The advantages of traveling far for your residential rehabilitation program

If you have ever had the experience of dealing with genuine addiction, either in your life or that of a friend, a loved one or a colleague, you already know that there is absolutely no other human problem that comes near to approaching the seriousness of the effects of drug addiction or alcoholism. No other life-controlling problem affects the person and their family at such a complete and integrated level –  physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

1. Complete separation from present existence

To address the problem of addiction or alcoholic behaviour, the addict needs a complete separation from their present existence. In essence, to retain all the important things in a person’s life, such as children, spouse, family, friends, finances, career, position in the community, they literally need to put these things on hold while going through residential treatment. There is a common saying in the world of a drug treatment and alcohol addiction: “Whatever you put before your recovery you will lose.” So yes, your recovery must come before your children, family, employment, life. Sadly, for the true addict or alcoholic, these valuable assets, as precious as they may be, simply do not have the power to keep a person clean and sober in the long term.

2. Distraction free rehab

Like anything in life that requires focused attention, being away from other distractions is a clear advantage. This is even more important in the case of addiction treatment because of a common phenomenon known as euphoric recall.  This is when an addict selectively remembers all the positive experiences related to their addiction, at the same time blocking out the negative experiences.  Euphoric recall is very strong and can mean the difference between staying and completing the program or deciding to leave early. Being away from home is a great benefit in those difficult days of adjustment when, if you were near home, escaping to your favourite bar, or your drug dealer’s apartment is seen as an immediate solution, in spite of you knowing deep down that it is not.

3. Distance helps bring change

Alcoholism and other dependencies, by their very nature, lock the addict into an unhealthy downward spiral, doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting different results. In reality, nothing changes, except of course the ever-deepening dependency itself. An important part of recovery is changing your comfort zone and experiencing new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving and at the same time, establishing new ways of being and creating healthy “new normals”.  Distance will help to facilitate this change. A change of scenery, openness to new friendships, new life adventures, cultures, attitudes and opens the door to the possibility of change, an enduring change.

So, for those of you thinking about residential rehab and weighing up ‘local’ versus ‘distance’, make sure that the decision is a step in the right direction.  Our experience of more than 30 years tells us that the latter tends to show better results than the former. Being far from everything, the normal routines, the normal ‘templates’ are blocked and one is generally open to new possibilities. The new life of recovery can be an exciting journey!

Call now to find out how a residential rehab program can help you with recovery.