Why Look For Treatment Outside Of Canada?

In 2016, over 63,000 Canadians traveled for medical treatment outside of Canada; it marked a 40% increase from the previous year. This can be for a number of reasons. Sometimes a specialist will send a patient out of the country due to them not having the necessary treatment. For example, Hector Macmillan, Mayor of Trent Hills in Ontario, flew to Germany for an experimental treatment for his terminal pancreatic cancer. More often, however, Canadians are trying to avoid long wait times that have grown abundant in their system.

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Waiting For Recovery In Canada

Public facilities in Canada are so over-stretched that they have a waitlist. Destiny Bohemier, who was next on the list for a clinic in Manitoba, had to wait nearly a year before she could check in. These excessive wait times across the country seem impossible to manage, as there is no requirement for clinics to come forward and report how long people are waiting. Many who are struggling with an addiction know that a lot can happen in a year. Waiting that long, especially after already coming to terms with needing treatment, can be detrimental to rehabilitation.

In the meantime, some will go to a detox center; there is a waitlist for those facilities as well. And without follow up after detox, many are likely to relapse. Meanwhile, there are large regions, like Ottawa, that don’t have any centers that provide medically assisted detox. Medically assisted detox and recovery have been shown to produce better results and ensure a better chance of long-term sobriety.

Benefits Of Traveling Outside Of Canada For Treatment

Turning away from addiction is no small feat. It often means setting your entire life down a whole new path. When this is the case, living in a place that negatively impacts you or where your addiction was born can make rehabilitation more difficult. Changing your surroundings can be a powerful signal to your mind that things are changing.

Benefits of changing your surroundings by traveling outside of Canada for treatment include:

  • A healthy distance away from triggers and stressors
  • A change in routine and fresh mindset
  • Some breathing room away from all other responsibilities so that you can truly focus on yourself
  • An added layer of privacy and confidentiality
  • A reduction of impulsive behavior

Traveling aboard for treatment may also provide access to higher quality care. Although Canada is home to countless drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, those facilities may have long wait times and there are hundreds of thousands of other excellent centers across the world. Expanding your search for a suitable rehabilitation center outside of your immediate area in Canada can allow you access to specialized care that may not be available nearby.

Where To Look For Treatment Outside Of Canada

While there are some countries that have great programs for treatment outside of Canada, airfare and board can become costly. Going to the US for rehabilitation, however, can be easier if one is traveling on a budget or wants loved ones to accompany them. Crossing the border is an easier move that requires less coordination and planning than having to book a flight. On top of that, going to the US for rehabilitation means getting to choose from a wide range of environments for treatment. Whether you prefer beaches, forests, hills, mountains, snow, rain, or sun, clinics with all types of amenities can be found in all types of places with all types of weather. Whether someone is looking for somewhere that will feel more like home or wants a drastic change is up to them, but they may find both familiar and novel environments in the US.

The US is lightyears ahead of [Canada] in terms of the treatment of [Opioid-dependent] individuals, the treatment of addiction in general[.] If you can’t get that treatment in Ontario, the government should pay for your treatment where it is readily available.

- Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla, an addictions specialist, Vice, 2016

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Going To The US For Rehabilitation

The benefit of going to the US for rehabilitation is that one can travel there to receive medical care without any special qualifications. As long as one can afford the cost of their clinic and does not stay past 90 consecutive days, they can come and seek treatment as they please. If 90 days isn’t long enough, or if a patient is interested in an outpatient program afterward, applying for a B2 visa can increase that stay to 6 months.

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Find Addiction Treatment Today

If you or someone you love needs help with recovery, but doesn’t have much time or is afraid of what could happen in the meantime, going to the US for rehabilitation could be the answer. There are a wide variety of clinics and treatments. If this step seems overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, contact a treatment provider today.

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Author

Cooper Smith

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  • Cooper Smith earned his Bachelor’s in Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. While he was initially interested in a career in television, he saw an issue in his community and felt compelled to do something more. Now, he uses his knowledge to reach out to people who may need help and make the public aware of issues we are facing as a society. When he isn’t behind a computer, Cooper travels somewhere new.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

David Hampton

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  • A survivor of addiction himself, David Hampton is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach (CPRC) and a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

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