Time to Party
If someone mentions Asia my addict brain swarms straight to the opium fields of the golden triangle and riotous full moon parties with free flowing booze where half naked bodies get down and dirty on the beach until dawn. A halcyon, lawless land full of a colossal variety of possibilities for risky and indulgent misbehaviour.
On the down side there are some pretty extreme laws if you are caught. They kill addicts on sight in the Philippines and knock out life sentences and capital punishment like parking tickets in Thailand and Indonesia. Given all of this: How can Asia be a perfect place to go to rehab?
False Fantasy – Time to Recover
People come to rehab to recover not to use so the whole legality issue is not one that should cause undue concern. Many people I have spoken to have actually thought that rehabs are illegal in Indonesia and nothing could be further from the truth. Both Bali and Java have flourishing recovery communities that are growing by the day partially fed by the treatment centres in their orbit.
The picture created by the addict or alcoholic brain of what Asian revelry resembles is like any other glorified illusion of drinking and using. This is a mirage sailing under the false colours of denial. In psychology this is known as Euphoric Recall and is used to describe the phenomenon of people remembering past experiences in a positive light while overlooking negative consequences.
And, do you know the same thing happens in the UK, America or Australia in rehab – addicts and alcoholics fantasise about the glory days of their use where the fallacy of control was still 100% intact. It is likely, however, if you are considering rehab the party was over a long time ago and consuming substances has become depressing, life threatening and demoralising.
The Fear Factor
Making the decision to come to rehab is a process fraught by fear – fear of the unknown – for both the addict and their family. Understandably, the idea of loading your loved one onto a plane and launching them out into the world seems ludicrous when they can cause a whole load of trouble in an empty room in their home town. However, it just might be the action that saves their life and these are the reasons why……………………………..
A Ticket for Success
For the addict, distance from the triggers – old people places and things – can make a huge amount of difference. Travelling to rehab is one way to vastly increase your chances of success before even picking up the tools of the program you are attending. This is about being willing to buy a ticket to a brighter future.
What do you tune into? As a using addict I was tweaked to the dark side. In other words I was continually on high alert for anything dodgy that was going on around me. One of my peers in treatment commented that I was constantly looking around the next corner and scanning what was happening. She joked that I would have been able to tell you the make, model, colour and licence plates of the last three cars that had passed by.
It took me a long time to get my head out of the underground and the last thing my beady peepers were looking for was the joy in life. The program I attended was in the UK and when we were in the town I was radio gagaed to the street scene. I didn’t want to use or drink but my frequency had been set by this for years that it took some real fine channel tuning and hard work to make it change. I was cherry picking habitual misery and stuck in a warren of negative thinking.
It is so much more effortless to alter your perspective when you are somewhere completely different. The whole notion of euphoric recall even gets the wind knocked out of its sails when people are faced with the tangible reality of a different life. The whole idea of using drugs and alcohol seems far less appealing here.
Being removed from everything that is familiar to you and immersed in a new culture in tandem with new ethos of recovery is a perfect breath of fresh air for the soul. And that is exactly what an addict needs at the end of their using and drinking career when all hope seems to have been lost in a labyrinth of darkness and desolation.
Addiction and alcoholism break down not just the mind and body of the sufferer but also their spirit. Knocking your head against the same brick wall over and over again in attacks of belligerent insanity is going to do that to the strongest of men and women.
Open the Mind
A high percentage of addicts and alcoholics despite their despair have big egos, are highly sceptical about change or just stubborn to the core. The novelty of a new place really promotes the process of opening the mind and breaking down old ways of thinking and behaving.
Even your average Joe with no substance problem at all, is far more likely to try new things while on holiday. The difference is the new things you try in treatment are basically going to save your life. Accepting alternative ways of doing things when you are in a dynamic foreign place that confronts your ideas of what ‘normal’ is from the time you get off the plane is far easier. Travel, as they say, broadens the mind.
An Idyllic Location
Asia in general delivers an idyllic location to undertake the journey of recovery because of the temperate climate, the sublime tropical landscapes and the cultural richness of the different countries in the region. Life is challenging as a using addict or alcoholic and there is really no reason to make recovery hard too. Rehab is not punishment for your failure as a human being. It is actually the kindest thing you will ever do for yourself.
Additionally, on offer in these locations are a mindboggling array of different activities to help people reconnect with life. Whether you are awakening old passions or trying out new things, learning to have fun is a really important part of recovery. Surfing, snorkelling, white water rafting, meditation and mindfulness, hiking, temple tours, learning to cook new food – the list is endless and there is always something to suit all tastes and abilities. It’s hard to dwell in cynicism here.
Eat Pray Love
Bali in particular is distinguished for being a hub of spirituality and wellness and many people, not just addicts and alcoholics, gravitate here looking for an alternative, healthy way of life. Added to that there is no tempting party scene such as the one that Thailand is famous for and the island’s residents are renowned for their tolerant, friendly and accepting natures. For want of sounding like a hippy there is a vibrant positive energy here it is hard not to get caught up in.
Apart from a helpful nudge towards the principles of open-mindedness and willingness which are fundamental to Seasons Bali’s evidence based program there are some pretty enticing practical reasons to travel to treatment here too.
In the West, a comfortable rehab with a swimming pool, your own room with a plethora of appealing extracurricular activities costs a pretty penny. These are the domain of rocks stars and hedge fund aficionados, not a place that your average middle class family can afford.
Even your run-of-the-mill private rehab in Australia often costs between $30,000 and $120,000 AUD for a full treatment program. Our world class treatment program at Seasons Bali is hugely affordable and offers a high quality of both residence and therapeutic input.
Our wonderful location and our proven program is part of the reason that people are attracted to work for us and this means we employ some of the most talented minds in the addiction business.
Seasons Bali has an experienced medical team and close links to Siloam and BMIC hospitals which both offer a Western standard of care. Our clients are also required to have medical insurance in case of any emergency.
Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar is an international hub with major airlines flying here from all over the world. Our VIP arrival team also has clearance to meet clients the moment that they disembark the aircraft to assist with the immigration and baggage reclaim. Clients are then escorted to our support staff and driven directly to the rehab to be met by the rest of the team for a full assessment. This arrivals process is a well-oiled machine which has facilitated thousands of clients starting their road to recovery.
Seasons Bali is the only rehab on the island and one of the only centres in Asia, to hold an accreditation by an outside source. This guarantees our clients a commitment to the highest level of care.