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Minnesota House Rules

Items Forbidden & Prohibited / House Rules / Telephone Rules
Items Forbidden/ Prohibited

Items To Be Handed In At The Office At Admission


syringes, pipes etc.
Panado, Grandpa etc.
Includes driver’s licence and passports
Busses, trains, or airplane
R20.00 may be kept in coins
all credit cards, bank cards, petrol cards
deodorant, Perfume etc.
mouth wash, condoms, anything
pocket knives, cutters, guns, etc.
rolling tobacco, rolling papers, snuff
Tiger balm, Vicks, etc.
nail polish remover, acetone, surgical spirits
YOU, Huisgenoot, Hustler, pornography, etc.
all novels, only recovery related literature allowed
Cell phones, cell phone chargers, sim
Anything that needs to be burned
Prescribed medication to be handed in to the nurse station- will be dispensed at medication time, if authorised by Medical Director.
Complete Minnesota House – House Rules

In order to successfully accommodate a large number of people in close proximity, it is imperative to bear in mind those differences in age and background can lead to problems developing between individuals – problems that could detract from the primary aim of your stay here.

The staff has therefore, developed a number of rules and expectations for the duration of your stay. Compliance with these will help us, and you to make the most of your time here and will prevent problems arising. If at any time you have questions, Please ask the House leader or staff, you’re Peers or your Counsellor for assistance. They will be happy to help you.


Most Important And Cornerstone Rules:

  • DO NOT leave the premises without permission.
  • NO entry into bedrooms other than your own.
  • NO drugs, alcohol, or any other mood-altering or mind-altering substances.
  • NO sexual or intimate relationships with members of any sex.
  • Members of the opposite sex are not allowed to sit together unless in groups of three or more e.g. washing area, Veggie patch etc.
  • NO violence, threatening or intimidating behaviour.
  • All animals are to be treated with respect, no aggression, threatening or teasing will be tolerated at all.
  • Anonymity and confidentiality – “What you hear and say in treatment must remain in treatment.”
  • Theft and any other criminal or illegal acts will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Management And Administration:

  • To comply with Health Authority and Safety Regulations the kitchen area and staff quarters and rooms are out of bounds for all patients of Minnesota House; unless being in those areas forms part of their therapeutic duties.
  • Admin offices and the Directors office are out of bounds at all times.
  • DO NOT enter the staff residential area at any time – private space.
  • The Office and Nurses Station area are out of bounds unless you are specifically requested to be there.


The Programme:

  • Maintain an attitude conducive to Recovery and have consideration for other people’s feelings, rights, well-being, comfort, safety, peace and serenity.
  • Goals that are set during the Weekly “Goals Objectives” must be achieved; time management is an essential ingredient in achieving these objectives.
  • You will be expected to involve your group and counsellors in decisions regarding your treatment.
  • Therapeutic duties are assigned to all patients on a rotation basis.
  • All Therapeutic literature provided or loaned to you must be returned before you leave.
  • Mini-groups are only to be held on a Counsellors instruction and are to take place in the designated rooms. Mini-groups should not exceed 30 minutes in length.
  • NO smoking after the ‘Two Bell’ during the Therapeutic day.
  • Significant Book entries are to be done daily and handed in each evening before evening roll call.
  • NO novels or magazines are to be read – only Recovery literature.
  • NO one is excused from groups unless specific permission has been given by management.
  • Cigarettes that are kept in the crate in the telephone cupboard will only be handed out at evening medication time or evening roll-call – Plan well.
  • NO gym while on detox – gym only with the instructor present.
  • When the ‘two bell’ is sounded you must prepare for the upcoming group or event which will begin promptly at the sounding of the ‘four bell.’
  • Movies / DVD’s depicting active addiction or containing scenes that may invoke memories of active addiction are not permitted.
  • Braais are social events; everybody must participate and be outside for the evening.
  • Sunday afternoon is ‘quiet time’ from 2 – 4pm, NO music, TV, etc. Unless by special request AND permission.


General Rules:

  • NO lending, borrowing, trading or exchanging of anything.
  • Patients may not go further from the House than the veggie patch and the top of the garden.
  • NO sleeping or lying on beds during the day unless you have express permission from a staff member to do so.
  • Smoking allowed only in designated areas.
  • NO telephone calls for the first three weeks i.e. first call allowed on your third week end.
  • DO NOT sit on tables – tables are for sitting at not On.
  • NO sitting or sharing the same seating surface with a member of the opposite sex.
  • NO drug talk, or street mentality, this includes swearing and vulgar language, altering of body-image {tattoos, earrings, hair colour change etc.} Gangster slang, intimidating or threatening behaviour.
  • If you break something you replace it {Breakages Book.}
  • Tea and coffee at stipulated times only.
  • NO rolling of tobacco.
  • Cigarettes to be handed in each night / cartons to be locked up.
  • Medication will only be dispensed at the prescribed times.
  • DO NOT feed the dogs.
  • NO eating, drinking or smoking in the dorms.
  • DO NOT change beds or seats in the Dining Room without permission.
  • Visitors to Minnesota House and patients on leave may NOT, under any circumstances, bring / purchase / or bring any shopping, clothing or correspondence for other patients!!! REMEMBER you are here only to focus on yourself!!!
  • Sandwiches may be made from after dinner until evening roll-call and before the ‘wake-up’ bell in the mornings.
  • NO eating from the kitchen after evening roll-call.
  • NO talking to strangers – vending machine people, bread, milk and other delivery people, builders, electricians, plumbers, couriers or other patients visitors.
  • Patients are to attend all mealtimes in the Dining Room or at the Tea-station. Special dietary requirements should have been discussed and arranged prior to admission.
  • NO association with known drinkers / users. NO acting out on addictions not requiring the consumption of a substance or chemical. {e.g. Gambling, eating disorders, sex and love addictions.}


Personal Belongings, Correspondence And Parcels:

  • Management cannot take responsibility for patient’s belongings or personal effects.
  • Items left at Minnesota House after your departure will be disposed of after 14 days, unless appropriate arrangements have been made for their later collection or dispatch. Please make sure that you have all your belongings with you when you leave.
  • NO pornography.
  • Any request that you have must be written in the Request Book and will be addressed the following day – Monday to Friday, except Public Holidays.
  • All incoming parcels, e-mails and letters will be searched at the Nurse’s Station. These are handed out once a week, under the supervision of the Nursing Sister or other designated staff member – at the end of that therapeutic day’s programme.
  • NO spray deodorants.
  • MONEY: NO patient may be in possession of more than R 50.00. When more money is requested for cigarettes or shopping it must be used immediately for those planned purchases. Patients may only be in possession of coins – NO notes.


Dress Code And General hygiene:

  • Haircuts, dying of hair or any changes must be cleared with Counsellors {Request Book}.
  • Long hair is to be worn in a neat pony-tail.
  • Only toilet paper must be flushed down the toilet as we have a septic tank system.
  • Patients are expected to shower and shave daily – *PLEASE*
  • Patients are expected to dress appropriately, NO revealing clothes etc.
  • NO tanning.



  • NO eating, smoking or drinking in the Kombi or other vehicles.
  • Outings are a privilege NOT a right.
  • NO talking to strangers or friends you may bump into.
  • Maintain an attitude conducive to recovery and behave in an orderly fashion at all times.
  • The TC has to stay in a group. If you go anywhere you need to stay in groups of at least three, and then only after permission has been granted by a staff member or person in charge of the outing.




Telephone Rules & Contract

Note: Only Staff Or The Telephone Monitor May Answer The Phone


During the course of a phone call to family / friends, should I be asked about someone here at Minnesota House my answer should be “I cannot answer that question.” Information about day to day events here at Minnesota House should be restricted to my personal situation only. When the rules are being introduced to me, examples will be given.

Requests for telephone calls will be done on a Wednesday, during ‘Weekend Planner Group.’ Unless both a name and telephone number are given, the call will not be authorised. Calls are authorised at the discretion of the Therapeutic Team.

Names And Telephone Numbers must be entered on the Request Sheet.

Phase I:
1 (ONE) Telephone call may be made / received on Saturday from 14.00hrs to 16.00hrs. and 1 (ONE) call on Sunday from 11.00hrs to 16.00hrs.
Phase II:
An additional call may be made either on Wednesday (before Medication) or on the following Sunday.
  • I should let the monitor on duty know that I wish to make my call. When I am dialling out the time should be confirmed between myself and the monitor so that the 10-minute call duration is adhered to.
  • I agree to a Monitor being present, sitting at the table in front of the telephone kiosk. Whilst it is not the intention to listen to every word of my call, the monitor must listen for any bad-tempered, raised voices or abusive language. If this happens the staff member on duty WILL disconnect the call and the Therapeutic Team will be advised of any such incident.
  • If a patient has left Minnesota House in an inappropriate manner e.g. not having completed their programme, it is not acceptable to accept calls from them; should they phone they will be told that monitors and patients do not accept calls from them. Calls from patients who have left having completed Closure Group may speak to all members of the TC and this will not count as a call, but if they speak ONLY to one specific person it will count as a call for that person.
  • I will not make any calls to any person using or associated with drugs and /or alcohol, including calling clubs, bars and pubs
  • The doors of the telephone kiosk are to be kept open during calls and NOT pulled closed while a patient is talking on the phone. No whispering.
  • I will not manipulate on any level (money, leaving date etc.) I will make my days count and not count my days.
  • CONFIDENTIALITY: It is imperative that the confidentiality of all patients is respected by monitors and patients alike.