The Disease Concept

Asiboni Mbala successfully melds the Minnesota Method and the Biopsychosocial philosophy with our own unique, holistic approach to treatment. Hinged on the fundamental principle of nurturing and the respect of our clients’ individual process, we offer a safe environment in which the journey of our clients can be contained.

Asiboni Mbala Outpatient Recovery Centre believes in the concept of addiction as a chronic, progressive and incurable disease. Our programme is built on the foundation of the Twelve Step Programme created by Alcoholics Anonymous and used internationally by various fellowships.

Boundaries are an essential part of treatment and recovery. The Disease of Addiction is in many ways an antithesis of boundaries and leaves the addict in the role of both the abuser and the abused. By firmly and lovingly teaching boundaries, we successfully give the addict something the outside world rarely can – the ability to use and understand the word NO!

The Minnesota Method

In 1944, the Yale Plan Clinic in Minnesota, USA, hired recovering alcoholics as paraprofessionals. These members of the treatment team were called alcoholism workers. They were seen as having unique skills based on the fact that they could relate to the experience that the patients were going through.

The Hazelden Rehabilitation Programme was started up in Minnesota in 1949. This programme built on the progress and success that Yale Plan Clinic had made by using recovering alcoholics to assist in the treatment of alcoholism. The method of using those in recovery to serve as part of the treatment team became internationally renowned as the Minnesota Method and is used today in thousands of rehabs across the globe.

Asiboni Mbala Outpatient Recovery Centre incorporates the Minnesota Method into our programme. We believe that using recovering individuals as part of the counselling team is a highly beneficial practice. With appropriate use of boundaries and sharp therapeutic practice, recovering individuals prove to be excellent professionals.

The Disease Concept

It is important that addicts and their loved ones understand that addiction is an illness. No addict asked to become addicted, just as no one would ask to get heart disease, and they should not feel guilty about their disease. However, this does not remove the responsibility from them for their recovery. If a person eats a certain way or smokes, they increase their chances of heart disease. It is the same with addiction; if one uses drugs, they increase their chances of becoming addicted.

In 1956, the American Medical Association formally recognised Alcoholism as a disease: Definition of Alcoholism – Published by the Journal of the American Medical Association

"Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial."

Until that time, it was believed that those who were alcoholic suffered a moral problem. Chemical dependency is not a result of lack of willpower. Addicts are amongst the strongest and most resilient people. More than 90% of addicts are able to function even when they are deathly ill.

Prolonged use of drugs alters the neurochemistry in one’s brain. There is a chemical substance in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes us feel good and it can be released through exercise and other activities. When the addict uses chemicals, they cause flooding of dopamine to certain parts of the brain. This is why the user feels so good. Because the addict builds up a tolerance to this Dopamine flooding, more of the drug is required to achieve the high.

Addiction is a disease and has very little to do with the actual behaviour or substance. Addiction is an overwhelming and primary urge to escape uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. The extent of this urge is so much that it is classified as a mental illness.

A Biopsychosocial Illness

Asiboni Mbala Outpatient Recovery Centre treats addiction as a Biopsychosocial illness. The disease of addiction affects individual on a biological level. The changes that occur in the addict’s neurochemical process and the physical addiction are an integral factor in the illness. Treating these aspects is an essential part of recovery.

The psychological dysfunction and damage caused by addiction is severe. This factor ties in closely with the emotional disturbances caused to the addict by their disease. Through group therapy and cognitive group therapy, Asiboni Mbala aims to engage with this part of the disease head on.

Addiction is a serious illness which deeply impairs the addict’s ability to function as a productive member of society. Addicts have few coping skills with which to deal effectively with the daily struggles of life on life’s terms. Asiboni Mbala Outpatient Recovery Centre incorporates a number of these coping skills into our cognitive groups. These play an important part in our programme.
Services Offered
Addiction Training Courses
Substance Abuse in the Workplace
Self-Growth Workshops
Prevention Workshops
Professional Intervention Services
Assessment and Referral Service
Operation Drug Free School
Cognitive Treatment Programme for Adolescents

Addiction Treatment Programme
Body Treatments
Support Groups
Individual Counselling

Contact Details
078 194 7718
082 449 9431
Fax: 086 695 1295
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