Drug And Alcohol Rehab In The European Union
Addiction across the European Union (EU) varies country by country, and each one of the 27 member countries has different challenges and approaches to treatment. However, treatment is accessible across all of these countries; regardless of whether you live in Greece, Spain, Ireland, or one of the other countries, there are options available for rehab in the EU. Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance across the EU, but Cocaine, Heroin, and alcohol abuse also plague EU residents. When seeking treatment, people have the option to remain in their home country or travel to another EU country and receive the same benefits.
The majority of people seeking drug treatment were primarily there for Opioids, followed by Cannabis, and then Cocaine. Heroin is the main Opioid that people in the EU sought treatment for in 2019. The second most common Opioid was Methadone. In general, boys and men were more likely to receive treatment for a drug problem than women and girls.
A person traveling from one EU country to another for medical treatment has the right to organize treatment on the same terms and at the same cost as the people living in that country. They will need to determine what type of treatment they desire, the cost, and what is covered by their insurance provider. Many countries in the EU offer public treatment that is often fully covered by insurance or funded by the government. There are private treatment options, but these are sometimes not covered or only partially covered by insurance providers. When looking for rehab in the EU, it is important to be aware that the main treatment model is outpatient rehab; this may not be appropriate for everyone. More research may be needed to find a residential facility; one may also consider finding treatment outside of the EU.
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What Is Rehab Like In The EU?
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction provides information on drug use and treatment trends for all of the members of the EU. Outpatient specialized treatment centers are by far the most popular, with 973,000 clients across Europe receiving drug treatment in 2017. This was followed by outpatient primary/general mental healthcare, which helped 180,000 clients in 2017. Sixty-four thousand clients across Europe received inpatient hospital-based residential care, 26,000 attended inpatient therapeutic communities, and 16,000 people chose inpatient non-hospital-based residential care.
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Residential facilities are divided into 2 broad categories: community-residential facilities and hospital-based facilities. Community-residential facilities are described as, “residential facilities within the community for the treatment of clients with drug-use problems,” by The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Hospital-based facilities can be stand-alone facilities specially designed for treating drug problems or psychiatric or general medical facilities that can be used to treat drug problems or other medical problems. They must both offer beds for the treatment of clients with a drug use problem. There are many therapeutic approaches that may be used in residential treatment, but they are usually gathered from 3 main approaches.
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The Therapeutic Community (TC)
The therapeutic community approach is the most widely used approach in residential settings in Europe. This approach is defined by 2 main features, the first being that it is a community structured environment where staff and residents are required to attend meetings and activities and the second being that the peers in the community who live by the TC philosophy and value system are role models. There is a hierarchy in this system, with residents who show personal growth and self-awareness receiving more responsibilities and privileges. When someone begins this program, they are isolated from outside life and are not allowed to have visitors, phone calls, or letters from friends or family; they must rely on their peers in the community.
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Both the 12-step and Minnesota model are derived from the ideas of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that treat addiction as a disease. Although similar, the difference between the Minnesota model and 12-step model is that Minnesota is typically delivered by professionals and has less focus on self-help components than 12-step. These two methods are fairly short, consisting of 3 to 6 weeks of residential treatment consisting of daily lectures, therapy, and group meetings.
Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This therapeutic approach focuses on modifying negative thoughts and behaviors and identifying which ones likely led the individual to abuse drugs or alcohol in the first place. Undertaking this program will help the patient set goals, commit to change, and focus on relapse prevention. Sometimes in residential rehab in the EU, a combination of approaches will be used to best aid the client.
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Finding Rehab In The EU
The wide variety of countries and cultures that are part of the European Union and the fact that EU members can receive treatment throughout Europe make it easier to find rehab in the EU. If cost is a concern, it may be useful to consider a country — like Bulgaria — that offers public treatment that is fully paid. Private institutions will cost more but may offer more amenities and a higher level of comfort. Wherever you live, there are centers within reach that can help you overcome an addiction. Call a treatment provider today for help exploring your options.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience