Choosing Addiction Treatment: Close to Home or Far Away?

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 06/8/2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When you decide to choose an addiction treatment center to help you stop engaging in dangerous and addictive behavior, there are a number of factors to consider. While it is important to choose a rehab center that is within your budget and provides you with the treatments you need, it is also necessary for you to consider whether you should attend a program that is close to home or far away. Location is a very important factor in finding the right rehab center, and it can affect your ability to recover as well as the center’s ability to be beneficial to you.

Is Local or Remote Addiction Treatment better?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the principles of effective treatment is that “no single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” This not only includes methods but programs and clinics themselves. “Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.”

For this reason, as well as many others, it is impossible to say that one type of treatment is better for every individual. Some people may benefit more from attending a local rehab center while others may need to find help at a remote clinic that will fulfill needs the local ones cannot. There are also reasons why a person might want to be at a local clinic specifically, as well as why an individual would want to be far away from home.

Treatment also needs to be readily available to the patient, as stated by the NIDA. Therefore, no patient should be left waiting to receive their treatment for a very long time or they may be likely to relapse back to drug abuse. This can cause a person to need to either attend local or remote treatment, depending on what is most available to them. A person’s need for either type of rehab center should be assessed by their individual needs and then the best course can be determined for them.

Who Needs Local Treatment for Addiction?

Those who choose to stay close to home for their addiction rehab may do so for several reasons. One of the most common is to be close to family and friends. If a person has a strong social support system at home and decides to attend outpatient treatment so they can continue seeing their loved ones everyday, then local rehab is a positive choice. In some cases, though, a person who has a strong support system still needs to attend inpatient treatment, but it can be beneficial for them to be close to home so their loved ones can visit often.

Another reason why a person may choose local rehab is because it is less expensive than going far away. If the program works for them, many people choose outpatient rehab in order to save themselves from “incurring the higher costs of inpatient treatment” (National Center for Biotechnology Information). When choosing to stay local, the person can often stay home while attending outpatient treatment, in addition to avoiding any travel-related fees. Even inpatient rehab is usually less expensive if done locally than remotely.

Some people also feel more comfortable when they are in a familiar place, like their hometown or nearby, as they attend rehab and work through their recovery. It is important for the individual in treatment to feel comfortable with their surroundings, and local rehab often provides this. In addition, staying local means more people whom the addict knows can be helpful in looking for and finding possible treatment options. Someone choosing local rehab can ask

  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Their personal physician
  • Volunteers at the local outreach or community center
  • Employees at city hall or another local government building
  • Healthcare professionals at the local hospital or free clinic

about the places in their area, and many times, these individuals can be instrumental in helping them find the right treatment center close by.

People who choose local rehab often have many more choices than they think and can even attend an aftercare program, like a mutual-help group, that the healthcare professionals at the clinic will be likely to recommend to them. There are many reasons to choose a rehab center that is close to home, but some individuals need to leave the city or even the state for their rehab.

Who Needs Remote Treatment for Addiction?

Some individuals need to leave home in order to find the right treatment for them. In some cases, it can involve finding a particular program that provides specific methods that no local program provides. This is not uncommon, and as stated previously, it is important that the patient receives the treatment methods that are best for them, as not every individual reacts well to the same treatments.

In addition, some people need to leave home for their rehab because it allows them to get away from the stresses associated with their home and work life. Going to a clinic that is far away can help someone really focus on their recovery instead of constantly wondering what is happening at home while they are in treatment.

In some cases, people who have been abusing drugs may also be in danger in their home lives. Those who are concerned about their safety from someone who does not approve of their decision to get sober, or who is threatening them for another reason, should consider going away for treatment so they can be safe from anyone who might want to do them harm.

Remote treatment for addiction can be necessary, as not every individual will benefit from being close to home while they attempt to recover. Especially when money is not an issue, this can be a way of allowing someone the time to work through their recovery while their daily life is not a present factor.