Alcohol and other drug addiction is a chronic, progressive disease to which health care providers (nurses, doctors, psychologists, social workers), pilots, lawyers, executives and any "safety-sensitive workers" such as first responders, police officers and those who work for the railroad and other professionals, are not immune. We specialise in helping professionals address substance use issues—while assisting you in returning to work in your career.


First Responders situations are all different; the uniforms are different, from different areas of the country, different socioeconomic groups yet all experience many of the same things:


  • Long hours and lack of sleep

  • Violence and cruelty

  • Shattered lives

  • Adrenaline surged situations

  • Physical pain from on-the-job injuries


Many turn to alcohol or other drugs to help cope. Firefighter-paramedics reported high rates of heavy and binge drinking of alcohol and depression relative to the  general population. Many first responders try to manage their drug and alcohol addiction on their own because of the shame or stigma associated with addiction or fear of losing their career.


At Wairua you'll be treated with the dignity and respect you deserve. With compassionate care, understanding, and complete confidentiality, our team works with you over the course of your treatment stay to evaluate your situation and determine a plan of action. Our approach looks carefully at issues related to mind, body, and spirit, taking into account everything you need to make decisions about your well-being. We are dedicated to helping you reclaim your life from the disease of addiction and return, successfully, to your career as a first responder.


The nature and circumstances of your profession expose you to extreme levels of stress and trauma. In addition, your work culture and schedule can be barriers to accessing addiction treatment. Our addiction treatment for first responders integrates evidence-based practices, providing an optimal level of recovery support to help you get well and stay well.


Levels of Care

  • Inpatient residential treatment

  • On-campus structured sober living

  • Continuing care groups facilitated by a counsellor


Core Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment

  • Ongoing assessments and treatment planning

  • Group therapy

  • Individual therapy

  • Educational sessions on the disease of addiction, family dynamics, relapse triggers, Twelve Step recovery principles and more

  • Wellness and spiritual care

  • Involvement and support of family members throughout treatment

  • Fellowship

  • Continuing care planning


Specialised Programming for First Responders

  • First responders group to address issues specific to your occupation

  • Groups for trauma, opioid use, men, women and older adults

  • Appointments with outside providers to address any additional medical or mental health needs

  • Participation in off-site Twelve Step meetings

  • Participation in community-based activities to build and strengthen recovery skills