There are multiple pros and cons that can be associated with both sides of this difficult decision. Anyone seeking help for a drug or alcohol problem should keep an open mind on both sides of this common question. Local detox centers have their pros and cons just like out of state medical drug detox programs. When looking for a detox center there are certain key things one should look for, after all this is one of the biggest decisions that will be made. For some people struggling with drug abuse and/or alcohol abuse disorder, this is a matter of life and death and should be treated as such.
If you are looking for a detox center for a loved one or for yourself, you came to the right place. This is an in-depth look that will go over the pros and cons of going to a local detox program or one that is far away. Some people may do better staying close to home, while others may benefit from separating themselves from that area. Finding a detox program that offers a high level of care in a comfortable setting may be difficult and take some time. When someone admits that they have an issue and are willing to get help, time is of the essence. The level of willingness can come and go in just a few hours, so it is always best to have a drug detox center lined up for when that time comes.
Should I Detox Near My Home or Travel to an Out of State Detox Center?
When someone abuses prescription pills, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and other mood and mind-altering substances, they will become physically and/or mentally dependent on them. They will need the drug or drink on a daily basis to function and not enter withdrawals. The withdrawals associated with drug abuse and alcoholism are extremely difficult to overcome. Intense physical and mental stressors will occur. The fear of these withdrawals will keep many people in active addiction, only digger their hole deeper. Detoxing without professional help from benzodiazepines like Xanax or from alcohol can actually be fatal.
Some may attempt a cold turkey (at home and without medication) detox, which is rarely successful and also very dangerous. A cold turkey detox means that the user will have to face all of the withdrawal symptoms head on. The cold sweat, insomnia, anxiety, vomiting, mood swings, cravings, chills, diarrhea, muscle aches and joint pain will all be felt full force. If the person struggling enters a medically assisted detox program they will receive various medications to help offset these withdrawals and give each client a much higher chance of staying off the substance. The obvious choice is to enter a detox facility and not to attempt this without the proper help. Which route is better, traveling to a different area or staying near home for a drug detox?
Should I Stay Close to Home for a Drug Detox?
Pro: Less travel time. Only having to drive a short distance to get help can lead to an increased level of willingness for the one struggling with abuse issues. There will be a minimal amount of preparation that needs to be done as far as packing and worrying about what they may not have with them that they might need. Anything left behind can easily be dropped off by a friend or a family member with ease.
Con: Being close to home means that the person struggling will be near familiar people, places and things. This greatly increases the chance of that person leaving the local detox center early due to intense cravings for their substance of choice. When someone is 50 miles or less from home it will be much easier for them to leave and relapse. People they got drunk or high with can drive 30 minutes and pick them up, putting them back at square one. It can takes weeks, months or even years before they become willing to enter a facility again.
Pro: If the person struggling with abuse issues has a good support group near home they will have an easier time settling down and staying off the substances after leaving detox. This is especially the case if the person has been involved in some type of recovery based program outside of the detox before, like A.A, N.A, Refuge Recovery or SMART recovery. The people they have met in these rooms and groups can be of great motivation while one is in the facility. They can also be a great support to the person when they complete the detox program.
Con: When close to home outside stressors and distractions can prevent the person struggling from focusing on themselves. When family is nearby and able to visit the mind can become occupied with this and can cause the person to become antsy, which can increase anxiety and some withdrawal symptoms. As strange as it might sound, when someone enters a detox program they will have to be very selfish. This small amount of time that they will spend away from the ones they care about the most is very important. Having a hundred miles or more of separation will allow that person to focus on their issues. They will work with the staff at a detox program so they can learn how to overcome them, which will help prevent a future relapse.
Which is Better, Traveling for Detox or Staying Close to Home?
There is no definitive answer for this frequently asked question, it really goes on a case to case basis. For example, let’s take someone in their 40’s with two kids and a job at home. They have struggled with alcohol in the past, but were able to get sober. They had 8 years off alcohol, have a great support group at home and in rooms of recovery, but then they slipped up. A month back on the bottle and they found themselves physically hooked again. They realized what had happened, swallowed their pride and asked for help. For this person, a local detox center might be their best bet.
What about a 21-year-old heroin addict who has been to multiple detox centers nearly a dozen times. They complete the detox and maybe a 30-day treatment center. They may get a week or two clean, but they constantly find themselves using time after time. They have burnt many bridges they had and the only support they have are a few family members and maybe a childhood friend, most of which are not in recovery. Everyone else they are “close” with are simply using buddies or people they get high with. Someone like this should travel far from home for a drug detox center. It is recommended that they enter follow up care at a 30+ day treatment center and get at least 6 months clean before returning home.
If Someone Wants to Get Clean/Sober, They Can Do it Anywhere
Yes, technically if someone wants to stay off drugs/alcohol, they should be able to do it anywhere, no matter what, but why not give the person struggling the best chance possible. Detox and rehab is not a one size fit all style of treatment, certain people will benefit from different things. Where one person might struggle, another might flourish. Take into consideration a few main things when looking for a program.
- The substance of choice
- The potential client’s age
- Length of use
- Any underlying mental health or physical issues
Programs will have different approaches to this vital step in the recovery process. Some facilities might offer medications like Suboxone or Subutex to help someone comfortably detox from heroin, while others will just use muscle relaxers. One program might not give the option for one on one therapy throughout the stay at the detox program, another might. The overall level of comfort and amenities offered at drug detox programs will vary. Some detox programs give private rooms while that is not even an option at some facilities. Certain drug and alcohol detox centers only accept private insurance, some will work on a sliding fee scale and others are government funded.
What to Look for in a Drug Detox Program
There is a lot to take into consideration beyond whether or not the facility to close to home or not. Find out what is best for the person struggling, try not to worry about the location of the drug detoxification program. If it is an option look for different accreditations like JCAHO (Joint Commission) or DCF (Department of Children and Families). These are tell-tale signs that the facility is held to a high standard and that the level of care given is outstanding.
If you would like more information about what detox options might be available to you or your loved one, contact our toll-free line. An addiction specialist is standing by and will give you free advice and their opinion on the situation. The call is free and completely confidental.