Whether you are travelling for the first time in ages, are taking a trip for work purposes, or just want to see the world on your own, you need to take special considerations. As someone who has just gone through counseling for substance abuse, you do not want the progress you have made to be thrown away in an instant. Some destination locations will be low-key and innocuous, while others may leave you feeling tempted, stressed and wondering if you can get away with returning to bad behaviors just one time without being caught. If you stick to these four important principles, your vacation will be a success and you will return home feeling completely proud of your actions, as well as your inner strength.
1. Pack All Necessary Medications
If you need specific medications to maintain your health, be sure to pack them up and take them with you. You do not want to have a prescription filled in a foreign country no matter what, particularly if you have experience with substance abuse programs.
2. Don’t Wander Off
The country you are visiting may be beautiful and you might feel like it is safe to do a bit of exploring on your own, but you really do not know where that path is going to lead you. Rather than leaving things to chance, simply chart out a travel itinerary ahead of time and read it like it is a map to sobriety. At another point in time you may be able to have more time to yourself for explorations, but at in this point in your recovery, it is better to be safe than sorry.
3. Reach Out To Loved Ones Often
When you hear the voices of your parents, children, best friends or other loved ones, you feel like you are home again. Knowing that there are people back at home that depend on you, want you to return safely and believe that you can maintain your sobriety will be helpful for when you might be feeling particularly low. Talk to your relatives over the phone, have a video chat and send them a letter, postcards, and emails whenever you get a moment.
4. Stick to Your Itinerary
People make specific plans when they are traveling for a reason, and if you have past issues with addiction, you should absolutely build your itinerary so that you can easily maintain accountability. Go over what you covered during counseling for substance abuse, and think to yourself whether you really need to make plans to travel abroad with a specific idea of what you are going to do with all your free time. It is likely that your counselor would agree that creating a detailed itinerary is best for your recovery plans.
Realize that anything that you do that is different from your everyday routine is going to be somewhat of a challenge, at least at first. The type of preparations that you make when traveling to a foreign country might be similar to what you would do when starting a new job or moving to a different home. Traveling abroad will help you to get more experience in how to respond properly to things that are out of the norm, while staying on the path to sobriety.