Category: Addiction News

Addiction Treatment Centers in Gauteng

Struggling with addiction? Things you should be saying to your addicted loved one

Do you have a loved one that is struggling with addiction?

It is often very difficult to talk to them about their struggles with addiction. In part because addiction involves a number of defense mechanisms that serve to protect the addict and their addictive behavior. It doesn’t matter if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the mechanisms act in the same way. Continue reading “Struggling with addiction? Things you should be saying to your addicted loved one”

help an addict

Help an addict – by not making these mistakes

We end up inadvertently harming ourselves as we enable our loved ones.

You’re probably reading this because you want to help an addict close to you. And the closer they are, a parent, a child, a partner, or a good friend, the harder it is to do. The biggest problem is: we make certain mistakes that ordinarily seem intuitively correct in most situations. Continue reading “Help an addict – by not making these mistakes”

peer pressure

Drug addiction starts with Peer Pressure.

The effect peer pressure has on an individual’s drug use.

Drug abuse doesn’t just happen. No drug (including alcohol) is immediately addiction-causing. For the vast majority of people, the drugs they do try and the wild drinking binges they might do, don’t result in addiction. But groups, that is those who cause peer pressure, do play a significant role in the start of many an addict or alcoholic’s big life misadventure. Continue reading “Drug addiction starts with Peer Pressure.”

Internet & Gaming Addictions

Internet & Gaming Addictions

Internet addiction disorder

The fastest-growing addiction worldwide

A very recent trend  “Internet addiction disorder”(IAD) is characterised by the obsessive and disproportionate use of the internet. Other existing mental health issues can be linked with Internet and Gaming like addiction,  depression and other related disorders.
It is of crucial importance to consult a mental health professional in cases of IAD. A professional therapist is required to identify the root problem and suggest strategies and techniques that will further the addict’s recovery process. Continue reading “Internet & Gaming Addictions”

codependent behavior

Codependent – helping the addict stay sick.

An introduction to codependent behavior.

While this article will primarily focus on the codependent behavior between an addict and their family, it will touch on other aspects of codependent behavior as well. this behavior isn’t just restricted to addicts, nor is it even restricted to the relationship between addicts and those they’re close to. Continue reading “Codependent – helping the addict stay sick.”

sober festive activities

Sober Festive Season Activities

Ideas For Sober Festive Season Activities

An issue that many recovering alcoholics have to deal with is the concept of creating new holiday memories minus alcohol. Think about the holiday parties, the office parties, the wines and ciders, the braais and good times – how many of those don’t involve alcohol? These can be tough waters to navigate as a newly sober (or just sober for that matter) person, so you are going to need a bit of help getting creative with your social life and festive season planning. Continue reading “Sober Festive Season Activities”

Enable an Addiction

Could You Unwittingly be Enabling an Addiction

So are you enabling an addiction?

There is a very difficult and often missed line which is crossed during the fight to end addiction. It sits between you, the person trying to help an addict, and the addict themselves. It is the question of enabling and it can often quickly and unwittingly be crossed, leading to pain, anger and a host of negative consequences if not spotted and acted upon. If you are trying to help someone who is struggling with an addiction you need to make sure that the love and support you are providing is not enabling them further as this can actually prolong the addiction and heighten the associated risks. Continue reading “Could You Unwittingly be Enabling an Addiction”


Are you Drinking too much Alcohol?

Could you be drinking too much and drinking yourself into trouble?

Drinking too much alcohol, known as the “social lubricant.” often used to ‘break the ice’  – particularly on holidays or at parties.  Bouts of excessive drinking can often feel like a “necessary” part of the celebration.
Here’s the thing though; drinking too much alcohol at a party, a get-together, a wedding, a birthday or at any time really, can be a sign of Alcohol Use Disorder.  That’s drinking too much Alcohol

Continue reading “Are you Drinking too much Alcohol?”

Loving an addict

Loving an addict

Loving an addict: a personal guide to a new you.

 It’s always a fairy-tale in the beginning, I suppose. Like they say in the classics, first comes the good part, for better and then, the bad part comes around, for worse…loving an addict.  For me, my sweet princess turned into a devilish damsel filled with anger and rage. I watched my entire world collapse; the sun was setting on my love story. Continue reading “Loving an addict”

Communicate with an Addict

How To Communicate With Loved Ones Who Have Drug Problems

Tough conversations: How to Communicate with an Addict

You can rise above anything in life with a positive attitude.

If you have a deep desire to help someone dear to you who is dealing with an addiction the most valuable piece of advice to heed is to keep the door open. What door you ask? Your own one. The way you communicate with an addict, offering much-needed support and appropriate advice can change a person’s outlook on life and may swing an addict towards rehabilitation and the light of recovery. It may be one of the toughest things to do if it has been before (or many times before) and the results have been negative. It is also hard to keep a hand outstretched if it keeps being bitten. Continue reading “How To Communicate With Loved Ones Who Have Drug Problems”


What Happens At Rage Stays At Rage


That’s in a perfect world. What happens at Rage goes on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snap Chat, Twitter, the different types of social platforms go on and on, as does the opportunity for eternal embarrassment. Yes, it can be real! Pictures of you doing things that may haunt you for years to come will be out there on the internet forever. Not to mention the live options that we are all using these days. When you’re intoxicated and feeling fab, live is the way to go, right? Wrong, you’ll regret it tomorrow…be careful.

Continue reading “What Happens At Rage Stays At Rage”

Anxiety Disorder Rehab in JHB

Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

The term ‘substance (or medication-induced) anxiety disorder’ is the medical diagnosis for the serious anxiety or panic which is directly caused by alcohol, drugs, or medication.  When a person abuses drugs, medication and/or alcohol it can, and most likely will, cause mental health problems which include substance-induced anxiety disorder. When a person is addicted to a substance, their brain’s pleasure and reward centre change and this causes a significant neurotransmitter imbalance. Continue reading “Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder”

Using Cannabis Oil Rehab in JHB

Using Cannabis an overview from one of South Africa’s top Psychiatrists

The consequences of cannabis use

The following is a technical overview of cannabis use from a leading South African psychiatrist. It includes the reasoning behind the exclusion of cannabis as a form of treatment by psychiatrists.

Please note: This writer has no affiliation or relationship to Houghton House group of treatment centres.

Studies on Cannabis

Most studies which discuss the advantages of cannabis were conducted in the 1970’s. Back then, the average ‘joint’ contained 120 to 2500 cannabinoids. Today, as a result of cross-breeding and tampering, the average cannabinoid count per joint sits between12 000 and 120 000.  To illustrate, the difference is the equivalent disparity between 1 cup of coffee and over 1000 cups. In relative terms, the first is “safe” and the second is considered extreme. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids known to man,  many of which are unstudied and their effects, unknown. Continue reading “Using Cannabis an overview from one of South Africa’s top Psychiatrists”

Dry Drunk Rehab in JHB

Dry Drunk Syndrome

What is Dry Drunk Syndrome and is there a solution?

Addicts who do not receive the necessary treatment for the emotional and psychological aspects of their addiction in sobriety can often struggle with what’s known as dry drunk syndrome. Heading into the light of sobriety after being accustomed to the darkness of addiction or struggle with alcohol can be extremely harsh. Continue reading “Dry Drunk Syndrome”


Addiction Recovery – Long term sobriety

Addiction Recovery: A target sometimes missed.

We have all heard of a person who has relapsed after beginning their road to recovery and sobriety. Are these relapses the same, regardless of recovery level? Can a person in addiction recovery develop chronic relapse? To better understand why some people are falling short of long term addiction recovery, we need to get you some answers to these pertinent questions. Continue reading “Addiction Recovery – Long term sobriety”

cannabis getting decriminalised

Cannabis – Why Marijuana Is Not So Innocent

Legal Cannabis Drug Overview?

With the recent news and publicity about cannabis getting decriminalised  (but not, I stress actually legalised) in South Africa.  There is no real legal position or delineation for or with the use of cannabis. (dagga, marijuana, weed, dope) Further, there are no limitations or age restriction laws or controls, as there is for alcohol.
It’s a thorny issue.

Traditionally cannabis has been seen as a “natural herb”, less harmful and healthier than the more seriously regarded illicit heroin or cocaine type drugs. Though much drug literature and research suggest that cannabis use is likely to precede the use of other substances. Any form of unregulated cannabis use can potentially be a dangerous gateway to further and more serious drug use. Continue reading “Cannabis – Why Marijuana Is Not So Innocent”

Dual Diagnosis Treatment What’s the real purpose?

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The dangers of leaving co-occurring disorders unchecked

Dual Diagnosis may as well be written on a billboard. In fact, it often is. Addiction recovery can be one of the hardest things to accomplish. Add to that mix a co-occurring mental illness, and you have the recipe for one of the hardest conditions to recover from. Staying clean and sober is one thing while all aspects of addiction are being cared for, however, there are serious dangers when co-occurring disorders are left unchecked. Continue reading “Dual Diagnosis Treatment”

Avoiding Addiction Triggers

We receive so much information about Relapse Prevention in Recovery, everyone wants to stay clean and not be Triggered.

So…What is an Addiction Trigger?

An Addiction Trigger is something that sets off a memory or flashback placing the person back in the event of her/his original experience. Triggers are all different and very personal; different things trigger different people. Triggers can be activated through one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Continue reading “Avoiding Addiction Triggers”


Addiction in us all

There’s possibly a bit of addiction in us all

While the ‘big boys’ of addiction, opioids and alcohol grab the spotlight most of the time, the sneaky little drug called marijuana is getting its own encore of late. But as we look at the overall issue of addiction doesn’t it start to look like there is an addiction, a compulsion or a disorder for every soul that walks on this blue and green planet? Isn’t safe to suggest that there’s possibly a bit of addiction in all of us.

Shock and horror! What a broad statement. Continue reading “Addiction in us all”


The Signs of Functional Alcoholism

How to recognise the signs

What is functional alcoholism? How can you tell when someone is a functional alcoholic? These are important questions that need answering however it’s not one that has a cut and paste answer. Spotting the traits of functional alcoholism is tricky and can be difficult to spot.Strictly speaking, functional alcoholism is the act of appearing the same as a non alcoholic but having a habit of abusing alcohol. Referred to as high-functioning or functional alcoholics, these addicts appear to have normal lives, like anyone else, filled with jobs, friends and family. Continue reading “The Signs of Functional Alcoholism”


Alcohol. The most deadly drug of them all.

Alcohol Abuse

Don’t kid yourself. Alcohol, booze, the devil’s juice – whatever you call it, alcohol is a deadly drug and is the leading protagonist when it comes to death.  If you want (or need) proof as to why alcohol is the most deadly drug around, read on.

Booze in its many forms has been around for thousands of years. Almost 10 000 years to be exact. Although we are not saying it should be wiped out and banned from being drunk (it’s not a prohibition speech, promise) we are here to let you know that there are a few truths that need to be told to you about alcohol. In the end you need to be fully aware of everything before you make a choice. Knowledge is power after all. Continue reading “Alcohol. The most deadly drug of them all.”

My husband – Sober for one year

I honestly did not think this would ever happen after approximately 30 years of drinking, the last 15 yrs heavily.

I do believe if he hadn’t gone to Houghton House rehab when he did our family would not be together today. So a big thank you to everyone there, and to Andrew who runs the Saturday Houghton House support group meetings, who helped me from the beginning of my journey, To understand that I had no control over my husbands addiction, and I needed to let go of the guilt I felt and the feelings of “what was I doing wrong” that I couldn’t get him to stop no matter what I did. Continue reading “My husband – Sober for one year”

gaming addiction

Gaming Addiction A Winning Addiction?

Video games: Gaming Addiction

Ever since the early 70’s video games have captured the world’s imagination. America is considered the birth place of commercial video game activity and research paints the real origin of the world of gaming to be as early as the 50s – borne out of research needs from eager scientists who wanted to find new ways to discover and use simulations to further their work. Although the work back then on video games can be seen as primitive compared to present day technology , Continue reading “Gaming Addiction A Winning Addiction?”


Stop Smoking Give up. Quit.

Stop Smoking


The words are easy enough to say, but to actually put that last cigarettes out and break the habit is not something to scoff at. It’s hard. And not just because we say so. Did you know that 7 out of ten smokers you meet want to stop smoking but only 7% actually stop on their first attempt? Scary stats. We know. But there is a silver lining. The moment you put out that last smoke your body starts changing. And it’s an incredible change.

So, you want to Stop Smoking and quit right?

Continue reading “Stop Smoking Give up. Quit.”


Addiction Drugs and Codependency

Codependency is a controversial concept for a dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

Have a loved one with an addiction? You could be doing more harm than good!


No one can dispute the connection and deep emotional love you have for your loved one is unlike any other love that you have ever experienced. What you may not realise however is that the same love you share with your loved one can have a negative impact on them if they have an addiction and your love takes the form of codependent behaviour.

The effects of co-dependency can not only be dangerous but also long lasting, as it forces reliance on another person rather than self-reliance. There are many people who experience codependency as a result of their loved one’s addiction.

In this article we are speaking directly to you, the loved one of an addict, so heads up. Don’t take offence as the following conversation we have to have with you won’t be easy, but will give you the information to ensure you and your loved one doesn’t endure the negative effects of codependency.


Firstly what is a co-dependant?

Codependency is a type of learned behaviour which can be passed down from one generation to another. It is a behavioural and emotional condition that affects a person’s ability to have a normal healthy, mutual relationship. It is therefore no surprise that it is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependent behaviour often form relationships that are one-sided, often abusive and mostly emotionally destructive. Codependent behaviour is learned by watching and imitating other loved ones who display this type of behaviour.

Here is a list of some of the characteristics of co-dependent people:

  • Difficulty identifying feelings
  • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time
  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others
  • Chronic anger
  • Lying/dishonesty
  • A compelling need to control others
  • Poor communications
  • Lack of trust in self and/or others
  • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue
  • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts
  • An unhealthy dependence on relationships.
  • An extreme need for approval and recognition
  • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves
  • Fear of being abandoned or alone
  • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change
  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries
  • Difficulty making decisions

Right, so what are the negative effects of codependency?

When your loved one is an addict, you may not know how to give them the life that you always dreamed for them. Instead, you try to do what your instincts as a loved one tell you.  Although “natural,” these instincts, if listened to and acted on, can cause you to enable your loved one’s addiction more than it can lead to them finding sobriety and treatment.

Here are a few examples of the negative effects your behaviour can cause your loved one:


When your loved one has an addiction there is a good chance that they will (if they have not already) make some really big life-altering mistakes while under the influence of a substance. As a loved one when you make excuses and try to cover for your loved one and their behaviour you are preventing them from being held accountable for the consequences of their actions, which in turn teaches them that they can use a substance without suffering any personal side effects.


A massive and common mistake you may make (or perhaps already have made), is giving your loved one money or providing any financial assistance. You may think that by giving your loved one money to buy drugs or alcohol that you are stopping them from committing a crime like theft. Often people with an addiction get involved with groups or people which do dangerous and illegal things to make money to pay for their habit. In certain respects you are right, you may stop them from committing a crime but you are also sending your loved one the very loud message that their addiction is okay to you, pushing them farther away from getting needed addiction treatment.

Backing off:

Your loved one is most likely going to go through a rollercoaster of emotional mood swings that can result in negative behaviours such as recklessness, violence and aggression. If you the loved one choose to look away or ignore these behaviours by say, walking away from confrontation or not allowing your loved one to be held accountable through consequences from their actions, you are enabling them to act in that manner. You might instinctively think that you need to stand down and back off from your loved one because you believe that they will run away or desert you or do something to hurt themselves. This is a massive red flag of codependency.

There are several factors leading to codependency:

  • Lack of love and nurturing
  • Rejection and abandonment
  • Family addiction
  • Any and all forms of abuse (sexual, physical and emotional)
  • Mental and/or physical illness.Let’s be really frank here for a minute. Codependency in many ways is similar to an addiction. You feel the need to constantly feed your needs with your loved one by doing things like giving them financial assistance, hiding and covering their mistakes or backing off to avoid losing them. These are all traits of an addict.

If you are battling with codependency tendencies and behaviours which is allowing your loved one (note: enabling them) to continue their downward spiral with addiction then we suggest you find treatment to address the codependency treatment. By getting treatment you can learn how to cope with your impulses and find new ways show your loved one love without enabling them.

The first step in changing unhealthy behaviour is to understand it. It is important for co-dependents and their family members to educate themselves about addiction and how it extends into relationships.  Bottom line is, if you put an end to your codependent behaviours, you are closing the door on your loved one’s addiction, one small step at a time.

For more information on dealing with codependency or addiction or any other form of abuse and getting yourself into rehab to start a new life, call Houghton House now:

office hours:  011 787 9142

24/7 emergency help line: 079 770 7532

Family Support Group for patients of Houghton House occurs every Saturday at 12.30 

Click on the green envelope below and fill in our contact form, and one of our professional staff members will get back to you via email or phone, respecting your anonymity at all times.

contact Rehab in South Africa


quit smoking

Tips to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

You know why you should Quit Smoking.


You know what happens to your body when you Quit Smoking. But still, as you read this your palms become sweaty and your anxiety levels are on par with your blood pressure levels. Imagine having to give up that packet of smokes lying in front of you. Maybe it’s been something you have done for years. Maybe you have tried to give up several times. It doesn’t matter. Let’s just focus on the right here and right now. Continue reading “Tips to Quit Smoking Cigarettes”

designer drugs

Designer Drugs:  An ugly truth

What’s in a name: Designer Drugs and their effects

Designer drugs. You may have heard the term in passing conversation, or know someone who is on them. You may even be on them and need help getting off them but don’t know what they are. A designer drug is a synthetic substance that is sold (mostly) illegally as a way to get high. Bath salts, synthetic marijuana, and synthetic hallucinogens are examples of designer drugs. They are not classified as being the same as the drugs they are supposed to mimic and are much more variable, unpredictable, and as a result, dangerous. It is vitally important for anyone who uses these drugs to stop, and for those who cannot stop to get help before the adverse effects cause real and lasting damage. Continue reading “Designer Drugs:  An ugly truth”

Addiction and how families deal with addicts.

If there is one thing the world needs to shout loudly about addiction,
it is this:

Addiction doesn’t only affect one person, the addict,
but also their entire family.

Being addicted to alcohol or drugs deteriorates the physical health of the addict. It spoils the spirit and impairs their mental activities. It also eats away and destroys relationships in their life and makes it quite difficult to maintain steady employment, Continue reading “Addiction and how families deal with addicts.”

someone in recovery

Healthy holiday gift ideas for someone in recovery

Holiday shopping can be super tricky for someone in recovery.

We all have that someone who is difficult to shop for. Now imagine someone who is going through the journey of addiction recovery – it can be a HUGE hiccup when festive season shopping. If you happen to have a loved one who is on the road to recovery and you are unsure about the ideal Christmas gift, stress no more, we have a bunch of ideas for you to take inspiration from. Continue reading “Healthy holiday gift ideas for someone in recovery”

synthetic marijuana

Understanding Synthetic Marijuana (Spice, K2, Mojo)

Everything you need to know about Synthetic Marijuana

The chemicals in synthetic marijuana are designed to have similar qualities to that of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Most commonly spice is ingested via smoking but it can also be added to drinks or added to food as an edible drug.

Marijuana is a drug which comes from a plant right? Yes. Well sort of.

Continue reading “Understanding Synthetic Marijuana (Spice, K2, Mojo)”

lean drug addiction best rehab

Suckers for Pain – Lean

Why Lean is Uncool – Downright Dangerous – and will Kill You

Last September rapper Lil Wayne once again had to cancel a show when he was hospitalized for multiple violent seizures. While Weezy has struggled with epilepsy throughout his life, it’s no secret that his addiction to Lean (also known as “Sizzurp” or “Purple Drank”) is largely to blame for his repeated seizures. It’s not the first time either: the star was also hospitalized in 2012 and 2016.

In a 2011 interview, Lil Wayne admitted to abusing Lean, a mixture of cough syrup, sweets and cooldrink Continue reading “Suckers for Pain – Lean”

halfway house Living

Why halfway houses help keep addicts clean

Life is Tough

Especially when you’ve had your crutch taken away.
That’s why halfway houses exist: to offer the support and structure needed to rebuild your life post-addiction.

All names have been changed to protect their anonymity.

Houghton House halfway Houses.

Shaun couldn’t shake his addiction to cocaine. “I tried. Multiple times. Was in and out of rehab for as long as I can remember. Kept relapsing every time. Sometimes, after a few weeks. Sometimes, a few days. The last time, pretty much the moment I got out the gate.” Continue reading “Why halfway houses help keep addicts clean”

Porn Addiction

Porn Addiction – The XXX Factor

Is porn addiction such a big deal?

The arrival of the Internet has not only changed the way humans communicate, study, do business and shop; it’s also changed our sexual behaviour dramatically. In fact, the consumption of porn online has mushroomed beyond control with more Porn Addiction sufferers that ever before.

A study in 2016 showed that a whopping 35% of ALL internet downloads consisted of “adult” material.

On the world’s largest porn site, people watched 4, 599 million hours of porn. That adds up to a staggering 525 000 years’ worth of hardcore porn viewing on a single web site in one year alone! Continue reading “Porn Addiction – The XXX Factor”