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Why Australians Continue to Seek
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Thailand?

Australians have many reasons for why they keep coming back to Thailand, and quality, effective addiction treatment is one of them. Affordable, accessible, and at the highest possible standards, Thailand’s treatment programmes are increasingly recognised by Aussies looking to make a change for the better.

Thailand is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, lush mountains, and a welcoming environment for visitors including about eight hundred thousand Australians annually. In recent years, Thailand has also become increasingly well-known for its high-quality, internationally-accredited, affordable medical services, including long term drug rehab centres. 

Australians have been a key part of this expanding international industry, choosing Thailand over and over as a preferred destination for addiction treatment and recovery. Far away from the triggers faced in daily life at home, and without the waitlists that make entry into domestic rehab centres challenging – addiction treatment in Thailand offers a comprehensive continuum of care at a fraction of the cost. 

Drug Abuse in Australia

Recent reports have suggested that Australia continues to face a serious problem when it comes to drug abuse, with users spending an estimated 11.3 billion AUD on drugs in 2020. Methamphetamines like ice remain the drug of choice for Australians, with cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy) and heroin also rising in popularity. Prescription drug abuse is also a significant issue in Australia, with one study linking 80% of overdose deaths to opioids and benzodiazepines.

Alcohol Abuse in Australia

Alcohol abuse remains the primary reason that Australians seek addiction treatment. One in six Australians drink at a level that puts them at risk for an alcohol-related injury, and alcohol is the second greatest cause of drug-related hospitalisations in Australia. For many, alcohol consumption is a key element in both socialising and relaxing, and its ubiquitous presence in life events can make it difficult to pull away from even when it’s recognised as a problem.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Australia

When attempting to access rehab centres in Australia, many people struggling with addiction tend to face two challenges: 

  1. Cost: Private rehab centres in Australia offer immediate access to quality services, but at a cost that many find prohibitive. 
  2. Wait Times: While free rehab is available, these centres often have long waitlists that require the individual to put off rehab until a space opens up — a dangerous predicament for a person battling triggers and cravings. 

These two factors are part of why Australians continue to journey to rehab abroad in Thailand to overcome their addictions.

Thailand a Long-Time Medical Tourist Destination for Aussies

Australians’ love affair with Thailand as a tourist destination has spanned decades, so the decision to seek medical treatment in a familiar, relaxing environment makes sense for those looking to make positive changes in their lives – Australians accounted for 20 percent of Thailand’s medical tourists in 2019. In terms of addiction treatment specifically,  the ability to immediately enter Thailand-based treatment centres, avoiding lengthy waitlists and ensuring a quick transition into treatment is a major drawcard for Australians.

Because overhead costs in Thailand are typically much lower than in Western countries, treatment centres like The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab in Chiang Mai are able to offer comprehensive rehab services at international standards for a lesser sum. For Australians looking to further reduce the price of treatment, superannuation savings can also be used to cover rehabilitation costs, and many Thailand rehabs are familiar with the process.

How to Access Your Superannuation Plan

It usually takes a couple of weeks to secure early access of your superannuation. You will need to:

  • Start the process online via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website to apply for early access to medical treatment on compassionate grounds.
  • Schedule an appointment to speak with your doctor regarding your need for treatment and your desire to tap into your superannuation for the cost.
  • Your doctor will need to write a letter or fill out a form stating your medical condition and why treatment is necessary. They should also refer you to a specialist, who will also need to write a letter or fill out a form in support of your treatment.
  • Contact The Dawn to get a letter from us confirming your acceptance into our programme and a quote or unpaid invoice for treatment fees.
  • Following the review of the supporting documents, fees for treatment will be released into your bank account.

Click here for more information regarding the process or  contact our Admissions Team for guidance.

The Dawn is a long-term rehab overseas that focuses on every aspect of addiction recovery to offer clients a long-term solution rather than a quick but temporary fix. This includes detox, addiction and co-occuring disorder treatment; plus secondary care in the form of a step-down programme, and aftercare services. This means that instead of spending four weeks in treatment and then heading home, our rehab model is most effective at eight weeks of primary care, and is flexible, all-inclusive and can be extended based on the unique needs of the client.

Who are The Dawn’s Australian Clientele?

Since The Dawn’s inception in 2017, Australians have been amongst our top three largest client groups, along with the English and Americans. Over half of our Australian clientele is between the ages of 25-44, and around 60% of clients are male. More than two-thirds of Australians who come to The Dawn are seeking treatment for alcohol treatment in Thailand, or meth addiction treatment in Thailand or confidential cocaine addiction treatment abroad, while many suffer from behavioural addiction issues alongside The remaining third come purely for mental health treatment.

Why Aussies Choose The Dawn

Our Australian clients have cited many reasons for entrusting The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab to manage their treatment and recovery, including the affordability of our services and our guidance in utilising superannuation savings. Other key factors of importance for our Australian clients include:

1. Our Accreditation – The Dawn is  the only behavioural health treatment facility Asia-Pacific with CARF accreditation, the gold standard for rehabilitation centres in America, and accredited nationally by the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).

2. Removal from Triggers – Our lush, tranquil property is an oasis of calm and a world away from your triggers – the people, places, things and situations that contribute to your condition. 

3. Onsite Detox and 24-Hour Medical Care – Our clinical staff is supported by a 24-hour onsite professional nursing team who have vast experience in handling detox as well as patients with psychological issues, and operate under the supervision of our psychiatrist. 

4. Personalised, Outcome-Focused Treatment – Our compassionate, experienced staff works with each client to develop a customised treatment plan that addresses the client’s specific needs, identifies root causes of their addiction, and gives them a variety of coping mechanisms to successfully and sustainably manage their condition for a lasting recovery.

5. Internationally-Trained Clinical Team – The clinical team at The Dawn has years of experience treating a wide variety of addictions and disorders, including those related to mood, anxiety, and trauma. If you’re struggling with co-existing disorders, like addiction and depression, our team is fully capable of addressing these as well.

6. Close-knit, Supportive Environment – At The Dawn, we purposely keep our resident numbers below 35 to foster a warm, personal community where everyone is on a first name basis. We prioritise breaking the isolation of addiction and creating connections with those who understand your struggles and share your commitment to a better future.

7. Addiction Relapse Warranty – The Dawn is the only known treatment centre that offers a Relapse Warranty policy. If a client completes 12 weeks in primary treatment and relapses within one year, we are happy to have them return for 28 days at no additional cost. During this time, we’ll identify why relapse occurred and help them get back on track.


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