Rehab Options: Does Location Matter?

Last Updated on December 28, 2021

Choosing a rehab center can be difficult, especially if you’ve never attended treatment before. In addition to considering factors like cost and program offerings, it’s important to consider whether you’ll attend treatment out of state or near your home. This decision is a very important one and you should carefully think through your options before choosing a rehab.

Related post: How to Choose the Right Rehab Program: 5 Essential Tips

Does the location of a rehab center matter?

Many treatment experts agree that location does matter when it comes to choosing a rehab. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to go to rehab somewhere outside your hometown, but of course, this varies depending on individual factors. While one person may be better off going to rehab thousands of miles from home, another may benefit from staying close to home while they receive treatment. Let’s explore this topic further to help you make the decision that’s best for you.

Benefits of going to rehab away from your hometown

Location is one of the main factors you’ll consider when choosing a rehab. So what are the perks of choosing a facility that’s farther from your hometown? Here are a few to think about.

More distance between you and bad influences or triggering places.

When you go to rehab far from home, you’re putting distance between you and drug-using friends. It will also be easier to avoid triggering places or situations. For example, it might be really hard for you to walk past the corner store where you used to buy your beer or to drive by your drug dealer’s home without stopping in. When you go to rehab in a different location, you’re in a completely new environment that is free from associations with drug and alcohol use.

More likely to stick it out and finish the program.

It’s much harder to walk out the door in a moment of weakness if you’re thousands of miles from home. Everyone has those moments in rehab where they just feel like throwing in the towel and going back to their old life of addiction. However, by purposely attending rehab far from home, you won’t have any nearby friends to call who can come pick you up if you decide you’re done. Instead, you’ll be forced to stick it out and work through the hard stuff.

More motivation to heal.

Being in a new place can provide you with a sense of freedom and autonomy that can aid personal growth. As you break ties with your old self, you can start fresh in a new place and embrace all the opportunities your new life has to offer. Taking hold of a fresh start somewhere new is extremely motivating for many people.

Special features.

An out-of-state rehab may also provide additional special features, like a scenic mountain location, proximity to the ocean, or the peaceful farmland of the Austin Hill Country. Although you shouldn’t select a rehab center based on these features alone, they can be a major selling point and may help improve your mental health during your program.

More privacy.

If you live in a small town, you might worry that someone will recognize you if you go to a local addiction treatment facility. Or, you may even know some of the people who work at your local rehab center, which can be discouraging if you don’t want others to know you’re going to rehab. If you choose to attend treatment at a facility that’s far from home, you’re much less likely to know the staff and no one will recognize you during your stay. Having this level of privacy may help you feel more secure going to rehab and, as a result, your treatment experience may be more positive.

Better treatment options.

Depending on where you live, you may have a lack of high-quality treatment facilities nearby. If so, attending rehab away from your hometown will likely be advantageous for your long-term recovery.

When out-of-state rehab might not be ideal

As you can see, there are many benefits of attending rehab away from home. That said, there may be certain instances when traveling for rehab isn’t the best option, such as:

  • You have children or a spouse. An integral part of substance abuse treatment is helping you learn how to repair relational damage caused by addiction and establish healthier relationships and communication with your spouse and children. However, it’s difficult to arrange family therapy or couples therapy from a distance. You may also just prefer to remain closer to them while you complete rehab. Not to mention, reintegration can be more difficult if you don’t plan to continue living in that location. 
  • Relapse may be more likely if you don’t have a solid plan for support once you get back home. Heading back home from rehab without any consistent, one-on-one support in recovery is a recipe for disaster. If you plan to head back home to your hometown after attending rehab out-of-state, it’s crucial that you have a solid support system to help you stay sober and accountable. Otherwise, relapse is more likely to occur, especially in the early stages of recovery.
  • Local rehab might be cheaper. Traveling for rehab can be expensive, depending on your financial ability and whether you receive financial assistance or not. First, flights to get to the facility may be expensive, especially if you book a last-minute ticket. Additionally, you’ll need some savings to cover expenses at home (such as bills) while you’re gone. All this can quickly add up and become a barrier to treatment if you don’t have the resources to foot the bill.

How to choose where to go to rehab

There are pros and cons to attending rehab out-of-state, so it’s important to also consider other factors, aside from the facility’s location. For example:

  • Your treatment goals and needs: The first and most important factor to consider is what you need in a treatment center. For example, if you’re struggling with a substance use disorder and mental health issues, you should look for a facility that treats both simultaneously. This will provide you with the best chance of achieving long-lasting sobriety. 
  • Levels of care: Different treatment facilities may provide varying levels of care, so you’ll need to research each one to find out what they offer. Examples of different levels of care for substance abuse include drug and alcohol detox, intensive outpatient program (IOP), residential rehab, and aftercare like sober living and certified peer recovery support programs. The level of care you need will depend on the severity of your addiction, your treatment history, and other individual circumstances.
  • Amenities: Some rehab centers offer more amenities than others, such as recreational activities, yoga classes, pools, and luxury suites. Depending on your financial ability and personal preferences, you can choose a rehab center that offers amenities that help you feel comfortable, safe, and welcomed in a treatment environment.
  • Duration of program: The duration of a rehab program can vary depending on the facility, as well as the level of care you receive. For example, a residential rehab program may last 90 days or longer while an IOP may only be eight weeks. Detox, on the other hand, will likely only take a week. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for inpatient or outpatient rehab, treatment should last at least 90 days for the best results.1
  • Cost: Additionally, the cost of a rehab center will also have an impact on what you can or cannot do in terms of attending treatment. Some facilities offer scholarships or financial aid if you qualify, while others may accept your health insurance to drastically reduce the cost of care.  

Related post: Going to Drug Rehab for the First Time? Here are 10 Things You Need to Know

Drug and alcohol rehab Austin

If you’re not sure where to go to rehab, the best first step is to talk to a treatment provider and get individualized recommendations. At Nova Recovery Center, our addiction treatment experts provide drug and alcohol rehab Austin with flexible payment options. We also provide online drug rehab for those that cannot travel for treatment or prefer not to. If you’d like to learn more about our location, amenities, and program, please call (888) 427-4932 to speak with an admissions representative. 


  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment-usually-last 


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