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Higher Ground

Drug Rehabilitation Trust

Higher Ground provides abstinence-based addiction treatment, within a 48-bed modified Therapeutic Community (TC) for adult New Zealanders, with a duration of up to 18 weeks and a holistic and multidimensional approach to treatment.

Staff are trained therapists who use group, individual and family approaches including cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, psycho-education, relapse prevention and family therapy.

There is 12-step facilitation and education, plus a Māori programme. Before entering the TC, a pre-admission community team provides assessment, support and group work to develop readiness for the intensive residential support. After graduation from the TC, continuing care is provided consisting of group and individual therapies, and supportive accommodation while people re-adjust to life in the community.

Higher Ground’s outcome monitoring programme aims to provide evidence of clients’ progress, assist with clinical management and identify possible programme improvements. Higher Ground collects longitudinal data on all consenting clients using a battery of validated psychometric tools. These research tools are administered at regular intervals including pre-admission, admission, 42 days, 90 days, discharge, and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months through to discharge and up to 12 months after discharge.

Julian King has supported Higher Ground’s research and evaluation programme since 2014. Examples include leading quantitative analyses of outcomes for Higher Ground clients, qualitative research into clients’ perceptions of the value of the Higher Ground programme, and a review of the design and functioning of the outcome monitoring system.

Reports and publications are available on Higher Ground’s research page: