Staggering Number of Americans and UK Citizens Seeking Addiction Treatment in South Africa
Over the last few years we have seen a media upsurge around the reformatted “legalisation” of regulated cannabis use in the United States. The “Medical Marijuana” industry is (alight) with hype on the miracle benefits of the wonder drug now within reach of (chronic) patients.
But while the hype drives billions of Facebook shares there is a hidden undercurrent related to marijuana addiction in the USA that is flying low under the radar of Marijuana in pop culture.
In a recent interview with Vaughan Pankhurst (a specialist addiction counsellor based in South Africa), we learned a number of interesting things.
“There is already a booming international market for addiction treatment from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to South Africa. This has been established over the last 10 years and grown exponentially in the last five. Our treatment centres are treating all the major substance and process addiction disorders with highly skilled psychotherapy and long term aftercare programmes”
“What we are starting to see now is a distinct market shift toward Americans seeking high quality addiction rehabilitation for a wide range of substances, chiefly cannabis addiction disorders.”
“Cannabis, while being a comparatively harmless drug for the vast majority of users still remains an addictive drug nonetheless. Both medical and recreational users are pushing the chemical boundaries of the substance and we are seeing individuals with massive tolerances and highly entrenched and self-destructive addiction disorders.”
“In America everything tends to happen on a grand scale and the rise of cannabis addiction cases from America seeking recovery in South Africa is a new phenomenon to us. In similar contrast to luxury treatment facilities in the United States, South Africa hosts the same, if not better treatment services which are attractive given the weak Rand to Dollar exchange rate”.
“In recovery worldwide we are finally seeing the transformation of the legacy 12 step recovery centres to actual treatment centres that address the underlying causes of substance addictions. The internet has educated the market and individuals finally turning away from these traditional 12 step treatment models (found freely in local church halls) and breaking the cycles using professional services that deal with the underlying cause of their disease.”