sober living communities while they’re participating in outpatient care, but often they continue to live at home. This arrangement allows them to cut or control costs, as they won’t be required to pay for room and board, and the familiarity of their surroundings can sometimes be so comforting that healing is more likely.
Traditionally, outpatient care has been considered appropriate for patients who had relatively uncomplicated cases of addiction. Now, however, researchers suggest that even people with a Dual Diagnosis issue can succeed in the right kind of outpatient care program. For example, in a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, researchers measured the success rate of a group of people who had these Dual Diagnosis concerns, and they found that the duration of care and involvement in self-help programs predicted success. In other words, these patients could do well if the program provided rigorous and long-term care. Providers who choose to find programs close to home should ensure that the facilities they select can offer this kind of care.
Traveling for Care
While some people want to stay close to home, there are some who find the idea of traveling quite pleasant. Sometimes, moving to a different community allows them to deal with some of the trauma left behind from the addiction.
For example, in a study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, researchers found that people in recovery had high scores on assessments of shame, guilt and depression. People like this might not want to run into coworkers or friends, as they enter or exit their treatment facilities, and they may resist the idea of getting care from a provider they might know. Traveling might put these concerns out of their minds, allowing them to focus on their healing.
In addition, some people need specialized care for complicated issues, such as:
- Severe post-traumatic stress disorder
- Prior episodes of aggression
- Prior episodes of victimization
There are specific facilities that address these issues, and the therapies provided here might not be available in any other facility. By travelling, patients might be tapping into resources they just couldn’t find at home. It could be well worth their effort.
If you have any questions about the merits and drawbacks of traveling for addiction care, please contact us. We can put you in touch with a Foundations Recovery Network facility close to you, or we can help you to find a facility that provides targeted care that’s in a different location.
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David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.