While there are limited options for inpatient drug addiction treatment in Hong Kong, there are plenty of outpatient and counselling services operated by the private sector.
Despite the growing problem of drug abuse there seems to be little progress on the part of addiction treatment service providers to operate private residential drug treatment within Hong Kong. Outpatient drug rehab centres and addiction counselling and therapy are more common and there have been some new services by international treatment providers coming into Hong Kong to offer outpatient treatment over recent years.
Travelling abroad for drug addiction treatment
For people with more serious addiction issues who require a residential drug rehab programme, the most common approach to treatment is to leave Hong Kong and head to one of a number of high quality drug and alcohol rehabs in Asia. Thailand is a major player in the field of addiction treatment and well-being in general, it also happens to be one of the largest markets in the world for medical tourism. Thailand is well connected with Asian travel routes and offers great value for money in the field of medical care. Malaysia and Indonesia are also starting to see growth in the addiction treatment arena with new and quality rehabs cropping up offering similar services to those in Thailand.
Why go to drug rehab in Asia?
The simple answer: it’s cheaper! Although the price varies between the different rehabs, they are mostly significantly cheaper than comparable drug rehabs programmes in places like Australia, Europe and the US. In addition, you can expect a higher level of luxury, better facilities and a high staff to patient ratio. Flights to all the major drug rehab destinations are also cheaper so it doesn’t becoming a deciding factor. Apart from the obvious benefits stated, some of the more established rehab centres in Asia have an excellent reputation and high completion rate meaning those who attend have a good chance of maintaining long-term sobriety.
The cost of drug rehabs in Asia
The cost of attending a residential drug rehab in Asia varies depending on a number of factors but as a general rule, you can expect to pay $10-15,000 USD for 1 month. If you’re prepared to share a room with others and accept reduced luxury amenities then you may get something in the region of $5-8,000 USD. If you have private health insurance, the cost of drug rehab might be covered in whole or in part by your insurance provider. If you’re unsure whether you are covered, contact your health insurance provider or discuss your situation with a rehab centre to see if they are accepted by insurance companies and recognised as an affiliated treatment provider.
The total cost of rehab will also be affected by the duration of stay. Whilst most inpatient rehabs will require a minimum stay of 28 days, the team working to rehabilitate you may deem it necessary for treatment to be extended (and this is often recommended) but it is ultimately up to the patient to decide whether or not they want to extent beyond the first month. For more serious instances of drug addiction, especially where substances have been misused by a user for extended periods and in high quantities, the length of stay in rehab can exceed 3 months (even more where multiple addictions and mental health issues exist).
Outpatient rehabilitation and counselling services
For those unable to take a month away from daily life (28 days is a typical minimal stay in rehab) outpatient rehab is the next best thing. It’s not always the best option, especially if the addiction you are facing is serious, but it does allow you to maintain a fairly normal life during the course of treatment. It’s also cheaper than a residential programme and allows you to continue with family life and hold down a job at the same time. An assessment by an addiction specialist can help you determine whether or not outpatient rehab is a suitable recovery approach.
The best drug rehab centres in Asia
People often ask “what is the best drug rehab centre in Asia?” To this question there is no simple answer, it all depends on the type of addiction you have, the medical care that you will require as part of treatment, and the method used to treat addiction that is best matched to your needs and circumstances. One major factor to consider when thinking about going to drug rehab is whether a detox is required. A detox is a major step in the beginning of the recovery journey and if it is one that requires medication as part of the withdrawal process then extreme caution is required when choosing a rehab centre. When drugs have been abused that create a physical dependence, the withdrawal phase can be very dangerous so always ensure there are suitable medical staff available 24 hours a day at your chosen rehab centre; and make sure they are trained and equipped to deal with a medical emergency if it were to happen.
Getting someone you know into treatment for drug addiction
The first step to recovering from a substance abuse problem is to accept that the problem exists. For some people this can be the hardest part of beating the addiction. If people don’t accept they have a problem, yet those around can see that they do, getting that person into treatment can be difficult. The most common and accepted approach of doing this is by means of an intervention. This is where the addicted person is confronted about their substance misuse by those who are close to them, often in the presence of a trained addiction professional with experience of performing an intervention. Some rehabilitation services for drug users may offer an intervention service (the cost of which is usually high) as part of a treatment plan with a view to an outcome of the drug user entering a residential treatment programme.
What happens after rehab?
After successfully completing a residential drug rehab programme there is the aftercare stage of recovery that aims to maintain the state of mind that was nurtured in rehab. The extent to which aftercare is required will depend on a number of factors but may include individual drug counselling, attending support groups like Narcotics Anonymous, or working through recovery strategies on your own from resources provided by the drug rehab programme.