Treatment in Europe

If you live in the U.S. is there any advantage to getting treatment in Europe?  The short answer is yes, and it is certainly an option that needs to be examined in one’s educational process of finding a solution to a person’s addiction problem.

Over the years, we have worked with many centers providing treatment in Europe and at time we have found clients in the US that were better served by receiving the alcohol and drug treatment far enough from their communities where they were abusing alcohol and other drugs that it warranted their going to Europe to find long-term rehab that was successful.  That is one reason Europe was ideal, but there are other fundamental reasons that are even more important.


  1.  Being far from home… Many times, parents and other loved one will agree that it is beneficial to have the addict or alcoholic as far from his “friends” and contacts as possible until which time he can make responsible decisions. However, these same people will many times feel that being in Europe is too far…”how we ever visit him”, etc.    Rational discussion:  In terms of placing someone in alcohol and drug treatment, the most important factor is whether the client will change his life and remove the high-risk of death which is the end product of addiction.  Most treatment centers favor as little contact with family, friends and other loved ones as possible.  It is a boost to the client’s treatment for him to be inaccessible or to just be available for phone, Skype or FaceTime.
  2. Cost… Most people feel that they couldn’t afford a quality program in Europe, but, surprisingly, some of the best programs in Denmark and Sweden are less expensive than the same type of quality in the US.  We have tested the outcomes of the programs that we refer to and they are all producing close to 80% success.  The cost for the Danish program is about 30% less than the USA and that take into account the cost of airfare.
  3. Length of Stay… Most program in Europe are not as concerned about the total time in treatment, but generally a client can expect to spend between 2.5 to 3 months.  This is good because a US passport is only good for 90 days unless a Visa is obtained and then a person can stay much longer.  This is a consideration that should be discussed with your intake counselor after a treatment estimation is completed.
  4. Who do you find out more….. the first things is to call our office at 888.781.7060.   We will then put you in touch with a representative of the program in Europe with which you have the most interest.

Many addicts and their families would do anything to end the terror that comes from an addictive life.  The idea of having the addict as far from home as possible is a tantalizing fantasy, but it has some real merits as well.  It has long been known that one of the successful ways to handle emotional issues is to change the physical environment which removes all of the stimuli that are related to the bad feelings and emotional upsets in the person past.  This action alone frees the person emotionally to think “outside the box” and not be reactive to his surroundings.  To get far enough from home that the addict knows that no one on the streets are going to know him or categorize him by his past behaviors.  This give the person the ability to recreate his life without having to be continually reminded of those many things that bring on massive guilt.

In talking to treatment providers in Europe about clients that have come from the U. S. they report that the description of the behaviors of the person that they accepted into treatment is remarkably better when they arrive that what was anticipated by their families.  This difference is do, in part, to the freeing nature of being physically away from one’s problems.  We all know that the only thing that keeps a person from making positive changes is their own resistance to do so.  But, just as everyone feels more aware of their behaviors when they are in a new and different environment and especially when they are a guest in someone else’s house or something of that nature, the same holds true for the person that attends alcohol and drug treatment in Europe.  He is looking to set a good example and he doesn’t feel that cockiness that he has used at home to demand acceptance.  He is wanting to put his best foot forward and that is one of the attitudes that everyone needs to exhibit to start the change process.

You owe it to yourself and the client to explore this option.  In my 40 years as a leader in this field, I have found that these programs are more effective at changing basic attitudes that render clients to relapse, giving them more hope for the futures and, therefore, having more stable and lasting outcomes.

Call us to learn more!


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