affordable drug & alcohol treatment why Thailand rehab centres make the top spot

The biggest drawback to any inpatient treatment programme is the price. A private rehab centre in Western countries like the UK, USA, or Australia, can cost well over US$30,000 per month. For a great number of people in need of addiction recovery assistance, such costs are simply too much to bear. Yet for those willing to look a little further, additional options are available. Overseas treatment centres can provide considerably lower costs for similar services, making rehab in Thailand an affordable option worth considering for the financially minded.

As we will see, value for money plays a key role in Thailand’s appeal as a viable rehab destination – but there are also non-financial reasons why Thai rehabs stand out even among countries notable for medical tourism. This article will explore Thailand as a suitable location for affordable inpatient drug and alcohol rehab, examining the country’s mid-range rehab options in the context of the wider rehab market.

How affordable is rehab in Thailand?

Thailand’s relatively low cost of living allows you to receive quality care at a reasonable price. In fact, since virtually all costs in a country like Thailand will be cheaper than those in your home country, it may be worth staying a while in order to get the most out of your visit.

Thailand has a large expat population, and countless popular areas to explore. After completing a programme of recovery at an affordable rehab centre in Thailand, it is certainly possible to explore the country and discover some of its natural and cultural charms. A visit to Thailand allows you to meet Thai people, sample authentic cuisine, and immerse yourselves in a rich cultural history. In many cases, this experience offers a welcome respite from the recovery process.

Put simply, spending time in Thailand makes for a fun and interesting accompaniment to the serious business of recovery. Both rehab and travel within the country are easy to arrange, and realistic on a moderate budget; most rehabs also include their own organised excursions. Even after including the cost of airfare, Thailand makes excellent sense as one of the most affordable rehab destinations if you are looking to keep your overall rehab costs down.

Fruit and Salad bar in a hotel buffet line. Selective focus.

Luxury vs Affordable Rehab Options

While luxury rehab centres offer hotel-quality services for added comfort, less expensive options are available. Clients opting for an affordable drug rehab experience in Thailand will receive many of the same services, but without such an emphasis on comfort, thoughtful presentation, or stylistic flourishes.

By selecting an affordable rehab option, you can expect the following features:
  • Accommodation: Basic, often with the traditional Thai bamboo or wooden structure. Shared sleeping options with private accommodation available for an extra charge
  • Facilities: Similar to a cozy 3-star bungalow resort, usually with pool and basic gym equipment
  • Hotel services: Basic conveniences are provided – typically including laundry, daily cleaning, and meals
  • Holistic treatment offerings: Massage, yoga, and mindfulness meditation are often included. These are basic services for Thailand, as such activities are ingrained in the culture
  • Professional staff: Some rehab centres provide experts such as personal trainers, yoga instructors, massage therapists, and chefs; such staff members will be Thai nationals rather than Westerners, as a way of keeping costs down
  • Atmosphere: Casual and laid back

What Inpatient Treatment in an Affordable Rehab centre Entails

Private rehab in Thailand is affordable because the country’s economy allows for lower operating costs. When it comes to treatment quality, however, some rehabs may be compromised. In an effort to save money, it is not unheard of for affordable rehab centres to invest less in maintaining the quantity and quality of their services and foreign staff.

To ensure that you choose a responsible rehab centres in Thailand, it is important to do some research in advance. Yet there is also a set of features that are commonly shared by rehab centres at the lower-to-mid-range price point. These include the following:

Some centres are equipped to do detox with medical support, but many do not offer these services. In such cases, clients requiring detox will have to go to a nearby hospital prior to their rehab treatment.
This variable is highly dependent on each centre’s staff-to-client ratio. More staff also means more money put towards personnel expenses, making it difficult to maintain low costs while still giving each client personalised care.
Some facilities specialise in treating specific conditions, while remaining ill-equipped to handle others. There is a huge cost associated with employing multidisciplinary professionals, so it is very much worth researching whether your choice of rehab employs a specialist in treating your specific condition.

Why Dual Diagnosis is Important

The latter point, regarding dual diagnosis, is particularly noteworthy. Addictions generally do not spring out of nowhere; they tend to be accompanied by underlying mental health factors that will persist – often to the point of causing a relapse – if left untreated.

Dual diagnosis rehab programme is specifically designed to address the additional complications that arise when a substance addiction is accompanied by one or more mental health problems. Special familiarity with co-occurring disorders is required to accurately assess and diagnose individual cases, so as to treat them properly. 

Anyone who is dealing with drug or alcohol addiction in combination with mental health disorders can benefit from dual diagnosis treatment. It often makes the difference between a successful stay in rehab, and an incomplete rehabilitation care that leaves the door open to continued problems in the future.

When choosing an affordable drug rehab centre that is less comprehensive and less equipped than a standard facility in terms of its treatment options, it is important to carefully weigh the potential cost savings alongside the likely reduction in overall effectiveness for your specific condition.

Affordable rehab in Thailand resembles a tropical resort

pros and cons of affordable inpatient rehab

The above information should give a general sense of the kind of services available from affordable inpatient rehab centres. The list below puts the main pros and cons of this price point into perspective:

Pros

  • Highly affordable, with most rehabs in Thailand charging less than US$10,000 per month
  • Cheaper costs let you afford to stay longer, giving you a higher chance of recovery
  • Services include full room and board, along with laundry and cleaning
  • Basic hotel facilities, but enough to make you feel comfortable (if you’re not too fussy)
  • Opportunities for adventure trips or cultural excursions
  • Access to standard holistic therapies

Cons

  • Onsite detox or medical support may be somewhat limited
  • Some centres may lack qualified medical professionals to prescribe, dispense, and monitor medications
  • Some centres may lack coordinated multidisciplinary services
  • Difficulties catering to Western appetites or special dietary needs
  • Basic accommodation and minimal amenities may be uncomfortable for some
  • Depending on the severity of your addiction and other underlying mental health issues, some centers may not be able to provide a full continuum of care that attends to your specific needs

is affordable rehab option worth it?

When deciding which rehab to attend, price alone should not be your only determinant. Addiction is a complicated subject matter, so you need to factor in many things. That said, affordable rehab can be a good option if you:

  • Do not want to spend extra money on additional “luxury hotel” elements
  • Suffer from a mild to moderate addiction that does not require medical detox or constant medical support
  • Are comfortable with basic accommodation and amenities
  • Do not have complex co-occurring disorders which require a multidisciplinary approach
  • Are looking for a casual, homelike environment

As mentioned above, price does not guarantee quality, so we always recommend finding out more about any affordable inpatient drug rehab centre before committing to it. Some affordable rehab centres may indeed be able to provide complete and high-quality treatment for all of their clients. Others may be better suited to less complicated or less severe addictions. With that caveat, the above guide lets you know roughly what to expect in terms of services, treatment, and amenities from typical affordable rehab centres in Thailand.

A Final Note

It is worth stressing the danger of letting cost dissuade you from seeking treatment. Each year, high prices lead many people to forego professional addiction treatment entirely, yet neglecting to receive help means that very serious health needs will remain unmet. Heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases are among the serious consequences that may result from a failure to address addiction early enough. If you suffer from substance addiction, effective treatment is simply a necessity no matter your budget.

For more about specific treatment centres in Thailand, or other important information about addiction recovery in general, feel free to contact us. We can help you find the best treatment centre that meets your specific needs. This is a no-cost consultation, so call us now or fill out the contact form below.

Author
Cameron Brown
Psychologist
    1. “Dual Diagnosis Treatment.” Dual Diagnosis, https://www.dualdiagnosis.org/dual-diagnosis-treatment/.
    2. “Effects of Risky Drinking, Tobacco and Drug Use.” Center on Addiction, 14 Apr. 2017, https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction/effects-of-risky-substance-use.

get independent advice

Enter your name and contact details to get started
Leading Institutions We Abide By