The Mail and Guardian has run a number of hard hitting items on the SA drug scene in the July 10-14 edition of this year. It covers the decrepit lives of Nayope addicts, heroin smuggling from Dar es Salaam to Cape Town. It also describes  how upmarket luxury rehabs in the Cape Town area function and the fees to be admitted. This is what got my blood pressure up. It is not that it was untrue, it is the blatant audacity with which the owners flaunt their greed for money in the face of people in need of hope. I am going to quote directly from the article Tanya Pampalone wrote. “Rehab is big business that feeds on itself and as Thomson knows as well as anyone else, tends to come with plenty of repeat customers.” Tanya goes on to quote Herman Lategan an insider on the business who stated; The nature of the disease is such that people will be back. And they will go back to those who helped them originally. You have this carousel of broken people  that you fix, but not completely. It’s a cash cow” The cheapest rate I could ascertain among the number of centres mentioned was R35 000 for locals with an extra 20% for foreigners. That is per month. The most expensive one charged 10,000 pounds per month. Tanya spent quite some time with a Dr. Roger Meyer who owns several such treatment centres in the Cape area. She concluded her article with a quote from him stating the following;  “The fundamental commodity of what we sell, what the client is buying from us, is hope”. In almost the same breath he spoke about relapse as if it was  part of the deal. To us who hold to a Bible based model of therapy this is shocking! It smacks of wholesale exploitation even though one is catering for upmarket clients. What is the point of offering people hope when you full know that whatever you are presenting on your program has a slim chance of succeeding. None of the luxuries on the menu will contribute to sorting out deep seated emotional, spiritual or mental issues. These are the core problems that lead to drug abuse and addiction. Blaming addiction on the drug itself or calling addiction a disease is simply not true. It can and will cause physiological illness in due course but the cause is one’s own decision and therefore also responsibility. That is why God calls it a sin and this being the case there is real hope. The spiritual issues operating within one’s heart and mind are what must be dealt with first, and for this God gives us clear instruction in the Bible. There is not enough space to elaborate on the essence of Biblical Therapy. We deal with it quite extensively on our website. Following God’s instructions guarantees freedom from bondage (addiction) of every nature, not just chemicals. This is the real hope that Jesus offers. His price is simply putting your faith in what He did on the cross! Our price for in -depth mental, emotional, spiritual and physical therapy for 12 months is what it would cost to spend 2 months in a no-hope secular program. We may not offer the luxuries but we do not include relapse as part of the deal!

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