Exploring a fresh opportunity for women seeking help with drug and alcohol addiction

Retreat 4

After 16 years of successful operation as a retreat facility for people in need of a fresh start with accommodation, Pathway Retreat is seeking to transform into New Zealand’s only female residential drug and alcohol treatment centre in partnership with Oydssey House.

At the end of 2017, Pathway began discussions with Odyssey House, a local drug and alcohol treatment centre, to explore how a partnership between the organisations could offer more help and a wider impact for people being released from prison.

During this process both organisations identified the low level of support available for women leaving prison, particularly those with drug and alcohol issues. A specialised residential centre for women has become an increasingly urgent unmet need as the population of female prisoners has nearly doubled in recent years.

In the past, drug and alcohol programmes for women have commonly been modified versions of what has been offered to men — an approach which has been shown to be much less effective than a tailored programme designed specifically for women. This is because drug and alcohol addiction for women typically has different drivers to that of men, and is especially affected by experiences of trauma and problematic family relationships.
The services offered at the treatment centre will be especially designed to support these specific areas of need.

The ongoing operation of the centre will be a joint venture between Pathway and Odyssey House.

Odyssey House will provide the drug and alcohol treatment and Pathway will offer prison reintegration services alongside this, including social work, family support and employment services.

This developing project represents a fresh new era for the Retreat and a new area of work for Pathway.

If you would like to support this initiative either through volunteering your time and expertise or by providing a financial contribution, please get in touch at info@pathway.org.nz

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