Saving Lives for over 25 years

Houghton House old logo best rehab on the planet

History Of Houghton House – Over two decades Houghton House has grown from its humble beginnings as a Halfway House started by Alex Hamlyn and Russell Unterslak in 1995 to a professional medically sophisticated group of treatment centres and programmes.
At the time Alex had only recently moved to South Africa from London and was in the early phases of his own recovery. Over 23 years of active drug addiction Alex managed to abuse every known mind-altering substance including an addiction to heroin that spanned 12 years and resulted in 12 visits to various treatment centres in London. After hitting his final rock bottom he spent some time with his family in South Africa and fell in love with the recovery fellowship in Johannesburg. What was supposed to be a brief vacation turned out to be the beginning of his own journey of recovery and the beginning of Houghton House. This is The History Of Houghton House Drug Addiction Recovery Centre.


Adjustment to a life without drugs and alcohol

Upon arriving in South Africa Alex quickly connected with the local NA (Narcotics Anonymous) fellowship, as well as with, a fellow recovering addict, Russell Unterslak. Together they tried to help newcomers to the fellowship to gain their footing in recovery.

In the process, they identified that these newcomers were frequently not well prepared for the adjustment to a life without drugs and alcohol due to a lack of holistic multidisciplinary model treatment centres.
Alex had personally experienced the benefits of such models (more formally known as the Minnesota Model) the most widely accepted and successful model of treatment in the UK. Until that point, aside from a single treatment centre in Cape Town, all treatment centres in South Africa were either purely medically oriented or had predominantly correctional or religious underpinnings.
In contrast, the Minnesota Model combines the professional medical, psychiatric and psychological approaches alongside counselling by addicts and alcoholics that have themselves managed to transform their lives from active addiction and alcoholism to one of abstinence.
In our experience of treating individuals for substance abuse, we have seen continuing evidence of the merits of this holistic treatment model.

Houghton House primary care programme started in 1996

Houghton House primary care programme started in 1996

Alex and Russell initially started a Halfway House in 1995, which is typically a tertiary treatment option for addicts and alcoholics that have completed either primary or a combination of primary and secondary treatment.
However, they soon discovered that new residents that had experienced subpar primary care treatment were less likely to experience subsequent success at the Halfway House. This provided the impetus to establish the original Houghton House primary care programme in 1996.
Russell and Alex also discovered a large number of professionals in the field that were similarly frustrated with the state of current treatment centres at the time and who were excited to become involved in this new venture.
Carte Blanche featured the treatment centre in one of its programmes in 1996.

Small Beginnings

When Houghton House opened its doors it was initially treating 3 patients, but this has subsequently grown to a number that now ranges between 65-80 patients across primary, secondary and tertiary treatment centres. When including the individuals treated in outpatient groups the number easily exceeds 100.


Today at the Houghton House Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Centres in Randburg

alex and dan owneres of the rehab


At present Houghton House is run by Alex Hamlyn and Dan Wolf (a qualified psychologist and well-recognized authority on the rehabilitation of addicts and alcoholics), when Dan’s secondary treatment program, the GAP (General Addictions Program), was merged with Houghton House.

South Africa’s Leading Rehab

Since 1995 Houghton House Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Centres has offered high quality, specialist treatment for those suffering from alcoholism and or drug dependency.

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We offer a full range of drug rehab, alcohol rehab and related addiction recovery programmes, and our aim is to provide our patients with the finest -quality experience and most affordable private rehab care. Houghton House is a place of healing and hope.

Over 2 Decades of Successful Addiction Treatment

With 25 years of experience, Houghton House embraces multi-disciplinary, research-tested addiction treatment methods. Our programme has been refined and shaped to manage a wide variety of patients in terms of demographics and diagnoses. We offer a full spectrum of care for individuals from all walks of life, including substance abuse evaluations, educational services, outpatient treatment, residential care, halfway house accommodation or recovery support.

The experienced multi-disciplinary team of experts include doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, certified addiction counsellors, nurses and other medical professionals. We are able to offer treatment for dual-diagnosis patients. More often than not, addiction occurs with other pre-existing psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression. Houghton House provides a clinically integrated approach that addresses these underlying issues. A sustainable recovery depends on the treatment of the co-occurring disorder along with the addiction.

Our Understanding of Alcohol & Drug Addiction

International Destination rehab-in-south-africa/

Based on the understanding that addiction is not a moral failing, but a recognised and diagnosable disease, the Group’s crafted programme amplifies each step in the 12-Step recovery process by including a structured and intensive psychological re-programming. This method of recovery has seen unparalleled success in the field and has served as a breakthrough in thousands of patients’ lives.

Though located in Gauteng, South Africa, Houghton House Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Centres has been a destination for individuals seeking recovery from around the globe. Treatment services from Canada, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom have found private treatment programs in South Africa to be comparatively inexpensive when weighed against their counterparts in those regions.

Link to our International Destination page.


Dan 25 years Johannesburg’s premium alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation centre proving that Addiction Treatment Works

We are able to offer a clinically integrated approach for dual-diagnosis patients.

physical addiction Top Best Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Johannesburg alcohol; gambling and drugs

Click here to watch the full video.

More often than not, addiction occurs with other pre-existing psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression. Houghton House provides a clinically integrated approach that addresses these underlying issues. A sustainable recovery depends on the treatment of the co-occurring disorder along with the addiction.


Based in Gauteng, South Africa,

Houghton House has become a destination for individuals seeking Drug Addiction Recovery from around the globe. Treatment services from Canada, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom have found private treatment programs in South Africa to be comparatively inexpensive when weighed against their counterparts in those regions.

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