Is there Medical Tourism for Drug Rehabilitation?

Medical tourism continues to grow in popularity among Americans. A growing favorite is rehab tourism, with many people deciding to enter rehab overseas and mix a little vacation time. 

Some feel that removing themselves from the toxic environment that caused their addiction, recovery is possible. This blog discusses medical tourism, the growing demand for rehab tourism, and the reason behind going abroad to recover.

Medical Tourism Defined

The Center for Disease Control defines medical tourism as when a person decides to travel to a foreign country for medical care. Every year, millions of Americans fly across the globe for this reason. The most popular destinations for Americans are Mexico, Canada, and Latin America.

Below are three of the most common reasons for medical tourism:

  • Cheaper costs are one of the biggest draws for many medical tourists
  • Similar culture is another thing many people look at when going abroad
  • New procedures that aren’t approved or available is another big draw

Many Americans leave the comfort of their homes to have procedures that include dental care, cosmetic surgeries, fertility procedures, transplants, and new cancer treatment programs. For some, the rewards outweigh any cons when it comes to overseas medical-assisted treatment.

Rehab Tourism Defined

For many Americans, one of the latest niches for medical tourism is drug rehab tourism. Rehab tourism is just how it sounds; someone enters a rehab program but in a foreign country. Many people decide that they can’t afford to enter rehab in the US.  Some motivations for this decision can be they don’t have insurance coverage, know about local free recovery programs, or are worried about privacy.

The Pros of Rehab Medical Tourism

There can be many appeals to jetting off overseas to enter rehab. Some people may feel it’s a way to start over; there’s more privacy or cheaper services. The following list discusses the possible reasons someone might choose rehab tourism.


For some people, foreign rehab facilities are a more economical option. With some facilities offering room and board at affordable prices, this can seem like a no-brainer. The number one reason many people avoid rehab is they’re afraid of how much it’ll cost them, leaving them possibly in debt.

New Beginnings

The road to sobriety can be the first step to a new beginning for many people. Being in a different country can complete that picture. Places in Asia, Latin America, and Europe are renowned for their reputations as paradise on earth and somewhere to build a new life. Traveling to an overseas rehab facility that offers rehab treatment can be the right answer, depending on your circumstances.

The Cons of Rehab Medical Tourism

Rehab medical tourism has many benefits, but there are always some drawbacks. Moving away to some distant country can be suitable for the short term, but some patients might find it difficult. 

Differences in Quality of Care

Different cultures can have their way of doing things, whether driving, foreign cuisine, or even medical care. Rehab abroad can be viewed as inferior by some when compared to western medical practices. Something not done in the United States could be the norm for a type of medical assisted treatment.

Feeling Homesick

A common concern once someone heads off across the globe for rehab is differences in culture can become quite apparent. It’s not the same as being home, surrounded by family and friends, people who are near and dear to you. This feeling of homesickness can be a problem if you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, having trouble recovering, or are even considering throwing in the towel.

Aspen can Help

Taking the first step into treatment for drugs or alcohol dependence can be scary if done alone. At Aspen rehab of South Florida, we’re experts in addiction recovery. Regardless of your age or background, we can help. Let our team of medical professionals and recovery experts guide you as you begin to learn how to handle the stressors of a sober life.Aspen rehab of South Florida is here to help you and your teen to a successful recovery. Our team is ready to help you every step of your road to recovery and to help change your life for the better. Contact the team at  Aspen Behavioral Health to learn how we can help.


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