Freedom Life at Te Nikau is a residential treatment facility that specializes in the care of adult men and women struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders as well as an array of surface addictions. Located in the southern region of the North Island about 50 kilometers north of Wellington in the small town of Paraparaumu, Freedom Life was founded by Peter and Mary Carrington in 1993. It seeks to offer a pathway to a more stable Christian lifestyle through the treatment of the “whole self,” including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
The Freedom Life program is situated in Te Nikau, an intimate facility with a maximum of 12 residents at a time. Te Nikau provides a supportive loving environment that simultaneously offers a strong peer community and the privacy necessary for individuals beginning their recovery journey. A large part of maintaining a sustainable community at Te Nikau is mutual respect and personal responsibility. As such, residents are required to do chores and are not permitted to smoke.
Treatment and Staff
While the facility provides residential care, there is no detox program. Before entering residential treatment, clients undergo an interview either by phone or in person. A comprehensive assessment is performed, and it includes referrals, medication information, criminal history and blood test performed by a physician. Clients entering treatment are expected to make recovery their first priority. No one can enter the program unless he or she has gone three days without using drugs or drinking alcohol. In addition, Freedom Life cannot anyone admit anyone who has a co-occurring disorder, is on methadone or who is court-ordered.
While the length of care varies depending on the specific needs of the personl, residents must stay for a minimum of six months and many individuals extend to a year and a half. The first few weeks typically serve as a “feeling out” period where both the staff and clients decide whether or not it is the right fit. Towards the end of the program, clients volunteer in the community and work with staff to find transitional accommodation.
A typical day at Freedom Life begins with a communal breakfast followed by spiritual group time and household chores. Clients then engage in discussion groups, and after lunch spend time working outdoors, exercising and more group discussion after dinner. Before dinner a short chapel service is held. On the weekends, residents perform chores, attend a church service and are allowed visitors. It’s worth noting, 12-step recovery is not incorporated into programming here.
The Freedom Life team is comprised of counselors, addiction specialists, a clinical supervisor, a program manager, support staff and a team of volunteers. There is no physician on staff, but medication management may be available through a consulting doctor depending on the individual.
Many clients receive funding for the program through the WINZ Sickness Benefit.
Located in the quaint town of Paraparaumu, New Zealand, Freedom Life at Te Nikau is a small residential treatment facility that offers comprehensive, long-term Christian programming for men and women struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders, eating disorders and surface addictions like pornography, internet and gambling. For clients seeking a strong community, supportive atmosphere and a lifestyle overhaul, Freedom Life at Te Nikau is an excellent option.
Freedom Life at Te Nikau
Te Nikau Training Centre
69 Valley Road
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