8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand

8 Reasons To Rehab & Detox In Thailand

Many of us think of Thailand as a playground for parties and drinking, not as a place to get away from hedonistic pleasures. But in recent years, the Buddhist kingdom has established a reputation as a retreat for those seeking treatment for addictions. Several sanctuaries are now catering to foreign guests, offering first-class professional treatment and five-star facilities. Here are 8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand.


But why are clients from as far afield as the Americas, the Middle East and Europe choosing to travel to Thailand when they must surely have adequate facilities closer to home?


Medical reputation: The emergence of Thailand as a rehab hub should come as no surprise to observers of the Thai medical tourism sector over the years. Thailand established itself in the 1980s and 90s as an economical option for medical procedures from heart surgery to sex changes, from dentistry to hip replacements. Apart from the country’s appeal as an exotic location, its hospitals are seen as safe and thorough, and use state-of-the-art technology. Of the almost 40 million tourists to Thailand every year, it is estimated that close to one million visit specifically for a medical procedure. Many are Americans, faced with unaffordable medical bills at home. Thailand now has 42 medical centres that have been awarded Joint Commission International (JCI) certification, globally recognised as the gold standard in healthcare. Bangkok Hospital has an entire wing reserved for Japanese patients, while the renowned Bumrungrad Hospital popular with Middle Easterners provides each of its staff with an orientation course in Islam. Over half of Bumrungrad’s 1,200 doctors have international training and/or certification.


8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand


Holistic Programs: As a devout Buddhist country, Thailand has a culture rich in holistic practices. The Dawn Medical Rehab and Wellness Center, which is located in a serene and lush riverside property near Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, offers clients a daily itinerary that includes Buddhist meditation, Thai massage, yoga, fitness training and Thai boxing. Meals are splendid buffet feasts of fresh local fruit, organic vegetables and a selection of Thai, Asian and European cuisines. “We want our clients to experience the Thai-ness of the retreat, the tranquillity of a Buddhist temple, and the benefits of a health farm,” said The Dawn founder Ohm Poolsawaddi. Its more like a Thai resort, but with Western doctors, counsellors and psychiatrists on hand 24-7.


8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand


Far from the Familiar: When recovering from addiction, it is imperative that you are not constantly tempted by the triggers that set you off, be it friends with similar habits, local drinking dens or access to drug dealers. As Dawn counsellor Dylan Kerr says, “Different playground, different friends.”


Formerly a heroin and crack user, Simon Mott says he lost 20 years of his life to addiction in London. Mott has since turned the tables and is now co-founder of the Hope Rehab Center about 120 kilometres south of Bangkok. “Given the choice of staying in a familiar environment surrounded by all your old problems or escaping on an exotic adventure to Thailand, well its a no-brainer for most people looking for help,” he said.


Climate/ environment: A dreary dark winter can be a fatal trigger to those with depression and addiction issues. In countries such as Sweden and Finland, a lack of sunlight is attributed to many suicides. Thailand, on the other hand, offers warm tropical weather. On the southern island of Phuket, clients can enjoy dreamy beaches with sapphire waters close to the Miracles Asia rehab facility. Hope Rehab offers its customers weekend visits to the island of Koh Chang. In the north, The Dawn is nestled against a backdrop of rice paddies, orchards and mountainous rainforest.


8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand


Hospitality: Nicknamed The Land of Smiles, Thailand is famed for its friendly and welcoming people. ‘There was a familiar feeling that I couldn’t identify at first, but then realised it was the feeling of being totally cared for and supported both emotionally and physically in a way that I hadn’t experienced since childhood,’ wrote British clinical hypnotherapist Lesley Lyle in her recent Is Rehab the Perfect Sanctuary? Lyle spent one week at The Dawn undertaking an Executive Burnout programme, which is aimed at professionals suffering from overwork and pressure. “I was in fully in touch with nature, disconnected from technology, the internet, email and TV. Immersed in a world where I was able just to be,” she said.


8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand


Confidentiality: Understandably, most clients who enrol in a course at a rehab centre do not want their family, friends or employers to know. “Being able to tell everyone that you are going on vacation to Thailand for a month is a great advantage for those who are keen to keep the purpose of their trip confidential,” says Happiness and Wellbeing Specialist Lesley Lyle. Of course, after successfully detoxing at a rehab, many guests will take a tour of the highlands and rainforest in Northern Thailand or head for a hammock overlooking a tropical beach in the south, where they can reflect, relax and recover.


Easy Visas: Tourist visas (for visits lasting more than 30 days) can be acquired quickly and cheaply at Thai embassies around the world. Patients or medical visitors from neighbouring nations and China qualify for special 90-day visas, while seniors from 14 Western countries can now consider a 10-year visa. Simply put, the Thais are keen on welcoming and medical tourists.


Cost: Medical treatment in Thailand is generally up to 70 percent cheaper than in the USA. Thai rehabs and wellness centres are similarly economical. The Dawn, Hope, Miracles Asia and other rehabs across the country all price at about a third to a quarter of a similar rated facility in Europe, Australia or USA.


8 reasons to rehab & detox in Thailand


Other rehabs in Thailand:


DARA Rehab: www.dararehab.com/

  1. Reply Gary L August 19, 2019 at 10:03 am

    My stay here changed my life in so many positive ways that I wouldn’t be able to list them all. The staff are great, but the General Manager / Co-Founder Mark Heather has a special place in my heart because he called me right away when I was at my lowest point, and talked me down from the proverbial ledge more than once. He continued to call me every day to see how I was doing and never once gave me the hard-sell like I got from The Cabin and other places. He genuinely seemed to care more about me getting help – no matter where I got it – than trying to sell me on MiraclesAsia. And that’s what sold me on Miracles Asia.

    The head Chef is great (and hilarious), the accommodations are first-rate, the sports facility nearby, Thanyapura, is seriously world class, and there’s time for a few massages per week as well. Best of all, it’s a smaller place than the massive rehab facilities in Thailand so there is much more face-to-face time with counselors.

    It’s not an exaggeration to say that going to MiraclesAsia helped me reclaim my life and kept me from losing everything.

    • Reply philip_hall September 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm


      Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

      Good luck in the future.

      Punch Media Team

  2. Reply Matt Meegan February 24, 2020 at 11:50 am

    I have been to a rehab in Thailand it was super luxurious. Staff was wonderful and very friendly.. they changed my life and 3 years have passed by and I have not touched drugs.. My family too is very much happy with this.. thank you very much..

    • Reply philip_hall April 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Matt,

      I am so happy to hear you have turned your life around. Great stuff and congratulations to you.

      Keep up the good work and enjoy life.

      Phil Hall

  3. Reply Mark G February 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    My counsellor Dylan Kerr helped me a great deal in dealing with my addiction at a rehab in Thailand. It’s great to see him here commenting on addiction treatment, I wish him the very best for the future of his work in Thailand.

    • Reply philip_hall April 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Good to hear from you!

      I hope your life is still heading in the right direction.

      Sending positivity and goodwill your way,

      Phil Hall

  4. Reply James Jones March 29, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    There are now many more rehabs in Thailand. The industry has really boomed over the last few years! I hope Thailand can keep the industry alive with what’s happening now with coronavirus!

    • Reply philip_hall April 28, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Hi James,

      Hopefully once the travel ban is lifted people in need can find sanctuary here in Thailand.

      Thanks for your message,

      Phil Hall

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