Safe Places Uganda | Rehabs Centre in Kampala, Uganda

Information Center

Information Center

Mental illness and Addiction are not a choice, so you shouldn’t have to live with it.
Giving you the tools to slowly return to the person you were before you became trapped in disease and addiction, we will help you unravel emotional issues, unhealed trauma, understand the disease and your triggers, urge you to face your vulnerabilities, medicate for diagnosed disease before guiding you towards personal growth and reintegration into society. Ultimately, we work towards progress – not perfection.

While treatment centres are often frequented by those with drug and alcohol dependencies due to the presence of medical detoxification. Rehabilitation is much more than that, all individuals with mental illnesses, other addictions and maladjusted behaviour do benefit from the level of support that treatment and rehabilitation programs offer. Whether you are in crisis or just need someone to talk to in a new supportive environment, we would love to welcome you in.

Taking a holistic approach, we will take time to get to know you – the person behind the disease or addiction. Exploring your history, medical record, and mental health concerns, we will build a clear picture of who you are before we delve into your behavioural patterns/ habits. It’s an opportunity to set yourself free from the unclarity, inconsistencies through opening up in a relaxed, judgement-free environment. Our professionals will guide on which program is most suitable, out-patient or In-patient.

It’s no secret that in-patient/residential rehabilitation programmes have higher success rates for substance use disorders and addictions, but we believe it’s much more than simply choosing residential or outpatient care, it is about the individual unique prevailing circumstances and needs. Our team will delight in supporting you to achieve a tailor made program that will get you on the road to recovery.

Residential or In-patient care is a circuit-breaker, removing you from triggering environments, providing you with intensive, round-the-clock support in a therapeutic environment, and starting you off on a patient-focused treatment plan. It acts as a turning point if you need one, offers a lot of opportunities for introspection and re-strategizing free of outside influences as well as environment re-engineering to suit continued recovery post-residential care. It will also give you an opportunity to experience your life with controlled symptoms and a mind free of intoxication that will motivate you to work at recovery. It is important to note that period of residential care varies from Short to long term.

Out-patient Care on the other hand will enable you start on your journey of healing even when you can’t step away from your existing routine (Education, career, occupation and other responsibilities). It is most suited to conditions that can be managed at home. It is important to note that some conditions especially where preservation of life is the primary goal may be best suited for inpatient care even when routine has to be disrupted.

Whereas mental disorders and substance / alcohol use disorders can occur alone, research indicates that more often than not persons with severe mental illness may also have a co-occurring substance/Alcohol use disorder and vice versa. 

At safe places, we assess and treat for co-occurring disorders so that a person gets wholesome care and recovery. We want to be that support, talking you through the lows, by your side through the highs, and guiding you towards your next chapter – healthy, happy, and ready to be the person you want to be. Providing you with the proper support, where your needs are listened to, your diagnosis is accounted for, and you’re given the tools to manage your symptoms safely, we want you to want more from life. You deserve a life filled with healthy relationships, fulfilling interests, and a generous serving of self-confidence, regardless of your diagnosis, and we’ll give you the push to get you there.

These are a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking and behaviour of an individual.
There are nearly 300 disorders as per the Diagnostic and statistical manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), which is the diagnostic tool for Mental illness.

Major categorization of Mental disorders include; Neuro-development Disorders, Bipolar and related disorders, Anxiety Disorders , Trauma and Stress related Disorders, Dissociative Disorders, Somatic symptom disorders, Feeding and eating disorders, sleep-wake disorders, Disruptive, Impulse control and Conduct Disorders, Depressive disorders, substance use and addictive disorders, Neurocognition disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other Psychotic disorders, obsessive- compulsive disorder, Personality Disorders.

No one person is completely similar to another even Identical twins differ, and thus mental illness manifests differently in different people. There are several conditions as well as severity of the conditions, we therefore advise that you or your loved ones seeks an assessment from Our Psychiatrists for proper diagnosis and care. You deserve a personalized meticulously crafted care plan. At safe places, using the bio-psychosocial model Combine medical interventions, psycho-education, symptom management, occupational therapy, psycho-therapy among other interventions to start you on a firm journey of holistic healing. It’s what we’re known for, creating sturdy foundations for you to build upon.

ADDICTION (Substance, Alcohol and Other Addictions)

You are not your addiction. In creating an environment where your needs are listened to, your goals are paramount, and your best interest remains front-and-centre, we are re-emphasising one of the key pillars of recovery the belief that things can change.

You are not a bad person for falling into the trap of addiction. You’re somebody who deserves a real opportunity to grab recovery with both hands.


Whilst every journey towards addiction looks different – each presenting unique obstacles and turning points – some risk factors increase the likelihood of an individual descending into uncontrolled use of substances/alcohol or addictive behaviours .External factors such as peer pressure and experimentation, childhood neglect, all forms of abuse, conflict, stress, unemployment, and exposure to drugs and other vices predispose an individual to addiction On top of the genetic factors that were found to account for 40 to 60% of a person’s addiction vulnerability.


I. Substances

  •  Alcohol Addiction
  • Drug Addiction
  • Prescription drug addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Opioid addiction(Heroin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, etc)
  • Cannabis addiction(Weed/Marijuana)
  • Nicotine /tobacco addiction
  • Prescription drugs( pain killers and sedatives)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Meth and Ecstasy

II. Behaviours

  •  Gambling
  •  Internet Addiction
  •  Shopping
  •  Sex addiction (Pornography, Masturbation etc)
  •  Videogame addiction
  • Food addiction
  • Risky behaviour addiction

For most people in active addiction, we advocate for residential/Inpatient care for its advantages of a combination of medical detoxification, intensive psycho-therapy both individual and Group, period of abstinence from the substance or enabling environment to the addiction and family support during and after treatment. Intensive outpatient care may also be used in consideration of prevailing conditions. The overall goal of the treatment is to cleanse the body through detoxification, dealing with the root cause of the addiction through one to one individual therapy, breaking the patterns that are addiction, having an objective assessment of one’s life, psychoeducation about the addiction, identifying the triggers and prevention of relapse through individual and group therapy.

Watching a loved one fall into the clutches of addiction can be traumatic, guilt and anxiety inducing. Addiction is said to be a family disease because it affects the sufferer alongside their family members. It may cause conflict in the family and ill health among some, hence the questions of how you can help them come up. We encourage relatives of individuals suffering from addiction to follow our three points – educate yourself about their addiction, avoid neglecting your own needs, and seek specialist help. They’ll thank you eventually.

As the globe’s second most common addiction – after tobacco – there’s no shame in holding your hands up and accepting that your alcohol intake has become a problem.
The first step towards recovery is deciding to get help, and we’re here to welcome you in with open arms, a listening ear, and a world of hands-on, judgement-free support.

Surprisingly, the tell-tale sign of alcohol dependency isn’t how much alcohol you are consuming. Instead, it largely centres on the mental implications, and how alcohol impacts your daily life. If you find yourself experiencing moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms, you’re unable to control the quantity and frequency of your drinking, or you’re beginning to prioritize alcohol over your health, responsibilities, or finances, we’d encourage you to seek for support.

To achieve long-term sobriety, we recommend mid-term to long-term tailor-made programs. At safe places we offer programs ranging from 30 days to 180 days of in-patient care that combine medical detox with intensive psycho-therapy, alongside family and peer support systems and continued aftercare to help you attain recovery. While therapy and counselling will help you build coping strategies, introduce positive behaviours, and reignite your self-worth, medications can target the physical symptoms, combatting cravings and even blocking the, feel-good sensation that alcohol brings.

It may be a daunting prospect, filled with guilt, shame, and an overwhelming sense of loss of control, but you deserve to take your life back. Creating a judgement-free zone, we’ll hit the brakes on destructive behaviours, take time to untangle risky actions, and get to the bottom of your dopamine search, led by our open-minded professional team.

Unlike many addictions that reveal themselves in flashing lights, sex addiction remains notoriously difficult to self-identify. If you begin to experience excessive masturbation compulsions, feelings of intense guilt associated with sex, an increase in risky sexual acts, or obsessive sexual thoughts – often entailing fantasies – we’d encourage you to seek out the expert opinion of an addiction specialist, who can get to know your behaviours, and if necessary put you on the road to recovery.

It isn’t just sexual intercourse that can present itself as an addiction. From masturbation, pornography, and voyeurism, to seeking out the affection of a sex worker, any act that involves a sexual thrill can become an addiction.

There is a multitude of therapies designed to support those struggling with sex addiction, depending on your triggers, dependency causes, and potential past trauma.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), designed to correct destructive thought patterns, remains the leading treatment, alongside eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), group therapy, and marriage counselling. If your addiction stems from a psychiatric diagnosis, such as anxiety, medication may be introduced.

It’s a vicious cycle, where despite knowing the odds are stacked against you, you can’t seem to escape its grasp. Exchanging stable relationships with social isolation, and well-managed responsibilities with an unbreakable focus on your next bet, you deserve more than the stress, guilt, and anxiety associated with your gambling addiction. It is not uncommon to encounter a student who has gambled away their university tuition, a boda boda (Motor bike cyclists) gambling away their meagre assets, and persons in business their entire life savings.

Addiction looks slightly different to everybody, but if you are experiencing a loss of control, intense urges, a loss of interest in hobbies, neglected responsibilities, an increase in the amount of money spent, and a knock-on effect on relationships and your career, we’re inviting you to come for a non-obligatory consultation.

For most people, gambling addictions stem from the brain’s reward system, putting you on the hunt for higher amounts of dopamine. For that reason, therapy and counselling remain the most suitable treatment options, designed to shape your patterns of behaviour, introduce sustainable coping mechanisms, and help you access dopamine through healthier means.

You can do it alone. As a temporary escape from your daily life, we will help you enhance your self-worth, improve your independence, and return with a stream of healthy, mutually beneficial relationships. It’s not just what you deserve – it’s what you need.

Involving the act of becoming wholly dependent on another person, where your needs become neglected, your emotions are reliant on their moods, you lose your sense of self, and your main priority remains their happiness, co-dependency often times is experienced by people with mental illness, addiction and their primary care givers/family members, further evidence of the far reaching effects of mental illness and addictions.
Perpetuating the trauma cycle, loved ones of those in active addiction and mental illness, from parents and siblings to friends and children, often see their lives flipped 180 degrees, thrusting them into a world of self-blame, guilt, and a feeling that their failure led to the person suffering from a mental illness or addiction. It’s a heart-wrenching dynamic to navigate, but it’s crucial to note that help is available.

While they often entail prioritizing another person’s needs over your own, there are a set of traits that make you more likely to experience co-dependent relationships, from a history of people-pleasing, low self-esteem, and a lack of boundaries to a tendency to fall into the ‘caretaking’ role.

To overcome co-dependency, it’s vital to explore self-worth issues, define what a healthy relationship looks like, and introduce boundary setting. Through our comprehensive co-dependency treatment program, centered on counselling and therapy
we will help you accept the notion that your wellbeing matters just as much as the sick or addicted individual in your life, while talking through your most difficult emotions. It’s an opportunity to set yourself free from guilt, build key coping strategies, and re-mould your behaviors’ patterns facilitated by a team of professionals who truly understand.

Please note: If both you and your co-dependent partner are in active addiction or have a mental illness, we will encourage you to set off on independent healing journeys, allowing you to access support away from external influences.
To us, it’s about so much more than simply helping you break free from your disease.
We’re focused on helping you regain control over your life, balancing clear-cut boundaries with a renewed sense of self. Our purpose is to boost your self-esteem, combatting control, and encourage you to prioritize your own healing journey – guilt-free and independent.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What addictions do you treat?
Committed to treating all addictions, we will ensure nobody gets left behind. From nicotine, alcohol, drugs, gambling (betting), and food, to pornography, we have the expertise and resources to kickstart your next chapter.

What are your goals as a facility?
To us, it’s not enough to help you become disease and addiction-free. We want you to return to your day-to-day with a renewed approach, where soaring quality of life and healthy relationships merge with the tools to handle whatever life throws your way. At our core, we want to shape productive members of society – happy, fulfilled, and accomplished.

What is the right treatment for me?
Our treatments are as unique as our patients, weaving your goals, preferences, and quirks through your care plan. That said, most of our patients require a combination of talking therapy and medication, as well as medical detoxes for those with substance abuse disorders.

How long will I be in treatment?
We will never keep you in our care for longer than necessary. Examined on a case- by-case basis, we will monitor your progress, analyse how your thought patterns have evolved, and determine your risk level before identifying an appropriate length of stay. Length of stay generally varies from 30 day to 60 days for short to medium stay and 180 days for long term stay
I’m anxious about seeking treatment. 

Can it be kept confidential?

Absolutely! Whereas we believe there shouldn’t be a stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction, we are bound by our ethical obligations of confidentiality and wholeheartedly understand that some of our patients want their recovery to remain private. Therefore, we will only share with whomever you authorize us to share with.

How experienced are your team?
We boast of experienced, fully trained professionals who reflect our core values, whether that’s nurses, social workers, clinicians, counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other specialists. As representatives of Safe Places, each team member must bring rich knowledge, serious attention to detail, and innate compassion for our patients.

Can someone really heal from their illness?
Yes, and No. Healing is as individual as the sickness. Person A may heal completely while Person B may not heal completely but recover to a better status of health than before. There are various contributing factors to one’s healing journey. They may range from differences in the particular, longevity of disease, severity of disease, time of intervention, type of intervention, comorbid conditions, and environment among others. It’s a personal journey that are glad to walk with you.