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Travelling to Support Recovery from Substance Abuse

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Travel can be a powerful tool for recovery from substance abuse. It can provide an escape from familiar triggers and environments and a chance to explore new experiences and perspectives that may help people rebuild their lives. By being immersed in different cultures, landscapes, and activities, travellers can gain an understanding of themselves and the world around them. This can lead to increased self-awareness, improved mental health, and better overall well-being.

Travelling allows individuals to connect with like-minded people who are also on their journey towards recovery; offering moral support, shared stories of struggle and success, and tangible advice for living a life free of addiction. Ultimately, travelling helps people recover by providing inspiration, motivation, and connection – all necessary components of lasting sobriety.


Before travelling, it is important for those in recovery to carefully plan their trip and ensure the environment is safe and supportive. This includes researching destinations to ensure they are accepting of people in recovery, seeking advice from addiction specialists or counsellors on how best to cope while away, and making sure that there are support networks or sober communities nearby. Additionally, it is beneficial to set goals for the trip – such as staying sober throughout, which can help individuals stay focused on their path toward recovery.

Staying safe

There are several steps travellers should take to ensure a safe experience during their journey. This includes avoiding high-risk situations like drinking alcohol or using drugs, attending meetings at local 12-Step programmes whenever possible, setting boundaries for oneself, and having an emergency plan. Additionally, it is important to stay connected with family and friends back home and keep them updated on the journey – so that there are people who can provide support in times of need.

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Caring for oneself during travels

It is essential for people to take care of themselves while travelling. This includes getting adequate rest, eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, and finding ways to relax in times of stress or anxiety. Additionally, it can be beneficial to have a list of coping strategies that travellers can use when they feel tempted to relapse such as meditating, going for a walk, or talking to someone who understands the recovery journey.


The journey of recovery does not have to be done alone. Travelling can provide an opportunity for individuals to meet new people on a similar path. This can include attending meetings at 12-Step programmes or even joining sober travel groups that organize trips and activities specific to those in recovery. Meeting others who understand the struggles and successes of the recovery process is invaluable, as it helps build relationships and mutual understanding.

Ultimately, travelling can be an incredibly powerful tool in recovering from substance abuse. That being said, there are plenty of things that you should be wary of during your travels, especially as someone struggling with substance abuse. Here are ten such things.

The ever-looming dangers of relapse

Travelling can present a unique set of triggers and temptations that might lead to relapse. It is important to understand these triggers and have coping strategies to diffuse them when they arise.

The importance of community

Having a support network while travelling is invaluable, whether it’s local members of the 12-Step programme or other travellers on the same journey as you.

Routines are key

Sticking with routines helps maintain our sense of balance and control during times that may feel overwhelming. This could mean attending meetings or classes every day or running each morning – whatever works best for you!

Don’t forget self-care

Prioritising your well-being is essential when travelling. Make sure to get enough rest, eat nutritious meals, and take time to relax.

Be aware of your surroundings

Keeping an eye out for any potential triggers or dangers is important when travelling. This includes avoiding establishments that sell alcohol or drugs.

Stay connected

It can be tempting to disconnect from the outside world while travelling, but it’s important to stay connected with family and friends back home who can offer support if needed.

Know your limits

Don’t overexert yourself. Know when you need a break, and don’t be afraid to take one!

Plan ahead

Taking the time to properly plan all aspects of your travel will help reduce stress and ensure a smoother journey.

Be prepared

Have an emergency plan and a list of numbers you can call if needed.

Remember why you’re travelling

Stay focused on maintaining your recovery. It’s important to remember what is at stake during this journey.

Final thoughts

Travelling for recovery from substance abuse can be incredibly beneficial and challenging. It is important to remember all of these tips when embarking on such a journey so that the experience can be safe and enjoyable. With the right preparation, travellers will have all the necessary tools for success.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.


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