Finding Treatment Outside of the EU

There are many options for drug and alcohol addiction treatment in the 27 member countries of the European Union, however there are even more options when seeking treatment outside of the EU.

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Treatment Outside of the European Union

The European Union (EU) is made up of 27 countries that are mostly located in Europe. This economic and political union was created after World War II starting with 6 countries and has expanded over the years since. Each country faces its own struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and has its own approaches to helping its citizens receive the treatment they need. Outpatient and residential treatment centers span across the union, but in some cases, people will need to search for treatment outside of the EU.

One benefit of being a member of the EU is easy travel between member countries. This applies for someone seeking treatment in a country that is not their home but is still a member of the EU. For example, a German citizen traveling to France for treatment. EU law states that a person has the right to arrange medical treatment (such as surgery, meeting a specialist, or treatment for a specific condition) in another EU country “on the same terms and at the same cost as people living in that country.” Individuals must look into their health coverage to determine what will be covered and what their destination country offers. However, EU members are not limited to EU countries. Some may need to seek out special treatment centers that offer specific amenities that are elsewhere in the world.

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Treatment in the United Kingdom

In January 2020, the UK left the EU after over 45 years of being a member. As of now, EU members can still travel to the UK to seek medical treatment without needing a visa, but this may change in 2021. An EU member may choose to travel to the UK for treatment if they find a center that fits their needs. Oftentimes it is wise to leave your home area for treatment to remove familiar triggers and to solely focus on your recovery without the distractions of friends, family, and responsibilities.

Residential rehab facilities in the UK offer detoxification, group or mental health therapy, medical appointments, wellness and fitness activities, spiritual care, family participation, nutritional assessment, educational and experiential workshops, and a continuing care plan. A variety of therapy types may be offered that can be selected to fit the individual’s needs. These include:

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency management/motivational incentives
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Medication-assisted therapies (MAT)
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Solution-focused brief therapy/solution-focused therapy
  • Psychoeducational group therapy
  • Twelve-step facilitation therapy

The cost of inpatient treatment will depend on the facility, length of stay, and insurance coverage. On average, one month at a residential treatment center in the UK will cost between £4,000 and £15,000. If you are an EU member considering rehab in the UK, reaching out to a treatment provider will help you determine what your options are. However, there are more options when searching for treatment outside of the EU.

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Treatment in the United States

California offers many luxury treatment options. As of July 1, 2020, certain countries are banned from traveling to the EU due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States (US) is on the list of restricted countries, however this list will be updated every 2 weeks and travel restrictions for EU members and US citizens may change as the situation continues to unfold. Under normal circumstances, EU members may choose to travel to the US for drug or alcohol addiction treatment because of the many types of inpatient facilities the US offers. A person searching for luxury or executive treatment may find their best options on the coast of California, or someone searching for unusual therapies, like dolphin-assisted therapy, may choose to travel to the beautiful nature of Hawaii.

Non-American citizens traveling to the US for an extended period of time will need to obtain a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay. If the purpose of travel is to receive medical treatment, you may be required to present a medical diagnosis from a physician explaining why you need treatment, or a letter from your treatment center explaining the projected length and cost of treatment. It may also be necessary to provide proof that transportation, living, and medical expenses will be covered during your time in the US.

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Should I Look for Treatment Outside of the EU?

If you have made the decision to start your journey towards recovery, it is important to research treatment centers and figure out what your needs are. There are more places to look at when searching for treatment outside of the EU, such as Australia, Canada, and many other countries around the world that each have their own special benefits they offer. Choosing the right rehab is important and may feel intimidating, but a treatment provider can help you analyze the therapies, understand the costs, and weigh the pros and cons of traveling for rehab.

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