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When searching for a rehab program, some people may explore overseas rehab for treatment. Although this may seem like a suitable choice, there are many important considerations booking your flights to an overseas retreat. The Banyans explains the benefits, dangers and alternatives to rehab outside of Australia.
You may benefit from this article if you are
- Exploring the different types of rehab and treatment programs available;
- Researching residential rehab programs;
- Considering travelling outside of Australia for treatment or rehab.
Overseas rehabs: what do I need to know?
It is normal to feel lost or confused when beginning to research rehabilitation programs for yourself or a loved one. You are likely feeling overwhelming emotions with little support. You may not be thinking clearly.
With so many rehab and treatment options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
In today’s digitally connected world, so much of what we do is impacted by what and who we see online. The headlines and recommendations of celebrities and friends blend together in an augmented reality. Unfortunately, this causes some people to think that overseas rehab and treatment programs are a trusted and even recommended choice for recovery.
What does ‘overseas’ mean?
Obviously the definition of overseas treatment and overseas rehab depends on where you are in the world. Throughout this article, overseas treatment or overseas rehab refers to any facility that is owned, centrally operated or located outside of Australia.
Overseas rehab refers to any facility that is owned, centrally operated or located outside of Australia.
Often, this means people are travelling to locations throughout South East Asia, Europe and the United States of America.
Why do people travel overseas for rehab?
There are many different reasons why people seek treatment or rehab outside Australia. However, many of these reasons are based on myths that can be easily busted.
It’s “cheaper” than Australian options.
A common misconception of overseas rehab programs is that they are cheaper than private Australian treatment. However, when you consider additional add-ons, transport and layovers, as well as time missed at work due to transit or jet lag, these costs quickly add up.
Celebrities have been there.
Some people believe that because celebrities can choose to attend rehab anywhere in the world – obviously they would choose the best one! However, celebrities and other influential people are just like us.
They may not know what is important to look for in a program, and therefore fail to make a properly informed decision. Perhaps when they are experiencing the turbulence of a crisis, they too struggle to research the options thoroughly.
Wondering what to look for in a rehab program?
Learn how to spot the rehab wolves. Read more on The Banyans blog.
My privacy is more secure at an international rehab.
Privacy and confidentiality is an understandable consideration for many people. However, your privacy is no more secure at an international facility as it as a luxury treatment facility in Australia. You can achieve similar results of anonymity by travelling interstate, and by ensuring you choose a treatment facility with a commitment to privacy and a proven record of confidentiality.
Australia doesn’t have any luxury rehabs.
Although the luxury rehabilitation market is still emerging in Australia, there are high quality, luxury treatment options available in Australia. It is important that you research these options as you would any international facility.
Looking for Australia’s premium luxury rehab?
Addiction and mental health issues can leave you feeling trapped and hopeless. You may believe that travelling overseas for confidential treatment is your only option. What if there was an Australian solution?
There is. Since opening, The Banyans have helped thousands of individuals and families navigate their options for treatment and long-lasting recovery.
Meet The Banyans: a premier treatment program in Queensland, Australia
Move from confusion and gain clarity. Rediscover your life, free of fear and full of hope.
Benefits of overseas rehab
Seeking rehab outside Australia has its benefits, although definitely not enough to outweigh the dangers. Some of the benefits of seeking overseas rehab include fast intake, frequent availability and a “cover up” for absence from every day life.
Overseas rehabs always seem to have availability
Many overseas programs run group-based programs in huge facilities. This means they are often accepting large intakes of new guests, and you may not have to wait long for a place in their program.
Although large intakes may seem like a positive as they can help many people at once, this is not an effective treatment model for creating long-lasting change.
Do not sacrifice private therapy for immediate intake into an overseas program.
Group therapy means that you must share your therapists attention with others. You do not receive the focused, one-on-one attention required to delve deep into the cause of your issues. You will not be equipped with the specific tools and strategies YOU need to recover and thrive.
Instead, you may be given tools that are not effective. You may become distracted by others in the group, comparing your progress with theirs. You may be “set off” or triggered by others stories and difficulties. You may become focused on providing support to others in the group, neglecting your own issues and growth. You also risk being misunderstood by others from different backgrounds, cultures or socioeconomic status.
“I’m going on a holiday!”
Unfortunately, some people can hold negative perceptions about “going to rehab”. Going overseas for treatment provides you with an easy explanation for your absence from work, study or every day life. You can simply tell people you are “going overseas for a holiday” when in reality, you are travelling outside of Australia for rehabilitation and treatment.
You do not need to go overseas to tell friends, family or your employer that you are taking leave.
Rehab outside Australia will FEEL like a holiday, even if it is not.
We can all relate to the magical feeling of travelling overseas. The excitement that comes from experiencing a new culture and new surroundings. However, once that glow wears off, it is natural to experience an element of stress as you adapt physically and psychologically to a new environment.
A new culture can apply additional psychological and physical pressure on us, making recovery more difficult in overseas programs compared to Australian programs.
You may experience difficulties adapting to a new time zone. Your therapies will bring up emotionally challenging or confronting issues in addition to the potential absence of your comforts or coping mechanisms (like drugs or alcohol), you may be left feeling incredibly homesick. This only adds to the difficulty of rehab, and limits your progress.
Explore Australian rehab programs.
Give yourself the best chance at long-lasting recovery. With Australian medical standards, AHPRA-registered treating practitioners, and a home away from home, explore rehabs for Australians.
Dangers of overseas rehab
Travelling overseas for rehab can have some dangerous consequences. It is important that you consider all of the possible consequences before choosing to travel to rehab outside of Australia.
Cultural or language barriers
As mentioned previously, cultural and language barriers can be a serious detriment to getting the most of our treatment program. Your therapist may not understand you, or help you process the deep underlying causes of your issues in a relevant way. This can lead to additional frustration and emotional difficulty.
An overseas treatment program may not understand you, and therefore cannot help you build a sustainable recovery plan.
Moreover, you may feel like you are making minimal progress, and may feel like giving up because “no one understands you” or that there is no way out. You will waste your time and money on a treatment program that won’t understand you, and cannot help you build a reliable, sustainable plan for the future.
Overseas programs may neglect important inclusions for recovery
If a program is boasting a lower price point, it is likely that the organisation is taking short cuts, or neglecting important therapeutic inclusions for recovery. This means that your program will not be as robust and intensive as you may hope, and may leave you feeling unequipped to return to your everyday life with strength.
Further, protected titles (like Doctor, Addiction Specialist and Psychologist) may not be subject to the rigorous professional education and registration procedures that are enforced in Australia. It is unwise to assume that the overseas treating team holds to the same ethical and professional code of conduct as Australia.
Why is medical support so important for recovery?
Discover why thorough medical support is so important in a recovery program.
Hidden costs and additional expenses
It’s not always true that overseas rehab facilities are cheaper than Australian facilities, especially when you consider currency conversations, unclear inclusions and additional costs.
It is common for people to “believe the best”, however, overseas rehab can catch you unaware, and left with a hefty bill to pay at the end of your program.
You are not protected by Australian laws and judicial structures.
No one likes to consider the worst case scenario. But when your health is on the line, you have to ensure that you have the highest sense of security and safeness.
If there is an accident or case of negligence during your treatment program, being overseas may mean that you have few legal avenues and little to no governmental protection.
If something does wrong while engaging in an overseas program, you may little or no legal support.
By ensuring you engage in a treatment program within Australia, you can have the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, there are legal structures in place to support you.
Alternatives to overseas rehab and treatment
Your best alternative to overseas rehab is an Australian owned and operated residential treatment facility, such as The Banyans Health and Wellness.
Since opening, The Banyans have helped thousands of individuals and families navigate their options for support and treatment. The Banyans operates to help you find the fullness of life, free from the pain and grip of addiction, mental health, trauma, chronic stress and burnout.
Have questions? Talk to our expert team
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