Syndrome can be defined as a set of symptoms and behaviour that occur together. A syndrome refers to a cluster of symptoms or characteristics that often co-occur and are associated with a particular substance or behavior. For example, the syndrome associated with alcohol addiction may include symptoms such as cravings, tolerance, withdrawal and continued use despite negative consequences.

Syndromes are not limited to substance use disorders alone. They also encompass other addictive behaviors, such as gambling or gaming addictions. These syndromes involve specific criteria that indicate the presence and severity of the addiction, providing a framework for assessment and treatment.

Syndrome Model of Addiction

The Syndrome Model of Addiction is a comprehensive framework that views various forms of addiction, whether chemical or behavioural, as disorders with common underlying etiological factors. This model sees addiction as a cluster of symptoms with multiple manifestations and is used to understand and study the different aspects of addiction.

According to this model, as outlined in “Treating Addiction as a Syndrome” by Shaffer et al., addictive behaviors often coexist with other mental health issues. Traditional treatment models typically treat different forms of addiction as unique disorders, leading to specialised but fragmented care. This approach can cause confusion and decrease clinical compliance due to the co-occurrence of disorders in individuals with addiction.

The Syndrome Model, however, proposes that addiction, whether behavioural (like gambling) or substance-related (such as alcohol), is a syndrome with shared etiological vulnerabilities. It suggests that not all symptoms are always present and views addiction as a singular condition with multiple expressions. According to this model, individuals inherit or encounter various life influences, ranging from neurobiological to psychosocial, that can interact and contribute to the likelihood of addiction. If individuals gain access to an addictive object, their motivation to seek and use it increases. The model accentuates the relationship between the individual and their object of addiction, positing that the addiction resides in this relationship rather than in the object itself.

The concept of syndromes in addiction and mental health has evolved over time, reflecting advancements in research and clinical practice. The development of diagnostic manuals, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), has helped to standardise the diagnostic criteria for different syndromes. This allows for better communication and understanding among professionals working in the addiction recovery field.

Rehabs and addiction treatment centers often employ a multidisciplinary approach that considers syndromes to provide comprehensive care. Syndromes in addiction treatment are not static and can vary among individuals.

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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