Individualized Alcohol Recovery Program -Lower Cost Rehab Center Thailand Alternative

 Prices for a reputable rehab center in Thailand range between 8,000 and 15,000 USD. Although cheaper than rehabs in the west this still may be a lot of money for many. Our founder and one of our Program Directors Brett Thornton (AKA Yim Thai) recently celebrated 10 years clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. Using both Brett’s personal and professional experience from working for some of the best rehabs in Thailand Brett along with Counselling Thailand’s experienced counselling team have created an alcohol recovery program where clients looking to recover from alcoholism or problem drinking can work with our counselling team in person in Chiang Mai or Bangkok. The program is also available online for those living overseas where travel is not possible during this time.

Alcoholism, Aduse, Dependence and Binge Drinking Explained

Problem drinking can occur at different levels of severity, from mild to life-threatening. Although alcoholism and alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the most severe stage, there are also less severe drinking problems that can be just as dangerous and harmful to the individual. It is important to learn more about the different levels of severity before reaching out for help. Let’s take a look at some common risky drinking habits and how they can quickly become harmful:

  • Binge Drinking: Binge drinking is defined as a certain pattern of drinking whereby an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises to 0.8 g/dl or above. This typically occurs when women consume 4 or more drinks in 2 hours and men consume 5 or more drinks in 2 hours. Binge drinking is associated with severe risks some of which include, accidents, suicide, partner violence, sexual assault, unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, memory and learning difficulties and so on.
  • Alcohol Abuse: Binge drinking can quickly turn into alcohol abuse when drinking begins to cause problems in your everyday life, and you continue to drink anyway. In other words, alcohol abuse occurs when individuals continue to drink in spite of constant interpersonal, social and work-related difficulties. Alcohol abuse at this level can result in neglecting work, children and relationships or incurring legal issues for public intoxication, drink driving or any other drinking-related offence.
  • Alcohol Dependence: Alcohol abuse can quickly turn to a dependence when individuals begin to experience intense cravings for alcohol, a loss of overall control of their drinking, withdrawal symptoms while abstaining from alcohol and increased tolerance to alcohol so they need to consume more alcohol in order to achieve the same effect. Alcohol dependence is chronic and often progressive whereby individuals have a strong desire to keep drinking despite repeated problems.
  • Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): This is typically the final stage of problem drinking. When individuals reach this stage, they no longer require a drink for pleasure. This stage is characterized by a psychological and physical need to consume alcohol. Individuals at this stage physically crave alcohol and are often inconsolable till they’re able to get their hands on alcohol again.


Do You Suffer from a Drinking Problem?


When assessing the likelihood of AUD, here are a few signs to look out for:

  • You drink alcohol more frequently in order to feel the effects of alcohol.
  • You have wanted to or tried to reduce your drinking or stop entirely but were unable to do so.
  • You spend a lot of time drinking or being sick from the aftereffects of drinking.
  • Alcohol is constantly on your mind and you are unable to focus elsewhere.
  • Found that drinking often interfered with work, family or other aspects of everyday life.
  • You continue to drink alcohol even after being aware of the harm it is causing within your relationships.
  • You give up or cut back on activities that were enticing to you before.
  • More than once, you have gotten into a situation while under the influence of alcohol where you have increased your chances of getting hurt, for example, drunk driving or bar fights.
  • You continue to drink alcohol even though it heightens feelings of depression, anxiety or adding to any other pre-existing health conditions.
  • You find you need to drink much more than you first did to get the desired effect from alcohol.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is inaccessible to you.

Understanding Alcohol Treatment Options – Detox, Rehab and Outpatient Counselling

 For individuals struggling with AUD, they may feel as though there is no hope, but no one has to suffer alone. Today, there are several treatments options available that can effectively help you recover from alcoholism and get back on track toward a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Choosing where to get help on your journey is one of the most crucial decisions individuals are faced with. Before reaching out for helping and seeking treatment, it is important to understand the services which are offered and available. For example, our 30 and 60 day alcohol recovery programs are more comprehensive in nature and focus on the client as a whole, rather than just their alcohol use alone. Many of the other treatment programs employ most or all of these factors:

  • Alcohol Detox: A detox from alcohol is often the first step when treating AUD and can also be the most challenging. Within the first few days after quitting drinking entirely, individuals may experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Due to this, it is crucial to carry out the detox stage under professional medical care. At Counselling Thailand, our trained and experienced therapists will be able to make effective referrals should this be something our clients require. After successfully completing the detox, clients would generally be able to move forward onto other forms of treatment and therapy.
  • Inpatient Rehab: An inpatient rehab is a structured environment catered to those who are overcoming severe cases of alcoholism or AUD. Generally, rehabs are aimed toward treating the most severe patients and also require individuals to remain on-site for the duration of the program- which ranges anywhere from 28 to 90 days. Essentially, professionals amidst the rehab provide 24/7 care and better prepare you for life after rehab. This usually includes information on how to overcome significant triggers effectively, the importance of maintaining sobriety and what to do in the event a relapse occurs. However, due to the global pandemic, we are faced with a lot of rehabs that are currently unable to offer their inpatient programs due to restrictions. Due to this change in the market, at Counselling Thailand, we are now offering 30 and 60 day programs either in person in Chiang Mai or online in Thailand and even globally. Our 30 or 60 day programs offer competitive rates and a whole lot of flexibility for our clients to recover effectively. As we are an independent group, we are not contracted or employed  with any single rehab center in Thailand, however, our experienced counsellors would be highly skilled at referring you to one should they see the need to do so.
  • Alcohol Counselling: Frequent meetings with an alcohol counsellor are crucial for individuals in order to communicate and receive the guidance they need during their recovery. Counselling offers a safe space, to be honest, and transparent during the good times, as well as the difficult times. Our counsellors also work with clients on identifying any underlying or repressed issues which may be triggering the drinking problem. We aim to give clients an opportunity to learn more about themselves, as well as how to maintain their sobriety.

Once you complete your journey, clients will gradually acclimatize to their daily lives. It is important to remember to give yourself time to ease back into the normalcy of everyday life. Attending support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous which offer engagement with others in recovery may also be hugely beneficial.

Preview – Alcohol Recovery Program Versus Rehab Center in Thailand


Our extensive experience has shown us that approximately 50
% of clients attending rehab in Thailand have alcohol as their pri9mary problem and almost all of the remaining 50% also need to remain abstinent from alcohol as by not doing so will lead them back to the drug of choice whether that be meth, cocaine, heroin etc.  At Counselling Thailand, we aim for our 30 or 60 day programs to offer a private, convenient and affordable alternative to inpatient programs offered by the many rehab centers in Thailand. Our alcohol remote recovery program allows clients to remain at home while receiving the help they desperately require. Our clients can continue to work and also remain close to their friends and family. Our timings and scheduling usually centre around our clients and their schedules, we also aim to help those within the program stick to their normal daily schedules.

Let’s take a look at some of the core elements of our alcohol recovery programs and some key learning objectives:

Understanding Problem Drinking: Many individuals may fall into the category of “problem drinker” but what does this really mean and how can we really help you to understand your relationship with alcohol? If left unattended, alcohol misuse can have short- and long-term consequences on your future. One of the key steps in understanding your relationship with alcohol is recognizing and learning how much alcohol is too much.

Costs and Consequences of Drinking: Drinking alcohol not only costs you financially but also begins to affect your mental and physical health, interpersonal relationships and career goals. In chronic cases, long-term effects of alcohol on the body can include a range of problems including:

  • Behavioural changes
  • Liver Damage
  • Heart Damage
  • Cancer
  • Lung infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Birth defects
  • Infertility
  • Diabetes

Rehab Center Thailand

Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is an approach used by us to help treat alcohol and substance use disorders. It is commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, phobias and more, but it has also proved effective when treating alcohol use disorders. This is especially prevalent when it is part of an overall recovery program. We introduce CBT to help clients identify the negative and irrational thoughts and actions that contribute to their drinking. We use CBT as a short-term approach in helping drinkers become and remain sober. Within our alcohol detox and recovery program CBT can help clients:

  • Improve their self-control.
  • Recognise and re-evaluate situations in which they are likely to drink.
  • Avoid all triggering situations.
  • Develop healthier coping mechanisms to deal with cravings for alcohol.
  • Dive deeper into issues that may lead to their drinking.

Relapse Prevention: Relapse prevention is a very crucial stage in our alcohol detox and recovery program, in order to ensure the best results and long-lasting outcomes for our clients. It is important to keep in mind the goal of this stage is to help clients recognize the early stages of relapse, in which the chances of success at getting back on track are at their highest. We believe recovery is a process involving several developmental milestones and personal growth. The main tools of relapse prevention are CBT skills and mind-body relaxation, these are used in order to develop healthier coping skills.

Stages of Change: Our experienced therapists help you recognize the four main stages in this model:

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action

Maintenance and relapse are sometimes included as the additional stages. This model provides a useful way whereby we can better understand the process of change and give structure to how changes in addictive behaviours can be better managed.

Abstinence Vs Controlled Drinking: Before someone can begin their recovery, it is important to understand what their goals really are. Does the client want to give up completely or be able to indulge in a moderate manner now and again? Our therapists will never tell you “you can never drink again” as we do not believe it is our place to do so. We are aware that in the majority of cases, abstinence may be the only answer, however, the idea of never drinking again can be extremely nerve-racking and daunting. We encourage our clients to take it one day at a time if they find it is more manageable to do so.

Triggers and Stressors: Our therapists use this stage to introduce healthier ways to manage difficult triggers. We reassure clients they do not have to give the trigger’s power if they do not wish to. One of the key components in identifying triggers and managing them is simply to be self-aware. Being self-aware allows clients to understand the rationale behind their behaviour or trigger before being able to react. Unhealthier coping skills may worsen the triggers and manifest anxiety, stress, depression and so on. In many cases, individuals who fail to develop these healthy coping mechanisms can indulge in toxic behaviours and develop toxic habits once again. Triggers become a problem when they are frequent, and individuals are having a hard time coping because of them.

Overcoming Cravings and Impulse Control: Cravings for alcohol can be intense, especially during the first six months of the alcohol recovery program. Our therapists work with clients to prepare them for these challenges and help them to develop healthier coping skills in order to deal with negative situations, alcohol cravings and the social pressure and desire to drink. Let’s take a look at some ways our therapists suggest:

  • Avoid places, people or activities which act as a trigger to drink.
  • Practice saying no to alcohol in social situations.
  • Talk to someone you can trust.
  • Find ways to distract yourself until the urge passes.
  • Remind yourself why you do not drink.

Couples/Family Therapy: Alcoholism doesn’t just impact the individual but also their friends, family and colleagues but perhaps more than anyone, their spouses. If one or in some cases both people in the relationship abuse alcohol regularly, it can turn extremely destructive and make it very challenging to have a normal and healthy relationship. Even if the individual suffering is undergoing treatment and trying their best to maintain sobriety, sometimes there are still maladaptive communication patterns, broken trust and a lot of baggage attached to the relationship. At this stage of our alcohol recovery program, we urge couples and families to come forward as we provide a safe place in order to share how they are feeling in an effort to work toward building healthier relationships.

Tackling Co-occurring Issues: While the effects of alcohol are seen to have a short-term positive impact on an individual’s mood, in the long term it can cause severe mental health issues. The consumption of alcohol is commonly linked to a range of issues from memory loss, anxiety, depression, loneliness, trauma, isolation and even suicide. Regularly drinking heavily interferes with chemicals in the brain which is essential for good health. So, while the short-term effect of having a drink may make you feel relaxed, in the long run, it can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression and make stress that much harder to deal with.

Codependency: The premise of alcoholism is based on co-dependent behaviour. An individual essentially becomes dependent on alcohol in order to find relief or pleasure. Co-dependent behaviours can stem from other emotional issues which then manifest themselves into alcoholism.  It is important to understand and recognise the signs of codependency early on. In some cases, it may also be spouse’s unintentionally fueling their partner’s addiction, this is where professionals like us can step in to break the cycle of codependency and addictive behaviours.


How to Access Help before Choosing a Rehab Center in Thailand or Alcohol Recovery Program?


After reading this article, you may have gained further insight into your personal issues and concerns and whether our program is fit for your needs. If the answer is yes, it is important not to hesitate and keep in mind there is no shame in reaching out for professional help.

Our dedicated alcohol and substance abuse counsellors have a combined 30 years plus of experience in this field and always look out for our client’s best interest and long-term benefit, gradually guiding and motivating them to achieve their long-term ambitions and goals and live a healthy and sober life.

Contact us today via our website to learn more about recommendations for rehab centers in Thailand, alcohol detox and our individualized alcohol recovery program either in Chiang Mai, Bangkok or online. We look forward to hearing from you.