Location plays an influential role in whether treatment will be a success. The difference between out-of-state and in-state treatment centers can determine whether or not recovery is possible for an individual. Everyone has a different case, so extensive research is suggested before choosing a treatment program.

Sometimes, choosing an addiction treatment program can be challenging when taking into account all of the variables that may affect the success rate of treatment. While choosing a program that’s best suited to your needs, weigh the pros and cons of out-of-state treatment. While there are drawbacks to leaving the state for treatment, there are many advantages, too.

Understanding Addiction


It is very difficult to understand what treatment you, or someone you know, needs without having an idea of what addiction is and how it starts.

For the most part, drug addiction and dependency usually develop in the same way. Someone is either prescribed a drug or takes it recreationally. When the drug’s effect ends, the user can experience a range of feelings and physical effects, in which some may result in withdrawal.

To feel the pleasant effects of the drug again, the person takes it again. This results in a vicious cycle, and constant use can lead the person to develop tolerance of the abused drug.

With the growing tolerance, the user will take more and more of the drug to feel the same effects as when they first took it. This constant use and increase of dosage can result in dependence, addiction, and possibly, overdose.

Do I Need Addiction Treatment?

If you have a substance use disorder, it can be worth reaching out to addiction specialists at local rehab centers to learn more about potential treatment options.

Seeking treatment early can help to avoid some of the most severe consequences of addiction.

So how do you know if you have a substance use disorder?

The fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines substance use problems in three tiers: mild, moderate, and severe.

Addiction treatment professionals refer to a list of signs and symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) to determine if one exists as well as how severe it is.

Advantages of Out-of-State Treatment

Going out-of-state to treat your addiction is a huge step in treating it. Though it may be intimidating at first, leaving your home state for addiction treatment is (in most cases) can be more effective than staying in-state.

Here’s why an out-of-state drug rehab is worth considering:

1. You Can Leave Your Environment

Because substance abuse and addiction both affect your whole life, treating addiction will change your life as well. People who want to end their addiction and change their lives might find it risky to stay in familiar settings. Peer pressure or constant triggers can be common if the person with an addiction stays in the environment where the addiction started.

For some patients, out-of-state treatment is viewed as a chance to escape stressors and problems they have at home so that they can focus on themselves. In the treatment process, the patient’s comfort is the No. 1 priority. Many people find it comforting to make a new start in a new, sober environment.

2. You Can Maintain Your Reputation

Although substance abuse and addiction awareness are rising, along with the rates of abuse and addiction, there is still a stigma toward rehabilitation and treatment. Many people who consider going to treatment are concerned family, friends, and others will judge them.

Going to an out-of-state rehab reduces that fear. Substance abuse treatment centers maintain confidentiality. Out-of-state treatment programs provide therapy without anyone knowing from your homefront. When the patient returns home after completing the program, they can say they went on a vacation or something along those lines if anyone asks.

3. There Are Little to No Distractions

While it may seem like a good idea to surround yourself with friends and loved ones while going through recovery, that could sometimes prove counterproductive. It is not rare for a patient to focus on their loved ones more than themselves.

The point of treatment is for the patient to live a life free of addiction. It is challenging to achieve the end goal with family distractions and obstacles along the way.

While enrolled in out-of-state recovery, the patient has no outside distractions to worry about, such as family, friends, or relationships. For many people, leaving their physical and mental distractions behind is one of the major steps in their successful recovery, as they can focus exclusively on treatment.

4. There’s More Incentive to Stay and Finish Treatment

Drug rehabilitation is voluntary unless it’s court-mandated. Patients forget that if they want to leave at any time, they can simply sign out and walk out. This has a much higher probability of happening at an in-state facility. A friend or family member can pick up the person who has been discharged against medical advice (AMA) and return the person to the same environment.

Another incentive for patients to stay in their out-of-state treatment program is the money invested in the treatment. From travel costs to medication costs, any money spent is money you cannot get back. Because of this, people are less likely to waste money and quit. They would rather just finish their treatment

5. More Options Are Available

In selecting a treatment center, there may be only a few possibilities to consider for in-state rehab programs. Having a wider variety of options to choose from makes it easier to find the perfect center for you. This is a key factor in determining the success of a treatment program.

This also makes it more likely that you will find a treatment center that is better suited than a local center. Though the cost of treatment may be high, the value of sobriety is much higher. In some cases, if the patient has insurance, the cost of treatment in the state can be potentially the same in any other place in the United States.

Advantages of In-State Treatment

While out-of-state treatment has many more pros than cons, it is sometimes is an option that is unavailable to some patients. In this case, in-state treatment may still be effective in helping someone struggling from drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction. 

1. You’ll Have Familiar Support

Though sometimes friends and loved ones can prove as distractions, it may be comforting to the patient to know they are not far from their friends and family. This is important in the addiction treatment process because the client’s comfort comes first. If a patient is not comfortable or happy while in treatment, the rate for successful recovery drops significantly.

It is important to note that this is less common. It is more likely that friends and loved ones, combined with staying in the area where your addiction started, will be more distracting. For this reason, out-of-state treatment might be more effective than in-state treatment.

2. It May Be Cheaper Than Out-of-State Treatment

Most insurance policies cover out-of-state treatment, but at Arete, we know every case is different. If your insurance coverage does not include out-of-state drug treatment in its details, engaging in treatment out-of-state can prove very costly. Keep in mind that a price increase is not guaranteed, and the treatment center may be the same price as an in-state center.

In most cases, however, your insurance policy will cover both in-state and out-of-state treatment programs. The best way to review what your insurance covers is to check the specific details of your policy. 

3. You’ll Have the Comforts of Home

The drug rehab process includes various psychological and physical changes, and it may sometimes seem like a lot for a patient to handle. By staying in a familiar environment, someone with an addiction can more easily adapt to the many changes they will experience during treatment.

While the initial level of comfort would most likely be higher during in-state treatment, it is very easy to accommodate a patient who’s in out-of-state treatment. Staying in-state may make the person “too comfortable,” which could mean they won’t take their treatment seriously.

Which Is the Best Option for Me?

There’s much to consider when weighing the effectiveness of in-state or out-of-state treatment.  If made without proper preparation, that choice could be the reason for the success or failure of one’s recovery. There are three things to consider when deciding on which is the better choice for you: people, places, and things.

Though it can be a tough decision, leaving your state is most likely the best option for any person who needs professional help.  As highlighted above, there are more upsides to leaving the state for treatment than staying where you are living in active addiction.

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