According to an exclusive rehab in Cape Town, there has been a marked increase in the number of British addicts seeking treatment in South Africa. Has the recession forced wealthy junkies to look to the third world for five-star psychoanalysis? FINN PARRIS can't help but ask
Word on the street is that Tiger Woods is seeking treatment for sex addiction at Montrose Place (pictured), a “luxury addiction treatment” centre in Cape Town.
If rumours of his sojourn down south are true, the golfer and serial philanderer will be keeping company with lots of English junkies, who make up as much of 75% of patients at this “extended care facility”.
Such is the recent increase in its numbers of British patients, that Montrose Place last week announced it will be open a new office in London this year, to ensure patients who return to the UK after taking treatment in Cape Town don’t relapse – or, perhaps more accurately, to ensure they’re sent straight back to Montrose, where they’ll pay through their noses for “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” (horse riding, we think), a private driver, personal coach and “bespoke relapse-prevention plans”.
Yip, this is one swanky joint. So swanky that the website doesn’t list the rates – you have to request a quote, as if you’re ordering the lobster.
All of which raises a number of questions. Has the recession forced wealthy junkies to look to the third world for five-star psychoanalysis? Does England produce more addicts than it can handle?
Or have the crackheads and Mias suddenly twigged that their pounds can get them a private suite and some nice Egyptian cotton in the foothills of Table Mountain?
For not all the British patients are sex addicts like our Tiger; some are good old-fashioned drug addicts, others are anorexics and yet others are just a bit odd when it comes to stepping on cracks in the pavement.
One can’t help but imagine Tiger eying out the yoga teacher while twelve-stepping it up with the best of them. And, let’s face it, he can only be good for business.
Thanks to him, “sex addiction” is the new bi-polar: a very handy hold-all for bad behaviour. Cheat on your wife? Never mind. Just claim it’s a bona fide condition, take yourself off to a “luxury addiction” centre in the South African summer, and get a front-row spot in yoga class. If your wife doesn’t take you back, well that’s just heartless.
But enough about Tiger, back to the Brits. How does Montrose Place explain why the UK has become its “largest source market”?
Founder and CEO Johnny Graaff says: “For many years, the UK has followed the old adage that ‘less is more’ in terms of time spent in rehab and it is only recently that they seem to have accepted the importance of extended care to ensure a more sustained and successful rehabilitation”.
Mmm, maybe, but that doesn’t really explain why there's suddenly so many of them going to Cape Town.