Don’t Believe the Hype About “Geographical Cures” for Addiction

Don’t Believe the Hype About “Geographical Cures” for Addiction

Recovery cannot be something you just happen across, it takes planning and foresight. When you head out on vacation, you have to think about where you go and what you do so you don’t put yourself somewhere you can trigger yourself. Find out why you cannot just leave where you are and find a geographical cure somewhere else.

What is Geographical Cure

When you leave home for the unknown, you need GPS or some type of device to keep you from getting lost. Most likely, you need a compass. If you struggle with addiction and mental health issues, you may not be able to know which way you are going for awhile. Recovery is a time to reconfigure your life around being sober and clean. If you pack your bags for some place beyond where you are, it doesn’t mean you leave all your baggage behind. Wherever you go, there you are. You cannot leave yourself behind no matter how hard you try. Geographically speaking, you may change where you live but you will always be who you are. When thinking about vacation, you have to take a certain mindset so you can still vacation and relax but not go into it thinking you are free and clear of being ‘in recovery.

Sober Vacay

Sober vacations are a great way to get away from work and stress of daily life. Recovery cannot be left to chance. It requires planning, especially on vacation with temptations including drinks, lack of schedule, and other things all getting in the way. It can help to have a packing list that supports recovery and stability so you can be more confident in recovery while you vacation. Here are some ideas:

  • Pack running shoes. Know whether you are running away from life or running towards something bigger. Everytime you tried to run somewhere else, you may find yourself without support and hit rock bottom if you’re not careful. Think about whether you are running on stable ground or not. Don’t just run away, run towards your goals.
  • Get a map. Know where you are, where you are going, and also where you came from back then. You will need a good roadmap to get you where you want to go. It takes planning the route so you can go out and travel without fear of what is going to happen. No matter your destination, you need to remind yourself of your sobriety and the goals you need to hold onto that keep sobriety at the forefront of your mind.
  • Carry (less) baggage. Pack light and don’t let the past weigh you down. Even if you brought all the guides and gear, you don’t need to bring every single thing you ever did with you on vacation. Bring some recovery tools and a list of groups you can contact in the area if you are struggling. Read each day with what helps you stay clear and focused. Find what anchors you in recovery and do that, even on vacation.
  • Keep a list of emergency contacts. Download a free app to contact on the phone while overseas or not in a place you can use a regular phone. Make sure you have people familiar with you on call.

Don’t put your recovery at risk because you did not plan ahead. Have fun and don’t be afraid of what is ahead but also be sure to plan so you don’t find yourself needing help most when you don’t have a plan for how to support your recovery while away.


For more than 25 years, Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center has been devoted to helping those who are struggling, to find serenity and recover. With a focus on holistic treatment for the physical, emotional, and spiritual, our program effectively rebuilds and heals what has been broken by addiction. For information on our addiction treatment program in Louisiana, call us today: 866-848-3001