For any individual considering a course of treatment, the thought of drug rehabilitation in South Africa can be daunting to say the least. The reason being that in the vast majority of instances, those seeking rehabilitation services are doing so for the very first time. They have no frame of reference, no idea what to expect and therefore a world of worries as to what is likely to take place.

Over recent years, the kinds of treatments and techniques used to assist recovering addicts have evolved like never before. Right now, even the most advanced and severe cases of addiction are being treated more effectively and accessibly than at any point in history. Nevertheless, it remains entirely impossible for the required treatment to be provided, if the individual in question does not willingly come forward and ask for help.

As with most things, learning more about drug and alcohol rehabilitation can help make the prospect considerably less intimidating. So for those who are either considering or simply curious are about drug and alcohol rehab, what follows is a brief overview of just a few important questions and their respective answers:

Is professional rehabilitation always necessary?

First up, while professional rehabilitation has the potential to work wonders, it isn’t always mandatory. What’s important to remember about drug and alcohol addiction is that each and every case across the board is fundamentally different. As such, what represents the best possible approach to treatment will also always be entirely different from one case to the next. Whereas some are better suited to rehabilitation programmes that are self-managed, others are advised to check into residential rehab. There are even cases where regimented rehabilitation isn’t necessary – all that’s required is the input and intervention of a professional counsellor.

What happens in rehab?

As already mentioned, every course of treatment is fundamentally different.  Nevertheless, the vast majority of rehabilitation centres these days offer a similar range of holistic treatment options, which are tailored in accordance with the individual in question. These may include things like group therapy, one on one counselling, provision of medication, specialist diets, exercise regimes and so on. It all comes down to the unique needs of the attendee, who will in most instances receive a wide variety of different treatments and therapeutic styles.

Will I have any contact with family and friends?

If you check into residential rehab, it is essentially up to you as to whether or not you maintain close contact with friends and family members.  In some instances, the service providers themselves may recommend that for a given period of time, you isolate yourself as a means by which to focus on your treatment.  In others, it may be strongly recommended that you stay in regular contact with your support group outside the centre. No rehabilitation service provider can ever force a patient to cut off contact with friends and family members during the treatment process. Nevertheless, if it is recommended that you focus on yourself and your self along for any given period of time, it is worth remembering that this kind of advice is given for a reason.

How long does rehab take?

The duration of any given course of rehab not only varies from one person to the next, but is also somewhat non-specific. For example, whereas one patient may be recommended a residential rehabilitation program of six months, another may be recommended a handful of weeks. In both instances however, there is no such thing as a concrete completion date and the duration of the rehabilitation program is always subject to change. Just as those who make outstanding progress may complete the rehabilitation course much quicker than expected, others may find it necessary for their treatment programs to be extended.  It is therefore important to be realistic with your expectations, when it comes to timescales.

How likely is relapse?

Last but not least, while it’s important to acknowledge the fact that relapse is surprisingly common, this isn’t to be taken as an indicator that it cannot be avoided.  In fact, it is typically when relapse is taken for granted as something that will not happen to you that it is most likely to happen. Overconfidence, unrealistic expectations and failing to accept the risk of relapse for what it is are some of the most common relapse triggers of all. The thing to remember at all times is that while relapse does happen, it doesn’t constitute the end of the rehabilitation program.  It simply serves as an additional challenge to overcome along the way.

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