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Which Are the Best Countries for Drug Rehab?

There are many awesome and dependable countries out there that you can go to in order to get proper drug and alcohol rehab. Among the most popular ones are the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, and Thailand. Then there are bad examples of dealing with the drug epidemic, like the Philippines and its own bloody “War on Drugs”.

As you can imagine, each and every country has its own pros and cons in this matter. So when choosing the best country for drug rehab, the entire is simple: it depends on your circumstances and preferences. Some might prefer the Swiss or Portuguese approach of decriminalizing drug users. There, they help people deal with their addiction through sanctions, safe injection rooms, or medically measured heroin doses.

Recent years, more addicts prefer addiction rehab tourism in tropical countries like Thailand. Such a choice provides them with world-class rehab treatment comparable to that offered in the U.S. or U.K. – but without breaking the bank.

Again, each respective country has its own unique approach in dealing with the drug epidemic: some good, some bad, and some in-between. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most popular choices by addicts and discuss their advantages as well as disadvantages.

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

Each country went about drug addict treatment in its own ways. To summarize:

Countries Pros Cons
United States Restructured drug addiction and rehab
services since the Reagan Era to be
more about multi-program and
individualized approaches towards

The U.S. remains one of the best
countries for drug rehab in the world

Capitalist approach to rehab makes for
expensive rehab services, especially
when it comes to inpatient or residential treatment

The War on Drugs in the 1980’s saw
incarceration rates skyrocket, especially
among the impoverished and

United Kingdom The smaller country is able to depend
on fewer rehab centers such as The
Priory Group

It’s in the forefront of cutting-edge
rehab services like a multitude of
therapy types
It has fewer drug addiction center options than the U.S. or even an even smaller country like Thailand

It also has expensive rehab services that push its own citizens to try out rehab
Portugal Portugal’s main claim to fame is its
decriminalization of low-level usage and possession of drugs

Reduced imprisonment rates from 44
percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2013

Drug-related deaths among adults is 3
deaths per million people (Portugal
current average) versus 17.3 deaths
per million people (EU average)

Not many countries are willing or able
to take Portugal’s bold step of legalizing drugs

The language barrier might be an issue
for some English-speaking rehab

Switzerland It has the HAT program or Heroin
Assisted Treatment that gives
prescribed doses of heroin to addicts to help wean them off of the drug

It has a safe injection program that uses drug consumption rooms with clean
needles to prevent needle sharing
among addicts

It reduced drug-related deaths from
405 in 1991 to 152 in the 2010’s

It uses controversial programs like
giving drug addicts controlled
amounts of the drug they’re addicted to in order to help wean them off of it

It’s still more expensive than the more
competitively priced offerings of

Philippines Increased police powers to facilitate
crackdowns and harsh penalties for
drug possession and sales

Killed 5,000 drug lords and personalities

1,280,000 individuals have surrendered
since 2018 according to the PNP

Over 1,000 casualties came about, many of whom were innocent citizens

Only 6,600 of 160,000 people who’ve
surrendered have completed rehab

Proposed 6-month elimination of drugs
in the Philippines unfulfilled

Thailand Thailand is one of the leading countries
to go to when it comes to medical
tourism and rehab tourism, which can
be availed by citizens and foreigners

The country has some of the best
hospitals and luxury rehab centers in
all of Asia or even the world thanks to
its world-class healthcare
Thailand offers U.S.-based treatment
but cheaper while Switzerland is more
about reducing harm and making it
safer for citizens to kick their habits

It’s not as progressive as places like
Portugal that decriminalized drug use to better help addicts

How Does the United States Go About Rehab?

Silhouette of Young Woman Holding USA Flag in Field at Sunset

The U.S. drug rehab scene has recalibrated itself from the mistakes of the Reagan Era. It doesn’t anymore focus on punishing addicts but instead treating them more like patients. Its legislation is also reflecting this change, with alcoholic drivers (for example) being required to undergo rehab after driving under the influence. With that said, here’s a collection of quality U.S. rehab centers and what they offer to patients.

  • Gender-Specific Luxury Rehab at Malibu Beach Recovery: Malibu Beach Recovery at Pacific Palisades is named as such in order to advertise quite clearly that it’s a resort and rehab center in one place. It includes dual diagnosis treatment as well as inpatient and outpatient programs. It even uses creative arts, yoga, and the like as therapy. Its main claim to fame is gender-specific holistic treatment on top of the fact that it follows luxury rehab trends of making your rehab as bearable as possible by having it near a beach where you can unwind and relax.
  • Tranquility Woods and Its Emphasis on Individualized Therapy: As for Tranquility Woods in Pasadena, Maryland, it lives up to its name by offering a recovery plan that’s mostly individualized. There’s nothing more tranquil that getting your treatment personalized or tailored to your unique situation.
  • The rehab center offers the gold standard of individualized therapy with its dual diagnosis treatment, private and semi-private rooms, 5-8 hours of counseling, massage, acupuncture, and a weekly family support program.
  • Bluff Plantation’s Traditional and Holistic Treatments: Augusta, Georgia’s Bluff Plantation first started with traditional means of treatment, which are evidence-based, multidisciplinary, and individualized (as is the standard).
  • It then began branching out and incorporating nontraditional or holistic rehab techniques as well that have proven themselves effective under scrutiny and study, such as Trauma and Associative Awareness Therapy (AAT), mindfulness meditation, nutrition counseling, and exercise.

How Does the United Kingdom Go About Rehab?

Landscape of Tower Bridge in London opening against a stormy sky with a boat passing under the cantilevers

The U.K. is one of the best countries for drug rehab because it’s a first-world country that seemingly learned from the mistakes of its neighboring European Union countries. It has thusly developed several cutting-edge treatments for rehabilitation purposes. This is apparent with the international-grade treatment offerings of The Priory Group.

  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: This standard of ensuring individualized treatment of addiction on top of any mental health conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is at the heart of the wide menu of services and therapies available in The Priory Group.
  • Different Therapy Types: There are multiple types of therapy offered in The Priory Group, which includes the following.
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This therapy type is almost always present in all rehab centers around the world because of its effectiveness. It’s about recognizing negative behavior and developing enough self-awareness to change or avoid unfavorable actions.
    • Speech and Language Therapy: You will be taught speech and language therapy for the sake of positive reinforcement and to find success without drug dependence.
    • Assertiveness Therapy: Developing assertiveness isn’t only useful in getting work opportunities or public speaking—it also allows you to avoid using substances in order to become assertive in everyday life.
    • Psychodynamic Therapy: This type of therapy allows you to better explore your feelings that led you to addiction in a supportive environment.
    • Family Therapy: Your family will be involved in the therapy. They’ll either help serve as your stable support group to help you reintegrate into society or they themselves will have certain problematic behaviors corrected, such as being neglectful parents, enables, and so forth.
  • Aftercare and Vocational Programs: In light of relapse rates after completing rehab, The Priory Group offers 12 months of free aftercare to assist ex-addicts to stay on track towards sobriety. On top of that, the rehab center also offers educational and vocational programs to better assist these individuals in better assimilating back to society after becoming sober.

How Does Portugal Go About Rehab?

Panoramic view of beautiful Lisbon at twilight. Portugal

Portugal became one of the best countries for drug rehab due to the fact that it survived some serious drug challenges itself. In the 1990s, the country had to deal with a drug epidemic among its citizenry, with increasing usage rates of illicit substances like cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. This is evidenced by the increase in AIDS, HIV, and Hepatitis B/C among those who shared needles when injecting illicit drugs, according to the Transform Drug Policy Foundation (TDPF).

  • Decriminalization and Drug Reform Law: Portugal responded to the drug epidemic sweeping the nation in the Nineties by enacting the world’s most extensive drug law reform in 2001. In short, they decriminalized low-level possession and usage of drugs in order to focus more on punishing drug pushers than its own citizens.
  • The Drug Possession Sanctions: The sanctions offered by the Commission for Dissuasion of Drug Addiction include fines and community service. Most importantly, people who are addicts will be required by the commission to undergo rehab in one of many of the country’s drug rehab facilities. Such government-funded facilities have world-class therapies and treatment techniques from medical detoxification to various individual and group therapy sessions.
  • The Favorable Results from Changing Policies: Shifting focus from penalizing both addicts and pushers to the makers of the drugs alone has paid dividends for Portugal’s drug epidemic according the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). From 44 percent of people imprisoned due to drugs in 1999, it has since gone down to 24 percent in 2013. It also went down to 3 drug-related deaths per a million citizens compared to 17.3 deaths per million, which is the EU average.

How Does Switzerland Go About Rehab?

Cow at the green grass alpine meadow pasture

Switzerland also went though a drug epidemic in the 1980s. Thusly, Switzerland focuses more on reducing harm using luxury addiction treatment centers that many other rehab tourism countries have adopted themselves. Swiss drug policies cater more to therapeutic treatment of addicts rather than criminalizing them. They focus particularly on minimizing the spread of disease from shared needles and discouraging addicts from being ostracized from society.

  • HAT Program: Switzerland implemented the Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) program in 1992 where it did what’s unheard of in places like the U.K. or U.S.—giving drug addicts the drugs they’re addicted to. To be more specific, it offers medically controlled doses of heroin to heroin addicts to help wean them off of usage rather than having them quit cold turkey. 
  • Safe Injection Rooms: In 1990, another unusual tactic the Swiss has used in its efforts to curb usage rates is to provide addicts with Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) that come complete with clean needles. The needles, in turn, were distributed through the Needle Exchange Program. This has led to fewer deaths in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. In 1991, drug-related deaths were at 405. In the 2010s, it was only 152.
  • Psychological and Medical Care: Swiss rehab itself focuses on taking care of the patients’ minds and psyche. They offer holistic treatment to achieve sobriety in both the physical health and societal senses. The government discourages putting a stigma on being an addict, choosing instead to treat them like any other patient suffering from a condition, like someone with a heart ailment or cancer.

How Does The Philippines Go About Rehab?

Very beautyful lagoon in the islands, Philippines

Duterte’s presidential campaign ran on promises that he will get rid of addicts littering the streets of the impoverished Philippines. He made good with that promise by increasing police powers, cracking down on drug dens, and allowing officers to shoot to kill when conducting “Oplan Tokhang” or “Buy-Bust” operations (where the drug buyers are actually undercover cops trying to catch or bust pushers in the act).

  • A Bloody Drug War: Thanks to the crackdowns facilitated by the Duterte Administration, about 1,280,000 people—mostly addicts—have surrendered to the police and swore to undergo rehab according to the Philippine National Police (PNP). What’s more, 5,000 personalities related to illegal drug distribution have been killed.

Harsher penalties for the possession of drugs have also been established to discourage people from attempting to use drugs in the first place. Despite this, his promised 6-month timeframe of getting rid of all the drugs in his country has also been broken.

  • Collateral Damage: The Philippines has been included on this list not because it’s one of the best places when it comes to rehab but instead to serve as an example of another extreme when it comes to dealing with drug epidemics.

To be more specific, thanks to the increased police powers, there’s high potential for police abuse and several officers have themselves been caught using drugs. Also, more than 1,000 casualties came about from all the buy-bust operations, most of which were collateral damage or innocent citizens caught in the crossfire.

  • Hypocrisy and Scattered Numbers: Many news outlets, particularly the local based Rappler, have pointed out how President Duterte is quite hypocritical for using drugs himself like marijuana for pain relief. Furthermore, the real numbers for rehabilitation are scattered in different departments.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) records 159,836 people who surrendered and participated in rehab, but the Department of Health (DOH) only counts 6,558 patients who’ve completed the government-supervised inpatient treatment program.

How Does Thailand Go About Rehab?

Wat Palad temple buildings in jungle, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand has a stake when it comes to being among the best countries in the world when it comes to dealing with the drug epidemic and rehab. It’s not because it had widespread issues with cocaine, crack, or heroin addiction among its citizens though. It’s more because it has first-world level healthcare that’s so cost-effective it has monetized it to lure tourists to the Land of Smiles with medical or rehab tourism.

  • International-Grade Care at a Fraction of the Price: Thailand rehab such as Clarity Rehab Center offers in Chiang Mai competitive pricing for their services that are international-grade to boot. They provide both inpatient and outpatient services in the context of rehab tourism, which is a wellness vacation where you can heal while relaxing at the beach or in a serene part of the Land of Smiles. For just $10,000 or less, you’ll get rehab, travel costs, food, board, and counseling in one package.
  • Based on Dual Diagnosis and Individualized Therapy: Like in the case of the U.K.’s Priory Group, many Thailand-based treatment centers for drug and alcohol rehab are all about treating not only the addiction but any other underlying conditions that might exacerbate or even cause the addiction in the first place. Their medical personnel will treat both the mental health condition and the addiction in a holistic, customized fashion.
  • Licensed by the Government: Although Thailand rehab is more privatized than other countries, they’re still all licensed and regulated by the government. Specifically, the Thailand Ministry of Health certifies quite a number of rehab centers all over the country to give patients the guarantee that they provide pro rehab treatment that’s international-level or world-class. You’ll get the best English-speaking or multilingual therapists offering state-of-the-art treatments or even more esoteric therapies like acupuncture and mindful meditation.

In Conclusion

In hindsight, Ronald Reagan’s anti-drug propaganda of having cartoons preach “Just Say No” to young ones was seen as a laughingstock by the new generation simply because it did little to keep drugs off of the hands of addicts. In Duterte’s case, he seemingly hurt his citizens more than helped them by putting them under the crossfire of the drug pushers he wants to get rid of while failing to get to the root of the problem. More innocent people are killed than actual drug pushers.

These examples fall are two extremes when it comes to defeating the drug epidemic in any country—stricter legislation that punishes addicts or legalizing drug use in order to better facilitate addiction recovery among addicts. Then there are solutions in between like affordable rehab tourism at Thailand. In the end, it’s best to go with what works and what you can afford.

Contact The Clarity Luxury Drug Rehab Now


Clarity Luxury Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand is a different breed of drug rehabilitation service. It approaches it with care and with those living with addiction in mind because it includes counselors who’ve been addicts themselves. They know what it’s like to go through life with addiction riding their backs.

Please contact them today and get a consultation and much-needed help. Learn the power and cost-effective excellence of drug rehab tourism today!

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