For residential treatment halfway around the world, DARA Thailand is surprisingly affordable—even counting in airfare. What’s even more surprising is that the low cost is definitely not reflected in the quality of treatment available. DARA basically has it all; the only caveat is that residents will have to detox on their own before checking into what is essentially the Eden of rehabs.
Accommodations and Food
Housing at DARA is extremely flexible, and comes in tripartite payment plans; offering great, excellent and superlative living arrangements for a fee. From the most basic level up, each resident has no roommates, no chores, queen-size beds, en-suite bathrooms, personal fridges, TV/DVD/WiFi hook-ups and AC (a necessity to combat the Thai humidity).
Koh Chang has 32 villas. Thirty, 60 and 90 day stays are all available, as is a seven-day special introductory program for new clients only. Across the board, cell phones, laptops and electronics of all kinds are allowed—just not during active treatment. For the most part living at DARA is lenient, though infractions are swiftly and professionally dealt with. They’re a co-ed center and residents can mingle during the daytime; the genders must separate at night, and at 10 pm everyone goes back to their rooms (though there’s no official “lights out”—once residents are in there, they can watch movies or read).
One of DARA’s real strong points is their gourmet cuisine. Private chefs prepare meals with plenty of local Thai flavor—expect spices, curries, coconut milk-based dishes and plenty of seafood (though non-Thai meals are prepared as well for those in need of American meals). Vegetarians can feel at home here since there’s also a fruit and salad bar available with meals, and those in need of caffeine can rejoice that tea, soda and coffee are offered as well.
Treatment and Staff
As one might expect, no detox means that on-site medical staff is somewhat limited (though there is an on-site nurse available 24/7 for medication management). That aside, the staff are extensive enough for plenty of one-on-one counseling time, and both have addictionologists, counselors, personal trainers and specialty staff for alternative therapies.
DARA has a variety of treatment tracks. While days are still strictly structured between 7:30 am and 10 pm, there remains plenty of room for individualized treatment. The inpatient program offers one-on-one and group sessions and all therapy is CBT-oriented.
Where DARA really shines, though, is in its other modalities; there’s personal training, massage, yoga, diving, acupuncture, ping pong, swimming and off-site sober excursions. All are available in each treatment track, with the exception of the seven-day intro.
All in all, DARA offers international luxury combined with thorough, compassionate treatment—all at a price, at its lowest level, that’s competitive with in-country low-end rehab centers. The only sacrifice is a lack of on-site medical staff, though the services provided are still more than ample; a final bonus is that DARA’s online presence is unusually transparent in terms of pricing and general information—surely a boon for potential customers. Honestly, there seems little reason not to choose DARA if it can be afforded. Who said globetrotting can’t be part of recovery?
DARA Thailand Cost: $6,995 USD (30 days). Reach DARA Thailand by phone from the US at (855) 300-0594 and from anywhere else at +66 8 7140 7788. Find DARA Thailand on its website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
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