Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020

Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020

Mark L Lockwood (BA)(hons)(psy) is an addiction psychology specialist in addiction, depression and trauma counselling for the last 23 years and has oftentimes begged the question of which are top 10 drug rehab centres in the country. The top 10 drug rehabilitation centres in South Africa is a list complied by reputation, friendliness, usability and treatment services that they offer. Mark has consulted in interviews on televisions eNCA news, Talk Radio 702 news and in many publications such as Woman’s Health Magazine, Dischem Magazine and many more.

We are reminded to remember that you don’t go to a drug rehab center for a holiday. In fact if that’s your goal, you’re probably wasting your time and money. If you’re going because you need, more than anything, to get clean time and sobriety, then you need to be sure of what you’re going to get for your buck. So here is the list of Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020, based on how likely they are to get you the results you need.

Top 10 drug rehab centres

1. Houghton House Addiction Recovery Center GAUTENG- A professional centre, this drug rehab is the real thing. It’s super professional and run like a clinic. All the relevant staff are on duty to help you and you can be sure that you’re getting therapy from professionals, something that doesn’t always happen at all treatment centres. Here they look below the surface of commonly abused drugs and types of therapy to delve into abuse treatment detail that can complicate and contribute to self-harming addictive behaviour patterns. If it’s an issue of dealing and struggling with mental health, bipolar disorder, eating disorders or even mental illness. What we like most about this place it is that they do all phases of treatment. Primary care, outpatient and tertiary care and long term care which people need to get clean. Medical aid supported to cover some treatment costs. Call 079 770 7532

2. Recovery Centre at White River – The centre seems a little out of the way, but it’s only a couple of hours out of Joburg and seems like it’s worth the travel. It is quite a big centre, located in a bush like setting out of town and makes you feel as if you’re in the Kruger Park on Safari. With experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and professional nurses on staff, they offer a truly multidisciplinary approach to recovery. It’s a professional set-up and is importantly pretty affordable. Included on the team are people who have walked their own road of recovery and are able to guide others to freedom through sharing their own experiences. Getting a good reputation for a no-nonsense but friendly approach to drug rehab center care is why they make it onto our Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020. Call +27 (0) 76 350 9868

3. Harmony CAPE PROVINCE – known as a compassionate and caring bunch of people. They offer holistic therapy for substance abuse that helps people to rebuild their lives and return home to their loved ones. Harmony drug rehab centre treats people suffering from the chronic and progressive addiction to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, tik, prescription drugs, as well as food, sex, gambling and other process addictions. Located in sunny Cape Town, there is little not to like about this one, and I’ve had many good reports over the years from people who attended their programs, so that gets them on the list. They also have one of the only detox units around that are legal. Most centres are required to use clinics or hospitals licensed to do detox. Call: +27 (0)21 790 7779

4. Pathways Addiction Treatment Program CAPE PROVINCE – this is our very own drug rehab program. It makes it on the list because it is one of a kind, experiential treatment program in South Africa. It’s a homely non-clinical environment, with small intimate numbers, that offers a mature person centred experience. People keep their cell phones and laptops, go on excursions, work, chat to family and go out to dinners and lunches. It moved away from being a drug rehab centre to fit people who don’t like, want or feel they need the strict, clinical approach but want to heal addictions, emotional issues and anxiety as well as dual diagnosis issues. The product is intensive, world-class therapy offered by registered professional addiction treatment specialists but without having to do the whole rehab living story. Call +2782 442 4779

5. Healing Wings Youth Drug Rehab Centre NELSPRUIT – Healing Wings make it on the list because of their mammoth youth rehabilitation centre. It’s massive. They are the only centre in South Africa that combines treatment and schooling for the youth in one location. The rehabilitation program is based on a daily routine designed to encourage the residents to contribute to all facets of social interaction and normal behavioural patterns, with the aim of gaining self-confidence and respect. Guidance is provided in a personal and caring environment in which the residents receive unconditional support in their recovery. Long term treatment is at the core of this drug program Call +27 72 140 6081

6. The Cedars Drug Rehab Centre NATAL – A pretty hardcore program according to some people. They set you straight is what we hear, and they do it fast! I’ve spoken to many of their ex-clients over the years and just never seem to get any complaints about this rehab.  It also seems that they have a darn good success record for getting long term results. It’s also 12 step treatment like most of the centres in the country. But they offer team building challenges, excursions to 12 Step meetings, regular exercise, good food and most of all an opportunity to create platonic, recovery-orientated friendships. Their modus operandi is that every client is a new adventure and hopefully, a new way of life.  +27 72 378 8013.

7. Akeso Stepping Stones – KOMMETJIE WESTERN CAPE – Akeso Stepping Stones is run by a big group with a bunch of clinics and centres dotted throughout the country. We like this because it’s a real clinic, not just a house, like so many rehab centres are. So yes, it’s the real thing and they have a pretty good rep for getting the job done right. Akeso have psychiatric hospitals that are staffed by a wide range of medical professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, pharmacists and nurses, all of whom ensure the best possible outcome for patients and their loved ones. So if you’re after a formal, clinical and professional drug rehab experience, then this is probably the spot for you. Remember that arguably about half or more drug rehabs are just homes that house addicts, regardless of what the websites may look like! They make it onto our Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020 because they’re the real deal, and a resource that many people prefer. Call +27 73 620 0826

8. Serenity Cares – WESTERN CAPE.  We’ve always referred a ton of people to this rehab centre. It’s super disciplined, great for younger adults in our opinion. The centre has a historical reputation for being harsh. But harsh can be necessary, and is subjective at times, it gets through the defence mechanisms and is oftentimes required. Any first timers, or difficult cases should start at this rehab centre. End of story. At the end of the day they do care, a lot. They also get people clean and sober and try and keep them that way. Serenity has waged years of war against substance and has absolutely no intention of surrendering. They adopt an “all welcome” policy and only in the most extreme case will we have to refer patients elsewhere. This drug rehab approach the disease of addiction with loving discipline and have a ‘lead by example’ attitude. Call Tel (044) 343 1395

9. South Coast Recovery Centre – NATAL. South Coast Recovery Centre delivers comprehensive, individualised programmes of varying lengths, to accommodate a variety of personal circumstances. They have plenty of different programs and everything is pretty much 12 step based. It is a real-deal centre, not a small house. This is a big, really professional drug rehab centre. Nurses, doctors and psychiatrists on staff. So professional help is always at hand, something smaller centres can’t always offer.

South Coast Recovery Centre has been acknowledged as the benchmark for recovery centres by the Department of Social Development, which doesn’t say that much. But the center is a no-nonsence, get ready to recover place. If it’s recovery you need and you’re willing, there is no doubt your rehab experience will be a success at this place. Call +27 72 545 5414

10. Noupoort – KAROO/COLSBERG Noupoort definitely make it onto the list as controversial as it may be to many people, who may feel it is a little down market. But when it comes to treatment, please remember you don’t want a hotel stay for you or your loved one, you want the place and the people to save your life. Nowhere else is as affordable and it opens its doors to people at about a tenth of the cost of a regular private drug rehab center. So they are an invaluable asset to the country and we send tons of people to them who get good treatment! They offer long term treatment mostly. Despite the founder dying in May last year, the centre continues to help people form all walks of life get to grips with the realities of addiction – something can be easier said than done. Without this drug rehab center, many people would have lost their lives to the disease. Some addicts don’t really want the treatment and end up floating around at one rehab centre after another. This won’t happen here. Anyone who has continually wasted their money or time, or that of their parents before at a regular rehab needs to go here. If it is drug addiction treatment and lasting recovery that you need, and no mainstream places seem to work, are affordable or accessible then this is your best bet. CALL 081 394 4815

So that is our Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020 list for this year.

There are many ways to skin a cat and a clinical, registered clinic is not for everyone. There are psychologists and counselors you can go and see. There are addiction treatment specialists and even life coaches that have helped many people out of the nightmare that is addiction. More and more there are spiritual courses, wellness retreats and other spiritual, emotional and holistic experiences out there that are getting great results from addiction treatment. The landscape is always changing, developing and growing. Addiction treatment centres need to adapt with the flow. Many centres use people and programs that are ‘addicted’ in many ways to their one way, punitive, 12 step only treatment philosophies. Dismal 5-20 percent recovery rates across the board, after 12 months of recovery care, show that things need to change and advance in the field of substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment. So a search for drug rehab centres near me or drug rehab centres western cape for example is not enough investigation into the subject of which rehab to choose.

The main suggestion we can make to you today is that addiction is treatable. You can stop it chop-chop with the right professional help, that comes in many shapes and forms. Don’t stay stuck in addictions or depression and start a treatment program today. For more information on the Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020 email, or visit

Published by Mark L Lockwood

Mark L Lockwood (BA)(Hons)(psy) teaches spiritual transformation and is the founder of Contemplative Intelligence. Author of The Power of Contemplative Intelligence, Autotherapy and Recovery Magic. Our work is about the science of finding your spiritual self.

7 thoughts on “Top 10 drug rehab centres in South Africa 2020

  1. I would certainly not recommend Cedars for assistance with any psychological issues. They claim to be experienced but they just wean you off your meds & then give you the 12 step program as your solution. There is no psychiatrist, only 1 psychologist between the 3 facilities only 1 nurse.

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