If you desire to become clean and sober, you must make wholesale changes. In addition to changing the people and places that keep you stuck in addiction, you must also change your environment. Surrounding yourself with healthy people and resources goes a long way in helping you stay clean and sober. In order to make your goal a reality, making a geographical change in sobriety is an option.
“Doing a Geographic”
While you may not be familiar with the phenomenon of geographic change in sobriety, the concept is familiar in recovery circles. Often referred to as doing a geographic, it occurs when addicts move to a new environment in order to “start fresh”. For many addicts, pulling up stakes and relocating to a new location is believed to help jump start their recovery.
The reason behind the change of scenery is simple. By moving to a new location, those addicted to drugs believe they can leave their past behind. Addicts may come from environments where they don’t receive the support they need to stay motivated in recovery. Therefore, changing the backdrop gives them a clean slate to reinvent themselves.
What are the Advantages of Making a Geographical Change In Sobriety?
Are you thinking of making the move? Making geographical changes in recovery has inherent benefits. First and most important, moving to a new location can enhance your recovery–especially if you move to a recovery-friendly community. Throughout the United States, there are numerous cities that provide resources to help you get and stay sober.
Examples of these communities include Delray Beach, Florida, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Houston, Texas to name a few. Not only do these cities boast quality drug treatment facilities, they also have countless 12-step meetings as well as educational and medical support. Moving to these recovery communities puts you firmly in contact with the people and resources you need to get and stay sober.
The Drawbacks of Making Geographical Changes in Your Recovery
In regards to your sobriety, you must pursue the best options that will help you achieve your goal. While making a geographical change in sobriety can be appealing, you must think twice before committing to this major step. The following are a few reasons why pulling a geographic in recovery may not work for you:
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
Perhaps the biggest pitfall in moving is the belief that the move alone will help you quit drugs and alcohol. If you are not ready or willing to make the changes in your life, you will continue to be stuck in your addiction. While moving to a new city may keep you clean for awhile, you will find that old habits are hard to break. If you don’t take the necessary steps to address those underlying issues that keep you stuck in addiction, history will repeat itself and you will sink deeper into substance abuse.
Moving Creates Additional Stress
Undergoing a geographical change in sobriety can also create undue stress that can lead you back into drug and alcohol use. In general, moving in of itself is stressful enough, and trying to get and stay sober compounds the situation. Without your support network or familiar resources, you can feel isolated and alone and it can make you more vulnerable to relapse.
Are You Moving Just to Run Away From Your Problems?
If you are considering pulling a geographic for the sake of recovery, you must pay close attention to the real reasons why you are considering such a step. Are you moving to truly seek help, or are you simply trying to outrun your problems? You may be successful in the short term using this strategy, but it will hurt you in the long run. The only way to deal with your problems is to face them in drug treatment.
Moving Can Delay Your Recovery
Moving to a new town or city in order to recover can, in fact, delay your recovery. The distraction of the move itself can create a false sense of security. As a result, you feel that you don’t need to seek professional help. By putting off treatment, you not only delay your recovery–you also endure the frustration and suffering of being stuck in substance abuse.
Don’t Put Off Your Recovery; Get Help Now
Addiction is a complex and progressive disorder that robs you of your physical and psychological health. Make your dreams of recovery a reality.
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