Developing an addiction problem while living in a foreign country can be a devastating turn of events. Living in Japan may mean you do not have much in the way of support as family and close friends can be living on the other side of the world. In fact, it is often this lack of close personal connections that triggers the descent into addiction in the first place – e.g. a tight network of family and friends often has the effect of encouraging us to moderate our behaviour.
The other danger of developing an addiction problem while living abroad is you may have no idea about where to go for help. Even if you speak fluent Japanese, you may still be unsure about local addiction services and how to access them – this is usually not the type of information you are going to pick up from a language course.
If alcohol or drug addiction is making your life hell, it is vital you get appropriate support and advice. There are some services and resources available in Japan, but you might also want to consider looking further afield for help – this is especially likely to be the case if you are worried that admitting to an addiction problem could harm your reputation (see The Stigma of Addiction in Japan below).
Choosing a rehab outside of Japan can be a good option for locals as well as expats. While drinking alcohol is considered socially acceptable here, there is still a significant stigma associated with developing any type of addiction problem. It is common in Japanese society to blame the person who ends up in this situation, and the stigma is even worse if the addiction involves illegal drugs.
In the west, it is now generally accepted that alcoholism is a disease, and there is good evidence to support this position, but the disease concept has not really taken hold in Japan . Instead, those caught up in addiction are often considered to be somehow lacking in self-control or even degenerate – e.g. alcoholism is often associated with homelessness.
The clients who come to us from Japan tell us that they struggled to find appropriate resources locally. They have also come to the conclusion that admitting to any type of addiction problem could harm their career. It is for these reasons they have chosen Hope Rehab Thailand, and this may be the right option for you too.
Hope Rehab offers an international standard addiction program that makes use of all the best available evidence-based treatments. We emphasize individualized care – this means the program you follow is going to be based around your needs. The environment you will be entering is highly supportive, and we offer an aftercare program that ensures you continue to feel supported once you return to Japan.