New addictions programme launched

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Iosis

Iosis now offers a free eight-week group programme for individuals and couples struggling with dependency. Called ‘Getting a Grip on Addictions’, it will be run each school term.

“Whanau can struggle with a number of issues. These might be alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or even sex,” Iosis service manager Megan Phillips says. She and co-facilitator Rob Francis run the programme.

“Addiction is probably one of the hardest things to firstly admit and to begin to recover from,” Ms Phillips says.

“People won’t come here with an addiction and then leave all cured. Addiction is something you need to keep an eye on for the rest of your life, one day at a time. Recovery will look like different things to different people.

“Someone might be drinking 10 a day and they might just want to cut down to two. And so if that is their goal, that’s what we will support them to do. But if someone’s got real difficulties with drugs or alcohol and they want to abstain, then we will support them to do that too.”

Ms Phillips has been helping whanau in the area of alcohol and drug recovery for about 18 years. Mr Francis has been working with people affected by addiction for six. Both are passionate about “walking the journey to wellness” for people, no matter what their addiction.

“Alcohol and drug addictions are often the most obvious to others. But hidden and secret addictions such as gambling and sex addictions are also responsible for tearing families apart,” says Mr Francis.

“They can create a culture of fear and shame for the addict and possibly even their whanau.”

The addictions programme neatly fits into the existing wrap-around support Iosis provides. Group participants can also access support provided by cousnellors, soical workers, parenting classes and other programmes and services based at Iosis’s Manurewa base.

Discussing personal problems in a group situation might seem daunting, but Ms Phillips encourages people struggling with addiction to take the courageous step of coming along.

“The fear and shame created around addiction problems are common themes. So when people are in a group and they hear other people’s experiences, strength and hope around those issues, it can make them feel not so alone. People are often isolated in their using, so having a group you can go forward with is a powerful thing.”


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