About addiction treatment

If you are worried about your drinking, or someone else’s, it will probably help to talk to someone outside of your situation.

Find an alcohol and drug treatment service near you.

‘Treatment’ is a term used to describe help, usually professional, that people get when they are experiencing drinking problems.

Treatment for alcohol problems includes a range of activities, such as 12 step support groups, counselling services that provide one-hour counselling appointments, or residential programmes where the person stays for weeks.

Different approaches for different people

A lot of people have problems with their drinking and are able to make positive changes. Different treatment approaches work for different people. It usually helps, though, to talk to someone outside of your situation.

A good starting point is to call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, visit their website, or free txt 8681 for confidential advice. The Helpline can also tell you the services available in your area.

It is also a good idea to discuss your drinking with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant and find it difficult to stop drinking.

Ask your family and friends to support you too. Some people also find the support from online communities helpful.  

livingsober.org.nz is a useful website to go to for online community support to help you cut down or stop drinking.

Thinking about making a change

As you begin to contemplate change, it is often very helpful to hear the stories of others who have gone through what you are going through and have made changes to their alcohol and drug use. Visit the following links to hear some of these stories:​

Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017

The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017 (SACAT) provides for people to receive compulsory treatment if they have a severe substance addiction and their capacity to make decisions about treatment for that addiction is severely impaired.

Go to the Ministry of Health website for information and resources about SACAT and its implementation.

Substances and Choices Scale

The Substances and Choices Scale (SACS) is an adolescent AOD screening and outcome measurement instrument that has been designed to overcome many of the drawbacks associated with other instruments.

It is a one-page pencil and paper self-report questionnaire designed to be administered by health professionals who are working with young people aged 13-18 years.

Visit the SACS website