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Travel for treatment or treatment travel?

You reached out for help and have made the decision to enter an inpatient programme. Which one though? Finding an addiction rehab that feels like a good fit can be challenging.

One of the factors that may be important to you is location. For some, going away for treatment may seem like an extreme step. For others though, it may feel absolutely necessary to remove themselves from the people, places, things and influences in their environment that are triggering and contribute to the addiction cycle. For those people, travelling out of their local area may offer the opportunity to fully focus on the recovery process.

Cape Town has long been regarded as a desirable destination for addiction treatment. South Africa’s appealing climate and affordability are second to the acclaimed programmes that pepper especially the Western Cape. However, medical tourism in the substance abuse field has become increasingly more glamorous with the result being a competition of luxury rather than treatment quality.

Where they have a choice, clients may be inclined to select a facility based on the affluence of the rooms, the size of the swimming pool, whether or not there is a tennis court, and the thread count of the linen. Not to discredit the fact that these aspects do contribute to the facility’s climate and overall treatment experience, but we can’t help ponder the implications. Are amenities considered above the training and experience of staff? Does luxury attempt to sugarcoat the difficult work of the treatment process?

Ultimately what will determine the success of a client’s journey will not be whether there were ocean views from the group room, a masseuse who visited once a day, or whether yoga was part of the package. A client’s buy in and willingness to tackle their addiction in the context of a meaningful therapeutic alliance, will allow for the essential work to be done.

Choose comfort. Why not? And enjoy it.

But remember it is in discomfort, that growth lies.

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