Published On: March 16, 2020371 words1.9 min read

Jahara is a rehab Centre in Limpopo and it must qualify as one of the most beautiful settings for recovery.

It incorporates many different aspects into its treatment program including many of the wonderful and beautiful things about Africa. From the roaring lions heard at night, to the backdrop of the Drakensberg mountains, recovery at Jahara becomes the start of a wonderfully exciting journey of recovery.

Tribe Sober’s Dr Judy recently attended a week-end workshop at Jahara and has kindly written up her learnings:

“In Exodus of the Bible it is said that the sins of the father will be visited upon the children for three or four generations. I never understood this. It seemed so unfair.

However, recent twin and family studies have shown strong evidence that addictions involve interplay between a variety of genetic and environmental factors. So, although our children can inherit the propensity to become addicts, we as parents can influence the environmental factors and educate our children on the dangers. I believe that the best way to teach is to lead by example. It doesn’t help to say alcohol is dangerous and then pour copious amounts of it down our throats. The power lies within us to break the chains of addiction which has often been passed down the generations before us.

Addiction affects the whole family, not just the addict. Peaceful loving homes become divided by the stress caused by alcohol or drug abuse. Conflict between all the family members becomes normal as the disease progresses. Trust erodes as the addict desperately tries to keep his addiction going. Relatives end up walking on eggshells in an attempt not to provoke the addict. Families become isolated in an attempt to keep the addiction secret. They become bewildered and frightened by the changes in their loved ones, for example, the rages the addict experiences when under the influence of alcohol. These shenanigans can lead to severe trauma or unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as co-dependent behaviour.

It doesn’t help, therefore, treating the addict in isolation. The whole family needs treatment. They have become as sick as the addict and need to learn new coping skills on how to handle this family disease.”

Dr Judy Brewer, March 2020

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