A Guide to

Rehab in
South Africa

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    Consult a
    Professional

    Seek help from qualified professionals or licensed organisations who specialise in addiction rehab and can help you identify your needs.

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    Determine the best treatment setting

    Find a treatment setting, whether it be inpatient, residential or outpatient settings, that will meet your needs.

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    Ask the important questions

    Ask for rehabilitation programme information to narrow down your options to a few that would work for you.

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    Once you’ve made the decision to seek treatment for a problem or any addiction, you’ll need to choose a rehab programme that will meet your needs and circumstances.

    There are lots of different treatment options, but how do you find the best alcohol or drug rehab centre for you? Here are some key things to consider. Before selecting a rehab programme, seek help from a qualified professional who specialises in addiction and can help you identify your needs.

    Types of Rehab Programmes in South Africa

    Rehab programmes in South Africa vary from where care is given, how long treatment lasts, and how intensive and structured the programme is. The health care provider who assess your condition can help you choose the treatment setting that will meet your specific needs.

    Outpatient Treatment

    Patients live at home while going into a clinic or facility regularly for sessions with addiction treatment professionals.

    Inpatient Treatment

    Patients stay in a hospital and receive intensive and highly structured care for addiction and other severe medical problems.

    Residential Treatment

    Patients stay in a non-hospital setting and receive intensive and highly structured care for addiction and other medical problems.

    Recovery Housing

    Patients live in supervised, temporary housing and can participate in treatment programmes.

    Choosing the Best Rehab in
    South Africa

    After identifying the best rehab treatment setting in South Africa for you, you will want to narrow down which programme best meets your needs. Ask the staff of each programme you are considering to provide the following information.

    Treatment approach

    Find out if the programme provides a wide range of effective treatment methods. Rehab programmes that offer only one or two therapy types may not be able to customise care to your specific needs. In addition, a programme that offers a variety of evidence-based therapies — therapies that have proven to be effective in practice and scientific studies — may be able to meet your changing needs as you continue in your recovery.

    If you are experiencing mental health challenges, it’s important to find a programme that can provide treatment for those specific conditions. Mental health challenges can contribute to substance misuse problems, and vice versa.  

    Ask These Questions:

    After identifying the best rehab treatment setting in South Africa for you, you will want to narrow down which programme best meets your needs. Ask the staff of each programme you are considering to provide the following information.

    1. Important questions about rehab

    • What types of treatment therapies are offered?
    • Can the programme offer medication?
    • Are staff members qualified to treat both mental health issues and addiction?
    • Is treatment tailored for each patient?
    • What will I have to do during rehab?
    • What can and should my family do while I’m in treatment?
    • Can you provide patient rights and responsibilities in writing?

    2. Measuring effectiveness

    To help you compare rehab programmes, and get a sense of how the programme tracks its patients’ progress and recovery. Ask:
    • How do you measure patient progress?
    • How do you determine if treatment has been effective?
    • Can you provide data and evidence on your patients’ long-term recovery?

    3. Handling relapse

    As in the treatment of other medical conditions, relapse is common and can be part of the recovery process. It’s important to understand how the programme responds if a participant begins using drugs or alcohol again. Ask:

    • What happens if a patient relapses during rehab?
    • Does the programme dismiss relapsed patients?
    • Are there programme staff members who are qualified to treat patients who have relapsed?

    4. Patient and family expectations

    Know your rights and responsibilities and what will be expected of you and your family during treatment. Ask:

    • What will I have to do during rehab?
    • What can and should my family do while I’m in rehab treatment?
    • Can you provide patient rights and responsibilities in writing?

    Quality Care Checklist

    It’s important to know that some programmes offer features that are not proven to effectively treat addiction. Review the quality care checklist below from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse with your qualified addiction professional to determine if the rehab programme you are considering meets the following basic standards:

    These credentials show that the rehab programme meets standards set by a Department of Health, if it has licensing standards, or a professional organisation. However, licensing and accreditation don’t necessarily mean the programme offers effective treatments. So it’s important to also look for other indicators of quality. If the programme has patient testimonials or reviews, you might want to go through them to gain a sense of other people’s treatment experience. However, every patient’s experience will be unique to the individual. So view these with a certain amount of objectivity.

    Ultimately, the question isn’t “What’s the best rehab?” rather it’s, “What’s the best rehab for me?” Work with a qualified health professional at a licensed rehab centre in South Africa and  use the guidance here to make the right treatment choice for you and start your recovery today.

    Frequently Asked Rehab Questions

    Medical aid schemes are coming to realise that contributing to drug and alcohol addiction treatment is a viable way to keep their clients in good health.

    Drug and alcohol abuse causes many associated health complications. Medical aid schemes minimise the risk of the costs of these related health problems by covering their clients with addiction treatment and is in their clients’ best interest and theirs.

    Medical Aids And Addiction

    Fortunately for people struggling with addiction, medical aid schemes are willing to pay for rehab the same way they would for any other illness.

    Drug and alcohol addiction can affect anybody, and the recovery therapy is a long process that can cost a significant amount of money. Medical aid schemes have recognized this and include this type of cover in their plans.

    Medical Aids Covering Drug Recovery

    With the increase of knowledge that is being attained by psychologists and doctors, all research supports longer periods spent in treatment leads to more successful outcomes. Medical aid schemes are compelled to pay more for addiction treatment because of the growing number of professionals who agree that is belongs in a disease category, including time spent in rehab.

    Dual Diagnosis Recovery Facilities

    Ixande is a dual-diagnosis facility and patients may take advantage of both psychiatric and substance abuse medical aid benefits. This extends the patient’s stay with us from 21 to 54 days where underlying trauma, that is often identified as the root of physical addiction, is treated.

    After Care

    After leaving a centre, addicts are encouraged to stay focused on their goals by attending support groups and having emergency numbers close at hand. Counselling sessions can be easily arranged and clients can even enter back into the addiction treatment centre on a day to day basis or as is needed.

    Before being discharged, therapists work with patients and develop an After Care program that connects them with support groups and other resources. Ixande has a vibrant recovery community that meet regularly for fellowship. Patients are always welcome to visit and enjoy talks from therapists, doctors and others suffering from addiction. Ixande makes the most of modern technology with many online resources that keeps patients and loved ones motivated, inspired and informed.

    Contact Ixande

    Contact Ixande and let us consult your personal medical aid company today and discover their options on addiction treatment and rehab. It’s the first step to effective treatment for yourself or your loved one.

    You might find yourself in a position where you are very dependent on some form of illicit drug or addictive behaviour and you may be looking for ways to address your addiction. At least you are looking for a way forward now and can begin the journey back to a happy and more normal life.

    Drug and Alcohol Addiction

    Did you know that even using a drug once classifies you as a drug user? Even while the effects of the drugs or alcohol you are using is temporary, there are some permanent and life changing occurrences happening within your body and, most notably, your brain. Drug use affects the area of the brain that is responsible for feelings of reward and motivation. This part of the brain is also in charge of your judgement skills and memory. This is why taking a drug is mostly pleasurable but can severely and negatively affect your decision making and alter your perception of reality.

    Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

    Going to a drug rehabilitation centre can change your life and can offer you a realistic and optimistic outlook on your future. Some of the biggest benefits are:

    Counselling

    Counselling offers you the opportunity to come to grips with the reality of your addiction. During these sessions, you will learn new strategies in coping with your addiction in a non-judgemental environment. During counselling sessions you will also be equipped with coping mechanisms to deal with day to day stressors.

    Medical Assistance

    During the detoxification process, rehab centres will have medical assistance available if it is necessary. Withdrawal from some addictive substances, like alcohol, can cause serious complications and medical help can save your life.

    Restoring Sociability

    Addiction treatment centres encourages sociability, whether it is among a group of fellow recovering addicts or your friends and family. They also teach you how to create healthy relationships with new friends and acquaintances.

    Other than the above, you have to consider the obvious; what happens if you don’t go to rehab even when you know you need help?

    Many people attempt to make these vast changes by themselves and a small percentage may ultimately succeed. But if you are not fully equipped to manage your detox and recovery by yourself, you may not succeed at all. Attempting to detox from home could be dangerous and even deadly, especially when struggling with alcohol addiction and, without the right kind of support, will leave many people feeling helpless and discouraged.

    Psychological trauma most often occurs in someone who has lived through an event or situation that may have been particularly stressful. So much so that they struggle to cope with it by themselves and need professional help to guide them through the experience. In some cases where help isn’t sought out, the person suffering from the trauma may look for ways to cope on their own.

    Many studies have been able to tie substance abuse with a traumatic experience. This may have happened in childhood and even during adulthood. The loss of a loved one, abuse or even war has all been linked in people who suffer from substance use disorders and addictive behaviours.

    It is often these emotional fluctuations that lead people to use drugs or act in inappropriate ways in order to feel better or to simply forget for a little while. Whenever the feeling of anxiety or fear surfaces, a person will try to look for a way to clamp down on them. Using illicit drugs or alcohol gives them a moment of ‘peace’, allowing them space where they don’t have to think about all the hurt they are otherwise feeling.

    Did you know that 2 out of 3 addicts have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse in childhood? 

    Starting the healing process

    Ixande rehabilitation centres offer addicts and those suffering from addictive behaviour, like gambling, a chance to deal with the trauma so that they may better understand their addictions. The trauma needs to be fully understood before any healing can take place and only then can the addiction or addictive behaviour be addressed. Professional counselling can offer insight to a patient and help them to start the process of recovering from their trauma, stopping the cycle of feelings of disrepair.

    It is absolutely crucial that a person who has experienced a traumatic event get professional guidance on how to manage the aftermath during their day to day living. Whether the trauma is a one-time event or reoccurring, there are ways to manage it with the goal of restoring their lives for the better. If a person turns to addiction, the road becomes longer and harder to walk, but still not undoable. Even though addiction offers a brief respite, the best solution is to deal with it in a healthy and loving way.

    Ixande offers all of their clients trauma counselling on a case to case basis. We believe that the solution for many addicts is to fully bridge the traumatic experience through professional guidance while taking on the addiction in a safe and judgement-free environment. If you have a loved one or you yourself is suffering from addiction, contact us for our full recommendations and to find out what we can do to help.

    In basic terms, a dual diagnosis means that a patient has more than one illness that is being treated at the same time. A person suffering from drug addiction often struggles with some form of other mental illness, like anxiety disorder or moderate to severe depression. A physical illness combined with a mental disorder can lead to a patient having a dual diagnosis so that both illnesses may be treated simultaneously.

    In most cases, one illness will lead to the second illness. For example, someone who struggles with an eating disorder (the psychological illness) may start to abuse stimulant drugs like cocaine in an attempt to keep losing weight (the physical illness). Or alternatively, the abuse of drugs over a long term can lead to a form of mental illness due to the drugs altering the brain function and responses.

    It is vital that both illnesses be treated together because one will always offset the second. If you treat only one, then the other will cause a guaranteed relapse of some sort, depending on which one isn’t treated. Finding a dual diagnosis facility to assist the patient can be the difference between a much-improved outlook on life or constant failure to have a full recovery.

    Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

    The first step in treating a person with a co-occurring illness is to detox the patient in a safe environment to remove the drugs in their bodies. From there the real rehabilitation can begin in the form of counselling and programs specifically designed to suit each individual patient. Behavioural modification therapies can be useful in altering thought patterns and behaviours, assisting in the treatment of both disorders.

    This means that individual treatment plans can be amended or adapted to better treat two different illnesses instead of just one. Some facilities only assist in the drug rehabilitation and then send the patient to a mental health hospital to have further treatment. But most patients prefer to look for an establishment that will treat both illnesses at the same facility.

    Dual-Diagnosis Success

    Dual diagnosis patients are very difficult to treat because symptoms may overlap or may indicate a different problem than expected. And if not treated properly, will lead to future relapse. One patient who is treating a drug addiction only may have a long road ahead to full recovery, but a patient with a dual diagnosis may take even longer, spanning into years of therapy and treatment.

    That said, many people have been successfully treated and are now living happy and productive lives. With the help of the right facility and staff and the correctly prescribed medication, a person with a dual diagnosis can look forward to living a happy life with the people they love.

    empt to keep losing weight (the physical illness). Or alternatively, the abuse of drugs over a long term can lead to a form of mental illness due to the drugs altering the brain function and responses.

    It is vital that both illnesses be treated together because one will always offset the second. If you treat only one, then the other will cause a guaranteed relapse of some sort, depending on which one isn’t treated. Finding a dual diagnosis facility to assist the patient can be the difference between a much-improved outlook on life or constant failure to have a full recovery.

    Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

    The first step in treating a person with a co-occurring illness is to detox the patient in a safe environment to remove the drugs in their bodies. From there the real rehabilitation can begin in the form of counselling and programs specifically designed to suit each individual patient. Behavioural modification therapies can be useful in altering thought patterns and behaviours, assisting in the treatment of both disorders.

    This means that individual treatment plans can be amended or adapted to better treat two different illnesses instead of just one. Some facilities only assist in the drug rehabilitation and then send the patient to a mental health hospital to have further treatment. But most patients prefer to look for an establishment that will treat both illnesses at the same facility.

    Dual-Diagnosis Success

    Dual diagnosis patients are very difficult to treat because symptoms may overlap or may indicate a different problem than expected. And if not treated properly, will lead to future relapse. One patient who is treating a drug addiction only may have a long road ahead to full recovery, but a patient with a dual diagnosis may take even longer, spanning into years of therapy and treatment.

    That said, many people have been successfully treated and are now living happy and productive lives. With the help of the right facility and staff and the correctly prescribed medication, a person with a dual diagnosis can look forward to living a happy life with the people they love.

    Today, many people are not being served optimally by the current standard models for addiction treatment, which includes the Minnesota model, 12-steps and AA. These include many people who respond poorly to AA and/or 12-steps and others who are simply not prepared – or able –to achieve abstinence, either immediately or in the long run. The alternative is “harm reduction” or “life improvement” in the absence of total abstinence.

    “In recovery” used to mean someone who is abstinent after a struggle with substance abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s revised their definition in 2011 and now reads as follows: “Recovery from Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders: A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.”

    They have also outlined four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

    • Health: overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in physically and emotionally healthy way
    • Home: a stable and safe place to live
    • Purpose: meaningful daily activities, including work, school, volunteerism, family, friends, independence, income and resources
    • Community: relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope

    GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF RECOVERY

    • Recovery emerges from hope: The belief that recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future – that people can and do overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers and obstacles that confront them.
    • Recovery is person-driven: Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique paths.
    • Recovery occurs via many pathways: Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, cultures and backgrounds, which include trauma experiences that affect and determine their pathways to recovery. Abstinence is the safest approach for those with substance use disorders.
    • Recovery is holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit and community. The array of services and supports available should be integrated and coordinated.
    • Recovery is supported by peers and allies: Mutual support and mutual aid groups that include the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills, as well as social learning, play an invaluable role in recovery.
    • Recovery is supported through relationship and social networks: An important factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover, who offer hope, support and encouragement and who also suggest strategies and resources for change.
    • Recovery is culturally-based and influenced: Culture and cultural background in all of its diverse representations (including values, traditions and beliefs) are key aspects in determining a person’s journey and unique pathway to recovery.
    • Recovery is supported by addressing trauma: Services and supports should be trauma-informed to foster safety (physical and emotional) and trust, as well as promote choice, empowerment and collaboration.
    • Recovery involves individual, family, community strengths and responsibility: Individuals, families and communities have strengths and resources that serve as a foundation for recovery.
    • Recovery is based on respect: Community, systems, societal acceptance and appreciation for people affected by mental health and substance abuse problems – including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination – are crucial in achieving recovery.

    PARADIGM CHANGE

    Addiction is often referenced to as chronic and progressive, while this may be the case for some – it is not true for all.

    Advances in neuroscience have great implications for the delivery of addiction treatments that allow for brain “opportunities” instead of brain “illness”.

    The brain is very powerful due to the fact that it is so sensitive to experiences, this is also why experiential learning is such a successful tool to use. Where we place our attention defines us at a neurological level and we have far more power to alter our brains, our behaviours and our personalities than previously thought possible. Many methods are available to train our brains, some techniques include, focused concentration, mindfulness, repetition, mental rehearsal, positive experiences as well as new and novel experiences. These methods can help us to change our thoughts, emotions and our behaviours.

    Drugs and alcohol have an impact on the brain and the body, but so do lots of other factors such as stress, strong emotions, loneliness or trauma. Therefore the “disease” argument could be applied to any number of environmental variables that result in brain changes that are not welcome or positive. For example, loneliness can result in chemical and even structural brain changes that predispose to anxiety, depression and insomnia.

    Addiction can be described as any repeated behaviour, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his or her life and the lives of others. A big mind shift is needed to think of people who abuse substance or experience addiction, or people who suffer from depression or schizophrenia. They are people first, not “addicts” or “schizophrenics”. This is our approach and philosophy to treatment, we see clients as humans first, people that requires help and support and must be treated with dignity and respect.

    You can become addicted to almost anything  – alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, football, slots, porn, masturbation, work, computer games, exercise, sugar, shopping. The addiction list goes on. Something fun that gets you buzzing in small doses can become dangerous in big doses, leading to physical and mental health problems.

    Many people think that addiction is the core problem. However, addiction and substance abuse disorders are often a temporary method to self sooth and cope with other issues, which often need to be addressed through counselling or therapy.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a problem. According to research, there is a fine line between habit and addiction, based on factors such as time spent engaging in the behaviour, chemical reactions in the brain and whether or not you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

    Broadly there are two types of addicts:

    • The “topper-upper” who needs a fix regularly.
    • The “regular binge user” who gets blasted every so often.

    Every habit, from exercising to binge drinking to eating a specific type of food, begins with something known as the “habit loop.” This starts with a certain trigger which leads to an action, when the action is repeated it becomes a habit.  This habit can create a reward sensation in the brain.

    Addiction, however, occurs when you are no longer able to function without the pleasurable activity or substance. According to the Partnership For Drug-Freekids, about 23.5 million people in the US, are said to have experienced some form of addiction. In South Africa, 1 in every 15 people are said to have a drug problem. According to an article published in Parent 24, South Africa’s drug consumption among youth is twice the world norm.

    If you feel that your favourite habit has become an addiction, there is hope. Research has suggested that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Depending on the reasons it became a habit in the first place, the neuropeptide connections in the brain that reinforce the habit can take longer to break. For stronger addictions, such as alcohol and drug addictions, patients may need to identify any underlying causes first, and then rehabilitation may help to rewire the brain and break the addiction.

    Symptoms of addiction can include depression, anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations.

    It will begin to affect your work, your relationships and your life. Addictions mask health problems such as depression. Choosing to be high or drunk all the time may suggest you’re hiding something from yourself. Coming off your chosen high may allow you to see what needs to be done. If you’re concerned, ask yourself these questions:

    • Do you think about [your addictive activity] when you are doing something else and look forward to it?
    • Do you feel you need more of [your addictive activity] each time to get the same enjoyment?
    • Have you made efforts to cut back on [your addictive activity]
    • Do you do [your addictive activity] for longer than intended?
    • Have you put [your addictive activity] before more important things in life like relationships or work?
    • Have you lied to others about your involvement with [your addictive activity]?
    • Do you use [your addictive activity] as a way of escaping from problems or as a way to avoid feelings of guilt, anxiety or depression?

    If you answer yes to some of these, stop [your addictive activity] for a month. If that is too difficult then you have a problem and may need support.

    When considering the right type of addiction rehab for addressing a challenge like alcoholism or drugs or any other disorder, an early question should be to determine if inpatient or outpatient treatment is the best fit for you? Learning as much as you can about these kinds of addiction treatment approaches can help make the decision to enter and, ultimately, the transition into alcohol rehab easier.

    Inpatient or residential addiction treatment facilities provide immersive addiction treatment where patients live on-site 24 hours a day, allowing them to focus solely on their recovery during that time. Inpatient treatment is commonly sought by those with relatively severe addictions and addiction-related issues: however, such a treatment setting can be highly effective for people in many different situations.

    Outpatient treatment options also exist for those who prefer to live at home while attending substance abuse treatment sessions for several days a week at the rehab facility.1

    The Butler Center for Research at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation reports that roughly 89 percent of patients who complete alcohol rehab are still sober one month after discharge.

    An estimated 76 percent of alcohol rehab patients who successfully complete treatment report still being sober at three months, roughly 69 percent are still sober at six months, and a little more than 70 percent are still sober at nine months.

    Between 85 percent and 95 percent of all people who successfully complete drug rehab report still being abstinent from all drugs nine months after discharge.

    Roughly 80 percent of patients report benefiting from improved quality of life and health after completing drug and alcohol rehab.

    Florida has the highest success rates of drug rehab compared to all other states. A little more than 70 percent of people who receive addiction treatment in Florida successfully complete their treatment programmes.

    An estimated 43 percent of all people who go to drug rehab successfully complete their treatment programs, while another 16 percent are transferred to other rehab centres for additional treatment.

    Rehab success rates for those who complete drug and alcohol detoxification are a combined 68 percent.

    An estimated 41 percent of people who receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid detox successfully complete treatment and achieve abstinence.

    Of those who successfully complete MAT for opioid dependence, around 13 percent receive outpatient treatment.

    The highest percentage of drug rehabilitation success rates for outpatient treatment involve admissions for alcohol and marijuana addiction. More than 45 percent of adults age 18 and older who successfully complete outpatient drug rehab are admitted for alcohol abuse, while more than 36 percent of adults are admitted for marijuana abuse.

    A little more than 40 percent of people who successfully finish outpatient drug rehab had initially decided on their own to seek treatment and become sober.

    People who successfully complete outpatient MAT for opioid dependence stay at a drug rehab for an average of 113 days.

    People who successfully complete outpatient treatment for any substance use disorder stay at a drug rehab for an average of 81 days.

    Those who successfully finish intensive outpatient programs for any substance use disorder stay at a drug rehab for an average of 53 days.

    Alcohol makes up the highest percentage of admissions to drug rehab centers at 33 percent, followed by opioids at 34 percent, marijuana at 13 percent, stimulants at 11 percent, and cocaine at 5 percent.

    Between 40 percent and 60 percent of patients who suffer from drug use disorders end up relapsing when treatment is discontinued. However, these relapse rates are significantly lower than those for other chronic diseases such as hypertension and asthma.

    CHOOSE TO REBUILD YOUR LIFE & BUILD YOUR JOURNEY TO RECOVERY IN CAPE TOWN AT IXANDE
    YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME

    CHOOSE TO REBUILD YOUR LIFE & BUILD YOUR JOURNEY TO RECOVERY IN CAPE TOWN AT IXANDE
    YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME