How to choose the perfect rehab.

Back in 2008, I searched for a residential rehab for a friend of mine that was struggling. It was confusing to know which rehab provided the best treatment option. The rehab websites all said basically the same thing, and I was not really knowledgable enough at the time to know what rehab questions to ask to help figure out which rehab was best for my friend.

I did my due diligence and ended up choosing a rehab that worked for him, and from that day, we set out to create that perfect rehab that we were searching for. Jintara is the result.

That experience and the last 14 years have taught us a lot on what we think makes a good rehab experience, and it’s not just the price.

Darren Lockie

Founder & Owner of Jintara Rehab

Below are some questions or pointers I wished I’d asked to help us figure out which rehab was best for my friend. It’s very possible you will use this advice and not choose my rehab, and that is ok. Rehab is not a “one size fits all” treatment program, and what works for someone may not work for someone else. I want you to choose the best rehab option for you, regardless of which rehab that is.

If you are looking for residential rehab or alcohol rehab for yourself or someone you care about, a little extra due diligence up front might make the difference, so ask good questions, get things in writing and choose carefully. And make sure you look at at least 3 rehab options and if possible speak to the Owner or the General Manager, and not a commissioned sales person.

And if you have any questions, even if they are not about my rehab, I’m always available to offer advice.

The choice is yours…make it count. Best of luck.

Rehab questions

Please reach us at if you cannot find an answer to your question.

There are several rehab treatment methodologies, and at least 2 main rehab options – 12-Step based, and CBT based programs.

The 12-Step program, first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous, is a 12-step plan in order to overcome addictions and compulsions. The basic premise of this model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances of abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power. 12-Step meetings are peer led, and offered for free in almost any city in the world, on any day of the week.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the importance of how our thoughts and emotions affect our behavior. CBT also involves changing behavioral patterns, in this case, drug use, by examining the correlation between one’s thoughts and feelings with their drug use and developing healthier coping skills.

I recommend you Google each respective treatment methodology and make your own decision on what option may be best for you.

Jintara focuses on evidence based CBT therapy treatment, combined with holistic treatment to treat the whole person.

It can be difficult to check the number and credentials of staff at a rehab, so make sure you ask this question.

Depending on the treatment methodology, Therapist experience can vary. For example, some rehabs may have Therapy staff and support workers that only have 1 or 2 years of recovery experience, and no training in mental health, whilst other rehabs may have Psychologists or Masters of Addiction counselors with exceptional experience in mental health.

It really depends on the treatment methodology and what you are looking for.

Jintara has Therapists with a minimum of 10 years experience and up to Masters of Psychology education level. Our counselor to client ratio is 1 : 3 meaning each counselor  has a case load of 3 private clients.

Most rehabs will have a ratio of 6 – 10 clients per counselor, which is more or less, industry standard.

The lower the ratio means that the counselor has more time for each client in developing treatment plans, one on one therapy, discharge planning, and being available when you want to see them.

Jintara has 3 or 4 clients per counselor.

We have a total of 27 full time staff and several consultants that lead some of our fitness options. This includes 24-hour nurse staff onsite at all times.

This is an important consideration and something most people do not have the knowledge to ask.

Many rehabs offer limited face time with counselors, instead using support workers, interns or 12-step facilitators as part of “clinical” hours. 

Jintara provides between 65 – 70 hours per month of clinical face time with our Therapy team – this is primarily group therapy and one-on-one therapy sessions. If we feel that you would benefit from additional clinical hours, for example, trauma therapy, we will bring in our trauma specialist for additional hours (at no additional cost).

In its most basic form, holistic therapy addresses the mind, body, and spirit to support health and healing.  

Most rehabs, particularly large rehabs offer minimal holistic treatment to supplement the counseling therapy. This is a very important part of recovery, so ask detailed questions and make sure you have answers on the website or in email.

At Jintara, because we are a boutique rehab that only accepts 10-clients, we have the ability to offer so much more holistic options that any other rehab. We offer Yoga, art and sound-bowl therapy, meditation, Reiki, massage and many fitness options.

Clients coming into any rehab, by the very nature of their substance misuse, rarely get regular medical checkups, eat good nutrition or get regular exercise. It is very important that clients get more than a blood pressure and temperature check, but surprisingly most rehabs do not offer this.

At Jintara, we take our clients health very seriously. In the first 24 hours after arrival, my nursing team take the client to hospital to do a detailed health check – including full blood work, liver function test, kidney function test and EKG as a minimum. That medical check helps us understand if there is any health conditions we can address whilst the client is in treatment, and acts as a baseline if we need to do a check before they leave.

We also include a hospital based Psychiatric assessment if required for prescribed detox medication – please note that this is an additional cost.

There are many rehabs that make you share rooms and bathrooms with other clients. And we are not just talking budget rehabs. We are talking some of the well known rehabs worldwide, that can cost $50,000 and above.

Our experience is that shared client rooms are not ideal. Clients need privacy and quiet times to reflect on their program and do homework, as well as ensure adequate sleep.

At Jintara, we provide private client accommodation that include a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, separate private lounge area, kitchenette and even a private massage/meditation/Reiki suite in their apartment. All rooms are air conditioned and come with 2 Smart TV’s. You can see your room here.

Rooms also have a private balcony area if you smoke.

Most rehabs take your technology away from you when you arrive, and let you use it for 30 minutes per week. This might work if we were dealing with children, but most people need to stay in contact with family, friends or work. It is not realistic to take away technology and it can cause even more anxiety, which can lead to distractions and clients leaving treatment early.

At Jintara, we allow you to retain your technology as long as they are used in your room. If clients feel their phone is a distraction and want to volunteer it, we can certainly work with the client.

Make sure you ask this question if maintaining your phone is important to you.

This is a question that rarely gets asked.

It’s important to know how many rooms and clients a rehab can cater for, and then cross check that with staff and Therapist ratio, to make sure it’s reasonable.

In larger rehabs it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and overlooked, and large groups can be difficult for clients that are already struggling with anxiety.

Jintara is a boutique rehab, and only accepts 10 clients, but usually runs at 8 or 9 clients at any one time – which is an ideal group size. We also assess every client to be sure we can help them and that they are committed and motivated for treatment, which also helps us maintain a healthy and productive group.

It’s important to understand the demographics of clients in rehabs that you are considering. 

It would not be ideal if you are 50 years old are surrounded by 18 year olds, and visa versa. Ideally you want a client demographic that you are comfortable with, feel safe with and can relate to in group settings as well as social settings like fitness and excursion options.

It’s worth asking where clients come from, and what percentage are male and female and how the rooms are allocated for safety.

Another issue in some countries is that rehabs are becoming an option for court mandated programs, so that people are sent to rehab instead of prison. In my experience, clients that are diverted by the justice system have little interest in rehab and can cause a very divisive and chaotic environment. It’s worth asking that question.

Jintara assesses each potential client for suitability – and that is primarily that we can help them, and that they are motivated and committed to doing the necessary work. Our clients come from all over the world, speak English and must be a minimum of 30 years of age to attend Jintara. Our average client age is usually around 40-45 years of age.

Male to female ratio is usually 50:50 most of the time, and we allocate rooms as best we can to male and female blocks or floors for safety and security – we also have uniformed G4S Security at night and 100% security camera coverage.

Jintara does not accept clients that are court mandated or forced by their family or employer to attend rehab.

Jintara provides resort-like facilities, including a lovely resort style pool, fitness gym and restaurant, set in lovely tropical gardens and on the banks of the Ping River.

Most Inpatient rehabs, especially larger census rehabs are unable to provide any outside options. Clients are essentially locked-up for the term of their rehab.

These are often the hidden extras that can help make rehab a really positive experience, so if getting out of the center from time to time is important to you, ask the question.

At Jintara, because we only accept 10-clients, we are able to offer outside activities most days of the week, and far more than any other rehab in Thailand.

For example, every client gets their own mountain bike and we take them out (optional) 3 times per week. We visit an outside gym or Thai boxing gym for lessons 2 or 3 times per week. Saturdays is an all day excursion, and Sundays is outside lunch and then a self care day. 

All outside excursions are fully supervised by multiple staff and we even include shopping at a western supermarket once per week for snacks.

If the rehab you are considering is not licensed, move on.

Rehabs in Thailand must be licensed by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health, a detailed process that can take up to 12-months to attain.

Jintara Rehab is fully licensed by the Thailand Ministry of Public health.

This is probably the most common question we get asked, and the reason we put it last is that it should be the last question you ask, not the first question. 

The nature of the question implies that all rehabs are equal and the only differentiator is price, which could not be further from the truth.

Once you consider all the answers above (if you got this far), then price is really just a check to make sure it is within budget.

You need to take into consideration everything you have learned about the rehabs you have short listed to decide the best value for money, or includes the things that are super important to you. 

The cheapest rehab may not be the best option, neither may the most expensive.

Another important point is to never pay more than 1 month at a time. Rehabs will offer discounts to lure you to pay multiple months up front. No rehab can accurately identify how long you need in treatment from a telephone assessment, and they should offer discounts for additional months regardless. Remember, most rehabs want to secure as much money as they can up front – don’t fall for that trick, as you don’t know how long you will need in treatment, or if you will even like that rehab. 

Jintara Rehab is USD$9,500 for a 28-day inclusive program. You can read more about what is included here, and our refund policy here.

Jintara also only accepts bookings on a month by month basis and extend (with discounts) as necessary.