Guide to Thailand’s Addiction Treatment Centers

Popularly known for her breathtaking beaches, tasty cuisine and friendly people, Thailand is on the map once again for another kind of tourism – medical tourism.

The two main reasons driving the influx of Westerners into Thailand for medical treatments are price and the high standard of care. Whether it’s for dental work, cosmetic surgery or for addiction recovery, the cost of undergoing medical care in Thailand is far less when compared to the UK, US, Canada, or Australia – sometimes saving you as much as 80%.

It’s easy to see why Thailand has become a popular destination for addiction recovery. The growing list of treatment centers catering to international clients offer an alternative to more traditional forms of rehabilitation in a country that has a deep association with Buddhism and mindfulness; and striking natural beauty.

Thai rehabs are often in the same league as their Western counterparts for rehabilitation success rates but finding the rehab that is right for your specific needs and circumstances can sometimes prove daunting.

The Cost of Addiction Treatment in Thai Rehabs

The average cost of a 28 day inpatient treatment program in Thailand is $12,000. To put into perspective the price of recovery, a luxury residential rehab facility in California, USA can cost $80,000 per month whereas a comparable facility in Thailand will cost $15,000 per month.

For those with some spare cash, this puts quite a substantial amount back into your pocket – often used to extend the duration of treatment.

The most cost effective residential addiction treatment program with an in-house detox service included in the price is $7,950. The low price reflects an overall trend that has seen prices coming down over recent years as competition has increased.

Although rehabs in Thailand might appear to be good value, they are not heavily regulated.

Addiction treatment centers are essentially medical facilities. They must pay the salaries of people with medical doctorates and nursing degrees. Psychologists, therapists and support workers are also part of this equation.

Thai baht bank notes
Most Thai rehabs accept payment in US$ and Thai Baht

A rehab center should therefore have professionally trained and qualified staff to ensure the safety of their patients and to provide the highest standard of care.

Most rehabs are responsible and ethical in their approach but no all; caution is advised when assessing your options for addiction recovery.

What to consider when assessing the cost of treatment in Thailand:

  • Type of facility – is it a dedicated rehab center used to treat addiction or a house in a residential area.
  • Treatments provided – which may include a medicated detox, alternative therapies, and comprehensive aftercare.
  • Location of the facility – is it located in a residential area, in the mountains or on a beach.
  • Size of the program – whether it’s a large program with extended facilities or a smaller, more intimate rehab.
  • Length of the program – which can vary from 30-90 days depending on a person’s needs.
  • Amenities offered – such as a swimming pool, an on-site gym, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and more.
  • Professional staff – like suitably trained and qualified medical personnel, psychologists, support workers etc.
  • Refund Policy – what happens if you arrive for treatment and it’s not what you expected. Is there any recourse?

It is important to know that aside from the cost, other factors should be considered before picking a rehab center. If you are referred by a doctor, outreach service or therapist, they should have knowledge of treatment programs and recommend one that is suitable for your own specific needs.

If you are choosing a rehab independently, you should spend some time to consider all the options.

Learn about how successfully previous patients were able to complete the program, any aftercare program in place, availability of counselors and how qualified they are, testimonials from previous patients and their reputation.

Physician notes

Gaining insight into your chosen rehab from independent sources will give you a clearer picture of what to expect when you arrive.

Whatever the monetary cost of treatment, the price of not having a successful treatment outcome is much greater to a person’s health. Whether you choose to participate in a standard treatment program with basic amenities or luxury rehab that provides maximum comfort, you should select one that fits you as an individual and gives you the best chance of long-term recovery from addiction.

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Well-known Rehab Centers in Thailand

Thailand’s addiction treatment centers are unique – they use traditional 12 Step techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT), but combine them with Buddhism and mindfulness in a country with stunning nature. Thailand is a great place to find peace, both mentally and spiritually.

The Cabin

Probably the most well known treatment center in Thailand, The Cabin is a luxury resort style rehab facility that caters to a wide range of clientele.

The Cabin offer a modern clinical program that uses ‘Changing Pathways’ as a principal treatment approach that combines evidence based CBT, 12-step approaches and mindfulness. Licensed by the Thai Ministry of Public Health, treatment is available for alcohol, drug and process addictions.

Located in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand you can connect a domestic flight from Bangkok or fly direct from some of Asia’s transport hubs. All rooms are single occupancy with a 28 day treatment episode starting at $16,900 (AUD$25,900/£13,300). The Cabin accepts insurance from leading healthcare providers.

The Dawn Medical Rehab

The Dawn Wellness Center and Rehab Thailand is one of Asia’s leading addiction treatment centres set within a peaceful riverside sanctuary. The Dawn is also the only residential treatment centre in Asia with international accreditation by the American Accreditation Commission International (AACI)

Comprehensive treatment programs are offered for substance abuse and mental health disorders using a proven Twin Pillars approach as part of a holistic inpatient program.

Treatment for addiction combines a CBT-translated 12 step approach, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

Specialist treatment is also provided for depression, anxiety, trauma and PTSD. Cost: $12,500 (AU$19,000/£9,860) for 28 days of residential care with pro rata refund policy if a client chooses to leave within the first 3 days.

One Step Rehab

A fairly recent addition to the Thai rehab scene, One Step Rehab Thailand has made a name for itself as an affordable treatment center with proven and effective programs for addictions and co-occurring metal health disorders.

Located at a rehab resort setting in Chiang Mai, the One Step to Recovery treatment program has a focus on fitness, nutrition, midfulness meditation and nutraceutical healing.

Extensive facilities include swimming pools, tennis court and the largest fitness center of any rehab in Thailand. Outdoor activities and fitness bootcamp is suitable for all fitness levels, with the intention of managing addiction, trauma, stress, anxiety and PTSD.

Therapy is based on a Steps-CBT hybrid approach consisting of CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), 12-step facilitation therapy (TSF) and MET (motivational enhancement therapy).

One Step Rehab’s 28 day residential treatment program costs $7,950 (AU$12,000/£6,200) including private villa accommodation.

Miracles Asia

Miracles Asia is the ‘The Small Rehab where Big Things Happen’ located in Phuket, Thailand. A boutique addiction treatment and mental wellness center that believes a ‘one size does not fit all’ approach provides the best treatment outcomes.

Recovery in luxury surroundings is offered for substance abuse and behavioral disorders like gambling and sex/love addictions. Specialized treatment programs are also offered for PTSD & Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Stress, and Executive Burnout.

Miracles Asia is partnered with world-class hospitals for assessments and detoxes. Clients also have exclusive access to Asia’s leading sports and wellness center equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. A 28 day inpatient treatment episode costs $15,000 (AU$22,880/£11,800). Insurance is accepted from leading healthcare providers.

Hope Rehab Center

Formally a privately owned house with large gardens, Hope Rehab uses a holistic approach to addiction recovery. Treatment utilizes the Minnesota Model based on the 12-step program and philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

The Hope program combines Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relapse prevention techniques with fitness activities. The staff are made up of counselors and therapists with diverse backgrounds including those who overcame their own addiction and are now offering help to others.

The center comprises 24 single occupancy rooms decorated with minimal Thai style furniture and artifacts. Hope Rehab Center is located 120 km southeast of Bangkok in the small coastal town of Sriracha. Cost: $8,900 (AU$13,600/£7,020) for one month with advance non-refundable deposit of $2,000.

Wat Tham Krabok

If you fancy the austere Buddhist monk lifestyle then a visit to Thamkrabok monastery could be what you need. This is a strict program run by Buddhist monks involving a 5 day detoxification program that includes drinking a secret concoction that induces vomiting to purge your system of toxins followed by meditation practice.

Wat Tham Krabok has welcomed thousands of visitors since 1959 but the long-term recovery rates of participants has not been accurately established.

Located in Saraburi central Thailand, it provides basic dormitory style accommodation with no rooms, no air-conditioner, and no hot water.

Critics dismiss the treatment practices as being ineffective and stress that there are no miracle cures, but Wat Tham Krabok has gained international attention. There is officially no charge for participating in the program but donations are accepted.

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  1. All rehabs were closed for covid-19. Thailand had loads of restrictions and it wasn’t possible to get here without 2 weeks quarantine in SHA+ hotel. No way to skip and go straight to rehab. Not ideal if you are going through a withdrawal and can’t get medical support from hotel staff.

    • All treatment centres have now reopened their doors to guests but some didn’t survive covid. I think DARA has closed down permanently and possibly its sister rehab Lanna. Also heard that the Cabin is under new ownership and isn’t the same as before. seems the staff went on to other ventures…

  2. Did you go to Hope or Dawn? I am trying to decide between the River, Hope, Dawn and The Cabin. I am planning to leave end of May.

  3. Great to see so many helpful. I was recently at The River (listed above) and found the staff, program, accommodation, food and schedule excellent. Most staff are in recovery and really care and are passionate. Founded by the founders of The Cabin (I believe) and it seems like all the good staff followed.

  4. Licensed addiction treatment centres are the way to go. If a rehab has a license they must be approved by the Government and have the right paperwork. As far as I know the licensed rehabs in Thailand (as of Feb 2020) are:

    1. The Cabin
    2. Miracles Asia
    3. The River Rehab
    3. DARA
    4. Lanna
    5. Hope
    6. The Dawn

    A website that calls itself ‘Licensed Thai Rehabs’ looks like it’s been set up by a small group of rehabs to hurt their competitors. They have no contact details on their website and they must be aware that other rehab clinics also have their own license!

    I read a report on another site saying that most Thai addiction treatment centres are illegal. Maybe this is true but where are all these rehabs that are supposed to exist? Surely they would all have a website or some information about them on the internet. It doesn’t make sense to me…

  5. I went to Siam Rehab in Chiang Rai. The facility is beautiful for sure. The good stuff ends there though. The staff is barely competent when they are competent at all. The medical care you receive is minimal. They offered to bring me to a local hospital and let me pay for whatever diagnostics I wanted but that was all. They took my blood pressure when I got there and it was 186 over 90. They said “oh it will come down” and never took it again. You do see a local Thai doctor, whose English is not too bad, once a week. They have one nurse on staff who is there in the daytime. Medication is administered by other staff. They rarely follow up if you miss your medication or pay attention to your health in any way. They leave it up to you to tell them if you have problems.

    Their treatment program is pure Narcotics Anonymous. Every day you have to fill out a form saying what you did today to connect with your higher power. They have some old, textbook CBT as well but it is badly implemented. There is no therapy here that you could not get much better with a good NA group and a cheap therapist.

    The worst part for me was the stray dogs running around. They keep several stray dogs there that run free across the property. They feed them and care for them and call them therapy dogs. I have been attacked by dogs in the past and I am afraid of them. One of the dogs seemed to sense that and approached me growling the second night that I was there. I reported this to management and was assured that it would be taken care of. Nothing was done. Two days later the dog attacked me. Lucky for me a staff member was close by and able to physically restrain the dog before it hurt me. The incident was witnessed by three staff members. I reported this event and was once again assured that something would be done. Nothing was done. The next day when the dog was still running free I told the staff that I feared for my safety and had to leave. A little while later the head of counseling showed up and told met that I had 30 minutes to leave. They had called me a cab. I told her I wanted to speak to management. She said that was not possible and kept repeating that I had 30 minutes to leave. Ten minutes or so later a large man showed up to make sure that I was going to comply. Faced with no options I left.

    I asked for a full refund. I was offered roughly 31% of my fees. Lucky for me they talked me into using PayPal to pay the fees. I was able to go to my credit card company and contest the charge and have my full payment refunded.

    The place has a beautiful facility, some very good marketing and a very low price. Do not be fooled by the marketing though. You are nothing but a fee to them and will be tossed onto the road if anything goes wrong. Their counseling is sub-par and there is barely any medical care. Do yourself a favor and pay a little more money for a facility with a competent staff. If you do decide to use this facility make sure that you pay with a credit card.

  6. They change the price all the time. In Thailand at least prices have come down but some of the really cheap rehabs are a waste of time. Save up some more and go to a proper rehab (only a few of them in thailand) and get proper treatment from people who know what they are doing!!!

  7. It’s good to see the prices listed. Rehabs never seem to advertise how much it costs which I never understood. I guess they want you to call them so they can convince you to pick them and not a competitor.

    As someone in recovery myself it seems strange how people want to go to the cheapest possible rehab so they can save money. Why don’t they consider how good is the therapy, staff vs. patient ratios, reviews from real people (not those on the internet).

    FYI: I was in Chiang Mai last year and the pollution sucks! I wouldn’t like to be there during the burning seasons 🙁

  8. I’ve dealt with family members who gone to rehab a few times in the US. It really hasn’t worked here. Not sure how much different the rehabs are in Thailand. It would be good to know what their success rate is.

  9. This article is good, rehab isn’t easy and having such prices in USA makes it even harder. USA is the number one country with addiction problems, so we need all the possible help, and the quality and prices for rehab in Thailand are a good thing.

    I hope someday the USA government see drugs as they are, isn’t about dealers and traffickers, its about people with problems, if you cure your addicts, you stop the drug trafficking.

    • Hi John,

      This post was years ago but in my knowledge and experience, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      We are so quick to point the finger of shame at those who turn to alcohol & drugs for relief from horrors of the body and the mind. It’s escapism. People need help and the right support in order to realise that there is more to life than pain.

      Trauma is the route cause of many addictions, along with a possible genetic predisposition.

  10. I’ve done a few of the rehabs here in Thailand and put it this way, I wish I went to The Cabin first….
    By far and away the most professional setup with a purpose built brand new centre and their team of counsellors are excellent.
    If you’re looking for rehab, take my word on it after being a bit of a journeyman around most of them.

    • Haha “purpose built brand new centre” only a marketing hack would use this term, pretending to be a client. This is the level of professionalism.

  11. Excellent guide and insight into Thailand addiction treatment centers. I have heard a lot about Lanna Rehab, my husband is an alcoholic he needs this therapy for sure. Thanks for the share.

  12. I can’t believe anyone would even consider going to Wat Thamkrabok. I’ve heard that loads of folks have died and it’s covered up. People who need a real detox are putting their life in the hands of buddhist monks with no medical experience or qualifications for addiction coaching!

  13. I’ve heard good things about DARA Rehab from a former patient who has alcohol problems and needed professional help to escape that. I have a friend that has problems with alcohol and she also started taking drugs lately (not much but it could soon turn into an addiction) and I know I have to do something about it very soon. I’ve talked to her parents and we will probably choose this place once we have an intervention and convince her we want to help and that she needs this.

    • I’d heard good things about Dara, but on arrival i soon realised this in NOT a good choice for too may reasons to list. The Cabin, Hope and Serenity all offer better /superior counsellors and services. Additionally Dara has a no refund policy even if you realise as i did less than 24 hours.

        • MH, can you tell me why DARA was not a good choice??? My sister is going soon but now i’m concerned! Why did you leave after 24 hrs? Why do you think the Cabin, Hope and Serenity are a better option?

          There seem to be a few rehabs to choose from but it’s hard to know which ones are genuine – I don’t trust reviews on the internet – Hope rehab has all 5 star reviews but I think they are fake! The rooms also look really rubbish and cheap 🙁

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