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HOW TO ASSESS A REHAB ?
There are unfortunately many con artists out there trying to make a quick buck
ALWAYS ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WHEN MAKING A REHAB ENQUIRY:

1. IS IT A REHAB?
Many websites these days masquerade as a rehab, when in actual fact, they are acting like a travel agent, merely selling treatment on behalf of a facility with whom they have a contract. These agents have no interest in your well being or welfare; their only interest is the amount of commission they can make out of you by referring you to a facility with whom they have a kickback arrangement. The sooner they can get you into the most expensive rehab you can afford, the better for them.

2. IS THE FACILITY REGISTERED?
Registration with a statutory authority does not guarantee good treatment but it does mean that the facility has had to meet certain medico-legal requirements but more importantly, it means that if things go wrong, you will have some recourse. In South Africa, the Department of Social Development carries the responsibility for registering rehabs. A registered facility also often means that Medical Aid will contribute to the cost.

3. IS THE FACILITY WELL ESTABLISHED?
With the advent of the internet, anyone with an empty garage in their house can set up a rehab or rent a villa and then make the most outrageous treatment claims and advertise incredible success stories. The target audience with addictive disorders is usually very desperate for help, so snake oil salesman abound in this industry merrily exploiting the vulnerable with impunity. Don’t be deceived by a fabulous website with pretty pictures.

4. IS THE FACILITY PROPERLY STAFFED?
Most treatment facilities have a mix of professionally trained registered staff and para-professional counselling staff. A balance is important as many clients have psychological disorders that if left unaddressed, raise the relapse risk profile enormously. So, the presence of professionals is important but because they are expensive to employ, facilities often keep them to a minimum. At the same time adequately trained para professionals can make all the difference. Another trick used by understaffed facilities is to have an extensive payroll of very part time staff.

5. IS THERE A NURSING, MEDICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE?
If the answer is yes, ask for details. If the answer is no, venture forth at your own risk. Most people with addictive disorders will have medication or nursing needs while in treatment. Experienced nursing and medical staff who understand addiction and how the disorder infiltrates into most medical problems are an important asset in an effective treatment programme. A loose arrangement with the local GP is often not good enough.

6. WHAT IS THE COST?
Always ask what the cost includes and what it excludes, if there is a co payment and whether someone gets kickback for your referral. Ask about the refund policy if treatment ends prematurely and whether counselling or therapy services are add-on extras.

ASK AN EXPERT