Which Are the Best Countries for Drug Rehab?

If you’re addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, your first reflex is to go to a local rehab center to get treatment. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has already started to wind down and travel to other countries is becoming possible again, why not go overseas for treatment instead?

You might think, “That’s too costly! Travel expenses plus rehab equals an empty bank account!” This isn’t necessarily the case.There are times when it’s actually cheaper to avail of inpatient rehab in another country even when you take into account the travel expenses. No, it doesn’t sound too good to be true. It’s reality.

The Best Rehab Countries in the World

If you wish to successfully recover from your alcoholism or drug addiction, you should check out the pros and cons of going to these top 5 countries when it comes to affordable rehab.

Countries How the Country Conducts Addiction Rehab Best Rehab Centers Available in the Country
United States

The U.S.A. remains one of the best countries for alcoholism and drug rehab in the entire world.

It’s particularly known for its strict Anti-Drug Programs instituted by President Reagan back in the 1980s that led to mass incarceration of its own citizens.

Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous: The U.S. is where AA and NA were first founded. It’s a 12-step peer group system of rehab.

AA and NA served as the blueprint on how the U.S went about outpatient rehab treatment.

Betty Ford Clinic: The world-famous Betty Ford clinic offers multidisciplinary alcoholism treatment that expanded into drug treatment.

It offers an 80 percent recovery rate. It starts at $10,000 a month. Its prices can go up to $1,000 to $1,200 daily or $30,000 to $36,000 monthly.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has adopted U.S. rehab standards of treatment such as 12-step programs and CBT.

It also has a more nationalized system of rehab since it’s a smaller (set of) countries than the U.S.

The Priory Group: This is the United Kingdom’s foremost inpatient and outpatient rehab center. It’s like the U.K.’s equivalent of the Betty Ford Clinic.

It offers £2,000-a-week or $2,600-a-week packages. You can spend upwards of £8,000-£12,000 or $10,400-$13,000 a month at Priory’s facilities.


The progressive Portuguese government decriminalized low-level drug use and legalized controlled usage of such substances to help with rehab and addiction treatment.

Portugal rehab centers are located in touristy and secluded locales of Alentejo and Algarve. They’re allowed to pursue biomedical treatment of addiction.

Nova Vida Recovery: Portugal’s Nova Vida Recovery provides recovering patients with a tourist-friendly rehab center in the Algarve coast.

It uses research-based personalized treatment on a case-to-case basis on top of legalized controlled usage.

It costs €14,000 or $15,500 for 28 days of inpatient treatment. The length of the stay ranges from 7 to28 days.


The Swiss government follows a more “patients first” approach to dealing with rehab vs. the U.S. and its criminalization of drug possession.

They instituted a safe injection program and a HAT program wherein prescribed doses of heroin are given to addicts to help them wean off the drugs.

It’s a country that caters more to executives and professionals though, so its price tag is at a heftier $50,000 to $75,000 on average.

Clinic Les Alpes: The Clinic Les Alpes (Alps Clinic) is Switzerland’s best rehab center. It’s a luxury alpine chateau with inpatient treatment ranging from individual to group and family therapy.

The all-inclusive rehab service offers $31,000 to $47,000 weekly and $124,000 to $188,000 monthly.


Thailand doesn’t only indulge in rehab tourism. It also has dental tourism and medical tourism available on its shores.

Currently, Thailand has 370 registered private hospitals and has a focus on delivering world-class medical tourism.

Rehab in Thailand on average can cost as little as $10,000 for 28 days of treatment. This includes food, board, and travel costs.

Miracles Asia: The private luxury rehab center is the definition of bespoke. It caters to the individual patient on a case-by-case basis instead of offering a one-size-fits-all treatment.

They offer programs such as CBT, dual diagnosis, detox, group therapy, individual therapy, anxiety and depression treatment, and a 12-step rehab program.

The United States of America

The U.S. is renowned for its head-on aggressive approach towards addiction and rehabilitation. To wit, it offers the following services across the board. It has overcome its drug criminalization past by marijuana legalization in many states.

However, its history of criminalizing low-level drug possession under Ronald Reagan’s multimedia anti-drug campaign in the 1980s and the infamous Prohibition Era or nationwide alcohol bans in the 1920s still shape how it goes about addiction and substance abuse treatment even in 2021.

Here are the programs the U.S. is most famous for.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA):AA was founded back in 1935 in Akron, Ohio by ex-alcoholics Bill Wilson and Bob Smith. The 12-step program is designed to use the help of counselors, clinic staff, and ex-alcoholics in order to undergo group therapy and meetings in a step-by-step manner.

    From this came about the drug or narcotics version of the program known as NA. The original program had a more religious bent to it, calling for the patient to leave his hands under the guidance of a “higher power”. However, more secular versions of the program have also been developed.

  • The Betty Ford Clinic: The Betty Ford Center, known colloquially as the Betty Ford Clinic, is a rehab center co-founded and named after the First Lady of President Gerald Ford, Mrs. Betty Ford.

    She has struggled for a long time with alcohol abuse herself, leading her to establish the clinic to help those like her in order to get much-needed help, specifically alcoholic women during her time period. It includes inpatient and outpatient programs mostly catering to women in general and housewives in particular.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Yes, the famous CBT used worldwide by many a rehab center was first developed by Americans Rosalie Rayner and John B. Watson through their behavioral conditioning research.

    This psycho-social treatment assists patients coping with substance dependence and withdrawal symptoms psychologically. It even treats mental disorders like depression. CBT is present in both inpatient and outpatient settings because it’s so effective in developing coping mechanisms against withdrawal.

The United Kingdom

The U.K. follows the same techniques and paradigms present in America, such as 12-step programs and CBT. The U.K. meets all the world-class standards of treatment in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

However, the country has fewer specialist clinics and tends to treat alcoholism and narcotics addiction as a package deal. Its multitude of treatment services includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and so forth.

  • Adaptation Distillation of Dependence Treatment: The U.K. has adapted and distilled the treatment paradigms tested in places like the U.S. and Canada as well as the techniques offered in neighboring European Union (E.U.) countries (Brexit notwithstanding).

    Places like The Priory Group, the U.K. Addiction Treatment Ltd., The Providence Projects, Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain, Narconon United Kingdom, and the like share and collect new treatment services from North America and Europe.

  • U.K. Rehab Treatment Pairs Up Drug Addiction with Alcoholism: Rehab centers like The Priory Group offer drug addiction and alcoholism treatment wholesale as one package. It’s less specialized compared to the U.S.

    While there are services like The Betty Ford Clinic, AA, and NA in the U.S.,, the United Kingdom—that is, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Great Britain—has a smaller collection of (mostly) generalized clinics catering those four collective countries. Most of their rehab centers are located in London as well.

  • Limits in The Number of Clinics and Expensiveness: The U.K. is smaller than the U.S. Therefore, it has fewer clinics in its territory. What’s more, the U.S. outnumbers the U.K. significantly when it comes to specialty clinics.

    Rehab treatment in the U.K. is more about treating different issues in a collective manner due to the limited number of clinics mostly found in Great Britain than elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The E.U., Asia, and Australia offer cheaper alternatives.


Although Portugal sounds like a random choice compared to other countries like Spain, France, or Germany, it’s on this list for a reason. The main claim of fame of the country roots from its decriminalization of low-level possession and usage of drugs.

Portugal was able to reduce imprisonment rates from 44 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2013. At present, drug-related adult deaths in Portugal is at 3 deaths per million versus the 17.3 deaths per million in the E.U.

It’s practically the polar opposite of the U.S. and its anti-drug campaigns that incarcerates more drug-dependent citizens—mostly minorities—than they can help.

  • You Aren’t Punished for Being Addicted: Unlike in the U.S. or even in many other countries out there, Portugal didn’t wage a bloody drug war against drug dealers to keep addiction rates low. Their government was more concerned about treatment than criminalization.

    This came about through its sweeping drug law reforms back in the 1990s, the positive effect of which can still be seen at present. They don’t want to punish drug-dependent people—they instead wish to help set them back to sobriety.

  • The Portuguese Inpatient Treatment Scene: More and more international clinics are following the inpatient rehab treatment paradigm of Portugal instead of the U.S. or the U.K. If someone in Portugal is suffering from moderate to severe substance dependence, they can go to luxury inpatient rehab clinics for help.

    Such clinics like Nova Vida are found in the Alentejo and Algarve region. If they can’t afford such services, citizens can instead avail of government subsidized rehab that includes the world-famous legalized controlled usage of addictive drugs to help with rehab and addiction treatment.

  • Language Barrier and Affordability Pitfalls: While the Portuguese government’s stance on rehab and drug addiction treatment is truly commendable, English-speaking rehab tourists from overseas might have problems availing of them due to the language barrier.

    The cost of €14,000 or $15,500 for 28 days isn’t exactly cheap either. It’s a shame, because the country boasts of rehab centers that deal with dual diagnosis of co-occurring disorders and ibogaine-assisted alcoholism treatment.


Swiss rehab is a lot like Portuguese rehab in the way they both go about treatment with a “patients first” mentality instead of the “punishment and criminalization” approach of the U.S. or even U.K. The police don’t arrest people for drug possession here either.

Switzerland dealt with its rising amount of heroin users in the 1980s by developing HAT or Heroin Assisted Treatment. It’s all about weaning addicts from heroin by giving them controlled doses of the drug.

  • HAT and the “Patients First” Approach: HAT helped many a Swiss heroin addict rehab successfully by being allowed to have a nicotine patch version of heroin controlled dose treatment.

    This is in contrast with the penalty-minded, court-mandated rehab of the U.S. or the bloody Drug War of the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte. The Swiss don’t treat drug-dependent citizens like law-breaking criminals but instead as patients.

  • Harm Reduction and Safe Injection Program: Aside from HAT, the Swiss government also offers a safe injection program. It involves patients to go to drug consumption rooms with clean needles so that they can use their drugs safely.

    This prevents needle sharing that can do more harm to the addicted, like spreading diseases like AIDS. Such harm reduction policies resulted in a death reduction of 405 deaths in 1991 to only 152 deaths in the 2010s.

  • A Wealthy Country with The Most Beautiful Views: Switzerland is a wealthy country situated in beautiful alpine paradise. Although E.U. countries like Spain and Portugal and Asian countries like Japan and Thailand have more cost-effective luxury rehab centers, Swiss rehab centers are all first-rate.

    Switzerland’s rehab centers are on the forefront of rehabilitation techniques, combining all the best of western addiction treatment. They also value privacy and stunning alpine views for their rich clientele.

  • Luxury Rehab Offerings and Costs in Switzerland: Swiss rehab clinics like Clinic Les Alpes offer treatment based on CBT, counseling, group therapy, and even esoteric treatment approaches like equine therapy and acupuncture.

    They’re all about giving white-collar patients, executives, and professionals a much-deserved wellness vacation since many of them suffer from work-related stress and cope with drugs. This also means the Swiss luxury rehab costs can reach from $50,000 up to $75,000.


The beauty of the medical, dental, and rehab tourism capital of Asia is the fact that it combines the best of both worlds when it comes to eastern (and esoteric) treatments with evidence-based western therapies (like CBT).

Thailand is itself situated in a tropical paradise. Rehab centers like Miracles Asia are located in beachfront properties in Phuket and beyond. There are also centers found in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

  • East Meets West Type of Rehab Treatment: Miracles Asia in particular offers mindfulness meditation, 12-step programs, CBT, and holistic treatment. It also offers esoteric Buddhist teachings to assist in teaching patients the value of self-control. The main appeal of Thai rehab is cost-effectiveness.

    Even though the same treatments you can find locally or in countries within E.U., U.K., North America (U.S. and Canada), Australia, or elsewhere in Asia are available in Thailand, you can get them at a fraction of the cost due to the difference in cost of living in the nation.

  • First-World Healthcare That Puts First-World Countries to Shame: Rehab treatment in Thailand across the board combines CBT and medical detoxification with Buddhist or Zen teachings to empower your ability to control yourself mentally and physically—for only $10,000 for 28 days (prices may vary).

    Thailand’s healthcare services that help bolster the rehab offerings of every last Thailand rehab center are arguably superior to privatized U.S. healthcare or certainly their attempts at making it “universal”.

  • Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Conditions: Thailand healthcare makes everything more affordable for rehab centers, thus allowing them to focus on CBT and group therapy care of internationally trained counselors, doctors, and psychiatrists.

    Many of them also practice dual diagnosis so as to treat co-occurring mental health issues like PTSD and depression that might serve as one of the root causes of the substance abuse in the first place. This is all done in a secluded and relaxing tropical backdrop for good measure.

  • Licensed By the Government: Like in the case with Portugal and Switzerland, Thailand’s government is supportive of their rehab and medical tourism market. The country’s Ministry of Health certifies the authenticity and quality of the best rehab centers within it.

    This should allow rehab patients from overseas to know which rehab centers will give them the best return for their investment when push comes to shove. Feel free to hunt for the certifications of the accredited medical personnel and therapists.


You don’t need to go to your local rehab center by default. You have other options. In fact, it might even be more advantageous to undergo rehab tourism and have a wellness vacation at some tropical beach and the like.

Regarding the rehab center you should go to, you have loads of options. Certain countries have even stopped making drug possession illegal to allow patients to wean themselves from the drugs rather than be incarcerated for their troubles.

Regardless, each of the countries outlined above have their own unique ways to deal with drug addiction and substance abuse. Go with the best option for your circumstances and budget.

Contact Miracles Asia Rehab Today

Miracles Asia Rehab in Thailand boasts of a 98 percent program completion rate. It’s able to achieve this feat by having a discreet, private, and confidential addiction rehab center found in beautiful Phuket.

In terms of what they bring to the table, they offer treatment for process addictions, drug addiction, alcoholism, and even co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Contact us today to find out more.