Why are Americans' and other people from Western countries going overseas for drug and alcohol rehabilitation?
I get asked fairly regularly why people come to Thailand or other countries in the region for drug and alcohol rehabilitation instead of staying in their own country. Unfortunately there is no direct answer I can give, but there are a number of good reasons to travel for drug and alcohol rehabilitation as well as there are reasons you shouldn't. Let look a the benefits first;
Advantages of overseas rehabs
Some of the advantages of going to an overseas rehab versus local centers are;
- You are removed from your regular social network and triggers
- Centers are generally more luxurious
- Price is considerably cheaper for equivalent or superior facilities
- Easier to tell work, etc. that you are going on vacation versus going to rehab
- Depending on the time of year weather is considerably better
- Extras included, like outings, massage, personal trainers, etc.
- Shorter wait lists, often direct admittance
So thats some of the advantages of an overseas rehab center that we can quickly identify, what are some of the disadvantages?
Disadvantages of an overseas rehab
Some of the disadvantages of overseas rehab include:
- Less likely that your insurance will pay for treatment
- More due diligence is required, not all centers are licensed and staffed to the level you would have at home
- Might be more difficult upon your return to reintegrate with your regular life
- If there is a major problem legal action against the center can be difficult or near impossible
- Level of staff might not be up to the standard that you would assume back home
- Depending on the facility you choose there could be a language barrier
- A long ways from family
That is just off the top of my head and I will edit this as I think of more, feel free to add in the comments if there is anything else you can think of for or against going to an overseas rehab.
There are however a considerable number of options, the main overseas rehabs I refer to are in Thailand, Philippines and Mauritius. The reason for the choices are as follows;
- Philippines - Budget
- Thailand - Midrange
- Mauritius - Top end
As it goes in the world you do get what you pay for, due to economies in the countries listed above they can operate drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for a considerable amount less then in the USA or Uk.
Lets break them down for what you get in the different countries and what it will cost.
Philippines Overseas Rehab
At the moment there is only one facility in the Philippines that I refer Westerners to and a couple I am willing to recommend for locals. Main reason is language barriers and I only refer English or Filipino speaking clients to the rehabs in the Philippines.
At a rehab in the Philippines the fees are going to be around US$3,500 for a 45 day program minus detox which can double that if needed, what is included?:
- Shared room, 3 to 4 people per
- 12 Step program - regularly with a strong religious undertone
- Meals - possibly prepared by clients
- You will have house chores to do
Thailand Overseas Rehab
In Thailand there is presently 2 main centers I refer to, there are others however they are not quick about answering my enquires, if their not going to answer mine they are probably not going to answer yours in a timely manner. I am also going ot visit another next week that is a new set up in the country.
Fees vary from US$5,000 to 13,900 for a 28 day program, what is included?
- Private rooms
- Native English speaking counsellors
- Laundry, room cleaning, etc. As if your staying in a hotel
- 12 Step or CBT programs
- Very nice facilities
- Personal trainers, massage, excursions, etc.
Mauritius Overseas Rehab
*Note for disclosure I am directly involved with the centers in Mauritius.
There are two centers in Mauritius, the reason I say they are top end is the programs are delivered by European trained and qualified doctors and psychiatrists. The two centers however are extremely different even though they share some of the same staff. There is a 25 room luxury group program and a pure one to one program in a private villa. I will break them down below separately since the two can not be compared.
The group program in the overseas rehab in Mauritius is called Sanctuary Mauritius and is €14,500 or approximately US$16,000, what is included in that?
- Private luxury room
- Personalized program developed for the individual by a UK Certified medical doctor
- Daily group sessions and weekly one on one sessions with a physician
- Weekly sessions with a psychiatrist when required
- All meals
- Personal training
- massage and all the other luxuries you would expect in a resort environment
The One On One program in Mauritius is called Sapphire Recovery and is aimed at people that are not willing take part in a group program or can not risk the chance of their treatment getting out in the media. It only takes a single client at a time in a private, luxury beachfront villa. The doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, etc. come to you. You never meet another client and the program is developed around your individual needs bringing in the specialists required.
The One to One program varies in price depending on your requirements, for budgeting you should estimate US$ 30 to 40,000 per week with a minimum of a 4 week program. What is include for that?
- Whatever you need really,
- The doctors will have daily meeting to discuss your progress and develop a program specifically suited to your needs that will adapt with your progress.
- Private beachfront villa
- Security guard
- Personal escorts for excursions
- Regular sessions with Physicians
- Regular sessions with Psychiatrists
- Regular sessions with Psychologists
- Personal trainer
- Private chef
- Massage, spa treatments, etc. to keep you comfortable
- As I said above whatever you need to get better
- Due to the qualification of staff they can treat addiction, dual diagnosis, eating disorders or just about any other behavior health issue you might be experiencing and need help for.
- The program can be delivered in English, French, Arabic and Russian
These are some of the options you have and that I am most familiar with. If you would like more information on any of the above programs feel free to call me in complete confidentiality about the best center for your specific needs.