Community helps recovery from addiction
Barry Campbell moved from Scotland to Thailand to work as a drug and alcohol counselor. Two weeks into his new role, we got his first impressions of Dara Rehab, and he says “community is key for recovery.”
“The location is beautiful,” says Barry. On the island of Koh Chang, he’s seen monkeys every other day of his first 2 weeks. He’s getting a bit of a tan and adjusting to the hum of birds and cicadas.
“Addiction can be a lonely existence. But, it’s hard to feel lonely in a place like this. It’s not only beautiful, but you have a community of clients from around the world.”
Picturing himself in a client’s shoes Barry says “it can be really enlightening and reassuring when you walk into this diverse group of people.
Addiction is not exclusive. It can affect people who are of different ages, socioeconomic levels and backgrounds. All of them are here together, working through alcohol and substance recovery. The diversity of the patients is also really supportive.”
Are you surprised people are seeking rehab overseas?
“It doesn’t surprise me that people are seeking care overseas. Not everyone has the money to do it, and that saddens me,” says Barry, continuing on –
“The current political climate means there is often less government funding, so for a client, it can be much more cost-effective to come here – to Thailand – than to stay where they are and seek a privately funded option.
Besides cost – there are other benefits to coming to Thailand for care. Being away from the community that you used in removes the client from their triggers. While they are here, they can focus on getting the tools to make better decisions.
Being around a diverse group of people really helps. The clients I am working with right now are from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Denmark… there are 22 clients here right now and they are all from different countries, so it’s very mixed.
The group eat all their meals together and share their stories in group therapy. They are often very bonded during their time here.”
At Dara Rehab meals are buffet style and clients and staff eat together at communal tables.
Community building: Fun complements therapy
“Activities are also really important to the recovery here. I see great value in that. Therapy is not easy for clients. Balancing those sessions with recreational outings is fantastic.”
Weekends still exist at Dara Rehab, giving clients the ability to break from their routine and try something new.
Barry says “right now, I have clients doing diving lessons, zip-lining and a whole array of other things. It’s great to give them the ability to learn a new skill or gain a new interest they can pursue. In some cases, those are activities they can focus on instead of drinking or using. It’s important and it really helps with teamwork too.”
Dara Rehab is a compassionate place and our team members are genuinely invested in the client’s recovery.
“I like to help others,” says Barry, who has worked in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation space for close to ten years. “Addiction can seem like a hopeless-no-win situation. To help people discover there is a way out, is very rewarding.”