Alcohol treatment in Australia, and the need for such, would seem to have diminished substantially, given the constant media coverage and public concerns regarding ICE (methamphetamine) use. Absolutely the opposite is the reality. Alcohol addiction is simply still the most widespread dependence of all in Australia.
Alcohol treatment in Australia, as well as for all other drugs, via the publicly funded Medicare, is at a significant point of transition. Whether for detoxification, residential rehabilitation, pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy, there is increasing evidence of huge demand for treatment, and an abject lack of supply. The Australian media is awash with stats, comments and anecdotal evidence. Essentially, not even half of the people needing and seeking drug and alcohol treatment in Australia can get it – and that’s not even counting the hundreds of thousands who need it but aren’t yet seeking it. And the fact is, many, many people will die of alcoholism and addiction before even having a chance of receiving the help they need.
Even the preliminary process for accessing alcohol treatment in Australia is painstaking, bureaucratic, inefficient and time-consuming. The first step generally requires a full bio psycho social assessment, underpinned by harm minimisation education and practise. This can often take 4 to 6 weeks. Assuming the subject is deemed suitable for entering treatment, it can easily take another 6 weeks to begin the detox, which generally requires a 7 to 10 day stay – or often significantly longer – in a residential facility. This process requires commitment, organisation and efficient communication on the part of the alcoholic. Frankly, even with the assistance of family, friends, or hands-on social workers, that is a very big ask!
Sadly, detox is only the beginning of recovery for an alcoholic. Any chance of success of drug or alcohol treatment in Australia – or anywhere else for that matter – depends on progressing from detox to rehab. This is generally simply not possible for those seeking publicly funded treatment, except for the lucky few. And for those for who rehab is not available immediately, the likelihood of instant post-detox relapse is so high, that the whole process would need to be undertaken again. It is a totally unrealistic process, and it is no surprise that the majority just lapse back into more long-term drinking.
The story around receiving alcohol treatment in Australia via privately funded centres is very different. A quicker admission process of as short as a week – including psychiatric referral and assessment – is generally available. Whether you have private health insurance to utilise or not, the whole process can be seamless, efficient, and therefore highly effective. It is estimated that only 15% of the population have private health cover sufficient to enter alcohol treatment in Australia. Alcoholics often simply cannot afford to maintain the premiums, or privately pay the high prices as shown below, which forces them back to Medicare.
Australians have a high dependency for the Government system to pay for and arrange health care and often don’t consider paying for service. Savings and superannuation are often overlooked due, in part, to the generational expectancy that the health system will take care of them. Government funding, staffing and protocols are simply insufficient to cope with the high demands of a society that has alcohol so deeply engrained in its culture.
The prices for private detox/rehab alcohol treatment in Australia generally start at way over $15,000 AUD per month (plus, plus, plus – as shown in recent adverse publicity), and rise to astronomical rates of $50,000 AUD even $100,000 AUD in some cases, given the captive audience. Alcohol treatment at SafeHouse Rehab Center in Thailand, near Bangkok, is AUD $10,300 (inclusive, inclusive, inclusive… even of return flights to Australia).
SafeHouse is a fully private facility and has a very efficient and quick entry process for in-house or hospital detoxification, after which rehab follows seamlessly. Alcohol can be easily and comfortably handled with a well-planned detoxification. It need not be an awful “cold turkey” experience. Alcohol is a drug and drug addiction takes time to recover from and gain new skills to create a full and meaningful life. These valuable assets are never gained in a 7-day detox. SafeHouse prefer a 30-day period post-detox to treat the mind body and spirit, all of which will have been traumatised by years of alcoholism or addiction. SafeHouse will accept clients post-detox or pre-detox, for 30 days upwards. The program is eclectic, and the clinical staff are highly qualified and experienced. SafeHouse rehab center is absolutely worthy of due consideration as an alternative to alcohol treatment in Australia.