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coping with an addict

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!

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.

The Damage Addicts Cause

Family Support, Family Help

Family Support is often lacking and something people ask when they are not the addict themselves but have been affected by the behavior of the addict is ”Where do I go for help?”. This is a very valid and important question as the family help is key for any harmony to be restored.

“Our hearts do not need logic; they can love and forgive and accept that which our minds cannot comprehend. Hearts understand in ways our minds cannot.” -Lois Wilson, wife of Bill Wilson (founder of AA) and founding member of Al-Anon.

Something that is often left aside when tackling the devastating downfall an individual takes towards accessing treatment is the years of damage and stress caused to people close to the addict.

Most treatment centers are aware of this strain but have to focus initially on the addict, bringing the family in when they have a sound and stable base to work with. It’s a testing time for everyone involved and I want to talk about my experience of personal damages as an active alcoholic of 25 years. Read about my journey here. At CapeRecovery we focus on both the addict and those close to them.

Cape Recovery, Contact Us, Rehab Information, Family, Family Support, Family Help
Families and Friends of addicts need help too.

Family Disease

Addiction is a family disease and must be treated that way.

At Cape Recovery we not only support the addict themselves but we also offer family support and advice for the friends of addicts. We have staff who have experienced living with an addict and can empathise with the mixture of anger and love that goes with living and trying to understand addiction. Addicts leave behind them damage and chaos and it’s only human to be deeply affected by that, even if they don’t mean to cause pain, they inevitably do. Contact Us for rehab options. We are launching a program for the families affected by addiction so news of that will be on the site soon.