Addiction is a treatable disease. Addicts can learn to manage their condition and lead productive lives through treatment that is tailored to their needs.
Extensive research shows that addiction treatment can be as effective as the treatment of other chronic medical conditions. However, like these other conditions, recovery from addiction requires sustained input and long-term management. It has been proven that those who stay in treatment for longer than 3 months have a far better prognosis for recovery. Shorter treatment periods often perform as well as if no treatment were undergone at all. Although it is widely believed that addiction is limited to the abuse of substances and therefore can be cured quickly, this is in fact not the case. Addiction has many dimensions and disrupts many aspects of an individual's functioning. Treatment is never simple. In order to be effective, the treatment programme needs to incorporate many components, each directed to address a particular aspect of the illness, and its consequences.
In addition to stopping drug use, the goal of treatment is to return the individual to a productive level of functioning, in the family, workplace and community. This is established by helping the addict to achieve a paradigm shift, from a “culture of addiction” to a “culture of recovery.” Measures of effectiveness typically include levels of family functioning, employability and attitude.
Integral parts of successful recovery are the commitment of the addict, and the support of the family. A strong emphasis is placed on the application of knowledge and skills learned, during treatment and afterwards.
Residents that successfully complete the treatment programme at SCRC enjoy an exceptionally high sustained recovery rate. We maintain our belief that recovery is possible for everyone and we will do whatever it takes to help our residents achieve this.
Individuals progress through treatment at various speeds, and it is therefore difficult to predetermine the exact length of treatment for any particular individual. Once an individualised treatment plan has been developed, and after the first month of treatment, a comprehensive assessment will be made in conjunction with all members of the therapeutic team and the family. Case reviews and continuous progress assessments play a role in influencing further interventions, and thus the expected treatment duration.
The factors that impact on duration of treatment include: attitude; willingness; depth of addiction; poly-drug use; length of use; drug of choice; health, and physical condition. Comorbidity and the prevalence of associated disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders also need to be taken into consideration and will affect the length of treatment.
“Research has shown, unequivocally, that good outcomes are contingent on adequate lengths of treatment; participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness. This is particularly the case when dealing with cocaine, crack, tik, heroin and eating disorders. Often 30 – 90 days can pass before the abuser realises that they are in withdrawal.” (UNODC, 2008)
The minimum programme length at SCRC is 6 months. Treatment will only be considered complete once the resident has actualised all the treatment requirements, completed Step 7 and prepared a comprehensive Relapse Prevention Plan, Warning Signs Document and Life Plan.
Nearly all addicted individuals initially believe that they can stop using drugs on their own, and most try to stop without treatment. Most of these attempts, however, result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. Research has shown that log-term drug use results on significant changes in brain function that persists long after the individual stops abusing substances. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have many behavioural consequences, including the compulsion to use drugs despite the adverse consequences.
An understanding of this biological component can help to explain why addicts have difficulty achieving and maintaining abstinence on their own. Psychological stress, social cues or environmental triggers interact with biological factors to sabotage the maintenance of sobriety.
An understanding that addiction is a complex disease, with physical, psychological and spiritual components, also helps to explain why addicts have difficulty sustaining recovery without treatment. Mere abstinence does not solve the core problem, thus making relapse more likely. Effective life skills need to be learnt and practised in a protected environment for a prolonged period of time for an individual to be given the most effective opportunity to live a normal, purpose-driven life.
All programme content and information is subject to change with out notice.
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