Which Rehab in Thailand is Best?
Luxury, cheap or Unorthodox

When searching for addiction and mental health treatment options, it will not take long for you to notice that the Land of Smiles is a rehab destination of choice. Suitable for people from all walks of life, even the best rehab centres in Thailand are more affordable than they are back home. In fact, they often cost a fraction of the price in comparison to rehab centres in Australia, the US, the UK or Europe.
Perhaps the best benefit of lower prices is that it makes it possible for recovering addicts to extend their stay in rehab. Former addicts often mention that they feel their success in recovery can be attributed to extended stays at some of Thailand’s best rehabs. It comes as no surprise that the industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, with options ranging from extreme Buddhist monasteries to first-rate facilities that are up there with some of the best in the world.

With many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which one is the right one for you. Fortunately, we at Thailand Rehab Guide have put together this short guide to save you time and effort in finding the best rehab in Thailand. In this article, we will be focusing on the following three types of rehab in Thailand.

Luxury rehab Resorts

Thailand has become a leading rehab destination for the same reasons that it is a popular medical tourism destination. Catering to a constant stream of tourists throughout the year, the Land of Smiles is familiar with world-class standards of comfort. Consequently, luxury rehab in Thailand takes place in a resort-style setting, with private rooms, international standards of care and English-speaking medical professionals and staff and well-balanced nutritious meals.
If your idea of rehab is similar to a hospital environment or a farmhouse community-style centre, you have yet to see the best rehab centres in Thailand. These luxury facilities combine the function of a high-quality rehab centre with the setting and atmosphere of a five-star resort. Clients in these places are offered drug and alcohol treatment as part of a comprehensive wellness experience that often makes it feel more like a holiday, with gyms, swimming pools, meditation areas and more.
While the beautiful surroundings and tasteful accommodations are a plus, do not think that you are simply paying to stay in a more luxurious location. The higher costs are reflected in more comprehensive and sophisticated treatment methods, teams of highly trained medical professionals and support staff and a better staff-to-client ratio. To top it off, programmes are completely personalised – merging Eastern philosophies with Western science to treat not only the body but the mind as well.
Many luxury rehabs are also qualified to treat co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis, making it more well-rounded and effective for recovering addicts who are also dealing with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, trauma and PTSD. Even with all of this, the best rehab centres in Thailand are still more affordable than most private facilities around the world.

Pros: Private accommodation and hotel-style living

Cons: Unrealistic expectations due to over-the-top online advertising and marketing

Best for: Those looking for an immersive recovery experience in a wellness resort

Cheap rehab centres

Cheap rehab centres in Thailand offer alcohol and drug addiction programmes with basic accommodation that is generally shared – unless you pay extra for a private room. Taking place in a supportive setting, these programmes are able to provide treatment at a more affordable price point by focusing on the fundamentals of addiction recovery. They offer a combination of clinical techniques, therapies and classes, and offer basic services like laundry and daily meals.
If the cost of budget rehab in Thailand is appealing to you, as it is to many, it is important to understand that it probably will not look like the rehab centre you have in mind. To keep costs low, these facilities are typically not in the most picturesque locations or have much else to offer other than a basic rehab programme. As a matter of fact, the rehab centre itself may be a house that has been converted for this purpose.
Additionally, you should not expect the same recreational activities and extra personal luxuries that are found in high-end treatment centres. For example, complementary holistic therapies and cultural excursions are usually not available (or minimal at best). These programmes are usually less supervised, with less structure and more free time, which means they are often better suited for the transitional phase between tackling addiction and adjusting to life after treatment.
Cheap rehab in Thailand tend to offer basic room
These facilities are rarely equipped to handle an initial detox/withdrawal period or the first few weeks of sobriety. Likewise, they may not be able to offer the full continuum of care. Therefore, they are better suited to help recovering addicts settle into their new sober life through general advice and guidance. Considering that the price range for rehab in Thailand is rather narrow, it is better to explore other options and focus your search on quality more than cost.

Pros: Affordable pricing

Cons: Less intensive treatment, minimal supervision and basic facilities

Best for: Those who have completed primary treatment

Buddhist monastery rehab

On the most affordable end of the spectrum for rehabs in Thailand is the Wat Thamkrabok, Thailand’s famous Buddhist monastery rehab. This unique rehab offers addiction recovery services for free, though you must pay for food and donations are welcome. If free rehab sounds too good to be true, it might be for some – as the monastery’s highly unorthodox methods are unappealing to most.
Run by Buddhist monks and nuns, Wat Thamkrabok sticks to a practical, traditional approach that continues to attract addicts who are desperately seeking sobriety and feel that they are up to the no-frills challenge. The alternative addiction rehab centre, which also goes by the name of “vomit rehab” or “extreme rehab”, uses severe purification rituals that are very different from widely accepted treatment methods.
Even so, the programme’s religious and cultural appeal cannot be denied. It is worth noting that, while programme is widely known, the reality is that over 95% of the participants are Thai. Language barriers between monks who barely speak English, if at all, and no counselling are a couple of reasons why very few foreigners join the programme – one that entails cold turkey detox.
Minimalist living conditions, a complete (albeit temporary) block communication with the outside world and a notoriously unpleasant herbal concoction are all part of the extreme Buddhist monastery rehab experience to rid the body of toxins and chemicals.
A far cry from the best drug rehabs in Thailand, your sleeping arrangements here involve a blanket and sleeping mat. Once you have “checked in”, you will not be able to leave your room for the initial five days – a room that you will share with up to 30 other addicts. You are also prohibited from communicating with the outside world during this time. Meals, which are the only thing you have to pay for, offers basic sustenance.
10 days after you arrive, you will be expected to perform standard housekeeping duties around the monastery, which counts as exercise. Daily chanting in the morning and meditation sessions in the afternoon helps clear the mind while activities like herbal steam baths relax the body. While that may sound all well and good, the daily ritual that involves drinking a mystery potion and making yourself vomit after probably does not.

Pros: Free detox treatment in a non-clinical setting

Cons: Tough cold-turkey detox regime and bare-bone living conditions

Best for: Those who have failed traditional rehabs and looking for a spiritual treatment experience

Choosing a rehab type that is right for you

Now that you have an understanding of the main types of rehab centres available in Thailand, you can start to focus on the one that is right for you or your loved one. The type of rehab centre that you should seek treatment from depends on several factors, such as the level of care you need and what your budget allows. Cost is understandably an important consideration when it comes to choosing the best rehab in Thailand for you. Fortunately, Thailand is home to some of the world’s most affordable rehab centres, and luxury rehab centres in the area are often cheaper than you think.
Having second thoughts about which rehab centre to go with? That is where Thailand Rehab Guide comes in. We are your one-stop resource for addiction rehab centres in Thailand ranging from substance addiction and behavioural addiction to dual diagnosis. Contact us today for a free consultation or to find out more about addiction treatment options.
  1. Tracy, N. (2019, October 15). Types of Mental Health Facilities, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-illness-overview/types-of-mental-health-facilities
  2. Betterhelp. (n.d.). Types of Mental Health Professionals. Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/types-mental-health-professionals.
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 41.) 2 Types of Groups Commonly Used in Substance Abuse Treatment. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64214/
  4. Stensland, M., Watson, P. R., & Grazier, K. L. (2012). An examination of costs, charges, and payments for inpatient psychiatric treatment in community hospitals. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 63(7), 666–671. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201100402
  5. Ascension Seton. (n.d.). Paying for Treatment. Behavioral Health Care. https://www.seton.net/behavioral-health-care/contact/paying-treatment/.
  1. https://wat-thamkrabok.org/
  2. https://so02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/hasss/article/view/8724

get independent advice

Enter your name and contact details to get started.

Leading Institutions We Abide By