Addiction to a substance or behaviour has been proven to be a brain disease.
It has diagnostic symptoms, a prognosis, and treatment options.
Success rates are the same as other chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Despite this addiction treatment remains poorly understood.
What we treat
Addiction, unfortunately, is a highly stigmatised and misunderstood condition. The picture painted in films and media often doesn’t reflect the real journey that you or your loved one might experience in treatment. People grappling with addiction often exhibit different degrees of denial, and it’s important to understand that the primary purpose of treatment is to systematically dismantle these justifications that perpetuate substance use. In Joburg and Pretoria rehabs in South Africa, the dedicated teams of professionals, with their extensive experience and understanding of addiction, skilfully help individuals confront their denial. This is the central focus of Primary Care in these treatment centres. The process takes time, but it’s absolutely vital to the recovery process. Only when you or your loved one gains an acute awareness of the problem, can the responsibility for recovery truly be embraced. Once denial has been effectively addressed, the treatment in Joburg and Pretoria rehabs shifts towards the broader aspects of addiction recovery. The goal is to guide you or your loved one back to normal functioning – to a life that isn’t dominated by substance abuse. This journey is unique for each individual, and the treatment centres in both cities are committed to providing personalised care, taking into account the unique experiences, struggles, and strengths of each patient.
“I can do it alone”
A lot of people baulk at the prospect of addiction treatment. They provide a lot of very good reasons to stay out of a drug rehab center or alcohol rehab. However, it is a sad truth that very few people are able to beat addiction independently. They try to stop using and feel despondent when they inevitably fail. This leads them to believe that they cannot ever stop which just makes the addiction worse. Effective addiction treatment interrupts the cycle of using and helps the addict develop skills and attitudes to live life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Professional addiction treatment provided in a drug rehab center or alcohol rehabilitation facility is informed by years of research and clinical experience. The clinicians are able to identify the features of addiction and develop an addiction treatment program to address the individual features of the patient’s addiction. They are able to assess the patient and provide medical and psychotherapeutic interventions to treat the illness. You wouldn’t expect a cancer patient to be able to overcome cancer independently, why should addiction be any different?
Addiction treatment needs to start with a properly supervised detoxification (“detox”) to rid the body of any leftover toxins. This helps the patient approach addiction treatment with a clear mind and sound body. Most drug rehab centers offer a detox program but some will refer a client to a specialist unit. It is important for a detox to be medically supervised and you should always consult with your doctor regarding this decision.
It is hard to measure the “success” of an addiction treatment program. Ideally, the aim of addiction treatment is to help the addict or alcoholic remain abstinent and in recovery for the rest of her life. In this case, “success” can only be measured when the addict finally dies at a ripe old age having lived a happy and fruitful life. Addiction treatment does not purport to “cure” addiction. Even if you have completed addiction treatment you will not be able to use drugs or drink alcohol. Relapse into addiction is inevitable if you again start drinking or using drugs. When a clinic claims to have an “80% success” rate you should be careful to check how they define success and whether their claim has been independently verified. The old joke that approximately 47.23% of all statistics are made up on the spot is sadly a truism of life. Rather let us look at success within the broader context of addiction recovery. The success of a program shouldn’t be measured simply as a function of the 28 days a person spends at the drug rehab or alcohol rehabilitation center. Rather let us say that the clinic should offer ongoing care and support in the form of aftercare, groups, or individual sessions. A definition of success should include some measure of ongoing support and recovery.
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