From cocaine addicted executives, prescription pill addicted housewives, school children sniffing different substances and alcohol addicted teachers, very little is known about Out Patient Recovery Centers or Clinics in South Africa.
This clinics does their work silently and cost effectively without compromising the clients’ daily work, school education and domestic routines.
Several therapists working in these outpatient addiction clinics, believe that GPs, psychologists and psychiatrists are either unaware or simply ignore their (clinics) existence for the want to rather use the medication that they know and used for years..
There seems to be this unspoken rule that the 3 to 4 week inpatient rehabilitation program is the only successful way to go, and that this is a one-size-fits all solution.
Addiction Outpatient centers or rather the Out Patient Habit Replacement Program, as we would like to call our program is a relatively new concept in South Africa.
We would like to define an outpatient as someone who got to that stage in their “drugging or drinking” careers where they may realise, that they have a problem. They haven’t lost their job, their car or their house. They have not been expelled from school or college yet. They have a reasonable strong social support network, and therefor would like to continue with normal life. A client needs to be fairly stable without any “major disorders”. Detoxing for certain substances does get included in the program. No chemical detoxing takes place.
Dan Wolf, co-founder of the First Step Drug and Alcohol Recovery Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg adds these criteria: ‘They can fundamentally assume responsibility and perform and meet the minimum requirements of society, which may not necessarily be all that high.
Blue Paper Owl Counseling Services began as a response to the frustration of playing policeman to clients in an inpatient rehabilitation environment. I was dealing with people, who didn’t really want to be there or was forced by courts, schools and/or parents and didn’t want to take responsibility for their recovery. That was when I realized how many people need treatment in a less restrictive environment and started writing the New Generation Habit Replacement Program.
Our first patients would traditionally have been encouraged to book into an inpatient center and that was when I ran headlong into opposition from inpatient rehabilitation centers and their managers.
I won’t admit someone into my program without a good chance of success, firstly because of my integrity and high regard towards success and secondly because it would be bad for them and bad for our name.
Clients feel overwhelming relief and comfort when discovering the non- judgmental environment that we provide where they can confront their addiction in. They anticipate getting judged and rejected, but instead they get respect and empathy.
There may well be a dual diagnosis such as an anxiety disorder or even depression. This, however cannot be treated while they’re drinking or drugging. It is in our experience that when we have dealt with the addiction; the majority of patient’s perceived problems disappear.
The cost of the “New Generation Habit Replacement Outpatient Program” at R 5000, 00 versus the impatient rehabilitation center cost of between R 20 000.00 and R 60, 000.00 speaks for itself.
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