Bangkok, Thailand (PRWEB) March 31, 2014
In an agreement that CEO Darren Lockie has described as a “win-win,” DARA, a Thailand-based addiction treatment and rehabilitation center, has joined forces with Mahidol University’s ASEAN Institute for Health Development. The five-year partnership will provide opportunities for students and faculty in Mahidol’s Master of Arts Program in Addiction Studies to participate in real-world rehabilitation center operations and for DARA to promote its already highly effective program.
As part of the agreement, DARA will offer internships and clinical placements for students and will provide guest lecturers and educational materials for the Master’s program curriculum. The rehabilitation center and university will conduct joint research projects, co-host workshops and symposiums, and help to develop a regional scientific journal on addiction.
DARA also will offer a fully funded scholarship to a Mahidol student every year, naming the student a DARA Fellow. The scholarship will include the offer of a fully paid staff position at DARA for at least one year upon completion of the university Master’s course.
“We hope that faculty and students will visit DARA regularly for training days,” Lockie said at the formal signing of the agreement. “We look forward to participating in conferences and other events with Mahidol Master’s in Addiction Studies wherever and whenever we are asked.”
DARA opened its doors four years ago with a vision of “providing the highest level of rehabilitation healthcare services and facilities at an affordable price,” according to Lockie. Dedicated to helping its clients to overcome addiction and to improve the quality of their lives, it runs at close to 100 percent capacity.
“We receive regular feedback that we are changing people’s lives for the better, which is extremely rewarding,” Martin Peters, DARA’s Treatment Program Director, added at the signing. The partnership with Mahidol University ultimately will help more people overcome addiction by giving DARA additional exposure not only in Thailand, but throughout Southeast Asia, he said.
As a leading international destination for addiction rehabilitation treatment, DARA is Asia’s first such program for English-speaking clients. It offers financial assistance in some circumstances and has been in operation longer than any other center in Thailand. It offers a safe environment away from daily triggers and stresses that can lead to drug and alcohol addictions. The program is tailored to individual needs, concentrating on dealing with underlying issues and providing coping skills. The treatment process includes daily group sessions, one-on-one counseling, educational workshops, stress management, meditation groups, art therapy, fitness training and after-care planning.
This Master’s level program from the ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, is currently the only one of its kind in Asia with its aim to create social leaders in the field of Addiction Studies. It prepares students to conduct research geared to the prevention and alleviation of addiction problems. By working hand-in-hand with DARA professionals in different areas of addiction and mental health, Mahidol’s students will gain first-hand experience in patient therapy and management of addictions. They will be able to meet and interact with DARA’s clients from all over the world.
Dr. Prapapun Chucharoen, Director of Addiction Studies Program, ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, and Professor Robert Labos represented the university at the signing of the agreement.