Category Archives: Medical

IACAPAP : Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists in South Africa

The South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (SAACAPAP) was proud to host the first IACAPAP World Congress to be held on the African continent, and doubly proud to have done so during the term of office of the first African President of IACAPAP, Olayinka Omigbodun, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The International Convention Centre in Durban is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world. Durban, capital of the province of KwaZulu Natal, is South Africa’s premier holiday destination. The subtropical climate and warm Indian Ocean mean all-year-round swimming and outdoor activities. Several game parks are only a few hours’ drive to the north, and the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, with its holiday hotels and scenic hikes, is only a few hours’ drive to the west.

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Let’s begin by clearing up the misconceptions that exist for many people about the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  It’s not uncommon for people to be confused between these two professions. A psychologist has a degree in In the study of the human mind and behavior, whereas psychiatrists have graduated as doctors from medical school and have completed their internship and residency. Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication for their patients whereas psychologists are not. The two both work in the same areas of treatment and often refer patients to each other.

Poverty, unemployment and a history of violence and discrimination in the country are all factors that contribute to an unstable environment for children and youth to flourish mentally and emotionally in South Africa.  In poor communities, it is not uncommon for children to neglected and abused by their caregivers.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s hospital in Cape Town is the only medical institution  in South Africa which is entirely dedicated to the physical and psychological well being of children.

Child Psychiatry

Early in 1964, psychiatrist, Dr Vera Buhrmann, founded the Child and Adolescent outpatient unit at the Red Cross hospital, meeting an urgent need for psychiatric care for children and adolescents in the community. The unit was permanently busy and grew from strength to strength and just over ten years later a dedicated facility was established in a converted residential premises nearby. The new facility comprised a much larger staff, including three child psychiatrists catering for seriously damaged children by means of their out patient program. In late 1978, DCAP, or the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found its home at the Sawkins Rd establishment in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
DCAP has helped tens of thousands of children and adolescents since its inception and humble beginnings. With the help of government grants and generous donations from generous sponsors, the facility has become the country’s leading specialist center for psychologically disturbed children and adolescents.

Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction

Recent research in the United States showed that the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs costs the state over $700 billion annually in related crime, lost productivity and healthcare. More and more people are travelling from abroad to drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town, like Ixande. Why Cape Town ? Why South Africa you might ask ? Let us not forget that Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town is where the first successful and historic heart transplant was performed on December 3rd 1967 by Dr Christiaan Barnard. South Africa has medical facilities that are on par with some of the finest in the world. The University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University also provide world class training for those entering the medical profession.
In recent years there has been a rise in the number of drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town. There are several reasons for this. Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It’s flanked by the Indian ocean on the right and the Atlantic ocean on the left, and home to to the majestic Table Mountain. Cape Town is surrounded by mountains teaming with wildlife and a rich diversity of flora and fauna. So from an aesthetic point of view, Cape Town is a beautiful and healthy environment from where one could begin building a cleaner and better life. Cape Town is also home to some the worlds most renowned drug addiction experts that have pioneered certain approaches and treatment methods. Lastly there are the financial considerations to take into account. The costs involved in being admitted into a decent drug rehabilitation centre are quite high. Not all medical aid plans and schemes will cover the costs of treatment for addiction. The debate continues as to whether addiction is a disease or a choice. The medical aid schemes that do allow for such drug rehabilitation treatments will often only cover the costs for a limited period of time. The cost of drug rehabilitation in Cape Town and South Africa in general are already much lower than in other first world countries like the United Kingdom and Holland. The currency exchange rates between these countries make the costs of being admitted into one these drug rehabs far more affordable and as a result many of the clients that are attended to by Ixande and other drug rehabilitation centres are from the United Kingdom, Holland and the USA. Research has also shown that by removing the person suffering from addiction from the toxic environment in which they have learned to thrive on drugs, and relocating them somewhere completely removed from that environment is beneficial in jump starting their recovery process.
Ixande drug addiction rehabilitation centre in Cape Town has an excellent track record in assisting both local clients and clients from abroad in learning to manage and recover from their addiction. Ixande deals with clients suffering from cocaine addiction, crack addiction, marijuana or weed addiction, heroin addiction, prescription medications, tik or crystal meth addiction and GHB addiction. There are many other legal and illegal drugs that people with addictive tendencies can become addicted to, but the therapeutic approach to helping these people is quite similar. Ixande has a team of respected and experienced medical professionals with a history in addiction treatment. Ixande also assist their clients with integration into a 12 Step Fellowship like Narcotics anonymous which has proven to be tremendously successful worldwide in providing recovering addicts with a support system.

The Right Psychology for Recovering Addicts

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.

psychiatric treatment

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 Sober House Cape Town 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.

Swizzle Stick Manufacturer Supports Child Psychiatry

The children of Southern Africa can never get enough support from generous donors and sponsors concerned with the psychiatric well being and health of children and adolescents in the region. Recently, local Cape Town business, The Sugar Crystal Company showed it’s support for the psychiatric centers that cater to the needs of emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in the Cape Metropolitan area. The company is based in the Montague Gardens industrial area and is involved in the rather unique process of manufacturing sugar swizzle sticks in South Africa. The business came into existence thirteen years ago, realizing that there was a gap in this niche market. After pioneering a secret process for mass producing rock candy and sugar swizzle sticks using state of the art equipment the company began expanding into the international export market. The business has grown to almost three times it’s original size in the past ten years, much of this owed to the hard work of partners Richard Morris and Gary Clarke. There were many times in the beginning when it looked like the end of the road, but somehow they managed to persevere and pull through the rough times. After beginning with standard natural flavored sugar swizzle sticks in a clear and amber (brown sugar) color range the company started expanding and diversifying its product range. The initial natural flavored swizzle stick range was aimed at the hospitality industry, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. The new product range was quite different in that it was a flavored swizzle stick that was available in thirteen colors and flavors.

swizzle stick company

After focusing on the perfecting their formula and refining their manufacturing process, the South African company opened the sugar swizzle stick online store which enables customers to order their swizzle sticks and rock candy online via the website.

The Sugar Crystal Company has been extremely generous of its support of the child psychiatry services in Cape Town and outlying areas. Not only have they shown their interest in giving back to the local community by backing the local child psychiatry initiatives, but the company has also been involved in many other community development projects which aim to empower women in the communities. Next time you may stir your cup of coffee or tea with a sugar swizzle stick, think of the Sugar Crystal company and its commitment to improving the conditions of children through access to psychiatry.

The company currently employs over fifty African women, most of them mothers with children that depend on them for basic needs.

Drug Rehabilitation Centres in Cape Town

Children and adolescents in Cape Town and South Africa are not only psychologically damaged by the immediate  negative conditions in their homes and communities, but also through the widespread abuse of drugs and alcohol by family members and community members.  In some cases the children and adolescents themselves have already begun to experiment with drugs and harmful substances, perhaps in an attempt to self medicate the pre-existing psychological traumas they experience. People who suffer from addiction in what ever for it may manifest itself (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex addiction, eating disorders) all show similar symptoms of addiction. That is the compulsive repeating of a behavior which promises reward, but ultimately destroys the addict. The addict is unable to stop repeating this cycle, regardless of the evidence to show that it is harmful to them and those close to them. The addict remains compelled to get that next drink, or next fix, even though they can see that their lives are falling apart, jobs lost, families torn apart.

rehabilitation centre cape town

Fortunately Cape Town is one of the leading cities in world when it comes to facilities geared towards and dedicated towards treating suffering addicts. The number of facilities offering treatment to those suffering from substance abuse has increased dramatically over the past few years. However not all the centres offer the same quality of service or specialize in the same fields. Pricing also varies a great deal from one treatment centre to the next.

A Cape Town, web based business called Rehab-Search.directory has started an online portal where a user could easily find detailed information, for example about drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town.  Using the Rehab-Search.directory website, an addict looking for the best treatment for themselves, or a family member trying to find the treatment centre most suited to their loved one, is able to navigate the comprehensive directory which lists only the best addiction treatment facilities and drug rehabilitation centres. Rehab-Search.directory makes it easier for the person searching for help to find the centre which is best equipped to deal with their specific form of addiction or disorder. The website has a fresh clean layout and is simple to navigate. Whether you’re looking for centres that specialize in addiction, behavioral health, specialty centres dealing with ADHD and OCD, Eating Disorder Centres, Healing Centres, Integrative Health Centres or Halfway Houses and Sober Living Facilities, Rehab-Search.directory has got you covered.  They can also offer you assistance in finding the best Multi-professional Counseling Centres, Multi-professional Psychological Groups, Outpatient Rehab Programs, Psychiatric Clinics and Testing Services.

drug rehabilitation centre cape town

Taking that first step and reaching out, asking for help can be scary and quite daunting. Rehab-Search.directory has made it extremely easy to find the right service for you or your loved one by placing all of the best facilities available in one easy to find directory. The facilities are then carefully categorized into their various areas of proficiency to make your search even easier.