Medical tourism refers to the practice of traveling across international borders in order to obtain health care. There are many reasons for why people might choose to do this but the most common are that it can be significantly cheaper to get treatment abroad, and it can also mean better options. Those individuals who are dealing with a substance abuse problem are now following the example of the medical tourist. They too are looking at their options in foreign countries and an increasing number of them are deciding that traveling abroad for addiction treatment just makes sense.
In order for the individual to have the greatest chance of success in recovery they need to choose the right rehab. The problem is that the facility that might be right for one person might not be such a good option for someone else. If there was one facility that was right for everyone the rest of the rehabs could follow this template and this could help to eliminate addiction completely. The reality is that no such facility exists and there can only be a rehab that is right for the individual. This is why when choosing where to go the individual needs to consider their own needs and how the treatment program will match those needs. For example, some people are quite secular in their beliefs, and they might struggle in a rehab that focused too much on spirituality. On the other hand, those people who have strong religious beliefs will probably benefit from a rehab that emphasizes spirituality.
Even if the individual knows what type of rehab is most likely to work for them it does not always mean that this option will be available to them. The most common reason for this situation is that the individual feels they would do better with some type of private facility, but they do not feel able to afford it. One way to overcome this obstacle to choosing the right rehab is to consider traveling abroad for addiction treatment. This can also mean that the individual has new alternatives that would not be available to them back in their home country.
There are some definite benefits to traveling abroad for addiction treatment including:
* It means that the individual may have recovery options that would not be available to them at home. Some of the international rehabs offer unique programs that might be just what the individual needs.
* By traveling abroad the individual will often find cheaper options than they would find in their home country. This could mean that even those with a modest salary can benefit from a stay in a more luxurious facility.
* There are some individuals who will not want other people to know about their stay in rehab. One way to protect their anonymity is to travel abroad to stay in a rehab – in most of these placed they will not even need to use their real name.
* It is possible to attend a facility in an exotic location such as Thailand. By entering recovery the individual is building a foundation for a better future and it seems fitting that they do this in a special place.
* Some people feel view rehab abroad as a reward for doing the right thing.
* There will be some discomforts related to the rehab process that are unavoidable (e.g. being away from family), but there will be other discomforts that will be complete avoidable (e.g. staying in an environment that is not conducive to recovery). By choosing a foreign facility the individual may be able to eliminate many of the unnecessary discomforts associated with this type of treatment.
* Combining rehab with a foreign holiday can make the whole process more meaningful. It will ensure that the start of the journey into sobriety will be special as well as memorable.
* Some people will choose a remote location with stunning scenery. This ambience will make their stay in rehab all the more comfortable.
The idea of traveling abroad for addiction treatment is not something that is going to instantly appeal to everyone. There are concerns that people will have about this option including:
* Some people worry that a foreign rehab will be inferior to one in their own country. They may not understand that a cheaper facility does not mean a reduction in service.
* The individual may be worried about cultural differences and language problems in a foreign rehab.
* Those individuals who have never traveled much abroad may view such places as hostile and dangerous. They enjoy their home comforts and do not see any reason to give these up.
* The price of going to these places (e.g. flights) may offset the savings to be made by choosing a foreign rehab.
* It may be necessary for the individual to arrange some type of immigration visa before they can travel to some of these places. This can seem like a great deal of hassle.
* The individual will be far away from friends and family.
* The person can be worried about the climate in the foreign country – it might be too hot or too cold.
* They can be worried about what they will be able to eat while they are there. Some people have no interest in experimenting with foreign cuisine.
* There is the worry that getting sober will already involve a great deal of change so staying in a completely new environment will only add to this strangeness.
* Some people may feel that going abroad for rehab increases their risk of relapse. This is because their favorite thing about foreign travel is using alcohol and drugs while there – they find it difficult to imagine being abroad and not engaging in such activities.
* The individual may have a fear of flying that they usually manage with inebriation. This can mean that they are worried about their return home from foreign rehab where they will need to be sober during the trip.
The concerns that people have about attending foreign rehab can usually be overcome with adequate information such as:
* Understanding that there are many prestigious rehabs abroad that offer a service that is at least equal to the best in the individual’s home country. These foreign rehabs often rely on foreign clients, and they could not operate if they did not offer an internationally recognized standard of care.
* Those foreign rehabs that welcome people from English speaking countries will be able to communicate in English. It is also likely that most of the clients will be from other English speaking countries as well.
* Some of these foreign rehabs do a great job of providing the clients with plenty of home comforts. This means that the rehab will feel less strange to the foreign client.
* It may be that the cost of flights offsets some of the savings made by choosing a foreign rehab, but in most instances this won’t be the case. It is important that the individual does the math so they can see if it is a good deal or not.
* If there is any type of visa or travel document needed to travel to the country the rehab will be able to advise and possibly even help. In most instances there will be little or no need for this.
* The individual should consider the practicalities such as climate before choosing a foreign rehab. Those places who cater for foreign visitors will usually offer air conditioning or heating as required.
* Many of these facilities will arrange transport to and from the airport.
* One of the most important tasks in rehab is preparing the individual for the transition back home. This will include making it soberly back to their home country.
* The fact that the individual is in rehab will mean that they are protected from the temptations to relapse. These facilities will usually be well away from the tourist’s bars.
* Most foreign rehabs will offer a wide variety of foreign cuisine. They can also usually make special arrangements if the individual has specific dietary requirements.
The decision to travel aboard for rehab can make all the difference. It is not a choice that it going to suit everyone, but it is certainly something that some people will want to consider. This is particularly true if it means that they can get the treatment they need at a price they can afford. It is not always such a good idea to delay entering rehab, but the individual should certainly do a bit of investigation before choosing a foreign option. That way they will have a better chance of getting the type of treatment that is most likely to lead to success in the future.