Illegal Rehabs Endangering Lives-Part 2
Illegally operated rehabs are just as common in many other countries such as the UK where drug abuse is out of control. Patients who are ill-informed by ‘greedy’ referral agents end up going to the wrong rehabs for help, only to find themselves in a position where they need to escape a nightmare worse than the nightmare of addiction itself!
Distressingly it seems that addicts and their families are often in a position where they are totally unaware that a facility that seems to be offering a reputable programme is actually an illegal operation that has poor line management, no supervision and irregular case management meetings to discuss the best care options and progress of the clients. Once a client is admitted into an illegal facility, they are often found themselves cut off from the outside world and families are not updated on their ‘loved ones’ progress. Often, aftercare is a myth and not arranged for clients returning to their home area!
Unethical referral agents earn millions by exploiting the desperately ill.
The industry of illegal rehab facilities is saturated by thieves and reckless personnel who find manipulative ways to prey on the unsuspecting addict and their family. Some make use of hotlines that come across as unbiased referral services, but in actual fact refer clients to treatment centres they already own themselves or to rehabs that they have never even vetted but they pay high commissions. Internet spyware has been known to be used that redirect callers away from legitimate referral agents/ treatment centres. Patient brokering, which happens by calling a referral agency who profits from sending clients to the highest bidding treatment facilities, has been a constant scandal in Europe partly due to there being no governing body that legitimises referral agencies in checking policies/procedures and ethical practices.
Facilities that operate without the employment of medical doctors further endanger addicts’ lives when it comes to unsafe and unsupervised drug withdrawal. Without the correct medical attention, withdrawal is extremely dangerous and even fatal. Long-term addicts can suffer from seizures and organ failure, and acute withdrawal or secondary withdrawals can illicit volatile, psychotic behaviour which can only be addressed by professionals
Twin Rivers Rehabilitation Centre is registered with the South African Department of Social Development under the Prevention of Treatment for Substance Abuse Act 2008. They work alongside reputable referral agencies across South Africa and the United Kingdom in the fight against illegal rehabs and illegitimate referral agencies. In doing so they acknowledge that despite operating a business they have not lost sight of the importance of individual client care.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process