Health & Beauty

Why long-term residential rehab is better for some people

Recovery Centre at White River offers long-term residential addiction treatment because it has proven to be more effective than shorter 30-day programmes, particularly for people who have relapsed repeatedly and have not maintained sobriety after leaving the haven of a rehab facility. 

A 3-month to 12-month addiction care programme is a better option for people who have struggled with severe substance use disorder for an extended period. It also benefits people with an underlying mental illness that co-occurs with an addiction, known as dual diagnosis.

What are the benefits of long-term residential addiction treatment?

Addiction is defined as a “chronic, relapsing disorder characterised by compulsive substance seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.” 

The emphasis is on ‘relapsing disorder’, where statistics show that 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after completing an addiction treatment programme. Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process and does not mean you or the programme has failed. It just means you need more time to work on your physical and emotional wellbeing and to develop the necessary tools to return to daily life free of alcohol or drugs.

Addiction recovery has been likened to a form of remission from a chronic illness. You can make good progress, but you are still dealing with a brain disease that does not have a complete cure. Recovery is a lifelong journey, and your chances of relapsing are ever-present. 

Staying at Recovery Centre at White River for 90-days or longer gives you valuable time to restore confidence and self-esteem, develop rock-solid relapse prevention skills, and adjust to life without alcohol or drugs.

What does Recovery Centre at White River offer

Recovery Centre at White River provides round-the-clock care in a safe, tranquil setting for an affordable price. The property lies nestled in a 7-hectare lush, tropical garden, and you share comfortable accommodation in a newly renovated farmhouse. Recovery Centre is located in Mpumalanga, a short drive from the iconic Kruger Park and the famous Panorama Route.

You join a caring therapeutic community overseen by a multi-disciplinary team comprising a psychiatrist or psychologist, experienced counsellors, various holistic therapists, nutritionists, and specialised nursing sisters. Recovery Centre offers a 3-month treatment programme, but you can stay up to 12 months if that’s what you need.

Recovery Centre’s treatment programme is based on the following therapeutic model:

Medical detox

Most residents require medical detox when they arrive at Recovery Centre at White River. You are taken to a private inpatient psychiatric clinic in Nelspruit and are supervised by qualified medical practitioners. Your medication is monitored when you return to Recovery Centre, and you have routine medical assessments throughout your stay.


Recovery Centre offers a comprehensive psychotherapy programme that integrates tried-and-tested addiction methods with advanced psychotherapy (talk therapy) techniques. Examples include cognitive and dialectal behavioural therapy, solution-focused therapy and trauma-focused therapy. You attend individual and group sessions daily and complete homework assignments that require self-reflection.

Holistic therapy

The treatment programme includes various holistic therapies that help heal your mind, body and soul. The goal is to challenge damaging beliefs and enhance coping skills. Examples include equine therapy, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and art and music therapy.

Keep busy

People in recovery benefit enormously from a structured routine and keeping busy. Recovery Centre organises a host of onsite and offsite activities to do just that. Each day is filled with volleyball games, team building activities, nature walks, swimming, yoga, mindfulness meditation, and art and music therapy. You can also get involved in tending to the vegetable garden, building things in the workshop or helping with maintenance projects.

On day excursions, you can cycle or hike in the nearby forests, go on a scenic tour of the Panorama Route or Big 5 game drive in Kruger Park, ride horses, bungee jump, experience an elephant encounter, and visit a local village. The choice of things to do in the Lowveld is endless.

Therapeutic community

Recovery Centre is modelled on the concept of a therapeutic community which “allows people with a severe addiction to live together in an organised and structured way to promote change toward a drug-free life in the outside society”. You become part of a therapeutic family at Recovery Centre and socialise in a safe, non-judgmental environment. You are cared for by staff who have extensive experience in addiction counselling and mental health training.

Job training

Preparing residents for life beyond the rehab centre is an essential component of Recovery Centre’s treatment programme. Counsellors help you work on skills needed to find a job when you leave the centre and live a productive life. Finding gainful employment at the end of the programme vastly improves your chance of maintaining sobriety.

Aftercare support

Recovery Centre provides ongoing counselling and therapeutic support to ensure you have the best chance of maintaining sobriety once you leave the safety of the therapeutic community. Your counsellor thoroughly prepares you for leaving the centre and helps you develop a solid aftercare treatment plan based on your individual needs. You continue to receive counselling and support after you return home.

We’re here to help

Contact us today if you’d like a confidential chat with one of our qualified counsellors at Recovery Centre at White River in South Africa.

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