Recovering from Drug Abuse, Avoid These Countries While Traveling

Traveling is a wonderful way to experience different cultures and learn new things. People with substance use disorders, however, should avoid too much travel within the first few years of their recovery. Travel brings disruption to your normal routine, which can leave you vulnerable to relapse. If you’re well into your recovery and want to travel, you should avoid the countries we’ve included in this article. The following countries often provide easy access to alcohol and certain drugs, which can trigger relapse even in those who have been in recovery for a long time.

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Destinations with Alcohol

Most countries, including the United States, provide some access to legal alcohol. However, some cultures have more emphasis on drinking than others, and these cultures may lead to relapse for those who struggle with addiction. Some of these cultures exist in the places listed below:

  • Russia
  • Eastern European countries
  • France
  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Germany

Some of these countries have high levels of alcohol addiction. Others have lower levels of addiction but have a culture that centers around drinking. In Russia, drinking is often a ceremonial affair in which guests are served large amounts of vodka and other drinks. In many Western European countries, wine is readily available with dinner and consumed in the open. These temptations can quickly trigger relapse, so look for places with less emphasis on drinking culture when choosing travel destinations.

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Destinations with Marijuana

Marijuana, while certainly less dangerous than alcohol and other drugs, does carry some risk of addiction. Furthermore, this substance can become especially dangerous to people in recovery. A high from marijuana may tempt you to seek out the high that comes from your former drug of choice. The places listed below may trigger relapse due to marijuana consumption.

  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • Cambodia
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Some US states

Some of these countries have fully legalized recreational marijuana, so the substance is easier to obtain. In other places, marijuana is technically illegal but still widely consumed out in the open. Try to avoid places where you may be tempted by marijuana at every turn.

If you think you might be addicted to drugs or alcohol, call 800-492-QUIT today.

Destinations With Opiates

Opiates and opioids are substances that are derived from the poppy plant. These substances are extremely addictive.

They include many of the synthetic drugs that doctors prescribe in the US for pain relief. They also include heroin. In the countries listed below, one might find opiates in several different forms. Some use opiates mainly for pain relief while others use these drugs recreationally or in spiritual practices. If you suffer from addiction, especially if your addiction started with opiate use, avoid the places on this list:

  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Eastern European countries
  • Central and Eastern Asian countries

Many of these places traffic their opiates to other destinations, creating a long trail of access and addiction.

More than 360 million people around the world used an illicit drug in 2014.

Travel Tips

Even in the safest of destinations, travel can lead to relapse without careful planning.

As we mentioned above, travel means an interruption to your routine. These interruptions can cause stress that may lead you to relapse. However, if you plan carefully before your trip, you can remove many of your temptations before you arrive.

First, avoid traveling alone. Take at least one friend or family member who understands that you struggle with addiction and is willing to support you during the trip. Look up support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous while you’re away. Find out when and where you can attend meetings. Getting support from other addicted people can help you remain sober even in unfamiliar situations. Stick to your regular routine as much as you possibly can. If you normally start your day by doing yoga, or if you always watch TV for an hour every night, keep these rituals when you travel. When staying in hotels, ask the hotel staff to remove any alcohol from the mini fridge. You won’t be the first person who has asked for this accommodation, and hotel staff are generally happy to oblige.

Finally, follow the advice of Alcoholics Anonymous and remember to HALT: Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. These situations are triggering for people with substance abuse problems. Prepare for these situations in advance by packing snacks, doing calming activities, sticking with your travel buddies, and getting plenty of sleep.

Start by Getting Treatment

Whether or not you have to travel in the future, your recovery begins with treatment. At Rehab Info, we’re here to help.

We’ve researched drug and alcohol treatment centers in your area, and

we’ll help you find the option that will work best for you and your situation. Start by calling us at 800-492-QUIT today.
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