There are many reasons why people turn to alcohol and drugs. Among them are genetics (40 to 60 percent of addicts are predisposed to addiction), environment (normalised drug use at home or school makes it likelier for someone to become addicted), the brain and body (messing with your dopamine supply with drugs like cocaine can alter your brain chemistry to the point of addiction), and your support systems and treatment experiences (the lack of support systems and bad past experience when it comes to treatment can lead to both addiction and relapse).
In light of all these reasons, how should you go about choosing an addiction rehab abroad? The answer depends on the individual itself and the severity of his or her substance dependency.
Importance of Choosing the Right international Rehab
In order for you to increase the likelihood of success in drug and alcohol addiction recovery, you need to choose the right type of addiction rehab. However, a facility that might be great for one individual might not be such a good choice for another person. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all addiction treatment that can accommodate all addicts. There’s no one template that can eliminate addiction completely.
In reality, there’s no such facility that exists. This is why it’s important for patients to choose where to go based on their needs and how the programme can match those needs. For instance, some people with secular beliefs might struggle in an addiction rehab that’s spirituality-focused like in the case of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the same vein, people with strong religious beliefs would probably benefit from rehabilitation that emphasises spirituality in their treatment programme.
What is Medical and Rehab Tourism?
Even if you know what type of addiction rehabilitation (either outpatient or inpatient rehab) is most likely to work for you, it doesn’t always mean that such an option is available or appropriate for you. Local rehab centres tend to be quite expensive, especially inpatient facilities that include food and lodging on top of your addiction treatment.
Perhaps the answer to your addiction dilemma is to indulge in some medical tourism of the rehab variety, otherwise known as rehab tourism. This combination of tourism and medical packages are usually more affordable for patients even when including the travel expenses.
1. Medical Tourism
Medical tourism entails patients from one country to go to another country where treatment and hospitalisation is much more affordable, which helps the other country’s tourism needs as well. There are other versions of medical tourism, such as surgical tourism, dental tourism, hospital tourism, and so forth.
2. Rehab Tourism
Rehab tourism involves going to an international rehab in order to get the help you need in order to deal with your substance dependency or addiction, thus combining your vacation leave with your addiction treatment. You essentially get to kill two birds with one stone by getting help with your addiction while out of the country.
Why Overseas Rehab for Addiction Treatment?
Why are Americans, Europeans, and Australians leaving their countries and seeking addiction rehab abroad? It’s because medical and rehab tourism exists, which allow them to combine their treatment with their vacation time. Leaving your hometown to get addiction treatment makes a lot of sense in terms of practicality and economics.
When you travel to places like the Asian or Caribbean tropics at a resort-like setting, it becomes easier to deal with your withdrawal symptoms, your cravings for stimulation, and your agitation from realising you’ve become addicted. You should definitely choose the right destination that fits your needs and tastes, but make sure it’s more than just a beautiful travel destination. It doesn’t hurt to end up in a place with verdant forests, lush wildlife, mild climate, and beautiful waters.
The Benefits of Addiction Rehab Overseas
There are some definite benefits to travelling overseas for the sake of addiction treatment, which includes the following:
- Private and Secluded Facility: Going overseas allows you to find a truly private and secluded facility for addiction treatment that keeps you away from the triggers or stressors that induce you to use drug and/or alcohol. This is in contrast to local centres or outpatient treatment where the sources or causes of addiction still remain.
- More Affordable or Cost-Effective: These overseas rehabilitation centres are typically much more economical than a local rehab service. Room and board are generally expensive, so travelling abroad can allow those with modest salaries to avail of the most luxurious facilities.
- More Alternatives: Travelling abroad actually opens up the addicted person to new alternatives for treatment that normally won’t be available to them back in their home country. Certain therapies and methods are only accessible in certain centres around the globe. They can, for example, get affordable dual diagnosis and multidimensional family therapy in an addiction rehab clinic overseas.
- Unique Programmes: Aside from normally inaccessible or unavailable methods of treatment, you can also acquire country-specific or centre-unique programmes overseas, as in the case of certain facilities offering their own brand of holistic therapy, motivational interviewing, the matrix model, mindful meditation, or a combination of anti-withdrawal pharmaceuticals with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
- Your Privacy and Anonymity is Safeguarded: There are patients who don’t want other people from work or their neighbourhood to know that they’re undergoing addiction rehabilitation. One effective way to safeguard their privacy is to avail of a rehab tourism package in another country to give his neighbours and co-workers the impression that they’re merely going abroad for a vacation.
- Exotic Locations: You can attend an international in exotic locations such as Thailand, Hungary, Slovakia, South Africa and many other countries that offer rehab tourism packages. By entering rehab centres in these special places far away from your home, you can build a foundation for a better future. It’s fine to not only choose to recover from addiction but also travel the world while you’re at it.
- A Chance to Disconnect and Discover: Attending an addiction rehab clinic abroad provides you with an opportunity to disconnect from a toxic environment, addiction enablers and triggers while at the same time dealing with the brain chemistry changes and the root cause of substance dependency.
- The Pros Outweigh the Cons: While it’s certainly uncomfortable to be away from friends and family for a month or three, at least you can avoid staying in an environment that’s not conducive to your recovery and can actually worsen your chances towards becoming sober.
Concerns about Travelling Abroad for Addiction Treatment
Let’s address the concerns people have when travelling abroad for rehabilitation. Addiction rehab overseas isn’t something that’s appealing to everyone. Some people might opt out from pursuing this option for the following reasons.
- Inferior Quality Service: There are those who worry that a rehab abroad will be inferior to one from their own homeland. However, a more affordable facility doesn’t necessarily equate to a reduction in the service quality.
- Culture Clash and Language Problems: A more valid concern among individuals is the differences in culture between themselves and the country they’re travelling to. Certain things can also get lost in translation when in foreign rehab, although many of these centres employ English-speaking staff as well as native English speakers.
- Xenophobia and Fear of the Unknown: Those who have never travelled much or ever outside of their country may end up viewing foreign lands as dangerous and hostile. The enjoy being at home and don’t see any reason to give those things up. At most, they’d rather attend the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous programme or an outpatient treatment facility.
- The Price is Still Pricey: The price of going to these places including flight costs and other travel expenses might offset the savings you can make by choosing a rehab abroad. Usually, it isn’t the case but it depends on which country you’re going.
- Missing Your Loved Ones: There’s a downside to becoming secluded from your home environment. You will end up far away from your loved ones, like your friends and family as well as your spouse and children.
- The Climate of the Foreign Country: Some people might find the foreign country too cold or too hot. If it’s too cold, it can affect those with asthma issues and similar respiratory diseases. If it’s too cold, people from colder climates can end up suffering from heat stroke or worse.
Overcoming Objections to Addiction Treatment Abroad
Let’s now address the rebuttals in regards to the problems attending an addiction rehab overseas through adequate information and education.
- Prestigious Rehab Centres Abroad: Understand that many rehab facilities abroad are prestigious and offer services equal or superior to what’s available in your country. They’re affordable because of the exchange rate and many other factors, but as far as their quality is concerned, they meet and exceed international standards because they often rely on foreign clients to stay afloat. They couldn’t operate unless their standards of care are internationally recognised.
- English-Speaking Doctors, Nurses and Counsellors: Many of these overseas rehab centres welcome people from English-speaking countries because they have staff and crew that also communicate in English. Although this might prove problematic for non-English-speaking countries like France, Germany, and the like, as long as you can speak English, you should be able to communicate your needs to the employees of these foreign rehab facilities.
- Residential Rehab Centres Really Feel Like Home: Plenty of these foreign rehabilitation centres do an excellent job in providing clients with home comforts like home cooking, Wi-Fi Internet, cable television, and even luxury accommodation worthy of a resort like use of a swimming pool and laundry services. There are many facilities that do their best in making the process feel less strange to their foreigner clientele.
- Most Overseas Rehab Centres Are Affordable: Yes, some foreign rehab facilities have costly flights that offset your savings, which makes it more favourable to avail of local rehabilitation services. However, in most cases, the overseas rehab centre remains more affordable to you even when including flight and transportation costs. Do the math yourself to see if a rehab travel package is a good deal or not.
- Visa and Travel Document Difficulties Debunked: The addiction rehab overseas itself will advise you and possibly help in case you need to acquire some type of travel document or visa. What’s more, in most instances, there’s no need to get a visa. Usually, a passport is enough. What’s more, getting a visa is a worthwhile deal in and of itself when it comes to vacationing and widening your global horizons.
- Internet Has Made the World Smaller: Although missing friends and family while you’re abroad is unavoidable, the Internet has thankfully made things easier for you to talk to them while you’re away. You can email them, chat with them, or talk to them using Skype whenever you’re free in order to cope with their absence. Also, there are times when family and friends are actually enablers of your addiction, so being away with them can do you a world of good.
- The Climate of Your Addiction Rehab Overseas: Before choosing your foreign rehab of choice, you should consider how practical the climate of the country is in light of your medical history. Of course, most rehab centres are located in mild or tropical places that many a person can easily acclimate to anyway more often than not. There are also facilities that cater to their foreign clientele with heating or air conditioning as required.
- Transportation and Acclimatisation: Many of these overseas centres also arrange transportation from and to the airport. They also know how to prepare the patient for the transition back home once he completes the 30-90 day rehabilitation period. This aftercare service includes making sure he gets back home sober or drug-free in their home country.
- Away from Trigger: The fact that you’re secluded in an addiction rehab overseas means you’re protected from your usual triggers and temptations as your body undergoes withdrawal symptoms. You will also be taught how to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol and find purpose and meaning in your life.
International Rehab—Travel and Recover All at Once
When you attend an addiction rehab overseas, you can get the best quality treatment for much less than you pay for basic rehab in places like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia even when you take into account the cost of travel. Furthermore, leaving behind your hometown and country allows you to escape the temptations and triggers that made you use drugs and/or alcohol in the first place.
Travelling for rehabilitation makes perfect sense. Even though the rehab process itself is no vacation and entails a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.
The Dawn Addiction Rehab Overseas in Thailand
The Dawn Medical Rehab & Wellness Centre in Thailand offers affordable, high-quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment in a boutique accommodation. All of our medical professionals and addiction therapists are Western-trained and dedicated to provide you with the best rehabilitation care from assessment, detox, treatment through to aftercare. Our licensed team of rehab experts can co-treat addiction disorders as well mental health problems so our treatment plan can be tailored to suit each client’s exact needs.
Our addictions specialists are ready for your call and will be happy to explain how The Dawn will help you or your loved one moved forward to a healthier, more fulfilling future. Contact us now for expert help.