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Drug Addictions Treatment in South Africa

Drug Addiction is a serious problem whether you’re in London, UK or Jo’burg, South Africa. The fact is that once people become addicted; their brains have been hijacked and they will continue to use drugs until some effective drug addiction treatment intervenes. Most drug addicts believe that they can stop using drugs on their own if they attempt to. Although there are a few who may be successful at giving up drugs without treatment, the vast majority of drug addicts do not get into successful long term recovery without some sort of drug addiction treatment. Drug addicts, whether they’re in Joburg, South Africa or Timbuktu, who have been involved in long term drug use have had drug-induced changes in the functioning of their brains. One of the results of these brain changes is the inability to control the extreme drug cravings and resulting drug use despite the negative consequences for themselves and their loved ones.

This is, by definition, what it means to be addicted / dependent on drugs. This physical and psychological dependence on substances is what makes it so difficult to give up without drug addiction treatment. The triggers for craving have become all consuming, often without the user being aware of what those triggers are. However, research and experience has shown that participation in South African drug addiction treatment has positive results.

Drug Addiction Treatment in South Africa

The purpose of drug addiction treatment in South Africa is to aid those addicted in finding a meaningful, stable long term recovery. Addiction treatment centres helps people to avoid compulsive drug seeking and drug use. Addiction treatment is unique to each individual and can take place in various settings, in various forms and for various lengths of time according to the drugs used, the financial implications of rehab, the length of drug use and other such factors. Generally, drug addiction treatment in South Africa is longer term as drug addiction is a chronic disorder which is prone to relapse. The following are characteristics to look for in good Addictions Treatment Consultants and centres within South Africa:

Patient Centred Approach – meeting the needs of the individual has proved to be the best way to go about addiction treatment. The top South African drug addiction treatment centres attract many overseas patients as the quality of care is superb and the costs much less than treatment in their home countries.

The average UK (United Kingdom) clinic’s monthly charge is what a top South African clinic would charge for 6 months. South African drug addiction treatment centre’s have a mix of individual and group therapies, a medically supervised detoxification dispensing medication where necessary, qualified staff monitoring patients 24 hours a day and comfortable facilities to reside in over a suitable length of rehab. Drug addiction treatment centre’s that meet these criteria, regardless of whether within South Africa or not, seem to provide patients with the ability to stay clean and sober for longer. In short the success rates and overall prognosis is better.

Any quality drug addiction treatment centre in South Africa will assess the type of drugs the patient is using and the duration of the addiction and develop a sustainable recovery strategy that incorporates a comprehensive view of the whole person.  Drug addiction treatment that neglects addressing the patient’s legal, physical, social and vocational needs will not be as effective as programmes that do. A holistic approach dealing with the consequences of drug addiction is crucial to the initial stabilisation of the patient. Many times health issues have arisen due to drug abuse. The majority of addicts started using drugs due to emotional or social problems which also need to be addressed. Old coping mechanisms need to be replaced by new ways of dealing with stress, depression or whatever triggers may tempt the patient.

Drug Addiction Treatment in South Africa is Effective

One of the aims of addiction treatment centers is to have the addict functioning in society in a healthy contributing manner at home, at work and in the community. Research has shown that addicts who participate in addiction treatment over an extended time have more positive results. Generally, they give up drugs, decrease their criminal involvement and improve in their social, psychological and occupational activities. Obviously these results are also dependent on the factors we have already discussed, such as the treatment being patient centred and holistic in approach. The extent of the drug addiction would also be a factor influencing the outcome of treatment.

Relapse rates for addiction are similar to those of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension or asthma. Like these chronic disorders, addiction can be successfully managed. Unfortunately the public perception of relapse with drug addiction is that treatment has failed.

However treatment for addiction usually needs regular monitoring and adjusting, similar to treatment of other chronic disorders. When treatment for hypertension causes the patient’s blood pressure to decrease, the treatment is considered successful, even if the blood pressure increases when treatment is discontinued. Relapse for addicts simply means that their treatment needs to be reinstated or modified. A major problem with addiction treatment is the dropout rate of patients. This is counteracted by treatment programs using motivational methods to keep patients active in the treatment.

We need to see addiction as a chronic disorder and treat it as such, offering constant care and monitoring. If patients relapse they should be allowed to participate in treatment again, not be treated as failures without any hope for the future. In this way, there is hope for successful recovery, which is a long term process throughout the addict’s life.

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