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New Centre Offers A First For Addiction Treatment

19 May, 2005

New Centre Offers A First For Addiction Treatment

A private residential programme starting next month sets a new treatment and counselling standard for those seeking recovery from alcohol, drug and gambling addictions, and eating disorders and depression.

It is the first to take a holistic approach to treating each individual’s addiction as well as the causes of their specific dependency, says the founder of Lyttelton Unity Trust, William Stevens.

Based at Unity House, a refurbished historic former convent in Lyttelton, the programme combines seven weeks in residence with four months of intensive support in the community.

Mr Stevens said many counselling programmes for addicts had a high failure rate because they were not all-encompassing and neglected to address the whole person.

“The common factor is a failure to deal with the personality disorders and behavioural patterns supporting the addiction, while also treating the addiction itself as a disease.

“The Unity Trust programme sets out to treat and rehabilitate the whole person, based on each individual’s circumstances and background.

“It is run by a team of experts in alcohol, drug and gambling addiction treatment supported by counsellors, mentors, nutritionists, recreation and health specialists."

The programme was developed after researching best global practices in the field of addiction therapy, Mr Stevens said.

These included centres and programmes such as the Betty Ford Clinic, Minnesota 12-step programme and Cambridge University Clinic of Alcohol and Drug Research.

He said the closure of Queen Mary Hospital in Hanmer Springs as a recovery facility was a “huge blow” resulting in a severe shortage of effective treatment centres in New Zealand.

The programme leader is Alan Marriott who has extensive experience in counselling, community health and adult education.

Mr Marriott said key elements of the programme were the professional skills of a 12-strong in-house team and intensive follow-up counselling to support clients on their return to communities.

“Constant contact between client and counsellor is assured, and this after-care practice is what makes the programme distinctive and most likely to produce a positive result."


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