Rehab on the Beach
Addiction Treatment in Tropical Thailand

Addiction recovery is a major challenge, even at the best of times. So why not make it enjoyable as well? This is the sentiment, or indeed the philosophy, behind the idea of attending rehab on the beach.

A great deal of hard work is needed to achieve a long-lasting recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, which means that you must maintain a high level of motivation throughout the process. Placing yourself in a beautiful and relaxing environment may be just what you need during this period, to help you keep going even when times are hard. By contrast, the stereotypical rehab experience, which involves a plain and sterile, hospital-like environment, or a therapeutic farmhouse community style rehab, may fail to keep your spirits up in the same way.

This article will give you a look at what to expect from rehab centres on the beach, particularly in Thailand.

What types of treatment does beachside rehab offer

Generally, recovering addicts can receive addiction treatment in either an inpatient or outpatient setting. Within these categories, research studies on addiction treatment typically classifies programmes into several general types or modalities. Although individual programmes continue to evolve and diversify, the two main approaches to rehabilitation recognised by specialists are traditional therapy and holistic therapy.

Traditional rehabs typically focus directly on the struggles that each addicted person faces as they try to stay clean. Holistic rehabs, on the other hand, aims to heal addicts through indirect methods that promote inner peace. Each of the above treatment approaches complements the other, with their combined strategies leading to a truly comprehensive programme of recovery.

Traditional beach rehab

Traditional therapies begin at the level of conversation and personal evaluation, with specialists developing a more proficient understanding of each client and their addiction. This starting point allows the rehab facility to create a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. Traditional forms of therapy are used for several purposes, such as to help you confide in a personal counsellor, identify underlying problems that may correlate with your substance use disorder, and assist you in making positive, long-term lifestyle changes.

Detoxification: A specially monitored period of detox is recommended for many clients who have more severe or longer-lasting substance addictions. Detox comes at the very beginning of the recovery process, and takes several days or weeks to complete, depending on the substance of abuse and the individual person. In Thailand, some beachside rehab centres offer onsite detox treatment for clients who need it, while others may refer their clients to a nearby private hospital for this service.

Typically, you will receive a doctor’s evaluation within 24 hours of your arrival in a detox programme, along with regular medical supervision until you are deemed ready for primary treatment. This initial detox period may involve clients experiencing uncomfortable or even dangerous withdrawal symptoms as they try to break their dependence on the addictive substance, making medication and psychological support often necessary to relieve symptoms and maintain physical stability during this part of the process.

Behavioural therapy: The core pillars of primary care typically include behavioural approaches (also called behavior modification), such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). These widely used psychological treatment modalities are used to help you identify problematic behaviors, redirect harmful thought patterns, and putting you back in control of your own body and mind. By learning the proper techniques, you will be able to resist urges as they arise, and break the cycle of substance abuse.

Individual and group therapy: Individual therapy sessions allow for personalised attention and guidance, helping recovering addicts find their own way forward using proven psychological techniques. Yet learning the right psychological skills is only part of the battle against addiction; it is also important for addicted people to develop a network of support among their peers. Group therapy lets addicted people share their struggles openly, in an environment of care and support, so that they can help each other find the strength and motivation to continue their journey to sobriety.

Family education: Addiction takes a heavy toll on everybody it touches, including the family members of those seeking help. Family workshops and psycho-education classes help relatives and loved ones better understand addiction and co-occurring mental disorders, the likely cause of the illness, treatment options, the recovery process, and effective ways of showing support to make the addicted person’s road to sobriety a little easier.

12-step facilitation therapy: Recovery is not a single event, but rather a process that requires constant attention and effort. One of the best ways to help prevent an eventual relapse is for the addicted person to enter a 12-step programme. Some beach rehabs in Thailand incorporate 12-step principles into their treatment model and encourage a strong emphasis on 12-step participation. These rehabs also facilitate entry into AA/NA meetings outside of rehab, setting you up for long-term success in your quest for sobriety.

Relapse prevention: Relapse is one of the most potent dangers involved in any attempt to break away from dependence on alcohol or other drugs. Preventing this backslide means recognising the early symptoms of a coming relapse, addressing them with cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation techniques, living a lifestyle that is conducive to long-term recovery, and asking for help when needed. Any quality treatment centre, whether it involves rehab on the beach or in the countryside, should guide its clients through every stage of this continuing care.

holistic beach rehab

While traditional treatment methods form the core of most addiction recovery efforts, holistic therapy can provide a valuable anchor for stable recovery as well. Holistic treatments are designed to bring recovering addicts back to a healthy equilibrium in their mind, body, and spirit – helping them develop positive habits and a renewed motivation for personal growth.

Yoga: One of the advantages of seeking rehab on the beach in a country like Thailand is that it has a long cultural tradition of holistic healing practices. Yoga in particular is an effective way to bring harmony to a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual self. By focusing attention completely on each exercise, yoga provides a positive new target for one’s thoughts (and physical needs) during addiction recovery. It is also known to lower your resting heart rate, decrease pain, and strengthen your body’s immune system.

Adventure therapy: Adventure therapy, which may include a ropes course, hiking, or camping, gives you special practice in responding to challenging or stressful situations, helping you gain more personal confidence with every achievement. You’ll also re-learn important problem-solving skills on the fly – an important foundation for independent living after your period of treatment has ended. Last but not least, these sorts of recreational activities can spark a new interest in the beauty of one’s surroundings, providing an additional source of chemical-free pleasure and satisfaction.

Mindfulness training: Much of our experience of the world occurs within our own minds, making the ability to cultivate a healthy mindset especially important as we go through life. Mindfulness training takes a patient approach toward such efforts, empowering you to develop a stable and positive worldview moving forward. It accomplishes this task by strengthening your ability to recognise and manage your emotions, helping you stay calm even in stressful situations.

Massage therapy: Addiction takes a heavy toll on the body as well as the mind, particularly during the detox period. Massage therapy is an effective way to relieve aches and pains, reduce muscle tension, and improve blood circulation. The net effect is to help you feel better physically and clear your minds as you take on the challenge of addiction recovery.

Acupuncture: Eastern traditions of acupuncture are employed at many rehab centres on the beach in Thailand, as a way of relieving stress and pressure on the body. Many clients find the acupuncture process highly effective at addressing pain and anxiety, while improving their sleep cycles. Acupuncture can also help you re-focus your attention in more positive ways.

How long is beachside rehab?

People respond to addiction treatment differently, depending on the severity of their addiction, the amount of time they have been abusing drugs or alcohol, whether they suffer from co-occurring disorders, and many other factors. A minimum length of 30 days is required for all forms of inpatient treatment at rehab in Thailand, although research shows that a longer period of stay is more effective in helping people achieve long-lasting sobriety.

How much does rehab centre on the beach cost?

The cost of rehab centres on the beach in Thailand may vary – but on average, clients pay just US$10,000 per month for all-inclusive inpatient treatment. Even factoring in the cost of airfare, this total tends to be a fraction of what comparable treatment would cost in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, which charge $8,000 (at the very low end) to $100,000 for 30 days depending upon the type of facility.

Why come to rehab on the beach in Thailand?

As a tropical country with excellent cuisine, warm hospitality, and (of course) beautiful beaches, Thailand lets you take time away from your present environment and receive comprehensive care in a private and affordable facility. Attending beach rehab in Thailand also lets you:

  • Keep away from dangerous behavioural triggers
  • Enjoy greater privacy, letting you focus entirely on recovery
  • Participate in additional holistic therapies
  • Rest and recover in a peaceful environment
  • Explore a new country and stay active with a range of outdoor activities and excursions
  • Attend luxury rehab for far less money than similar services would cost in the West
  • Receive all-inclusive treatment that covers full board accommodation and hotel style services

If you would like to learn more about rehab on the beach in Thailand or addiction treatment options in general, feel free to contact us. We can help you find the best treatment centre that meets your needs. This is a no-cost consultation, call us now or fill out the contact form below.

Cameron Brown
  1. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 42.) 6 Traditional Settings and Models. Available from:
  2. Melemis, Steven M. “Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery.” The Yale journal of biology and medicine vol. 88,3 325-32. 3 Sep. 2015
  3. NIDA. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from on 2020, February 3

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