I was recently called by the parents of a teenager looking for a teen rehab in Asia and they employed me to investigate the centers that are available for people younger then 18 in Asia.
A little bit of background, the young man is 16 and had been a heavy user of MDMA and marijuana for a couple years now. He attends an international school in an Asian country and has been running with a bad crowd. He comes from a fairly affluent family. This is a pretty common story actually around here.
The young man has been in counselling for more then a year in his home country but it doesn't seem to be doing much about his risk taking and drug and alcohol behavior.
The parents wanted to know the best center to send him for teen rehab in Asia. Now my first reaction for a minor is that the only country I would consider in Asia is their home country or Thailand. The Philippines have some pretty decent budget rehabs and there is apparently a decent center in Malaysia, however if I am involved I would want him in Thailand. The main reason is if the kids does pull a runner and gets in trouble with the police, the drug laws are not as strict in Thailand as the other countries mentioned above. That said they are still very strict, however I know the system here and how to work within and around it.
Lets just say providing you have money to pay the right lawyers a drugs charge in Thailand can be dragged out in the courts for years and with a reasonable bond you will be allowed to leave the country on condition that you return for your court date. If your getting my meaning here, after that has happens tick Thailand off your holiday list permanently. Most likely they will be glad to see you leave.
So from my stand point if something goes wrong I prefer Thailand since I have a better chance of managing the situation to a resolution that doesn't land a minor in jail for a number of years for a possession charge or something else reasonably minor. If he is dealing there is nothing I or anyone else can do to help. There is also no guarantee on this either that the courts will allow him or her to leave the country while on bail.
As a parent and someone that has worked with teen rehab in Asia and seen a number of younger clients coming to the center there is special considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with teen rehab in Asia.
Teen Rehab in Asia
First there is a stricter duty of care with minors then there is with adults, for example if someone chooses to leave the center and not complete their program. For an adult there is not really much you can or need to do, a minor however gets complicated. You can't just call a cab for them and see them to the car, you need to make sure they are handed off from your hands to someone else with custody of the minor.
Also there is the problem of how well can you treat them? The groups will predominately be adults considerably older then the teen. Will they fit in and be able to get something out of the program or are you going to have to do it more on a one to one situation?
Being that they are considerably younger then the other clients in the center, are they going to be disruptive to the group?
Basically most of the rehabs in Thailand would prefer their clients are 18+, some insist on it and will not accept anyone under the age of consent. That said some of them will accept younger clients after an interview, depending on their maturity level and if the team at the teen rehab in Asia believes that they can be of help to the person.
As I said about this particular situation the parents contracted me to find a suitable teen rehab in Asia center for the young man an then to oversee his rehab and keep an eye on him. It is not appropriate however for me to be visiting on a daily basis as that would disrupt his program and I would just get in the way, I am more of a 'fixer' and am not a drug and alcohol therapist. That said when the proverbial sh*t does hit the fan I am usually the person that people turn to to manage the situation to some sort of a reasonable resolution.
So in the case of this young man I will be speaking to his counsellors as well as contracting with an extremely qualified child psychiatrist to read the files and session notes to keep on top of the progress and be able to report back to the family. I will not however be visiting the center on a daily basis unless I am needed, that said the family has asked me to move into accommodations where I am on call and only a few minutes away if there is a need, if all goes well I will only meet the young man when I collect him from his parents at the airport and when I pick him up after his successful program and return him to his parents.
This does seem a little over the top to me however being a parent myself I understand the concern and worries that one would be going through when taking your child to rehab for possibly up to 3 months.
If your teen is struggling with drugs or alcohol and you are looking for a place to send them to get help you might want to get in touch with me and I can hopefully give you some insight into the best teen rehab in Asia for their particular needs.