High standards for addiction treatment
Thailand is renowned for its stunning beaches, its delicious food and the warmth and friendliness of its people. However, another fast growing sector of the Thai economy is that of another kind of tourism- the medical kind. Many Westerners are pleasantly surprised to find that Thailand offers Western standards of healthcare for a fraction of the cost to be found at home- never is this more true than when exploring the arena of addiction rehabs.
Why attend addiction rehab in Thailand? Thailand offers not only traditional addiction rehab facilities that use 12 Step techniques and have an understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the country also provides an environment steeped in Buddhism and mindfulness… all located within a backdrop of stunning nature. Truly, Thailand is a place to find peace, both mentally and spiritually.
To help navigate your way through this growing list of treatment centers we have done some detailed research into each one to provide you with the information you may need to help you decide which center is appropriate for your needs. These Top 8 rehabs in Thailand cater to international clients, and are some of the most well-known treatment centers for addiction in the country.
Thailand’s most popular addiction rehabs
Hope Rehab Thailand – Suitable for those looking for a warm, family like environment with a holistic offering at a reasonable cost.
History: Hope was founded in December 2013 by Simon Mott and Alon Kumsawad. Simon brings a wealth of personal experience from having made his own recovery journey and now program director for Hope. Alon brings her experience of mindfulness, Buddhism, nutrition and dance to provide a fully holistic and integral offering at Hope.
Treatment Program: Specializing in one month and long term treatment (60-90+ days), Hope provides a completely holistic approach including 12 Steps, CBT, mindfulness, as well as an emphasis on fitness. The counselling team come from a wide background- from those having experienced their own personal recovery journey to those with traditional therapeutic training. This provides Hope with a extensive background of experience both personal and theoretical which best enables them to offer appropriate care and counselling to their clients.
The majority of clients choose to stay longer than a month and some move on to their sober house where they are able to continue their recovery in a community environment where there is an optimal balance between freedom and structure.
Facility & Accommodation: A large and varied facility located on a hillside overlooking the sea and island of Koh Sichang. Accommodation consists of 24 individual en-suite facilities containing traditional Thai furniture and artefacts. The land consists of various buildings spread over 7 acres including traditional Thai wooden buildings which hold the meditation and group work. The land also acts as a secondary quirky “museum of transport” with an airplane, tuk-tuk, boats and soon to be train also to be found there.
Location & Getting There: One hour from Bangkok international airport, the small coastal town of Sriracha
Cost: $6900 30 day program, with discount for second and third months.
The Thamkrabok Monastery – Suitable for those looking just for a detox for low cost, no frills experience happy to share basic dormitory accommodation, cold shower.
History: Founded in 1957, Thamkrabok can be considered to be the “original” Thai rehab. It was founded on Buddhist principals with a reputation as being “the toughest drug rehabilitation regime in the world.” It is also known as “The Vomiting Temple”.
Treatment Program: Thamkrabok offers detox through a secret herbal concoction that induces vomiting to purge the toxins in your system. After 5 days of the detox ritual the next step is meditation practice. There is no individual counselling or group work. It requires a high level of motivation, it is a strict regime run by Buddhist Monks, you must take a vow never to use again.
Facility & Accommodation: It’s a large temple complex largely built by the Monks. In residence are 100 monks and 15 nuns no single-rooms, a dormitory without air conditioning and no hot-water.
Location & Getting There:– Wat Thamkrabok is located a few hours outside of Bangkok near Saraburi central Thailand.
New Life foundation – Suitable only for those who have completed a primary detox and are now looking for a peaceful and supportive low cost environment to continue their recovery. Scholarships are possible based on an individual basis.
History: New Life is a secondary stage community. It was originally founded in 2010 as a place for people to come after having completed their time in Thambrabok (see above), however, in the following years it has evolved into becoming a mindfulness center offering a place for both recovering addicts and for anyone seeking respite from their suffering- whether addiction, depression, anxiety or burn-out. They usually have about 20% recovering addicts who have completed treatment at Rehab’s such as Hope Rehab Thailand.
Treatment Program: New Life does not offer a detox program, instead it can be seen as a secondary rehab facility. All clients need to be at least 30 days free of drugs and alcohol before coming and all clients are drug tested upon arrival. The treatment program is based around mindfulness with daily meditation, twice a week life coaching and an emphasis on community living. All clients also participate in daily working meditation.
Facility and Accommodation: New Life is set within large arable land with their own rice and vegetable fields. The accommodation is individual rooms with fans.
Location & Getting There: New Life is based 20 kms outside of Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. Chiang Rai. Airport and buses.
Cost: $1300 for a month’s stay.
The Cabin Group – Suitable for those looking for a large luxurious rehab experience.
History: The Cabin was founded in 2009 by a group of English ex-pat business men. It has steadily grown from 9 beds to its current 80 beds spread over a number of locations making it the largest western rehabilitation facility.
Treatment Program: The Cabin provides a modern clinical program consisting of their “recovery zones” combining CBT, 12 step approaches and mindfulness.
Facility & Accommodation: The largest rehab in Thailand with a luxury resort style centre located by the Ping river in Chiang Mai with 80 beds.
Location & Getting There: The Cabin is based just outside Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is served by a domestic airport.
Cost: $14,000 for 28 days.
Lanna Rehab Chiang Mai – Suitable for those looking for luxury and a more intimate environment.
History: The most recent addition to Thailand’s rehab offering, Lanna became operational in 2016.
Treatment Program: Treatment programs are customized for individuals. They offer dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders. They also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). They have a psychiatric team at their main site. They say “We set out to create a luxury rehab center where you never feel like you’re in a treatment center”
Facility & Accommodation: A luxury rehab setting with 20 private en-suite room.
Location & Getting There: Based just outside of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is served by its own airport.
Cost: $10,000 for 28 days.
Serenity Rehab Thailand – Suitable for those looking for a low cost and small facility.
History: Serenity was founded in 2014.
Treatment Program: They use the Minnesota Model, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness training, individual counselling and group counselling.
Facility & Accommodation: A small facility with 10 rooms that are shared. Their motto is ‘smaller is better.’
Location & Getting There: Located in Chiang Rai, North Thailand. Chiang Rai is served by an airport.
Cost: $5900 one month sharing
Dara Alcohol Rehab – Suitable for those seeking a mid priced large venue.
History: The oldest western rehab in Thailand, it was founded in the beginning of the 21st century.
Treatment Program: Koh Chang facility uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) exclusively whilst the Chanthaburi facilities uses the 12 Steps.
Facility & Accommodation: 80 bed retreat or resort style offering low cost treatment. Accommodation varies between single and shared rooms.
Location & Getting There: Located over two sites Chantaburi and the island of Koh Chang. Both are served by local airports.
Cost: From $6,995 (sharing) for one month, additional costs depending on style of accommodation.