Why Travel To The EU For Rehab?

Comprised of 27 countries and home to well over 400 million people, the European Union (EU) is a robust and multicultural international partnership with a few clearly-stated goals and values. According to their own website, some of the EU’s objectives are to “promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens,” to “offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders,” and to “combat social exclusion and discrimination.” Traveling to the EU for rehab can have many advantages.

Possible factors that could influence someone seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction to consider the EU may include:

  • A new environment free of old triggers. Relapse sometimes occurs when an individual in recovery encounters a reminder of their old substance abuse habits — old haunts, former friends, and familiar stressors can trigger use even after initial sobriety is attained. Traveling to Europe provides a veritable clean slate free of old associations; the individual in recovery can focus on making new memories instead of avoiding old ones.
  • Alternative medications and treatment modalities. Travelers who set their sights on far-off lands could encounter unconventional treatment options. For example, clinical trials for the drug Baclofen first started in the EU member country of France. Baclofen, which works to curb cravings for alcohol, could likely have benefited many Americans when it was being studied — but access was limited to the European Union.
  • A chance to combine rehab with vacation. Visiting Europe offers the promise of scenic sights, rolling hills, flowing rivers, and old-world charm. By traveling to the EU for rehab, one could get clean and then immediately embark on a backpacking adventure — or pick a treatment center that offers excursions as part of their services.
  • Different attitudes on drug use and addiction. The drinking age is lower across Europe than it is in America. Some countries, such as Portugal and The Netherlands, have decriminalized drug use to an extent most Americans might struggle to imagine. Those who are afflicted with substance abuse issues may be viewed with a less judgmental eye in some parts of the EU, and patients may be treated in accordance with a disease model of addiction rather than be greeted with an anachronistic attitude that considers substance abuse an indication of a weak character or of moral failing.

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What’s Needed To Travel To The EU For Rehab?

A passport is required to travel to and through the EU. It must have been issued within the last decade and must not expire for at least 3 months after the traveler concludes their trip. A visa may or may not be required; US nationals do not need one for trips less than 90 days in duration. If a visa is required, possibly for an extended trip, getting one from a Schengen Area country will permit travel to all other Schengen countries. There are a total of 26 countries on this list, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

It will also be necessary to book the appropriate transportation, which will likely mean plane tickets for most Americans. Of course, patients will also need to book a stay in the rehab of their choosing — this is something a treatment provider can help with. Otherwise, travel restrictions and requirements may vary by country; checking the page for a given country’s US embassy (links are located on the US State Department’s website) is an effective way to get the most specific information.

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How Much Will It Cost To Travel To The EU For Rehab?

Airfare can vary; typically the cheapest time for traveling to the EU for rehab is in the cooler months, with one significant exception to that advice occurring around the holiday season. Plane tickets may be anywhere from several hundred dollars to well over a thousand; booking in advance and traveling light — as well as shopping around — might result in significant savings to the traveler.

The cost of rehab itself depends on a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to the length of the stay and the services offered. Some rehabs in the EU are publicly funded, meaning the government subsidizes the cost of operation, while others, like some luxury rehabs, may not be. A treatment provider is a valuable resource who can provide information about different types of rehabs and ways to finance one’s recovery.

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There are many reasons for traveling to the EU for rehab; getting a fresh start in a new land with a more enlightened attitude about substance abuse could be beneficial to your treatment journey. Contact a treatment provider today to get your questions answered and to begin exploring treatment options.

Published:

Author

William Henken

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  • Will Henken earned a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Central Florida. He has had his work published in the Orlando Sentinel, and has previous experience crafting copy for political action committees and advocacy groups dedicated to social justice. Addiction and mental health are personal subjects for him, and his greatest hope is that he can give a helping hand to those seeking healthy and lasting recovery.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

David Hampton

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  • David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.

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