This publication presents the findings of the evaluation of the Te Ara Oranga: The Pathway to Wellbeing, a methamphetamine treatment programme. The evaluation raises and considers the complex social issues that underpin widespread use of methamphetamine in the Northland region and highlights the unique partnership between police, mental health and addiction services, community groups and iwi service-providers so methamphetamine-users can receive therapeutic help.
New Zealanders are very aware of the devastating impact methamphetamine has on individuals, families, and communities. The harm caused by its sale and use are particularly severe in some of our most marginalised communities, with Māori, Pacific people and those living in areas of socio-economic deprivation being more likely to experience harm from drug use.
There are also groups who want help but for a variety of reasons do not seek it or receive it. Research indicates that many people who seek help for methamphetamine use have been chronic users for between 5 and 10 years, and relapses post-treatment are not uncommon.
Consequently, there is an urgent need in New Zealand for innovative therapeutic solutions for and from communities and this report evaluates such an initiative in Northland, Te Ara Oranga (The path to wellbeing).
Te Ara Oranga is a unique partnership between police, mental health and addiction services, community groups and iwi service-providers giving methamphetamine-users the opportunity to get therapeutic help utilising a 16-week programme that incorporates an approach that is culturally appropriate and tailored for people in the Northland community.
The evaluation of Te Ara Oranga raises and considers the complex social issues that underpin widespread use of methamphetamine in the Northland region. The evaluation highlights the co-operation between the agencies and has produced powerful insights in comparing the pathways of those who engaged with Te Ara Oranga against those who did not.