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Expats Living Abroad and Dealing With Addiction

General Information on Expats and Addiction

Alcohol addiction amongst expats living abroad is commonly due to their environmental and cultural influences.

Some areas of the world allow drinking alcohol, even in excess, while others do not. While most expats do not suffer from an addiction, there is a small percentage that do.

Developing an addiction may be due to feelings of stress, homesickness’, loneliness’, and especially boredom.

Countries around the world promote alcohol on TV, billboards, at sporting events, outside bars and restraints and festivals.

It may be much cheaper than the expats’ home country. Alcohol is usually readily available and in certain situations, drinking may make them feel more comfortable.

Your Life As an Expat

As an expat living abroad you may be working, retired, relaxing, or simply trying to escape the hectic life of your country and now may have an addiction you did not before.

Before moving abroad you may have not prepared yourself for the problems that expat life can bring.

You Might Already Be At Risk

Researchers now say that your vulnerability to an alcohol addiction can be genetically determined.

If you had a family where addiction is common and you are now exposed to some of the challenges as an expat living abroad, you may be at a higher risk for developing an addiction to alcohol.

Challenges When Living Abroad

Challenges that you may experience living the expat lifestyle: being away from friends and family, language barriers, and culture difficulties.

Added challenges may be making new friends and finding places where you feel comfortable.

As an expat living abroad you may be having a hard time coping with these feelings and/or challenges; alcohol addiction or other substance abuse may be right around the corner.

Difficulties ‘Fitting In’

As an expat living abroad it is normally very hard to ever fully ‘fit in’; this may cause you problems.

Not ‘fitting in’ can be difficult to accept, and cause serious problems for you; such as, depression and loneliness.

You may have a hard time with the countries culture. Things may seem so different from what you are used to back home; everyday life may become overwhelming.

You may try to find something similar to your home country and sometimes it is not there. If these problems occur, drinking may make you feel better or help you to ignore the situation.

It the problems persist and you continue to drink; alcohol may take over your life.

Searching for Friends

The friends that you once had are now elsewhere in the world. Living abroad you may have few or no friends at all.

When seeking social interaction, you may go out to places where you are hoping to meet other expats like yourself, and a popular spot to meet other expats are bars.

Having a drink is a great way to make you feel more at ease when conversing. Most of the time it will not be only one drink and if this continues over a period of time can be easy for you to slide into a serious alcohol addiction.

Going to Places and Events

As an expat you may venture out at least a few times a week. You may do so because you’re bored, you want to make new friends, or meet other expats living abroad.

Once you have found friends abroad, you may frequently go out with them to clubs, bars, festivals, and concerts. These types of places and events usually have large selections of alcohol.

If this becomes a habitual routine and you are unable to control your drinking, you may be at risk for developing an alcohol addiction.

Over time, a few nights here and there can become a regular habit and developing an addiction to alcohol can slowly creep up on you.

Alcohol Can be Cheap

Alcohol can be cheap, especially in developing countries. It is also plentiful in most countries.

In many countries alcohol is sold by attractive women; they normally will tell you how handsome you are and flirt with you.

Before you know it you are stumbling out of the bar. At the end of the night it can be less expensive and this can encourage you to return again and again.

A Distraction From Boredom

Maybe you have moved abroad to live your dream of relaxing, or you are retired. Life is good; you have no worries, no job, and nothing to do.

This may cause you and other expats alike to become bored; there is a lack of excitement and no interesting activities going on in your life.

Alcohol can keep you occupied. It can give you a reason to go out and can keep you entertained.

If you are unable to find hobbies that you enjoy doing, you may become bored and look to alcohol for a distraction.

The Good News for Expats

Not Everything Includes Drinking

If you are having a difficult time living abroad; remember, that there are communities, online and offline, for expats just like you.

Here you can try to meet other expats living abroad and make new friends. You may be able to find local activities, classes, or excursions that can help you stay occupied.

The Longer You Are There, The Better It Can Get

The longer that you are in a country, the easier it will become on you.

Cultures are so different around the world and living in a new place can be extremely difficult in the beginning, but if you can stop to see the beauty and uniqueness of each individual culture it can make life a little easier.

Not Every Expat Will Develop an Addiction

Not every expat living abroad will develop an alcohol addiction. Most expats are able to control their drinking, however, some cannot.

If you do become addicted alcohol, you can overcome it.

Expats With an Addiction Can Get Help at SHAFAHOME

You must realize that you have an addiction to alcohol and want to get help. Alcohol addiction can be treated at SHAFAHOME by staff.

We deal a lot with expats and understand that the cause for their addiction can greatly vary from those in their own country.

If you feel you are unable to control your drinking and it is ruining your life, it is time to seek treatment. Our counsellors are here for you. Contact Us Now For Help

Please learn more about us at

( These Articles are the sole property of “ The Cabin Chiang Mai “ , they are its original authors )

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