Perceptions concerning the effectiveness of aftercare programmes for female recovering drug users.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease and it needs effective long term treatment for one to overcome the habit. The road to recovery is a strenuous effort. This is because biological, psychological, social and spiritual dynamics all contribute to the complete recovery of a drug addict. It is important that aftercare programmes take cognizance of these factors in assisting female recovering drug users to reintegrate well into society following a period of treatment. Very few studies have been conducted in South Africa to explore the effectiveness of aftercare programmes for female recovering drug users, thus there is a gap in knowledge in that area. This study therefore aimed to add to the body of knowledge in the area through investigating the perceptions concerning the effectiveness of aftercare programmes for female recovering drug users. The study focused on the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of female recovering drug users’ recovery and provides insight on the perceptions concerning the effectiveness of aftercare programmes. The study utilized a qualitative research methodology and the biopsychosocial-spiritual model was used to understand addiction and recovery better. Data collection was conducted at a well-established treatment centre in Gauteng through individual interviews with six female recovering drug users and a focus group discussion with five social workers. Results of the study show that both female recovering drug users and social workers who participated in the study perceived aftercare programmes as effective and helpful. Aftercare assisted the female recovering drug users in biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of their lives leading to a different lifestyle from the one during addiction. There were however some challenges faced during aftercare and participants also suggested some improvements needed for aftercare.