Travelling can be one the greatest ways for those in recovery to embrace their new freedom from addiction.
Being exposed to and interacting with exotic cultures and people can completely shift people’s perspectives of the world and of themselves.
Even if money is an issue for a former addict, even a trip around one’s own country can be an exciting experience.
Travelling also gives an individual a tremendous boost in self-confidence, especially if they go to to very exotic countries such as those in South East Asia or India.
It also opens the mind to just how many potential opportunities there are out there, and that provides real inspiration to try new things when they arrive home. Perhaps they will be so inspired that they will want to do a course that will allow them to teach English overseas, such as TEFL or CELTA qualification. Perhaps seeing the poverty in other countries will make them want to volunteer overseas, or go back into education to gain an academic qualification that will allow them to work foreign aid agencies.
However, for all the phenomenal potential travelling has for those in recovery, there are some aspects of travelling that they should watch out for.
Firstly, many pharmacies in the poorer countries sell prescription narcotics such as codeine, dihydrocodeine as well as benzodiazepines over the counter without a prescription, no questions asked, for a very cheap price.
This wide spread availability of addictive over the counter pharmaceutics could be very hard for some in recovery to resist and in a worst case scenario could end up in them relapsing.
Also, illegal narcotics are widely available too in many developing nations, especially in backpacker hotspots.
For example, in Cambodia heroin is easily available from tuk tuk drivers, and Yaba – methamphetamine pills – are an epidemic all over South East Asia.
And in Latin America cocaine is widely available and very cheap, making it extremely tempting to those in recovery.
Of course, being caught with these illegal narcotics in these countries is very bad news indeed, because sentencing for simple possession can land an individual several years in very nasty, dangerous and overcrowded prisons.
But despite these risks, travelling can be excellent way to show those in recovery that life can be enjoyed without drugs. As long as they can resist these temptations and as cheesy as it sounds, just say “no”!
Love & Compassion
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