Dealing children and adolescents and their psychiatric problems, we can make progress with regular contact with our patients, developing trust between ourselves and the youngsters and allowing them to feel unashamedly honest. We gradually make progress with these kids, identifying issues as the therapeutic process moves forward. It is common to identify some patients who exhibit bipolar or borderline personality disorders.
Unfortunately once these youngster grow up, many of them are tempted by pier groups and society to try alcohol and substances. In fact it is well know that many people who suffer from substance addiction are in fact undiagnosed bipolar, adhd or borderline personalities that have been trying find relief through self medicating themselves with narcotics or prescription drugs. Without intervention these youths will continue with their use of substances as means of trying to feel better. What many of the youngsters fail to understand is the risk they are taking by using illegal street drugs if they are already taking some form of prescription medication for a psychiatric disorder. The combination of the two will either make the psychiatric symptoms worse, or nullify the effects of the prescribed medication. Invariably these youngster, if they are lucky, will end up in a rehabiliation centre to help them get a better understanding of why they are drawn to escapism of drug or alcohol abuse. Most medical aid schemes will only cover the basic twenty eight day treatment program that just touches the surface of begining a new life in recovery, free of the urge to self medicate. The first few weeks after a patients leaves a drug rehabilitation centre or psychiatric centre are critical to the success of that patients recovery. Many patients have no choice to return to abusive homes with alcoholic parents, siblings who use drugs at home in neighbourhoods that overlook this behaviour. There are a few other options. Over the past few years, more and more “sober houses” have been started. A sober living house, is a safe house where someone who is comitted to staying abstinent and maintaing their recovery can go an live for a period of time until they are well adjusted to sober live. Scotswood Retreat is one such sober house in Cape Town. The facility was recently set up to cater for people leaving treatment centres that require a safe and substance free environment that will encourage and motivate them to continue forward on their recovery path. Typically, a sober house will have a communal kitchen, weekly meetings of the residents, an on site counsellor, cooked meals and a healthy routine that encourages participation of the residents. Scotswood offers all of this and more. It has WiFi, beautiful gardens, the house is serviced three times a week and there is also a lovely swimming pool and safe off street parking for residents. It might be new, but Scotswood is certainly one of the nicest sober houses in Cape Town. It is strongly urged that if you are leaving a treatment facility or psychiatric facility and are concerned about the home environment that you are returning to, that you consider a sober house in Cape Town, and put your recovery first.