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Drug Alcohol and Rehab in New Zealand

Learn about drug and alcohol rehab and detox in New Zealand. The rehab clinic offers a robust admissions process and supervised detox and evidence-based treatments.

    Drug Alcohol and Rehab in New Zealand

    In December of 2020, a “State of the Nation” report by the New Zealand Drug Foundation showed that drugs were the third most common reason for school exclusions.

    Rates of harmful alcohol use were also said to be “of concern” in the same report, while cannabis use was also said to be rising.

    Anyone looking for drug and alcohol rehab in New Zealand, either for themselves or on behalf of a loved one, should know that there’s plenty of support available. You just need to know where to look!

    Overall, having a good base of knowledge of the process is very important.

    It helps to lessen the fear of the unknown that stops people from reaching out and allows you to understand what you’re going through and what might be suitable for you from the beginning.

    In line with this, after you’ve finished going through all of the information here, we recommend that you do your own research based on your specific needs.

    If it’s not mentioned in the appropriate section, look up the withdrawal symptoms of your specific addiction.

    You don’t need to make a firm decision on anything, but try to think about what treatments might suit you.

    Later down the line, look into every residential space and organisation you’re considering reaching out to.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Important distinctions and categories


    Before you start looking into the finer details of the process, it’s important that we look over some important distinctions.

    First of all, many people would immediately think of a residential centre if you talked to them about rehab. But, under certain circumstances, you can do rehab at home too.

    If treatment is being completed at home, with regular visits to a centre, it’s called outpatient treatment. On the other hand, if it’s being completed at a rehab centre, that’s called inpatient treatment.

    Inpatient treatment is generally recommended for those with moderate to severe dependencies – its more intensive nature makes it better for those with more severe issues.

    There’s also a difference between physical and psychological addictions. While one involves mental cravings, the other manifests itself through withdrawal symptoms, which are primarily dealt with in treatment through detoxes.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    The 12-step approach to recovery

    Group therapy session.

    Another approach to recovery that you might have heard of is the 12-step programme. Not every treatment plan follows this model, but it can be a helpful structure for a lot of people. The 12 steps are:

    1. Admitting that you have a problem with addiction – This is the vital first step that will begin your journey.
    2. Acceptance of a higher power – This doesn’t necessarily have to be from any specific religion or a religious thing. It’s more about accepting something greater than yourself, which can help you to see the bigger picture.
    3. Deciding to turn your life over to that higher power – again, this is a really important turning point on a lot of recovery journeys.
    4. Admitting to that higher power, to yourself and others, that you need help – This is where you’ll hopefully reach out to an organisation like Rehab Recovery to get the help you need.
    5. Starting to admit where you’ve been wrong – Many people who suffer from addictions unintentionally hurt those around them. Although this might be difficult to acknowledge, it’s important that you fully partake in this step and related ones to move forward.
    6. Accept your faults and mistakes – This links back to the previous point. As well as admitting to yourself that you have a problem, you also need to look into yourself and see where you might need to change. We’ll go into a bit more detail later, but therapies like CBT and motivational interviewing can help with this.
    7. Asking your chosen higher power for help with what you can’t manage yourself – A mistaken belief that you can handle all of this as one person can often lead to addictions worsening over time. In general, it’s very important that you reach out to others for things you can’t achieve by yourself.
    8. Making a list of all the people you might have harmed – Going off the previous point about accountability, this step then allows you to focus on specifics.
    9. Trying to make amends to those people – Fixing any relationships you might have damaged in this way can help everyone involved heal.
    10. Continuing to hold yourself accountable and admit where you are or have been wrong, in the same way, that all of the rehabilitation is a continual process.
    11. Understanding the greater plan that your chosen higher power has for your life links back to our earlier point on the bigger picture.
    12. And finally, the last step is continuing your healing process and carrying the lessons you’ve learned forward to others.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    The detox process and differences in withdrawal symptoms


    Drug and alcohol rehab in New Zealand, or anywhere else, mainly occurs in three stages: detoxification, rehabilitation and aftercare.

    Detoxification specifically involves slowly reducing your intake until your dependence on whatever you’re addicted to is broken down.

    This also helps to avoid withdrawal symptoms. But unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, these are huge symptoms of physical addiction which can stop many people from getting help.

    Many different kinds of addiction also bring about different withdrawal symptoms. For example, certain drugs, like cocaine, are known for causing manic energy followed by a crash in users.

    When they’re suddenly taken away, you’ll likely experience a lot of psychological symptoms like anxiety and restlessness.

    On the other hand, those experiencing withdrawal from alcohol and drugs like heroin will encounter more physical symptoms, ranging from tremors to nausea and diarrhoea.

    As we noted earlier, this is something you should take time to research based on your specific addiction.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders and addiction

    two women sitting either side of a door

    Many people seeking out help for addiction also suffer from mental health issues. Such issues are often caused by trauma, and various drugs are known to have after-effects like depression and anxiety too.

    Most organisations are equipped to handle co-occurring disorders and dual diagnoses, so please don’t worry if all of this applies to you.

    The kinds of counselling and therapy we’ll discuss below especially can work for various mental health issues and an extensive range of addictions.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    How much time will I spend at drug and alcohol rehab in New Zealand?


    Depending on how severe your addiction is, what you’re addicted to and how well your treatment goes, the amount of time you spend at rehab could range from a month to a year.

    Overall, because of these factors, we can’t really answer that question with any certainty here.

    In general, we also don’t advise that you focus too much on the amount of time that recovery will take, outside of knowing on a practical level.

    It can become a huge distraction in the long run. So instead, we would recommend focusing on your recovery.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Types of therapies

    CBT Therapy Session

    Mental health treatments are a huge part of drug and alcohol rehab in New Zealand, especially as mental health is so often interwoven with addiction issues.

    You might be surprised to know that there’s actually a difference between therapy and counselling, with the former being more specialised and the latter being more generalised.

    Some of the most common kinds of therapy and counselling typically encountered during the rehab process are:

    • CBT – Cognitive behavioural therapy, which aims to root out the toxic thinking and behaviour patterns known here as cognitive distortions
    • DBT – Dialectal behavioural therapy, which is based on CBT but focuses more on controlling and processing emotions
    • Contingency management – This kind of therapy focuses on a reward system. Overall, the aim is to aid in an individual’s progress through “reinforcement”.
    • Motivational interviewing encourages you to re-examine your behaviour through a series of non-judgmental questions.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Aftercare & fellowship/support groups


    Aftercare is essentially a transitional stage, where you’ll continue to receive treatment on a localised level. The intention is to help you adjust to your new, post-rehab life without relapsing.

    A big part of this (and treatment in general) are fellowship/support groups like alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous.

    Such groups allow you to make permanent connections with people in similar situations to you, which can be very comforting.

    It also allows you to share your own experiences and hear about the experiences of others, which can be especially freeing if you’ve kept everything you’re feeling inside up to this point.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    Relapse prevention planning at rehab


    Relapse prevention planning is also a vital part of aftercare.

    There are many things to consider in any relapse prevention plan, including potential triggers, a plan for if you do relapse, cravings and any lifestyle changes you might need to make.

    As it’s so important, you should consider this carefully throughout aftercare. Don’t rush anything – take your time and make sure you get it right.

    And don’t be afraid to readjust your plan if you feel like something isn’t working or isn’t suitable for you. ,

    As a final note on relapsing, please remember that when it comes to treatment, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been through it. Rehab Recovery will always be there to help you heal and move forward.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.

    The admissions process into drug and alcohol rehab in New Zealand/Where to go for help


    Now let’s talk more specifically about where you can access help. All you need to do is get in touch with Rehab Recovery via phone or our website.

    As we’ve seen here, addiction treatment can vary massively based on a variety of factors, such as:

    • What you’re addicted to
    • How long you’ve been addicted for
    • The level of support you have at home
    • Your previous experiences with treatment
    • How severe your addiction is overall

    We’ll try to establish all of this through initial conversations and then through a more formal assessment. Then, we’ll be able to create a treatment plan designed to suit your exact needs.

    If you’re looking at this on behalf of someone else, we can help with that too. But, more specifically, we can arrange support and intervention if that’s something you feel you need.

    We understand how difficult it can be to get through to someone who’s in denial – but you don’t have to face this situation alone.

    Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0800 140 4690.


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