There are many pathways to recovery. The Retreat offers people a way to find hope and healing through a unique model that captures the essence of the Twelve Steps. The Retreat is the catalyst for change that many people need to convert a head filled with treatment into a heart full of recovery. . . The Twelve Step program works when we work it, and The Retreat helps people work it.
The Retreat model definitely has potential for widespread expansion. All it needs is one or two addiction counselors and administrative staff. Ideally, the centre needs to be located in an area where AA is already established.
In a country of 4 million people with only an estimated 100 beds for addiction treatment, the need for a program like The Retreat in New Zealand was tremendous. We are the first volunteer-based residential recovery center in New Zealand. We received the full cooperation of The Retreat and we were able to experience the spirit of their program. Just as it is displayed with their guests, we received the same in our weeklong observance of The Retreat—balanced with integrity, professionalism and the spiritual approach, which is where we’re all coming from. We’re so grateful to John [Curtiss] and his team; it’s been amazing.
The potential for the Retreat model is unlimited. It’s a sad commentary on our health care system that so many people who need addiction care never access it. So, if we can provide an affordable alternative such as The Sydney Retreat, we can remove one of the biggest barriers to care.
When I was the Mayor I had access to people from all sectors of the community, rich, poor, healthy and ill. From all of those vantage points I know that not only is The Retreat not a problem in the community, it is a blessing in the community. This type of recovery center, for people actively seeking sobriety, means the people are great neighbours always trying to do the right thing. I would welcome one next door to my house in a hot minute.