Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2021-2026

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Our Vision and Approach

Our Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy, 2021–2026 sets out our plan for how we will support better outcomes for people in the community and prison who have problematic use of alcohol and other drugs. We will contribute to enhanced self-management, healthier lifestyle choices, and protective factors such as participation in Te Ao Māori that will benefit individuals, whānau, and communities.

The vision

The Strategy aligns with Hōkai Rangi and Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025. This alignment has been strongly supported by everyone involved in the process of developing this strategy.

The Strategy responds to what we learned, and to other strategic work in the health sector. It sets a direction that takes a wellbeing focus, moving from a deficit approach to a focus on enabling oranga, and a rethink on how we as a department address substance use in our policies and practices.

This approach will also enable us to achieve our statutory obligations under the Corrections Act 2004 to address the needs of individual people in prison, detect and reduce the supply of and demand for alcohol and other drugs, and ensure the delivery of treatment and intervention services in custodial settings.

The Strategy is to:

  • prioritise alcohol and other drugs as an important oranga and wellbeing issue and treat it as such in policy and practice
    while recognising any connections with offending.
  • take a strategic approach that complements our work in prisons to detect and reduce the supply of and demand for
    alcohol and other drugs.
  • demonstrate our commitment to partnership under Te Tiriti by sharing design and delivery functions and
    responsibilities with Māori (e.g. iwi, hapū, non-government organisations) and to support and enable communities to
    look after themselves.
  • restore oranga tāngata, and to deliver equitable health outcomes for Māori, guided by our obligations under Te Tiriti.
  • identify and address systemic and institutional barriers to treatment and support. This will allow resources to be
    redeployed to ensure people can access the assistance they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it, in ways
    that work for them.
  • develop and nurture a compassionate, competent, culturally safe, complexity capable, whānau centred and empowered
    workforce that uses mātauranga Māori as a normal part of their everyday therapeutic practice.
  • work effectively with other agencies and organisations to build people’s resilience and enable people to stay connected
    with whānau and communities that support their oranga and wellbeing. This includes successful reintegration back
    into society.
  • design and evaluate intervention and treatment pathways in partnership with Māori and actively enable, support and
    protect mātauranga Māori as expressions of mana motuhake and rangatiratanga.
  • develop and nurture a relationship with health and social sector agencies and addiction sector leadership that will
    enhance responsiveness, relevance and strengthen relationships.