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Cape Town Rehab

This is the place for all your Cape Town Rehab needs. Rehab and Recovery.

Individualised Addiction Treatment

Individualised Addiction Treatment

Individualised Addiction Treatment, ED Treatment and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

The more time that I spend living a life clean and sober, working with addicts of all kinds who are still suffering, the more I realise just what a daily battle it is for those in early recovery. The nature of addiction treatment and all other issues like process addictions, dual-diagnosis issues (dual-diagnosis treatment) and eating disorders (ED treatment) is such that the odds for a full recovery are stacked against each and every person. This doesn’t deter me though because I believe that the reason recovery rates make such grim reading is because we have for generations been adopting a one size fits all approach to addiction treatment. Every single person is different and I believe that barring a few exceptions, the vast majority of people can recover if we look at them as unique and take and individualised addiction treatment approach. The main problem with addiction being recognised as a disease, which technically it is, is that the powers that be try to apply a medical model of treatment to it which takes away the individuality of treatment. If a person has a headache we might say take a pain killer, lie down or drink plenty of water, that’s what I would do anyway. It’s not rocket science and it works almost every time. There is no such cure for addiction or any of the associated illnesses. No one way works for the masses, in fact I would go as far as saying that no one way works for more than the individual that it works for. In simple terms, I am saying that every person needs their own route, specialist and targeted support and flexibility throughout the entire process.

Individualised Addiction Treatment - CapeRecovery - ED Treatment, Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
Individualised Addiction Treatment – CapeRecovery – ED Treatment, Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

CapeRecovery Individualised Addiction Treatment, ED Treatment and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

So, how do we practically go about achieving this mammoth task? Well, here are my list of things that must be in place, all things that I have implemented into the unique CapeRecovery way of treating addiction and related issues.

  • Honest, Impartial Advice from the Start – Adopting a realistic approach that the person will probably need a lot longer than a month or two in rehab. We are always upfront about this and believe that if money is to be spent on treatment then the client should only be offered the lowest prices for their requirements.
  • Pre-assessment.
  • Appropriate Placement at specialist, registered treatment providers (currently with other organisations this rarely happens as they have beds to fill so have a natural bias, we don’t).
  • Tailoring a program where the client is involved in all the usual group sessions but also can identify their own needs enabling us to bring in specific specialist counsellors relating directly to them. This not only gives the client more control and input into their own recovery but also helps them to delve into the real issues (if these things are not dealt with then a full and authentic recovery will never happen). Our treatment centres welcome our input into clients care planning.
  • Joint working between organisations in terms of doing what’s best for the client. Too often do I see clients failing in their process due to rehabs wanting to hang onto clients for financial gain. At CapeRecovery, clients are ours and we get involved at every stage of the process, changing the course of treatment if new needs are identified or they are not getting the specific support they need.
  • Follow up support – This is arguably the most important aspect of individualised addiction treatment, ED treatment or dual-diagnosis treatment. We plan a persons discharge from treatment and provide continued support, aftercare and if necessary have quality options for continued care and sober living with support from the recovery community and even volunteering opportunities and back to work plans.

Check out CapeRecovery International, CapeRecovery UK or Rehab Cape Town with CapeRecovery now!

So, that is the CapeRecovery Individualised Addiction Treatment, ED Treatment and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment, simply contact us today for more information on how we can provide the best value, tailored rehab and recovery experience.

Which Rehab in Cape Town? – Drug Addiction Clinic, Alcohol Treatment Centre and Rehabilitation Centre

Which Rehab in Cape Town? – Drug Addiction Clinic, Alcohol Treatment Centre and Rehabilitation Centre. Cape Town Addiction Rehab.

At Cape Recovery we are not just referral agents, we are a team consisting of medical professionals and experts in customer service. We get involved with the treatment of all our clients and help to guide them through the process of rehab and recovery. We see recovery as a process that takes hard work as well as time so its not just a case of finding an appropriate drug addiction clinic, alcohol treatment centre or rehabilitation centre although that is an important part of what we do as it’s the beginning of the process of supporting our clients through their journey. We handpick our Cape Town addiction rehab facilities not through pressure to direct to a certain place but through a process of appropriate placement for the needs of the individual client. The question of which rehab is answered for you, once there, the hard work begins and our involvement doesn’t end because we are with you every step of the way. You can check out the other services we offer to clients on our Rehab Packages page but for now we will concentrate on the questions that we need to ask to find a suitable place for the individual.

which rehab, drug addiction clinic, alcohol treatment centre, rehabilitation centre, cape town addiction rehab

How do I know which rehab, drug addiction clinic, alcohol treatment centre or rehabilitation centre is best suited amongst the vast selection of Cape Town addiction rehab options available?

The answer to this question depends on what information that we can get on the client, the more detailed the better. Our Admissions Director explains our Admission Procedure here.

Because we work only with independent clinics and rehabs and we choose to work with them based on their specialities and quality of program and care, we are happy to select the one that is best for you or your loved one without bias using the information that you give us. This is a truly unique and impartial service. We also get regular updates of the clients progress, help solve any problems that may crop up and are around for the families who are often forgotten during the recovery process.

That is why Cape Recovery does what it does to aid recovery by finding the best place for individualised treatment, giving the person the greatest chance of a full recovery right from the moment you Contact Us!

So, for the answer to which rehab, drug addiction clinic, rehabilitation centre or alcohol treatment centre, the way forward is simple at Cape Recovery as we know all there is to know about Cape Town Addiction Rehab.

Treating Drug Abuse – Drug Addiction Treatment, Drug Addiction Rehab.

Treating Drug Abuse – How do I find the best Drug Addiction Treatment or Drug Addiction Rehab?

When treating drug abuse, as with all addicts, we must remember that drug users are individuals, they have different degrees of physical and metal addiction and drug addiction treatment and drug addiction rehab needs do vary depending on the substance used, time used and if there are any mental health problems or other addiction issues. Also, they are all at different stages in their own process and some need more pushing than others. The most important factor in recovery is that they must be at a stage where they are ready and willing to accept the help offered to them and follow instructions given. The intensity of treatment depends upon a number of factors, a big one being the length of time the individual has been using for and the amounts and combination of drugs consumed. Drug Addiction can take hold quickly or develop to crisis point over a number of years, even decades, it can take an individual a long period of time to accept that they have an addiction and denial is rife in addicts when it comes to accepting the extent of their problem. For this reason, treating drug abuse is most effective when done in specialist drug addiction treatment centres or drug addiction rehab where they can detox safely (The Addiction Rehabilitation Process) and work through any unresolved issues that could take them back to using drugs. It can also be a lengthy and an often costly process so that’s why at CapeRecovery, we handpick the best quality treatment centres for your budget so any money spent will be money well spent. We have a number of Drug Treatment Centres who we have chosen to work with. Find out more about the process and the information we will need to find the perfect place for you or your loved one by checking out a message form our Admissions Director.

Treating Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction Treatment, Drug Addiction Rehab
Treating Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction Treatment, Drug Addiction Rehab

How does Drug Addiction Rehab work, Drug Detox?

Addiction to drugs can be dangerous to detox from depending on the substance and should not be attempted alone without medical supervision. This is particularly relevant for cases where the individual is using a large amount and/or has been using for a long period of time. The nature of many drug addicts is that they have often developed their addiction over a long period of time and can be set in their ways and hard to break down in terms of denial and excuses for their drug taking. All of our drug treatment centres have designated detox units which are supervised by qualified medical staff who ensure the safest and most comfortable detox experience possible. After the detox period, it is advised that a client spends a minimum of a month in treatment, ideally a three month stay gives the full opportunity to work through any underlying or grief issues. Visitors from both South Africa and Abroad can benefit from our one month, three month and six month packages. Following rehabilitation, we work with a number of extended care facilities and sober living houses and aftercare treatments to enable a comfortable and effective return home or to ‘normal’ life. In addition, we also work with a variety of home detox, life coaching and outpatient options if the person simply cannot afford the time in rehab, I would however, always advise rehab as the most effective and the best chance of continued sobriety. We can also give advice on AA meetings and support groups to help maintain sobriety and freedom from drug use and preventing the risk of relapse, just ask.

So, if you think you think that you or a loved one have a problem with drugs and want the best way of treating drug abuse, advice, information or direct admission to drug addiction rehab or alternative drug addiction treatment, then just contact us and we will give you all the help you will need!

Treating Alcohol Abuse – Alcohol Abuse Treatments, Alcohol Treatment Centres, Alcoholics

Treating Alcohol Abuse

When treating alcohol abuse, as with all addicts, we must remember that alcoholics are all individuals, they are all at different stages in their process and some need more pushing than others. They must also be at a stage where they are ready and willing to accept the help offered as this is the main factor in a long and happy recovery. The intensity of treatment depends upon a number of factors, a big one being the length of time the individual has been drinking for and the amounts consumed. Alcoholism can be a slow burner and develop over a number of years, even decades, it can take an individual a long period of time to accept the addiction. For this reason, alcohol abuse treatments are most effective when done in specialist alcohol treatment centres where they can detox safely and work through any unresolved issues that could take them back to drinking. It can also be a lengthy and costly process so that’s why at Cape Recovery, we handpick the best quality treatment centres for your budget so any money spent will be money well spent. We have a number of Alcohol Treatment Centres who we have chosen to work with. Find out more about the process by checking out a message form our Admissions Director.Treating Alcohol Abuse Treatments, Alcohol Treatment Centres, Alcoholics

How do I find the best Alcohol Treatment Centres or Alcohol Abuse Treatments for alcoholics?

How does Alcohol Rehab work, Alcohol Detox?

Addiction to alcohol can be one of the most dangerous substances to detox from and should not be attempted alone without medical supervision. This is particularly relevant for cases where the individual is drinking a large amount and/or has been drinking for a long period of time. The nature of alcoholics is that they have often developed their addiction over a long period of time and alcoholics can be particularly set in their ways and hard to break down in terms of denial and excuses for their drinking. All of our alcohol treatment centres have designated detox units which are staffed by a trained medical team to ensure the safest and most comfortable detox experience possible. After the detox period, it is advised that a client spends at least a month in treatment, ideally three months. We work with a number of sober living houses and aftercare treatments to enable a comfortable and effective return home or to ‘normal’ life. We also work with a variety of home detox, life coaching and outpatient options so check that out if the person simply cannot afford the time in rehab, I would always advise rehab as the most effective and highest chance of continued sobriety however. We can also advise on AA meetings and support groups to help maintain sobriety, just ask.

So, if you think you think that you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol and want the best way of treating alcohol abuse, advice, information or direct admission to alcohol treatment centres or alternative alcohol abuse treatments for alcoholics, then just contact us and we will give you all the help you will need!

About Rehab – Frequently asked questions

About Rehab – What is Rehab? All the rehab questions answered and the rehab information you need to know!

When faced with the decision about going to rehab, there is lots to learn as it can be a complicated and costly process. Being well informed and selecting appropriate treatment will ensure that any money spent can be spent wisely and for the most appropriate care, resulting in a better chance of success and saving money and pain in the long term. What is rehab? How do I choose a suitable place tailored to the persons needs? We offer our CapeRecovery Rehab Triage service which involves a simple pre-assessment to help with this process. Take a look at our honest answers to these frequently asked rehab questions and equip yourself with all the important rehab information. It’s best to prepare so let’s find out all about rehab! Here are your Rehab Questions answered by me, a person who has been a patient, counsellor and nurse, in equal measures.

What is Rehab? Everything you need to know about Rehab!

What is Rehab?, About Rehab, Rehab Questions, Rehab Information
What is Rehab? About Rehab, Rehab Questions, Rehab Information.

How to approach someone about rehab?

It is often clear to people close to an addict that they have a problem and need help before they realise it themselves, or at least admit the problem. Rehab questions will come up but at the least, confronting the individual means that the subject has been aired which is a positive step. The Rehab Information you receive from anyone must be impartial, this ensures that it is authentic. Approaching the person who you want to help needs to be done in a sensitive, caring way yet it also needs to be firm and simple. Addiction is confusing for everyone and you may need an impartial person present for a confrontation leading to an offer of help. Boundaries are important, you must state clearly how the persons addiction and behaviour is affecting your life and the lives of others. If you choose to make conditions like withdrawing financial support etc. it should be done thoughtfully but be consistent, don’t back down, stick to any boundaries set up. You may need an intervention from someone with experience and we can arrange this. If the intervention results in the addict accepting help then instant admission to a suitable treatment centre is available.

What do I need to know about rehab?

What is Rehab is a complex question because rehabs vary dramatically in quality, price and services offered for specific addictions and eating disorders. Some are registered to deal with dual-diagnosis (mental health alongside addiction) issues, some are not. The content of the program varies depending on quality of counsellors, activities offered and structure in place. Some clients need extra support in certain areas such as trauma, eating disorder treatment etc. A quality rehab is not cheap but in the long run, as long as you choose the right one tailored for the individuals needs, it can be the best decision ever made. Done correctly and with proper aftercare and continued contact with the recovery community, I believe it to be the most effective route and a life changing experience.

What to tell an employer about rehab?

The process of getting clean and staying clean is very much based on honesty so being open about your problems is the only feasible route to a full recovery. Most professionals in the business consider honesty to be the only way forward however it is the individuals choice and no one other than them can make the decision. If the person is 100% ready and determined to get clean then their life will improve for the better so even if they must face negative consequences at this stage, it is often a means to an end and part of the process. Most employers actually appreciate the honest approach and will assist in any way that they can so it’s not always as bad as you would imagine. If you are able to take time away for rehab you will almost certainly come back a better and more productive employee so it is in their best interests to look after you. Sometime, however, and this happened to me personally, things go too far and the only option is to make a clean break and start afresh, this again is down to the individual.

What is the rehab centre like?

Drug, alcohol and addiction treatment centres in general can vary a lot in standard. They have different programs, routines and quality of counselling so it is important to chose the right treatment centre and get all the rehab information for that centre, to ensure it suits the individual. It’s difficult to know unless you have been so it is good to discuss this with someone impartial who has experience of different types of treatment and knows about rehab. You are welcome to Contact Us for help choosing the ideal rehab for you or a loved one.

What is Rehab, What to expect?

Again, places vary but the best piece of advice would be to go in with an open mind and without any pre-conceived ideas of what is the right way and wrong way. As long as you have selected the best possible treatment centre, found out about rehab and got all the required rehab information, according to an individuals needs then you know you or your loved one is in the right place. From then it is down to the person to embrace the program on offer and actively get involved, that way they will get the most out of the experience. Some find rules hard to take when they first arrive in rehab but years of addiction robs us of structure and responsibility so the best way to be successful and maintain long term sobriety is to accept the rules and follow all advice and instructions given. It’s easier and more effective that way.

How much does rehab cost?

The cost of rehab varies from the top of the range places, down to government facilities that’s why you need all the individual rehab information you can gather. It is often the most common of the rehab questions because value for money is the key. Sadly, the quality of the experience varies too and you generally get what you pay for. The cost also varies from country to country and that’s why we charge local prices to overseas people at Cape Recovery, giving them incredible value for money and the highest quality treatment options. I spent a lot on different treatments and ‘solutions’ to my alcoholism but it doesn’t have to be that way. A wise bit of expenditure now on a suitable and value for money rehab could be the only financial burden as the better the rehab, program and counsellors and the longer amount of time spent in rehab, the better your or your loved ones chances are of having a full and continued recovery. It’s the ideal introduction to a clean and sober life, having been there, I believe that now.

How long does Rehab take?

Usually the initial stage of rehab would be a minimum of 21 days though a month is the normal period of time for Primary care. Some people leave after this time but it is only part of the process so it is advised that clients stay on for a further two months secondary treatment. Secondary gives the client time to put into practice the things that they’ve learnt as well as giving them the opportunity to address any underlying issues or unresolved trauma. It is commonly recognised that the longer a person stays in treatment, the higher the chance of a sustained recovery. This is due, in my opinion, to not only a sustained period of clean time but also because of the introduction to the larger recovery community and fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. This introduction allows them to make contacts with the people who will form their support network when they leave rehab.

Are there other options that work other than rehab?

The simple answer to this long debated question is yes there are options. I am a big advocate of the 12 Steps and fellowships such as AA and NA though again, that is not the only way and as with any route, there are no guarantees in this game. Many people do get and stay clean and sober with the support of the program alone. We also work with quality out-patient services which again, can and do work. The main problem that I have found is that many people need a bit more than this. For example, the process of becoming addicted can take years  to reach crisis point, there is usually a lot of trauma and unresolved stuff from the past that is keeping the person in the cycle of addiction. They often need a medical detox which of course AA cannot provide, people can die from stopping drinking and this must be managed. In my opinion, rehab can provide the safety and the basis for recovery and an introduction to the fellowships of AA and NA and the continued attendance and contact with the recovery community can then provide all one needs for a long and successful sober life. What is rehab if it doesn’t equip the person for the outside world? That’s why we encourage the process of introducing all our clients to the larger, worldwide recovery community, starting here in Cape Town.

I hope we have successfully answered the question what is rehab and given you the answers to frequently asked rehab questions and all the rehab information that you need to take the next step.

That is my take on some of the rehab questions asked and once you’ve asked what is rehab?, equipped yourself with all the rehab information and have answers to all your rehab questions, it’s time to Contact Us and let us find the perfect place for you or your loved one!

UK revisited – Acceptance

Visit and CapeRecovery Rehab UK


I’ve recently returned from visiting the UK and some time to re build personal relationships with my family and work on CapeRecovery Rehab UK. It’s the first time I’ve visited the UK in four years, the last time being my Dads funeral. I think I was always anxious about coming back because of all the chaos and sad memories of my last trip. For anyone who doesn’t know, that trip consisted of a major relapse, a final visit to my father who was dying in hospital, a week in the same hospital myself after nearly dying of alcohol poisoning and finally, just prior to flying back to Cape Town, my Dads funeral and all the anxiety, sadness and confusion that came with it. It was a testing time for everyone involved and though I believe I had no control at the time, I made a sad time even more difficult for everyone. My Dad was a great and humble man and amongst all the chaos I was able to speak to him for the last time on his hospital bed and I promised him that I would get well again. For that chance I will be eternally grateful and though regretful things happened I stand by my decision to make that final trip.

Today, four years on and a bit over two years clean and sober, the longest in well over 25 years, life is a little different. It’s not to say that I don’t think about those times or indeed feel anxious anymore, just that all that stuff is gone and a reminder of where I will be if I ever have a drink again. I wandered around London, a place that I’ve lived in for a few years and a place that I enjoy even if it wouldn’t be my first choice of somewhere to live. The thing that struck me was how enjoyable it was to just walk around with no agenda, no secretiveness and no guilt about what I was doing. In the past I couldn’t go anywhere with a clear head and I wouldn’t get past the first pub without popping in for a drink or two. This freedom is something I cherish, probably something that most people have on a daily basis but to me it felt profound.

Uk Cape Town Rehab, Cape Recovery UK, Medical Tourism, Rehab Tourism, Rehab Abroad, Rehab Overseas, Rehab UK
UK – Cape Town Rehab


Another thing that struck me on my visit was the ease at which I fitted back into other people’s lives, my three nieces in particularly. There’s been a lot of hurt caused to my family in the past but by grace people were just happy to have me and I was happy to be there without any distrust, sneaking around or other agenda. My nieces especially seemed to be delighted that I’d actually come to visit after all this time and doing ‘normal’ things like taking them to school in the mornings felt like an real event.

There’s still a lot of work to be done and I felt I needed a good two years of sobriety under my belt before I could be confident that the visit would be a positive experience and I hope now that this is the catalyst for me to be a real player and a positive influence in the lives of my nieces.

The acceptance and encouragement from everyone I’ve seen and stayed with has been incredible and I know it’s because I have changed and come a long way in my recovery but it’s still gracious of them to have such belief in me.


During my time in the UK, I took the time to meet with a couple of old friends in London. Something that although I’ve always had good intentions to do, it never actually happens! This is again due to the distance and the confidence to revisit old places. I find that there are only a handful of friends in life who will be there no matter what and although this was never actually lost on me, the confidence to travel halfway around the world to see them was lacking for a long time. This time, it was a great experience, we took off where we left off and the notion that we hadn’t seen one another for years was not even present. These people have their own lives to lead but are still delighted to see me how I am now and are a huge encouragement to me. Friends are important and I cannot afford to let myself forget that when life gets busy.


As many of you will be aware, I have been working hard at establishing caperecovery in Cape Town, the CapeRecovery Rehab UK side of business was integrated into my trip. These ventures are successful and I really enjoy the work I’m doing. I find it a blessing to be able to assist the still suffering addict in my day to day stuff, it doesn’t really feel like work! It’s a privilege to be a part of and unlike many other people in the field, money isn’t the overriding motivation. There is such a need and so many people who’s lives are being destroyed by drugs and alcohol, including those not addicted but affected by the addicts behaviors, that something needs to change and we need to offer affordable addiction treatment to everyone, not just those with lots of money. This has now become my primary focus and motivation and I am currently writing up a proposal for the first of our all-access recovery centers in Cape Town. I have a potential funder and I’d ask those of you who pray to do so as this could be an effective way of reaching everyone who needs help. It seems a little overwhelming and should we get the support we need, the task ahead would be huge but I believe you have to have a passion and a vision before anything will happen so let’s see how that one pans out?!


I know now that although I have a life in Cape Town, I also am still welcomed in the UK. It used to be a daunting place full of sad memories, now it’s a place I can visit freely and a place where my loving family and friends live. They are at last proud of me today, it’s taken a long time coming! This is now my passion, to bring people like me, struggling with addiction in the UK or the rest of the world, to Cape Town, to taste the recovery lifestyle. Rehab UK with CapeRecovery can help you to take a step back, evaluate what is and is not important and start living life without the use of drugs or alcohol or addictive behaviours. It’s good! Come to Cape Town now, I’ll organise the rest. Although life can still be difficult and I don’t always feel great, it’s a million times better than it was and I can go to bed sober taking heart in the fact that tomorrow is another day. Nine times out of ten I wake up feeling hopeful and this is what was lacking in my drinking days. If anyone out there is still struggling, there is hope, though I found that difficult to believe in the early days. To everyone else, thank you for your continued love and support, it means a lot and long may it continue for the

Rehab UK

Rehab Costs in the UK and Abroad are sometimes ten times more that over here in Cape Town, South Africa, check out our rehab UK Site now and see what we can do for you or a loved one at Cape Recovery!

Christmas in Recovery

Christmas in Recovery

Christmas Rehab

The launch of Cape recovery’s  new look website coincides with the notoriously busy, post festive season, period for rehab admissions. It’s sometimes a difficult time for addicts and for families of addicts alike as they try to maintain the happiness of Christmas and all that brings with it and try to ignore the ”elephant in the room” that is the drug using son or drunk uncle who doesn’t even know he has a drinking problem.

We have increased the number of treatment facilities that we work with in order to offer rehab packages tailored just for you or your loved ones. We don’t take time off at Christmas because addiction doesn’t just stop because it’s the holidays. We have tailored packages so that people can stay in the safety of rehab throughout Christmas and the new year.

UK Revisited - UK Rehab - CapeRecovery - Christmas

In my own experience, Christmas can be a difficult time, especially when you are new in recovery. The thing is, with the right support it doesn’t have to be that way. I have had two of these periods whilst I’ve been clean and sober and as long as you surround yourself with the right people and don’t take unnecessary risks it will be ok. A lot of people relapse at this time of year because it’s an emotional time with thoughts on family, especially those lost. Past Christmas times crop up and we find ourselves comparing, thinking back to happier times and regrets start to emerge. I tend to be better with that stuff  nowadays because I’m realistic about the past and having had disastrous times in between, appreciate and am happy with the way things are now.

Don’t do it alone this festive period, Contact Us for Christmas Rehab options now. Come from the UK or Overseas? Visit our UK Site, we will arrange it all for you. The help and support is there, so change your life for the better and accept it.



Depression (Addiction, Mental Health and Dual-Diagnosis)

Suffering from Depression or other mental health issue alongside an addiction? Depression and any addiction combined can cause many problems and require expert dual-diagnosis management.

What do I do about Addiction, Depression and Mental Health – Dual-Diagnosis?

Read this blog post if you like and then call +27 (82) 6359419 or e-mail for the best dual-diagnosis rehab in South Africa.

I lie here in the glorious sunshine by the pool at my place in Cape Town. I’m content, doing work that is both rewarding and enjoyable, I have a good circle of loyal friends and a family that loves me and wants me to be successful but most importantly, happy. This still however feels so alien to me and far removed from the devastating chaos caused by over two decades of fumbling blindly through the confusion of daily abuse of alcohol and the underlying, possibly causal factor, depression. To medicate is normal, to self-medicate is logical, prescription medication combined with the self-medication of choice is the real killer that lies beneath. Only now, away from all that, do I have the ability to separate the two. I have taken away the non-prescribed drugs, the overly-prescribed drugs, the over the counter drugs and the alcohol and got a clear view of what went wrong. I can now treat the depression as if it is simply an inconvenience that can be managed and just like addiction, it can be managed effectively. If someone had even suggested that to me a few years ago, I would have given a very negative and violent response.

My point here is that, although on the surface life is brilliant for me, what people who don’t suffer from depression understandably don’t grasp is that quality of life is of no consequence to the illness. When locked in depression, happiness isn’t measured by what we’ve got to be grateful for, by having people who love us, even by a knowledge that we are good people with good hearts doing exactly the right thing. It’s irrelevant, inexplicable and the depression can strike at any time. The last couple of days I’ve been in a rare state of low mood, it still happens, nearly three years after taking my last drink but this is depression, this is, like addiction, an illness that will be with me for life and one that I have to manage. It’s fine now though because when things go dark, it’s temporary and I have a bad day, stay sober, go to bed and hope the next day will be better. If it’s not, I simply repeat the process. It’s uncomfortable and soul destroying when I can’t motivate myself to do simple everyday tasks but it’s my reality now and it always goes away until it comes back again. I’m happy this way because I’ve lived for twenty years trying to make myself happy in such destructive ways that I’m lucky to have come out alive. I think back to the long weeks, months and years where every single day I had no hope, filling my life with bullshit and alcohol as some kind of counter against the darkness until the time when the darkness was there for good, regardless of any measures I took to lift it. Depression had taken hold of my life. It was a tragic way to live, waking up to a world where nothing seemed to lie ahead but years and years more of what I was already finding intolerable. I would pray at night that I wouldn’t wake up the following morning, knowing that sleep was my one and only time when I had any peace. I manipulated a series of relationships, engagements and a marriage in a vain attempt to give life a degree of purpose but absolutely nothing I tried gave me any happiness. When the alcohol really took hold, it was a solution to the problem, it filled the waking gaps between sleeps and took me away from a reality that hurt and confused me. It gave me solace but it also turned me into a shell, a zombie and relationships with actual people became an inconvenience rather than a comfort.

Depression, Mental Health, Dual-Diagnosis
Depression, Mental Health, Dual-Diagnosis

One of the benefits of having suffered this way is that I have extreme empathy for others who are still suffering, I appreciate things, people matter and things that go on around me are relevant. I read about the recent Paris attacks and all the other horrendous things that are happening around the world with sadness, I’m not naïve enough to believe that all people are good but I do believe that inherently, the majority of people are good. I no longer want to get involved in battles I can do little about, does that make me a coward or just realistic? I don’t want to be a politician or work in the press, having to sell my soul for a pay packet, corruption is a cancer that comes with misused power and I’d rather have my own sound agenda than some larger harmful one. The only way I as an individual can help is small yet extremely powerful, it gives me peace and a desire to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. My belief is that helping the world starts with helping the person next to you. It’s about knowing your limitations but having a desire to improve the life of that person in any way you know how. I’m privileged to have knowledge, experience and support to make good things happen and that’s what I will do. I don’t subscribe to any notion that the problem is too huge, there are too many suffering, helping one won’t make any difference to the world right? Wrong, it will make the world of difference to them and trust me they will want to help others because it’s contagious, it spreads quickly and that’s what will make a difference on a huge scale.

These days, I don’t update my personal Facebook status much, I think I used to buy into the belief that if I posted about how amazing my life was it would somehow become that way. With a long stretch of sobriety and one pill a day for the depression I don’t need those kind of false highlights anymore. Life is manageable now I’m on a level, life is bearable and even with the blips, I wouldn’t want it any other way. What the world sees aren’t just highlights, a vain attempt to hide the real pain beneath the facade. What they see now is me, reasonably happy, very content and moving on with a life I’d never believed was possible. I no longer fear death but I do now like being alive, the world simply is a frightening place but it’s not so gloomy that I no longer want to be a part of it and that to me is a miracle.

Someone once identified in me something that I’ve never really explored until recently. They said something along the lines of ‘You people (meaning presumably those suffering from addiction, depression or both) seem to be unafraid of death because the thought of living scares you more’. Laughing it off at the time I never realised quite how profound that was. It’s 100% true! I’ve thought a lot about it and when you are acutely depressed the fear of life makes death a more reasonable option. This of course varies in drama and intensity from person to person but I certainly understand the feeling. Without being dramatic, I’ve been moved to suicide in the past and as irrational as it feels now, it was very real at the time. Depression can and does kill people. Some people go that extra step and succeed, I’ve lost friends, particularly in recovery ironically, and by the grace of God, it didn’t happen to me and my life goes on equipped with some useful life experience.

As it stands today, I still have no actual fear of dying and this is because I’m more hopeful in my outlook, there’s no point worrying about what’s to come and the joy in living every day fully is enough for me. Sorry to bring it up again but I was stabbed on a train, puncturing my lung and as near to death as I have realistically become. This was a year into my current recovery and it taught me some amazing things. The first thing it taught me was that I had no fear, I took on the muggers, both armed, in order to hang on to my stuff because injustice makes me angry and I saw no reason for them to have what they requested. Whether or not this was wise is irrelevant and the means justify the ends, if they had of killed me I wouldn’t have had any regrets. I stood up for what I believed in. The second thing is that I can forgive, despite the opinion of experts that I would have trauma for months or years to come following the attack, I felt no anger, I forgave my attackers instantly and moved on. How I did this is one of life’s mysteries but it makes me happy and I feel I gained from what could otherwise have made me bitter and resentful. I avoided the bitterness and the anger which in turn, gave me peace, we have to leave behind the things that will ultimately hurt us more so that’s what I did.

On the subject of death, I still think very often of my Dad who I lost 5 years ago to cancer. Initially when someone dies the grief is too much to form coherent thoughts let alone try to find some positives in the situation! That’s why we all need time to grieve of course, it’s human. Beyond that and years down the line I only ever think positively about my Dad. I thought we were worlds apart for a long time but every day I realise I am more like him than either of us would ever have admitted. Fortunately for me, I seem to have inherited his good traits and that thought that my Dad’s legacy continues in me shows me that death is just a moment, the person still lives on. Like me, my Dad had a period of depression where he found routine and life intolerable. It was short with him but what impressed me most was his resilience; how he dealt with the depression, anxiety and lethargy that goes along with it, he didn’t simply give up. He made changes to his life, took a step down in career but this just made him more valuable and useful in his new role. He was the go to man for any problem and had a knack of handling people, this has been the benchmark to my recovery. Although he was a quiet and humble man and not such a risk taker as myself, his power came from being approachable and helping others and that’s what’s important, it’s human and it lives on forever.

I want to end with how to deal with depression in someone and this is also relevant to people with addictions. Just because you don’t feel the same way or have the same urges doesn’t mean the next persons reality isn’t exactly as they describe. Depression and addiction are both illnesses that affect the brain chemistry and as such are as real as any physical illness. Even if you are unable to emphasise with the person, you can still be non-judgmental and supportive. Be human, listen, give them the time they need, it really is as simple as that.

Life can still be difficult for me but it’s infinitely less difficult than it used to be when I wasn’t managing my mental health, depression and addiction. Well managed, dual-diagnosis treatment got me here but I had to learn the hard way and do a lot myself, now there is an easier way. Alcohol used to be the solution, now life and hope is the answer for the

What do I do about Addiction, Depression and Mental Health – Dual-Diagnosis?

Long term drug and alcohol use and depression (mental health issues, dual-diagnosis) can display similar symptoms so it is always advisable to take a step away from the drugs and alcohol before a proper assessment is made. Read more here. Dual-Diagnosis clinics are experts at dealing with both mental health and addiction together. Contact Us today for the best Dual-Diagnosis Clinic in Cape Town.


Detachment. How Do I Detach With Love?


Detaching with Love – How do I achieve detachment with love?

The question of detaching with love from an addict in the throws of a chaotic, confusing and damaging active addiction is always a tricky one for me, particularly when giving advice to others who are dealing with the fallout. Just how can you go about Detaching with Love, letting go in a caring manner? The idea of withdrawing emotional support may feel contradictory to the idea of loving someone unconditionally but it is a not. Accepting that you have no control over a persons actions or decisions is the first step to detachment. Often the hurt has become too much and the only way to move forward is to take a step back. This is ok, your loved one will be in a safe place, surrounded by people who can truly empathize when they are at their lowest or ‘rock bottom’ as it is often referred to. It’s this idea that outwardly being unsupportive and appearing uncaring is ultimately the most nurturing thing anyone can do that people struggle with. I did for a long time.

Detachment, Detaching with Love
Love The Addict, Hate The Disease.

The more I’ve experienced myself, from being an addict and being in relationships of one kind or another with non-addicts, is that however tolerant or understanding a person may be, they cannot understand the addict brain. This is not to say that these people are in any way ignorant or unwilling to learn, it’s just that at the root of it all they have a completely different way of doing and seeing the world. It’s not even a criticism because where the brain’s involved they cannot simply bypass their own core beliefs and personal situation because that’s not how we work as human beings. They can be sympathetic yes, but can they truly every empathize with the addict, I believe the answer is no. The selfish and damaging and often highly abusive nature of addiction is such that we alienate everyone and everything around us in order to continue in our using way of life. Aside from the people who don’t want to understand and will always see addiction as a choice and a weakness there are some wonderful and supportive people who will do absolutely anything to enable a loved one. Both in my eyes are equally damaging and will yield the same result, continued addictive behaviour and eventual meltdown leading to the inevitable institutionalization or death.

This of course paints a very bleak picture but of course it doesn’t always have to be that way. A well managed plan of detachment plus intervention can be the only chance for the addict to move forward and this is ultimately what reaps rewards for all parties. As the addict becomes aware of the damage they have caused they can work toward making some kind of amends. This doesn’t have to be dramatic or overwhelming, it can simply mean trying to remain clean and sober for a period of time. I believe, despite the massive relapse rates in treatment, every period of sobriety and every intervention from someone who is not a family member or direct carer of the individual builds momentum and confidence not only in the addict but in their families. This is the first stage of course and with support for the families going on parallel to the support for the addict, a way forward can be found and relationships can begin to be rebuilt.

The problem is, it can often be a slow process and that can become frustrating. For those who are ready and serious about getting and staying clean, recovery rates with quality intervention can be incredible so it’s not all doom and gloom! My advice these days is to detach with love. Don’t enable, let the person find their way, let the professionals handle it and sit back, have hope and practice grace, pray if it’s what you do. Addiction is a disease and treated as such can be managed. And trust me, there is no greater reward to the addict than realizing they can lead a ‘normal’ life and once again do things that make their loved ones proud. It’s rewarding for both parties and when you detach with love, life doesn’t have to be harder, in fact it gets a lot easier and the mutual respect and love comes back stronger than ever.

The best and most effective long term way to gain this detachment is for the addict to go to rehab where they will be supported and the family can get space and their own support whilst being kept informed of the persons progress every step of the way so Contact Us today for any support you require detaching with love.

Recovery This Easter With Cape Recovery

Recovery at Easter

Cape Recovery

Happy Easter from Cape Recovery! It doesn’t matter if you’re not Christian, just enjoy the chocolate eggs. Addiction doesn’t discriminate so why would we? We are all one in the Cape Recovery family and we all share the same primary purpose, to help the still suffering addict.

I want to just mention a couple of things today. The first is that it is a year ago today that I returned from hospital following a near fatal stabbing on a train in Cape Town. This was an interesting time for me in recovery as it was the first real test and the first time someone has actively tried to kill me (read a blow by blow account on my blog HERE. It was a real turnaround in the way I approached life and was helpful as it made me appreciate all that I had and focus on the present. Life is very unpredictable but to be happy in the moment is a gift that I have received through being clean and sober.

Celebrate Your Recovery

The second point that I’ve been pondering is from reports of people in the same business as us. Though we are transparent in everything we do and don’t turn anyone away, providing assistance even if the client has no money, others operate in more unsavory ways than this. Some are only interested in the top end of the market where the obvious profits are but I would question the ethics and personal satisfaction this approach portrays. I’m not into putting people down who are trying to run a legitimate business but profiting purely from desperate people and essentially not caring where they end up is worrying to say the least.

That is why at Cape Recovery we do something for everyone, regardless of budget. We only work with treatment centers and professionals in the field who have a proven record and to whom we would be delighted to send a loved one their way with confidence. We are working with our partners and funders on some exciting projects to provide free support and treatment to those who have a desire to get clean and sober and remain that way.

Contact us for help and recovery advice this Easter time and Happy Easter!