Aussies heading to Asia for Addiction treatment

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Addiction Editor

addiction treatment centresHow easy is it to access the right treatment for addictions in Australia? A treatment centre in Sydney’s inner west known for their effective in-house program was so in demand there is often a lengthy waiting list forcing Aussies overseas to seek help.

The Cabin, located in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, is billed as one of Asia’s best ­addiction treatment centres, but a 28-day stay will set you back $US14,000.

With a stringent 12-step program, The Cabin offers group and individual counselling sessions in five-star surroundings.

The Cabin’s programme director Alistair Mordey, who helped found The Cabin after years working ‘in the broken system’ in the UK, told The Sunday Telegraph that Australians were being let down by a system that placed addiction at the bottom of the list of illnesses to be treated.

“If you’re a person living with addiction in a country like the UK or Australia you’re going to have a mentality where you think the state should provide and if it’s an area of medicine that is a ghetto of medicine if you like, then that means that’s where the longest waiting lists are going to be,” he said.

“They join the waiting list mentality which is worse in some sectors of health than others. Addiction gets pushed to the bottom in most health agendas in most countries to be fair.”

Health authorities also tended to treat addiction as a psychiatric illness or at least an effect of one and that was approaching the issue from the wrong direction, Mr Mordey said.

“The government response to all addictions, whether it’s methamphetamine or gambling or other subsance or process is pretty poor and what they’ve done is traditionally put it under a psychiatric umbrella which hasn’t helped,” he said.

“What we know now is that it’s not a secondary illness that comes out of psychiatric issues, it’s a primary illness so it’s the first appearing illness. In my view it’s the other way around – a lot of psychiatric conditions come out of addiction and Australia has it the wrong way around.” To read more click here.

Accessibility of addiction treatment will be discussed at The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016,

The 2016 Conference, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast next week from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.

Hosted by The Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researcher.  To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

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