Addiction doesn't happen overnight. It's a gradual progression—and so is the treatment and recovery process. In recognising addiction as a chronic disease and recovery as a new way of living, treatment at Wairua is individualised, collaborative and occurs over the long term through a continuum of care and support. Our treatment goals and expectations are designed to ensure you have the best opportunity to learn, change and heal.


Detox and Withdrawal

Because heavy and sustained alcohol or other drug use takes an enormous toll on physical and emotional health, a detox period might be needed before you will be able to benefit from rehab. If you are admitted to any of our inpatient programs, your care will begin with a medically supervised detoxification period at The Retreat facility in Otahuhu Auckland for approximately 7-days, sometimes longer depending on your situation. Following this period, you will be transferred to Karapiro, to commence the inpatient program. 

Addiction Treatment

An abstinence-based, Twelve Step approach that incorporates evidence-based practices is core to all of our programs. Your core treatment activities will include:

  • Individual therapy

  • Educational lectures

  • Group therapy

  • Special-focus groups (e.g., trauma, grief, healthy relationships)


Length of Addiction Rehab

Throughout treatment, a primary counsellor will work with you to identify your goals and guide your care. The length and pace of treatment will be based on your specific situation and clinical milestones. If you're facing more complex recovery issues, your drug and alcohol treatment team may recommend more time to address:

  • Special issue and concerns

  • Mental health complications

  • Relapse prevention

  • Sober living skills


Your New Normal

Feeling uncomfortable will likely become your "new normal" as treatment begins. As you learn more about the symptoms and impact of addiction, many of those uncomfortable sensations will begin to fade.


Learning about personal authenticity, feeling your feelings, changing negative thought patterns, and practicing stress reduction will provide you tremendous relief.

Over time, however, if you remain uncomfortable—experiencing low moods, a sense of helplessness and/or ongoing anxiety—you should inform a member of your care team. We can offer mental and medical health assessments as well as other resources and services to provide additional relief.



Our drug and alcohol treatment programs are designed to not only help you get well but to stay well and to really thrive in recovery. At discharge, your care team will discuss post-treatment recommendations with you. We've learned from research that the strength of your recovery from addiction is directly related to your follow-through with continuing care recommendations. 


How do we assist with Alcohol and Drug Relapse Prevention?

Experience shows that with the guests that have previously walked down the path to recovery you now find yourself on, the familiar desire to use drugs or drink can reappear quickly. We feel that the key to alcohol and drug relapse prevention is to continuously engage with the recovery community. This could take shape in the form of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, of which there are many all over New Zealand at a time and place that suits you.


How does our drug alcohol and drug relapse prevention plan works?

Most guests will be ready to return home after graduating from our program. Long term relapse prevention relies upon integrating the guiding principles and teachings learned. Transitioning back into everyday life can be difficult; leaving an environment of 24/7 immersion for the real world is a challenge. An effective method of relapse prevention is by attending and engaging with your local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Rest assured though, that when you leave The Retreat, you’ll have a prevention plan that’s been developed with you in mind, to cover the period after our programme’s conclusion.


Is there Family Support for ongoing relapse prevention?

It is important to us that the people that surround you have a safe space where they can find guidance if needed. We have a weekly support group for an addict’s family which we call Family Group. It offers ongoing drug and alcohol relapse prevention support after your loved one has left Wairua.


Furthermore, we organise one-on-one meetings with our CEO for the families and loved ones to help find a solution to problems and concerns going on in their lives.  The afflictions of addiction harm an addict’s family too – so when there’s an opportunity to provide guidance to family about a drug relapse or an alcohol relapse, we like to take it.

Assessment and Evaluation

Addiction rehab has its own culture and community. We'll help you get oriented right from the start by introducing you to basic addiction treatment concepts and goals, including:

  • The disease model of addiction

  • Twelve Step recovery principles

  • The social, physical, emotional, impact of substance use disorder

  • The importance of post-rehab recovery management

Your orientation will also cover patient rights, responsibilities and confidentiality laws.

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Wairua, 1002 Tirau Road, Karapiro, Waikato, NZ

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