Rehabilitation Tourism In Cape Town

in #travelfeed5 years ago

I was talking to a flatmate last weekend and he seemed very concerned. Then, he told me about his close friend who was suffering from addiction and has been admitted to a rehab clinic in Cape Town. To emphasize the importance of seeking immediate medical help in such situations, I decided to translate an old article of mine that I previously wrote in Turkish.

It is undeniable how much impact tourism has on Cape Town's economy. However, leisure is not the only purpose of visit for tourists. Coming after leisure, business and educational purposes; rehabilitation is one of the most common reasons that Cape Town is visited. The tourist from Europe are especially attracted to Cape Town for some reason. I came across this new article which surprised me a lot. According to the article, an average of 250 people per month come to Cape Town from Netherlands- a country known for the high level of welfare- for recovery purposes; and this statement is coming from the CEO of a Dutch addiction care organization. Another article states that models, members of the royal family and jet set would also prefer Cape Town.

So why would all these people travel overseas for miles just to fight their addiction?

Financial reasons

As you can imagine, the cost for the recovery treatment in Cape Town is approximately 65% cheaper than the average cost in Europe. For instance, the price for a treatment in the UK would range between 60k and 100k Rand a week, while the average price of clinics in Cape Town would be around 45k Rand a month. No matter how privilaged the patients are, they still prefer the cheaper option. 

The decrease in price doesn't diminish the quality of the facilities. Many recovery centers have very luxurious facilities that are integrated with nature.

Cape Town's Nature

The recovery centers benefit from Cape Town's natural resources. This makes it possible for the patients to get involved in various outdoor sports such as hiking, climbing, surf and many more. Many clinics make outdoor sports a compulsory component of the recovery process.

Recovery Methods

There are many clinics that still follow spiritual and religious schemes like the 12 step program from Alcoholic Anonymous. These programs basically depict that the patients seek forgiveness to cleanse from their sins. However, these methods don't really put emphasis on the underlying cause of the addiction. According to Vaughn Pankhurst- psychiatrist specialized in trauma at Recovery Direct in Constantia- many clinics still ignore these causes that trigger addictive behaviour, therefore they should make psychotherapy a core component of the treatment. The aim is to revitalize the neural pathways of the person for their brain to function properly.

Avoiding Unwanted Attention or Judgement

Many patients who are highly recognized and regarded try to hide the fact that they have been struggling with addiction, However, the media makes it impossible for them to escape from unwanted attention. So, every single stage of their recovery process will be tracked by many people through media. When these people travel to Cape Town, which is relatively more isolated than the rest of the world, they will be able to recover in full silence and comfort.

By the same logic, some countries in the Middle East strictly prohibit the usage of alhocol and other substances. If the patient tries to seek help in these countries, they will be under criticism and pressure. Overall, Cape Town would seem like a feasible option to avoid being judged by their own society by coming to a city where they will be tolerated more.


Speaking of tolerance; many clinics in Cape Town are preferred for their rules being more in favor of the patients. Many clinics in the States and Europe will have long waiting lists and once people are admitted to them, their violation of the rules will result in immediate suspension. However, these conditions would create fear and anxiety in the patient, elongating the recovery process.

In addition, clinics in Cape Town are aimed towards more personalized treatments by including doctors from different specializations in their team from art therapy to hypnotherapy, from dieticians to physiotherapists. Even the food service can be individualized, such as menu options including halal food.

Another aspect of tolerance in the Cape Town recovery clinics is the attitude towards the possibility of relapse. Many clinics will make the second register difficult for patients going through relapse, whereas the clinics in Cape Town will allow patients more quickly in the case of a relapse.


Fascinating information @haritakurdu, the facilities look beautiful as well, I really did not know this kind of tourism took place! Nicely written!

Thank you :) I hope less people will need to visit these facilities in the future, though! :)

For sure hey but it's an old problem that seems to stick around!

Congratulations @haritakurdu! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!

A different reason to travel, and surprisingly I did not know people travel through long -term for recover or treatment cheaper than their countries.

I also didn't know but came across many articles written on this on the internet :) very surprising

In general we never stop learning to something new !!!

Interesting post @haritakurdu I imagine the beautiful setting would help people seeking to reconnect with the world outside their addiction

I absolutely agree. Nature is a key element of treatment for many diseases.

@haritakurdu nature is also a great boon to the healing processes. I was invited as a speaker to a few 12 step programs and I insisted on mentioning the outdoors life in nature! Blessings!

Definitely :) nature contributes to both the recovery and protection from such bad habits :)

Now I see a different side to Cape Town, thanks for sharing this very interesting and helpful post about clinics and treatments for addiction. I am sure many others will find it useful and thanks for taking the time to translate from your original Turkish post :)

Thank you for commenting, I thought that it will be beneficial for many foreigners that's why I wanted to translate it :)

Good on you @haritakurdu :) I'm sure many will benefit from it

Having heard about our wonderful clinics that treat people worldwide, sad to say the local addicts cannot afford such luxury treatment. Many fall through the cracks, R45k/m on local earnings is an impossibility to most living here, so entertaining overseas patients makes good sense.

It would be interesting to know if a clinic took ten patients per month. Charged a little more to nine and took one patient for free from local youth affording them this gift of life if it would be done.

Thanks for translating and putting up facts and figures, dependency drugs have become a problem here in South Africa along with poverty @haritakurdu

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback :) I actually think what you mentioned is a brilliant idea! This should definitely be implemented if it hasn't been already, because it is hard to afford even if it is the cheapest option.

Interesting. I never realised the clinical costs are so much less here.

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.25
TRX 0.14
JST 0.034
BTC 51195.57
ETH 2951.07
USDT 1.00
SBD 4.23