Why Go To Rehab In Switzerland?

Here’s one reason to consider attending rehab in Switzerland: In 2015, the United Nations released a World Happiness Report that ranked the life satisfaction of various nationalities of people around the globe. Switzerland ranked the highest out of all the countries. Per Gallup, “The Swiss rate their lives highly because of the overall human development in Switzerland, long life expectancy and high income.”

In other words, Switzerland is home to healthy and prosperous people — and could provide a stable and welcoming environment to support the individual seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction or mental health conditions. The country has so much more to offer than fine chocolate and stunning views of the Alps; some of the most progressive and effective drug treatment strategies in the world are practiced in Switzerland.

What’s Needed To Travel To Switzerland?

The first step to attending rehab in Switzerland is securing all the proper documentation an American traveler will need. All that’s required for a stay in Switzerland that’s shorter than 90 days is a passport. It must be valid for at least 3 months after the conclusion of the trip, though the US State Department recommends traveling with a passport that won’t expire for at least 6 months after leaving Switzerland.

Switzerland is part of the Schengen Area, which means that once an American traveler arrives in Switzerland, travel is completely unrestricted between Switzerland and the 25 other Schengen Area countries. The opportunity to explore much of Europe and gain a variety of novel reference experiences to accompany a new sober lifestyle is a significant advantage of attending rehab in Switzerland.

Travelers will also want to confirm that their health insurance covers care overseas; if it does, Americans would do well to bring their insurance cards and a claim form with them. Even if one’s health insurance doesn’t include international coverage, many Swiss rehabs offer payment plans and financing options that can help ease the monetary burden associated with seeking care.

How Does Switzerland Approach Rehab?

Switzerland’s approach to rehab is based around a harm-reduction model. There’s no better example of this than the way the country has chosen to approach treating opioid addiction.

A multitude of centers across the country offer prescription heroin to those struggling with an addiction to the substance, a notion that might seem alien to many Americans. Swiss patients in recovery are often given Diacetylmorphine, Heroin that is synthesized lawfully in Switzerland and is guaranteed to be free of the many adulterants that might be found in street Heroin.

The use of Diacetylmorphine could be advantageous to the patient struggling with Opioid addiction, especially when contrasted against the use of methadone; methadone, though effective, has been reported to have a variety of unpleasant side effects.

Not only are different medications offered in Switzerland than in US, like diacetylmorphine, the two countries’ rehab programs differ in other ways as well. One study that compared Swiss and American residential treatment programs found that “Swiss programs were longer and included more individual treatment sessions; US programs included more group sessions and were more oriented toward a disease model of treatment.”

That’s not to say that an individual in recovery won’t have access to group support in Switzerland; as a matter of fact, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has several chapters in Switzerland for those looking for support groups or 12-step programs. Those who prefer individualized care, however, may benefit enormously from the Swiss approach.

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How Effective Is Switzerland’s Rehab Strategy?

Since the turn of the century, Switzerland has seen deaths from opioid-related causes decline by roughly 65%. Meanwhile, overdose fatalities connected to opioids have climbed significantly in America over the course of the last 20 years. This could indicate that the medication-assisted and therapeutic approach in Switzerland is comparably more effective than treatment strategies in the US. Of course, the two countries differ in a plethora of cultural dimensions; stacking the two countries’ approaches against each other could be like comparing apples and oranges.

One thing is for sure, however: Switzerland has made significant strides in the reduction of drug crime and drug deaths, and the philosophy of rehab in Switzerland has been no small part of that progress.

Take Action Now

There have never been more options available to the individual hoping to recover from drug or alcohol addiction. If you’re trying to get clean and sober, rehab in Switzerland could be a good idea. Contact a treatment provider now to learn about the rehab options available to you, both at home and abroad.