He Hikoi Mātūtū Addiction Recovery Walk – 7 December join us!

Guest blog: Sue Paton, Executive Director DAPAANZ

Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste, Kia orana, Taloha ni, Ia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, ‘Alii, Malo ni, Halo Olaketa, Mauri, Aloha mai e and warm Pacific Greetings.

The Pacific sector is such a key, valued and spiritually rich part of the addiction sector. This is an invitation to you to come celebrate your fantastic work and be part of this significant, family-focused addiction recovery celebration.

Following in the footsteps of cities in the USA, UK, Scotland, Ireland and Australia, the Addiction Practitioners Association Aotearoa-New Zealand (dapaanz) is excited to announce we are planning the first Aotearoa Addiction Recovery Walk – He Hikoi Mātūtū.

Dapaanz is the professional association that supports and fosters an ethical and culturally responsive addiction workforce (including gambling) that helps people struggling with addictions get excellent quality, culturally appropriate and effective support.

Addiction negatively impacts people and their families and communities. We hear about this frequently in the media.  Recovery from addiction positively affects people and their fanau and communities and this impact is largely unseen. He Hikoi Mātūtū will shine a light on and celebrate recovery from active addiction to alcohol, other drugs and/or gambling. It is at its core a community-based people movement that overseas has proven effective in reducing stigma and increasing recovery capital.

There are many paths to recovery, and all are worthy of celebration.

The primary purpose of the walk is to ‘put a face on recovery’. And what does that face look like? It is diverse, it is full of hope, it is inspirational. Those of us in recovery know first-hand the sting of the stigma associated with addiction. We also come from a unique perspective – we know what got us well and what supports us to stay well. Those of us with lived experience know that recovery from addiction is possible and demonstrate it quietly every day. Recovery lives in our communities. He Hikoi Mātūtū is about bridging the gap between treatment and community and growing a visible recovery population, demonstrating the positive power of recovery, which offers hope to those currently affected by addiction.

Our aim is to make recovery visible by taking it to the community. David Best in his research paper ‘Community Recovery as a Public Health Intervention. The Contagion of Hope speaks of “the ‘social contagion’ of recovery through communities and its potential role of transmitting hope and the belief that recovery is possible – that in doing so, visible recovery increases community cohesion and challenges stigmatisation.”

He Hikoi Mātūtū will begin in Albert Park in Princes Street Auckland, we will down into Queen Street up past Aotea Square, across Mayoral Drive and into Myers Park. There will be a stage and sound set up, plus stalls and food trucks as a gathering point for people to celebrate. Anyone who is in treatment or recovery from addiction, family members, and the addiction workforce will walk in unison and celebration. This will include singing, praying, haka and many varied cultural expressions of celebration and thanks.

Dapaanz is leading the development of a He Hikoi Mātūtū because our members are passionate about making a difference for individuals, their fanau and communities. It will inspire hope, reduce stigma, while also celebrating the addiction workforce’s role in recovery.

We hope to see you there!

For more information please contact:

Sue Paton
Executive Director
email: sue@dapaanz.org.nz

David Best PhD & Stephanie de Alwis BSc (Hons) (2017): Community Recovery as a Public Health Intervention: The Contagion of Hope, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/07347324.2017.

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