Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to waver in your sobriety — traveling can even help reinforce your recovery.
Addiction recovery is a journey. Stopping the use of drugs or alcohol is just the beginning and it is important to have ongoing support. This means that when you decide to take a break from everyday life (like going on vacation), your recovery and accompanying support network must continue.
Recovery is a process that requires support through valuable relationships and other social networks, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The agency maintains that support from peers can promote continued sobriety and success in recovery.
And, the good news is, it is possible to find support wherever you go.
Many 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are offered both nationally and internationally. SMART Recovery — a 4-point program — also has meetings available in many cities.
If a group is unavailable in the specific region where you will be visiting — or if your vacation schedule prohibits an in-person meeting — you can also connect with others via online chats, message boards or telephone.
Traveling can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to impede your recovery. Finding support on the road can relieve stress, alleviate triggers and prevent relapse.
Finding Support State-to-State
When traveling between states, most states have health departments or other organizations to assist in locating recovery support groups.
SAMHSA’s online behavioral health treatment services locator provides virtual assistance in finding a meeting or group.
If you know the address, city or zip code of where you will be staying, simply type the information into the search box and click on “search facilities,” to find one nearby.
The following websites can prove helpful in pinpointing a support group in your area or the area where you will be visiting:
- AA: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
- SMART Recovery: https://www.smartrecoverytest.org/local/
- NA: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/
If you have a family member or loved one struggling with addiction or in recovery, there are also organizations and groups that can help you, including:
- Al-Anon, Alateen, electronic meetings and worldwide contacts: https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/
- Nar-Anon: https://www.nar-anon.org/find-a-meeting
Finally, SAMHSA’s free confidential national helpline is available at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The helpline is there to assist people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions or in recovery. It can provide referrals for treatment and other useful information, like how to find a nearby support group.
Finding Support Internationally
It is also possible to find support worldwide. When traveling internationally, support groups and meetings are available to keep you on track with your recovery. Many of these programs cater to English speakers as well.
SMART Recovery meetings and programs are offered in 23 countries. Its international division was established in 2018.
AA also has an international division. A person in recovery planning to travel outside of the United States can find AA meetings in nearly 100 different countries with Alcoholics Anonymous’ online search tool.
Your doctor, therapist or rehab specialist can also help you locate support groups in the area(s) you will be visiting.
Know Before You Go
It is best to have a plan in place before embarking on your out-of-town adventure, especially when venturing far. That way, you’re not leaving a vital part of the recovery process up to chance or winging it once you arrive. This is your recovery, and it is important to maintain and protect it — even when on vacation.
If you need help in the early stages of recovery or are looking for treatment for the first time, The Recovery Village can help. Call today to learn about comprehensive treatment options.
USA.gov. “Mental Health and Substance Abuse.” March 21, 2019. Accessed April 5, 2019.
smartrecoveryinternational.org. “About SMART Recovery International.” n.d. Accessed April 5, 2019.
Samhsa.gov. “Recovery and Recovery Support.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. January 30, 2019. Accessed April 4, 2019.
findtreatment.samhsa.gov. “Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. n.d. Accessed April 4, 2019.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.