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Addiction Treatment Outside the United States

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Drug addiction is a global public health problem, affecting the people of every country in the world. While the United States’ efforts grab the most headlines, how other countries deal with addiction treatment services adds vital pieces to the puzzle of fighting back against drug abuse. Addiction to alcohol, drugs, and cigarette smoking is becoming a worldwide trend in lifestyle prevalent in rich and developing countries. 

The 2019 World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that globally, some 35 million people are estimated to suffer from drug use disorders and require some type of therapy. 

Drug use is rising in Russia and Eastern Europe, Asia, and now even Africa: crack cocaine has spread quickly since 1995 in South Africa, which may have the worst drug problem in that continent. Additionally, Pakistan, Thailand, China, and Iran still account for most of the world’s heroin consumption. Drug trafficking now touches approximately 170 countries. The United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, and Thailand are some of the most prominent countries fighting the war against drugs.

Let’s look at the drug policies, social efforts, and addiction treatment initiatives available around the world.


Addiction Treatment Services around the World


Portugal’s Drug Policy

Portugal has been in the news for its decriminalization of low-level usage and possession of drugs and creating a model for effective drug treatment. Portugal has crafted one of the most innovative and effective drug programs globally that have significantly reduced imprisonment rates from 44 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2013.

Today, near 40 programs in Portugal provide detoxification and long-term treatment, with 1600 beds in residential treatment programs known as “therapeutic communities.” Most are run by nonprofit agencies, under contract with the government. 



Switzerland Drug Problem

Switzerland has the HAT program (Heroin Assisted Treatment) that gives prescribed doses of heroin to addicts to help wean them off the drug. The country also has a safe injection program that uses drug consumption rooms with clean needles to prevent needle sharing among addicts. These measures have reduced drug-related deaths from 405 in 1991 to 152 in the 2010s.

The Swiss are prosecuting fewer opioid-related crimes. In 1993, the country had about 20,000 cases a year. Today, the Swiss average about 5,000 opioid-related cases annually.


United Kingdom’s Drug Policies

Despite it being legal, alcohol abuse and addiction in the UK are among the most significant substance abuse issues faced by the country. Prescription drugs are more frequently abused in the UK than in any other country. Being a smaller country, the United Kingdom can depend on fewer treatment options and rehab.


Thailand Rehab Tourism

Thailand is one of the leading countries to go-to for medical and rehab tourism, which citizens and foreigners can avail themselves. The country has some of the best hospitals and luxury rehab centers in all of Asia or even the world due to its world-class healthcare system. Thailand offers U.S.-based treatment at a cheaper rate. 


China’s Drug Abuse Problem

Since the re-emergence of drug addiction in China in the early 1990s, there has been tremendous progress in drug addiction treatments in China, especially treatments for opiate addiction. China faces substantial drug addiction problems that appear to be worsening with time. However, much progress in drug addiction treatment has been made. China is now piloting cutting-edge sports-based rehab techniques for drug addicts in cities across the country.


Philippines Controversial Drug Policy

The Philippines has implemented Increased police power to facilitate crackdowns and harsh penalties for drug possession and sales over the years. According to the PNP, the country has killed 5,000 drug lords and personalities, while 1,280,000 individuals have surrendered since 2018. This approach has been regarded as brutal and ruthless among its citizens and the rest of the world. 

addiction treatment outside united states infographic

Addiction Treatment in the US

The latest study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that in the United States, more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities provide addiction treatment programs, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, health insurance, and other services to substance use disorders any underlying mental health issues. The United States has world-class addiction treatment centers dedicated to providing effective treatment and rehab programs for your drug and alcohol addiction problem.

Man holding the american flag


Addiction Treatment Near Me

Many people don’t realize the importance of finding the right rehab center when recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. If you are suffering from addiction in the United States and find yourself googling addiction treatment near me, try reaching out to Pacific Sands Recovery Center  and get help to figure out your next steps. There is no substitute for professional help when it comes to quitting an addiction.

We are a team of a dedicated team of trained professionals who are here to help you with substance abuse treatment in Orange County, CA.
Give us a call today at 949-426-7962 and talk to our care coordinators. 

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