Treating addiction often means immersion in a residential rehab program. This 24/7 environment means more accountability and better care. Rather than sticking to rehab that is as close to home as possible, many patients choose to thrive in treatment off the beaten path. Leaving a familiar environment might be the key to successful addiction recovery.
Fewer Temptations is Always a Good Thing
Being off the beaten path typically means a rehab location that is a reasonable distance from any big cities or towns. Often, it means being located in a rural area. This makes for fantastic scenery, which is a bonus. More importantly, it means fewer temptations for patients.
In a rehab facility located in a big city, there is almost a guarantee that drugs and alcohol will be just a short walk away. Patients know that they can quickly and easily access any number of addictive substances in a matter of minutes. Of course, many patients remain committed to their program and their recovery. But why create more temptation when it doesn’t need to exist?
In a treatment facility that is off the beaten path, even transport is not a guarantee. The location might be miles from the nearest car rental office, taxi stand or even grocery store. This is a good thing for patients, because they know that the best choice is simply to stay put. Cutting down on opportunities to leave makes it easier to stay and complete the entire rehab program.
Opportunities for Outdoor Exploration
All great treatment facilities make an effort to offer outdoor recreation for patients. Of course, smaller facilities in urban areas simply won’t be able to offer as much. Attending treatment off the beaten path might mean more chances to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. This can do a lot for mood, physical health and even mental health.
Fitness, in any form, is a valuable tool in recovery from addiction. That’s because addiction often changes the reward center in the brain. It can limit the manufacture and register of substances like serotonin or dopamine in the brain. Making more endorphins is no easy feat, but fitness therapy can help.
Regular exercise creates more endorphins in the brain. Over time, this can be one way that the brain chemically recovers from addiction. Physical activity, whether hiking outside or lifting weights, can boost mood and bring back happiness for many patients. By offering outdoor recreation, facilities can make it easier and more appealing to stay active and sober.
While indoor fitness classes and activities certainly offer a wide range of benefits, they don’t offer sunshine. Sunlight can be a proven mood booster, particularly because it provides Vitamin D.
Many patients struggle during recovery with conditions like depression. One of the ways to combat depression is with sufficient Vitamin D. Even spending 20 or 30 minutes outside each day can make a huge difference in mood and mental health. That’s one reason that having space to explore outdoors is such a smart choice for patients.
Escaping the Familiar and Carving Out a New Routine
Routine is an often undervalued tool in the fight against relapse. For many patients, routine means having fewer choices to make each day. If rehab is too similar to ordinary life, it can be hard to craft a brand new schedule of sobriety. Off the beaten path, it might be easier.
In a new environment, there is a clean slate. Each patient’s schedule will be blank. From there, therapies and treatments can be added to maximize the healing process.
Many patients find it easier to turn over a new leaf in a completely different environment. Their schedules might change due to sobriety, but other things can change as well.
No nightlife opportunities might mean waking up early each day and greeting the sunrise with morning yoga or a short walk. Patients may find that they start creating new, healthier schedules. These schedules can potentially last for a lifetime of recovery.
Treatment Off the Beaten Path Often Means Longer Residential Care
Choosing treatment off the beaten path might mean a bigger upfront commitment. This commitment can involve more resources as well as time. Once those costs are invested, it is more likely that patients will stay to complete the entire program. Logistically, it also makes it harder to walk away from recovery.
Many patients who attend rehab away from home might arrive by plane. Often, there will already be a return flight booked in advance. Trying to leave treatment before it is complete might mean spending more money or losing that ticket entirely. Though a small deterrent, these tiny obstacles do make it more likely that patients will complete treatment.
Attending a treatment program close to home means that every hour of every day is a new chance to leave. Patients go through highs and lows of treatment and that is normal. On the lows, however, they might decide to leave. Further away from home, patients can ride out those low points and ultimately make the decision to stay once they are feeling better.
Residential care, with its 24/7 support, is the most effective way to recover from addiction. Patients who leave home for treatment are far more likely to opt for residential care, a definite advantage on the road to sobriety.
The Psychological Benefits of a Fresh Start
One of the benefits of treatment off the beaten path is harder to quantify. However, there is no doubt that many patients benefit from a psychological fresh start. In a new place, the slate is wiped clean. They can reinvent themselves into the people they truly want to be.
Addiction impacts more than just health. It can change how people think, act and socialize. Many individuals don’t like what they have become, and treatment is a chance to turn over a new leaf. That is easier to do in a new environment surrounded by new people.
Many different forms of treatment are helpful to patients recovering from addiction. Undeniably, however, treatment off the beaten path can offer extra benefits that can aid in that recovery.