Lunches filled with cheap beer and a large amount of drinking is the typical everyday scene for some of Thailand’s 150,000 plus expat community. Alcohol abuse in The Land of Smiles has been on the rise for over a decade now, but within the expat community of Thailand, it is more prevalent than ever. Alcohol abusers are synonymous throughout the world; oftentimes, the abuse is blamed on childhood abuse or neglect, genetics, and job loss. However, there are other situations that play a big part in alcohol abuse, especially within the expat community of Thailand.
Alcohol: The New Drinking Buddy
Oftentimes, an expat moves to Thailand because they are seeking out a better place than that of their homeland. Typically, these individuals leave their friends, family, and any kind of support they had at home and enter Thailand with no one to lean on. Alcohol, is extremely cheap throughout the country, and can quickly become the expats new drinking buddy, especially within the first few months of moving to Thailand.
Once an expat has gotten settled in Thailand, they most likely have made a few friends. Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to make friends is at the bars and pubs crawling throughout the country. These environments become the meeting place to hang out in, socialize, and chug more than a few cold beers. Eventually it becomes routine, with the abuse and addiction of alcohol lingering in the shadows. To make matters worse, most of these people hanging out in these establishments are doing the same thing; this makes each individual expat have a difficult time noticing their abusive behavior because ‘everyone’ is doing it.
Turning to Alcohol for Comfort
It is not uncommon for an expat living in Thailand to feel bouts of loneliness or a feeling that they are ‘out of place’. To some, the easiest way to escape these feelings it to turn to the comfort that alcohol provides – at least temporarily. Of course, in reality, the alcohol is only masking the feelings. They will oftentimes reappear worse, causing the abuser to drink an extra beer or take an extra shot of rum in their soda to ‘re-mask’ these feelings. The cycle begins and until they realise the destruction they’re doing to themselves, it will only worsen.
A Night Out
Thailand is known throughout the world for its nightlife and with that comes drinking; usually a lot of it. Walk through any major entertainment area and 2 for 1 specials are everywhere. It is not only the tourists that venture to these places; in fact, there are just as many expats visiting them. The alcohol is cheap, available, and can boost the mood of the individual. Perhaps the next morning very little can be recollected, but this may not matter; after all, for some, it has become the norm.
Something to Do
Everything aside, many of Thailand’s expats abuse alcohol because it is simply something to do. A large percentage of these individuals are retired and become bored within months of arriving. Boredom is a major cause of alcohol abuse and it affects the expat community as well. Sadly, many individuals turning to alcohol as a means to escape boredom end up heavily abusing the substance; some so hard that it eventually turns into a full blown addiction.
The Best Solution
Opportunities to escape alcohol in not only Thailand, but also most of the world, can be incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, in many instances when an expat or any individual for that matter, has begun to abuse alcohol they tend to get worse before they get better. In these situations it is vital for those close to the individual to be supportive and help them to get through this bump in the road.
Fortunately, Thailand is renowned for its outstanding health care services. The Cabin Chiang Mai is part of these world class services and offers outstanding treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and addictions.
We understand the struggles that some of Thailand’s expat community faces and as a result turns to alcohol. We are here to help not only those individuals, but also anyone throughout the rest of the world who abuses or has an addiction to drugs or alcohol.