Ep. 175 – Geographical Change: Assisting People Through Recovery

Geographical change can help assist people going through recovery. A change that includes getting away from the people and influences that led to the addiction in the first place can be helpful. Benjamin B. and Renee L. are here today to talk about the benefits of sending your loved one to recovery someplace that includes geographical change.

We talk about South Florida recovery versus Northeast recovery and Renee shares her experience with both. Renee and Ben both share their experience with recovery and geographical change. We talk about medically assisted therapies like suboxone and methadone and how additional therapy geared toward abstinence, spirituality, or AA are needed along with a desire to change.

Show Notes

  • [02:50] Prior to coming to South Florida, Renee was deep in her addiction. She actually came to South Florida for geographical change.
  • [03:21] She didn’t stay in the Northeast because of people, places, and things.
  • [03:40] In the Northeast, there’s the high-end recovery that focuses on yoga or medically assisted treatment.
  • [04:00] Renee had tried suboxone therapy and it didn’t keep her sober.
  • [04:18] There are a lot of suboxone clinics up north.
  • [04:47] Ben also has experience with methadone and suboxone.
  • [06:24] When Ben was taking the methadone, he received therapy once a month. The methadone and suboxone kept him alive long enough to gather enough tools to want abstinence.
  • [08:35] Ben went to therapy in Minnesota where his grandmother lived.
  • [09:07] Medically assisted treatment means some type of methadone or suboxone, but there is no actual therapy.
  • [10:02] Technically, Renee wasn’t sober. She was just switching from opiates to suboxone.
  • [11:47] Suboxone is also an abusable drug that people can become dependent on.
  • [12:53] Geographical change removes the addict from the place where they are comfortable with their addiction.
  • [13:17] Getting on an airplane and going 1500 miles away from home is a commitment. It’s also a good way to avoid triggers.
  • [14:25] Without geographical change, Renee doesn’t think she would have gotten sober.
  • [16:50] In the first year, Renee changed nothing other than where she was living. Relationships made getting clean the hardest for her.
  • [18:01] When relationships failed, Renee went back to drugs.
  • [18:57] South Florida is known for having great recovery.
  • [20:30] It’s hard to get clean when you’re still surrounded by people who don’t want that to happen.
  • [22:59] By traveling for recovery, it’s harder to change your mind and go home. Addicts can be extremely impulsive.
  • [24:28] It’s vital that loved ones and those involved don’t make the geographical change with the addict. This includes over the phone and Skype. People need to make their journeys on their own.
  • [27:04] Life is going to happen no matter what. You can get through things without getting high. Treatment is not easy for your love ones, you can’t derail it as a family member.
  • [30:23] Families being involved are a vital part of the process, but there is a time and a place.
  • [33:37] Renee is hoping to start a meeting in the Northeast. She built a good foundation during the five years she was in South Florida.
  • [35:09] Exercise abstinence first. Don’t look at a MAT program as your first option. Benefits to geographical change include commitment, recovery based culture, and lack of triggers.
  • [37:33] Geographical change is very important if it is a viable option for you.

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