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Out of State Rehab: Advantages and Disadvantages

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

The amount of options for attending rehab can seem overwhelming. Offered amenities vary, counseling options differ, and duration of stay is changeable. People wonder what role insurance plays and how much rehab is really going to cost.

These factors can keep people from seeking rehab, despite several studies showing that attending a rehab program can make a big difference on how likely a person is to stay sober.

Once an individual has decided to commit to attending a rehab program, it’s important to thoroughly research facilities to find one that can fit your individual needs, such as treatment for a co-occurring disorder.

Location is a key factor to evaluate when choosing a treatment facility.

Where you choose to begin your recovery can have a lasting impact on your sobriety. For some, it might be important to remain close to their families, particularly if kids are involved. But for others, distancing themselves from specific relationships can be beneficial to their recovery journey.

While many people choose to attend local rehab programs, attending rehab out of state is also an important option to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and advantages of attending rehab out of state.

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Advantages of Out of State Rehab

Avoiding Old Patterns

Moving to a new location for rehab can let people avoid people and places that may be triggering. If they are no longer exposed to such individuals or locations, then some temptation can decrease. They can avoid relationships that encourage active use and places that spark memories of using substances.

Being in this out of state location can provide a newness that decreases psychological and emotional burdens in addition to distractions, and this can lead to a more successful recovery.

Enabling Privacy

Being in a new place can provide people with the freedom to be more vulnerable. Further, it can reduce the fear of being seen and shamed by people they know.

Promoting Consistency

If a person is in a new location, then they do not have the same knowledge of the city and established habits and relationships. If a person does have these patterns and relationships and remains in state for treatment, it can be tempting for them to simply leave rehab and walk back into a more familiar way of life.

Instead of having to resist that temptation, moving to a new location can ease this burden.

Distancing From Individuals

Sometimes, family members, co-workers, or “friends” can hinder recovery. They may be “too helpful” and pushy or be hurtfully disengaged. They may say negative comments and judge harshly. Other times, they may encourage a behavioral relapse.

For such reasons, putting distance between the person seeking rehab and people who complicate this process can be better for relationships in the long-term.

Accommodating To Needs

Each situation has different needs, and sometimes the rehab facilities in your hometown do not best meet the needs of your case. Moving to a different location for rehab can provide a better fit. They may offer more tailored counseling services, healthcare professionals, or recreational services that best suit your particular situation.

Making An Investment

If you move out of state to start rehab, this is a substantial choice that often requires more work than staying in state. This decision itself requires some dedication and commitment. If this much work has been put into the choice, then it can take more situational factors for a person to back out of the rehab. An investment of time and money has often been made, and the hassle of getting back to the previous location can be a barrier to dropping out of the treatment program.

Disadvantages of Out of State Rehab

Leaving Support

Although relationships can sometimes be a factor in a person’s decision to relocate, relationships can also be a factor that makes people want to stay. Strong relationships with loved ones can benefit the rehab process. Staying in state can often mean staying closely connected with these people that can positively impact the whole recovery process.

Facing Finances

Some insurance policies do not cover out of state rehab facilities, and this can be a major factor in the decision between in-state and out of state options. However, an increase is not guaranteed. In some cases, certain facilities are still covered out of state. Checking the specific details of your insurance policy is the best way to find out about this financial factor.

Risking Discomfort

Going through the rehab process brings changes and often means dealing with challenging psychological and physical elements. When these changes are occurring, dealing with the change of being in a new location away from much of the familiar can sometimes make the situation more difficult. If an in-state option is chosen, more familiarity and, thus, comfort can be available instead of having the seemingly uninviting or overwhelming factor of an out of state location.

Crucial Factors

When selecting a rehab facility, looking for a place of supportive care and beneficial treatment options—from medication to counseling and inpatient or outpatient choices—should be a priority in order to best meet the needs of your unique situation.


“Behavioral Health Treatments and Services.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Web. 15 October 2016. <http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment>.

“Questions to Ask Before Going to Rehab.” University of Toledo. Web. 15 October 2016. <https://www.utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/counseling/atod/pdfs/choosing_rehab_white_paper.pdf>.

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