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To recover from a substance use disorder

To recover from a substance use disorder, more is needed than just stopping using the substances. Addiction is a behavioural disease. The symptoms of this disease are behaviour, progressive, and unfortunately deadly. Recovering in isolation is not possible. Coming out of denial is the first phase toward a path of recovery. This process is best done in a rehabilitation centre. Such a rehabilitation centre is called primary care and South Africa is blessed with many of them. The work done in a rehabilitation centre like this is: ‘coming out of denial’, ‘pinpointing the cause of using these substances, ‘connecting to oneself’ and much more.

In a rehabilitation centre (primary care), they focus on getting rid of their demon, in many cases, we call it their ‘drug of choice. Some substances involve a detox procedure that needs medical care to succeed. As stated at the beginning of this article, to live a sustainable life in recovery, more is needed than just going to a rehabilitation centre in Cape Town for example. Because addiction is a behaviour disease, to recover one needs to change their core beliefs, habits, etc. This work is usually done in a secondary care rehabilitation centre.

To be admitted to secondary care, one needs to be clean of all substances and have completed a primary care program. In a secondary facility, the focus lies on behavioural work, DBT, CBT, and trauma work. A secondary facility can be compared to a ‘Reintegration phase’ where the addict needs to now reintegrate into society while living a sober life. Work done in secondary care is often the most difficult work and asks a lot of willpower from the addicts. Secondary care facilities have the appropriate staff to guide them through this process. Staff such as ‘addiction specialists’, ‘occupational therapists’, ‘recovery assistants’, and ‘life coaches’ are primordial in this second phase.

Cape Town is also equipped with a significant number of secondary care facilities that provide excellent work for the addict to live a sober life. For more information on Secondary Care and our Reintegration programmes, visit Liberty Home is a Secondary Care Facility based in Cape Town, South Africa.