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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.


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!

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.

Care In Recovery

Care In Recovery

Care in Recovery

Caring for Addicts

The rehab game is often a confusing one for people seeking the best possible treatment tailored for them. They must know that they are getting the best value possible in an ever developing market. They must be sure that they are getting the correct information and guidance and they must be sure that the people in charge care. This sounds straight forward but it’s not always that way.

Addiction is still a frightening and confusing disease to all involved and holistic treatment of the individual and the family of the individual is central to rebuilding lives and relationships in order to move on in not only a clean and sober life but in a happy and fulfilled one.

Doubt often exists over the true motivation of people seemingly ‘cashing in’ on this market and that’s why I believe the process needs to be transparent and seamless:

  • We must eradicate the stress of hidden costs by simply removing them.
  • We must have a knowledgeable voice on the end of a phone to answer any queries.
  • Most importantly, we must enjoy what we do and stay alert to our primary purpose, helping the still suffering addict.

I myself am an addict who has found recovery. I never take my sobriety for granted and am grateful for this miracle every single day. My gratitude for that continues into my work and I feel I have a duty to only work with like minded people.

People who Care

Egos and recovery cannot coexist; there’s no way forward for people who are simply motivated by money and nothing else. I do however believe that the vast majority of individuals who work in the field are here for the still suffering addict, without that motivation I see no point in them continuing. The work makes me happy and knowing that I am giving my all without any hidden agenda gives me an inner peace that money cannot buy.

I’ll make a living yes, so we can carry on doing what we do but beyond that, it’s in Gods hands and I like it that way. I spoke about my faith and my work building Cape Recovery in my most recent alcoholfreeme blog post and I am currently working to fine tune our select list of quality residential rehabs to suit all people in need and it’s through our partnerships with these places that our service thrives.

Joe (pictured below) is one of these very people who make my life easier just by his example to everyone around him. He is a pleasure to work with and keeps his costs to an absolute minimum in order to do what he does best: help the still suffering addict.
He also offers care to families in his family support groups at no extra cost and upholds our beliefs that addiction is truly a family disease. Contact us for assessments and direct referrals to Cornerstone Rehabilitation Centre.

This picture at the top of this page is an example of someone who’s faith is contagious and willingness to help is unrelenting and that’s why we like him; Because, at CapeRecovery we choose our partners carefully and we only work with those who care.