Alcoholism in Thailand’s Expat Community
One may wonder if the chance of becoming an alcoholic while living under the sun in Thailand is really that high. Current estimates state between 250,000 and 300,000 foreign expats live in Thailand. This number only accounts for those on a retiree or permanent resident visa and not those who may be on a “long term” tourist visa. In any case, walk along a popular road for foreigners and you’ll quickly see expats from all over the world mingling and drinking. However, this is not just a weekend or nighttime occurrence, but rather can be seen from morning onwards. Alcoholism in Thailand’s expat community is rampant and is grows with each passing year.
Thailand’s foreign retirees and busy professionals who left their family back home to come and work are most at risk when it comes to alcoholism. For both these demographics, their lives can revolve around beer laden lunch meet ups, pre and post dinner cocktails and nightlife kickers only to wake up the next morning with a drink to eliminate the dreadful hangover. Couple these things in with the added incentive that alcohol in Thailand is ridiculously cheap and this can soon become a habitual routine.
By contrast, there are a multitude of busy workers and retirees in Thailand which are happily living life engaging in healthy activities and leaving the booze for an occasional social engagement. Essentially, these people know when and where to stop. For those expats who struggle to find a balance between social drinking and alcohol abuse, treatment centers in Thailand can be of assistance.
Challenges in the Expat Lifestyle
Whatever category an expat may fit into, there are sure to be challenges which will arise while living in Thailand. Alcohol rehabs in the country directly understand these issues which are as follows.
Making Friends and Acquaintances: Once living in Thailand, most foreigners will start to seek out new friends. Unfortunately bars, pubs and entertainment venues are often the go to choice for meet and greets. Going along with these establishments is often a plethora of cocktails, beers, wines and liqueurs. To top this off, it’s not uncommon for drinks to be on the house or at a welcoming discounted rate.
Replacing Boredom with Alcohol: For Thailand’s’ expats who are not into making new sober friends, going out or getting involved into a hobby, boredom can quickly set in. With nothing to do, a drink or two can quickly escalate into a daily activity to pass time. As a result, an alcohol tolerance can occur and addiction could be soon to follow.
Lunch and Evening Meetings: Many of the foreigner workers (not necessarily teachers) in Thailand, especially Bangkok and Chiang Mai, are busy white collar professionals and executives. Their jobs not only may promote stress but also can obligate them to attend important meetings which involve fine dining and alcohol. It’s no surprise that these individuals often feel its mandatory to have a few drinks while discussing business matters.
Finding Comfort in a Bottle: Work related stress and pressure, being away from family, homesickness, relationship issues or feeling “lost in translation” can all be a catalyst for alcohol abuse. These obstacles can cause doubt, worry, anger and depression; all of which are feelings which can cause discomfort and desperation to mask them. Due to its availability and cost, alcohol can quickly become the method of escape. Leaving these emotions behind is only temporary and masked by a drunken haze until the following day when they come back even harder. Turning to the bottle becomes a way to ease this psychological and mental pain while alcoholism lingers in the background. Overtime, as the cycle progresses, the individuals’ life can spiral out of control as they start to battle a full-fledged addiction to alcohol.
Expat Veterans in Thailand
Thailand is home to thousands of military veterans from the USA, UK and other western countries. These people often face a range of issues, especially if they were involved in any past conflicts such as the Vietnam War. Although decades may have passed, PTSD and depression can still be an ongoing problem. Alcoholism in veteran expats is not uncommon in Thailand and can be treated allowing a healthier lifestyle to flourish.
Getting Treatment at a Alcohol Rehab Center in Thailand
Thailand is a country rich in culture, flora and fauna. Moreover, as most expats would agree, Thailand is a safe place with western standards and world class medical treatment. A rehab center in the country has enough familiarity of Thailand to help an expat feel comfortable and at home while receiving quality addiction treatment.
Chiang Rai is renowned for its unspoiled beauty and friendly people and tranquility. Serenity Rehab is the leading addiction treatment center on in Thailand. Each year, expats from around Asia, including Thailand, come to the center for an alcohol detox and individualized treatment. With support and guidance, Serenity Rehab Thailand is able to give expats with an addiction to alcohol a new, happy and sober perspective while living in Thailand.