Which Are the Best Countries for Alcohol Rehab?

There is no doubt that alcoholism is one of the major addictions in the world today, along with addiction to other substances like prescription medication and illicit recreational drugs. Different countries have different ways of providing alcohol rehab, even though there’s some overlap in certain areas like the almost universal adoption of group therapy. Yet, one of the things that make alcoholism a huge challenge to treat is the fact that in many countries, alcoholism is considered a way of life. For some, it is even intrinsic to their culture and social etiquette.

Regardless, a variety of countries have devised their own unique approaches in dealing with alcoholism that’s so severe that is has begun affecting a person’s daily life. Let’s discuss them one by one.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Each Country’s Alcohol Rehab Strategies?

Country Pros Cons
United States
  • The 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) rehab program came about in the United States and served as a blueprint on how to go about outpatient rehab treatment
  • Inpatient alcoholism treatment involving dual diagnosis, individual treatment, and group therapy also have roots in the U.S.
  • The U.S. remains one of the best countries for alcoholism and drug rehab in the whole world
  • Missteps like the Prohibition Era has made the public more wary of alcohol bans, believing that calls on legally limiting alcohol consumption as infringing on one’s “freedom” to consume as much alcohol as they want
  • Most alcoholism rehab comes about only as a result of dire legal consequences such as court-mandated treatment from driving under the influence or domestic abuse
United Kingdom
  • Keeps up with U.S. or even international standards of alcoholism treatment such as CBT and AA 12-step programs
  • The alcoholism treatment is usually paired with addiction treatment in general, with ideas from all over the world distilled into more intense treatment systems
  • Still quite the expensive treatment compared to its more cost-effective neighbors
  • Fewer alcoholism specialist clinics since narcotic addiction is treated along with alcoholism as a package deal
  • Cost-effective treatment comparable to the psycho-social ones available in the U.S. and the U.K. but without the social stigma and criminalization of being an alcoholic
  • Portugal is a nice secluded place for a wellness vacation, specifically in places like Algarve and Alentejo Region
  • The government of Portugal is open to biomedical treatment of alcohol and drug addiction along with holistic and group therapy services
  • Portugal’s bold step of drug legalization or decriminalization is a step too far for other countries, even though it’s of a lesser significance with the more widely legal substance of alcohol
  • English-speaking tourists seeking affordable rehab in Portugal will be faced with the language barrier hurdle
  • A “patients first” approach to treatment reminiscent to the sweeping drug law changes in Portugal
  • Luxury inpatient alcoholism rehab that’s arguably more luxurious than what even Thailand can offer exactly because it caters mostly to executives and professionals at $50,000-$75,000
  • Its controversial programs of giving heroin addicts heroin to help wean them from the drug haven’t been adopted elsewhere like group therapy has
  • Its controversial programs of giving heroin addicts heroin to help wean them from the drug haven’t been adopted elsewhere like group therapy has
  • Thailand has one of the most cost-effective, world-class healthcare systems on earth that makes it a foremost country to visit for medical and rehab tourism
  • Alcoholism rehab in Thailand can cost as little as $10,000 for 28 days of treatment, including food, board, and travel costs
  • Both citizens and rehab tourists alike can enjoy some of the best luxury rehab centers in all of Asia or the world along with numerous private hospitals numbering the hundreds
  • Although Thailand offers U.S.-based treatment of the 12-step, group therapy, and CBT mold, Switzerland arguably has more luxurious settings and treatment options to make every cent of its $50,000-$75,000 treatment costs worthwhile
  • Portugal is more progressive than even Thailand because of its decriminalization of drug use to assist drug addicts in their journey to sobriety

Alcohol Rehab in The United States

Sad depressed mixed race African American girl teenager female young woman with tears in her eyes in a field of wheat or barley crops holding and wrapped in USA stars and stripes flag in golden sunset evening sunshine

Alcoholism and substance dependence disorder treatment in the United States of America has its respective pros and cons. As one of the economic leaders of the world, the U.S.A. naturally serves as the originating country for all the major strides in addiction rehab and alcoholism treatment.

Two American alcoholics in Akron, Ohio founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) back in 1935. Meanwhile, First Lady Betty Ford established the Betty Ford Clinic. However, the U.S. has its flaws when it comes to dealing with alcoholism that’s rooted on its culture and drinking laws. Substance abuse is viewed socially as something only weak-willed, morally flawed people would do.

    • Alcoholics Anonymous: The 12-step program is designed to use the assistance of clinic staff, counselors who used to be alcoholics themselves, and fellow alcoholics under treatment to undergo meetings and group therapy in order to overcome their addiction in a step-by-step manner. It’s a mostly outpatient treatment service involving support groups and counseling can last 1-2 hours a day for 1-3 days a week. The 12 steps have a religious bent to them, but there are secular versions of them as well.
    • The Betty Ford Clinic: The Betty Ford Center, which used to be called the Betty Ford Clinic, is a rehab center co-founded and named after U.S. First Lady Betty Ford, wife of U.S. President Gerald Ford. Mrs. Ford has struggled with alcoholism herself, which led her to establish this clinic. It includes both inpatient and outpatient treatment that mostly caters to working women and housewives in particular.
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Even Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—a psycho-social treatment used across the board when it comes to coping with addiction and withdrawal symptoms as well as mental disorders like depression—were developed care of Americans John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner through their studies on conditioning. CBT is in use in both outpatient and inpatient treatment paradigms due to its effectiveness in developing anti-withdrawal coping mechanisms.
    • Legal Consequences of Alcoholism: During the Prohibition Era of the 1920s, alcohol bans only led to people seeking illegal means of drinking or making moonshine by themselves. Therefore, after the alcohol ban was lifted, later laws were less concerned about how much alcohol Americans drank and more concerned about what they did when they were drunk. You were punished for being drunk in public, driving under the influence of alcohol, domestic abuse due to drunken rampages, and taking advantage (rape and sexual assault) of women while drunk.

Alcohol Rehab in The United Kingdom

man hand palm painted flag of united kingdom

The United Kingdom mostly uses the same treatment paradigms and techniques present in the United States, particularly CBT and 12-step programs. Many of the international-grade standards of alcohol addiction treatment present in first-world countries can be found in the U.K. as well. AA even has international branches in the U.K. and the rest of the world.

However, there are some differences notable between U.K. and U.S. alcoholism treatment mostly dealing with size, scope, and specialization. It’s also notable that the U.K. also has cultures and societies that tolerate or even celebrate excessive alcohol consumption, with the logic that true men could hold their liquor or a party isn’t a real party without some delicious beer on hand.

  • Alcoholism Treatment Is Paired Up with Drug Addiction Treatment: Unlike the U.S., which has services like Alcoholics Anonymous or The Betty Ford Clinic (among other centers), the much smaller collection of countries in the United Kingdom—namely Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—tend to involve fewer clinics in comparison to the comparatively gigantic collection of states of the United States of America. Most of it is found at or near London as well.

  • Adaptation Distillation of Alcoholism Treatment: The U.K. benefits from picking and adapting what’s already been tried-and-true in places like the U.S. or Canada as well as its neighboring European Union countries. Brexit aside, U.K. clinics like The Priory Group, Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain, Narconon United Kingdom, The Providence Projects, and the U.K. Addiction Treatment Limited tend to share and collect new treatment services from the E.U. and the U.S. to follow international standards of alcoholism treatment.

  • Limits in Expensiveness and Number of Clinics: The U.K. is smaller than the U.S., so naturally it has fewer clinics available. The U.S. even has more specialty clinics specifically catering to alcoholism and alcoholics rather than addiction rehab clinics also covering alcoholism. Aside from that, most of them are found in and around London. There are cheaper alternatives that can be found in the E.U. or even in other continents like Asia and Australia.

Alcohol Rehab in Portugal

The Bica Funicular, Ascensor da Bica, Traditional yellow tram in Lisbon, Portugal

As discussed elsewhere, Portugal’s main claim to fame is its decriminalization of low-level usage and possession of drugs. Therefore, drug usage in Portugal is on the same level as alcohol usage in the U.S. You won’t get arrested for merely possessing drugs the same way you won’t get arrested for drinking alcohol in a Post-Prohibition U.S.A.

This allowed Portugal to reduce imprisonment rates from 44 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2013. The adult deaths due to drugs is currently at 3 deaths per million in Portugal versus the 17.3 deaths per million in the E.U. In regards to alcoholism treatment, the country follows the same treatment paradigm that made their drug rehab programs successful.

  • Less About Criminalization and More About Treatment: Although alcohol is legal in Portugal like the rest of the world, its decriminalization of low-level drug usage for narcotic addiction treatment is also reflected upon how it approaches alcoholic addiction treatment. Portugal is less about punishing its citizens for being alcoholics through the legal system and more about encouraging them to seek help in light of their sweeping drug law reforms throughout the 1990s.

  • The Inpatient Treatment Scene in Portugal: If the alcoholic is suffering from moderate to severe alcohol addiction or if his binge or heavy drinking has led him to severe intoxication and alcohol poisoning Portugal also has luxury inpatient rehab clinics available complete with medical detoxification services or even partial hospitalization. They also have environmentally secluded areas for healing like the Algarve and Alentejo Region.

  • Affordability versus Language Barrier Pitfalls: Portugal boasts of executive and professional treatment, dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders, and ibogaine-assisted alcoholism treatment in residential settings. It’s therefore unfortunate that if you aren’t fluent in Portuguese, the language barrier might be a problem for English speakers to deal with.

Alcohol Rehab in Switzerland

A paraglider landing at Hohematte Park in the center of Interlaken, important tourist center in the Bernese Highlands, Switzerland. The Jungfrau is visible in the background

Like with Portugal, you’ll have a better idea of how Switzerland approaches alcoholism treatment once you get to know what it did for its drug addiction treatment. Long story short, the Swiss dealt with the huge rise of heroin users back in the 1980s by developing the HAT or Heroin Assisted Treatment that helps wean addicts through legal controlled doses of heroin.

Switzerland also established a safe injection program so that its drug consumption rooms would have clean needles to prevent needle sharing among addicts. This has resulted in death reduction from 405 deaths in 1991 to only 152 deaths in the 2010s. What does this have to do with how Switzerland approaches alcohol rehab? Everything.

  • Switzerland Also Uses The “Patients First” Approach: Unlike in places like the U.S.A. and its penalty-minded, court-mandated alcohol rehab or even the Philippines (which is undergoing a bloody Drug War under President Rodrigo Duterte), Switzerland treats its addicts more as patients than as law-breaking criminals. It’s more about harm-reduction than penalties. Instead of being mandated by court to undergo therapy in a cold, uncaring institution you can go to resort-like residential settings in Switzerland instead.

  • Luxury Rehab Costs in Switzerland: Inpatient alcoholism treatment might be quite pricey in Switzerland but you can’t say it’s not worth every penny. It specifically caters to alcoholic executives and professionals. It’s mostly based on group therapy, counseling, and CBT with esoteric treatments like acupuncture and equine therapy. It can cost from over $50,000 up to $75,000, which is quite costly compared to AA. If local outpatient therapy is all you need, it’s better to stay than to go to Switzerland for alcoholism treatment.

  • A Wealthy Country with The Most Beautiful Views: Even though Asian countries like Thailand and Japan or E.U. countries like Spain and Portugal might have more cost-effective luxury rehab centers than Switzerland, the country might still outdo them in terms of quality. Not only does Switzerland have excellent healthcare superior to the U.S. It also boasts of a rich culture, utmost privacy, and stunning views that add luxury and comfort to your alcoholism wellness vacation.

Alcohol Rehab in Thailand

Doi Luang Chiang Dao Province Chiang Mai Thailand landscape

The same treatments you can get locally in places like the U.S., Canada, U.K., E.U., and Australia are also available in Thailand but at the fraction of the cost thanks to the difference in cost of living and how well-developed its healthcare is. The country’s healthcare is arguably even superior to that of privatized U.S. healthcare.

The alcoholism treatment centers of Thailand mostly focus on group therapy and CBT as the primary methods of dealing with addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues. It’s just like how many alcoholism treatment clinics in the U.S. are of the “outpatient support group and counseling” variety.

    • Alcoholism Treatments and Therapies Galore:Thailand has also distilled the tried-and-tested alcoholism treatment ideas of U.S., leading to their luxury rehab clinics having multiple therapy options available, from Body Image Therapy to Psycho-Dynamic Therapy. They also have treatments involving mindful meditation and yoga. This is in top of treatment standards like CBT, AA, and dual diagnosis.
    • Competitive Pricing for Alcoholism Treatment: Switzerland might arguably be more luxurious with its rehab centers, but Thailand is more affordable. The Land of Smiles provides a memorable wellness vacation combined with alcoholism rehab in one package. You can get 28 days of treatment for just $10,000. This is much lower than the $50,000 to $75,000 range of Swiss luxury rehab clinics. This $10,000 includes all the treatment options discussed on top of food, board, and travel costs.
    • Licensed By the Government: Thailand also has government support for its rehab tourism industry the same way Switzerland had HAT and Portugal had sweeping drug law changes. In Thailand’s case, its Ministry of Health certifies the quality and authenticity of its best rehab centers. This allows rehab tourists to know which clinics and centers will give them the best return out of their investment. You can also hunt for certifications for intentional-grade therapists and accredited medical personnel.

The Bottom Line

Like in the case of narcotics or drug addiction treatment, the United States and the United Kingdom remain on the forefront of alcoholism treatment. The U.S. keeps coming up with new treatments to try out and the U.K. keeps distilling the best of the best ones. Meanwhile, both Portugal and Switzerland remain beacons of hope against the drug epidemic and offer proof of concept on how decriminalization and harm reduction can be quite effective in significantly reducing addiction rates, even in the case of alcoholism.

Finally, Thailand serves as the best of both worlds in terms of having a “Patients First” policy in treating alcoholism and following the “group therapy and counseling” centric treatment paradigm used in the U.S. and U.K. On top of all that, the Land of Smiles’ world-class yet affordable healthcare allows for consistent quality treatment that remains within your budget even when you take into account your travel expenses.

Contact The Clarity Luxury Alcoholism Rehab Now

Inpatient rehabilitation might be called for instead of your standard outpatient treatment at the local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting place if your alcoholism is particularly severe. With that said, in light of how expensive inpatient rehab can get, why not try out Clarity Luxury Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

You can reduce costs by half or a fraction of your local treatment centers. Not only will you get world-class medical treatment from internationally accredited staff and therapists. You can also get help from ex-addict counselors who’ve been there and done that when it comes to beating alcoholism and living a sober life.

Call Clarity Rehab today for more details and price quotes!

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