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Mens Residential Programme

What we do


Odyssey House is a residential therapeutic community. The primary goal is to foster personal growth. This is accomplished by changing an individual’s lifestyle through a community of concerned people working together to help themselves and each other. Residents receive extensive assessment, group therapy as well as education and recreational opportunities. Through participation in a variety of activities, residents learn skills which assist them with day to day living.


No stealing 
No drugs, alcohol or other contraband (eg. money or unauthorised·property)
No sex or sexually acting out 
No violence or threats of violence 
No Gambling 
Knowledge of any of the above rules being broken and not disclosing this to staff may also result in a discharge.

In regards to breach of these rules

the resident may be offered re-admission depending on the circumstances

and situation.

Referral Process


The person or the Agency referring the person, contacts Odyssey House Trust Admission / Outreach Centre. Referrals can come from anywhere in the South Island.· If the person lives outside of the South Island, they will need to be assessed and referred by an agency authorised by the Ministry of Health within that region. If you are unsure of the process then contact· Odyssey House Admissions / Outreach Centre.


Odyssey admissions staff will take the following details, name, age, and brief summary of the clients problems.


A time and place for an interview will be arranged if possible, family / whanau support is encouraged as part of this process. If you are in custody, detox or another Mental Health Service our staff can interview you there.· If you are out of the Christchurch region a phone interview can be arranged.



This cost is covered by arranging payment of residents Income Support benefit to Odyssey House Trust. Most people entering into residential treatment at Odyssey House will qualify for this benefit. The rest of the cost for their placement at Odyssey House will be covered by a residential support payment from the (Ministry of Health/District Health Board).


Residents also receive a weekly allowance directly paid into the resident's bank account, to cover personal needs, fines, and child support payments. This is a portion of the resident's benefit. Until such time as this is approved, Odyssey House allows the resident $25 per week ($5 per weekday), which is repayable when the allowance is approved.



7:00 am     Wake up    
7:15 am     Morning exercises 
7:30 am     Breakfast    
9:00 am     Morning meeting     
10:00 am   Work (Vocational Training) 
12:00 pm   Lunch     
12:45 pm   Wash-up dishes 
1:30 pm     Work/ Therapy Group     
5:00 pm     Personal Time 
6:00 pm     Dinner    

6:45 pm     Wash-up dinner dishes 
7:15 pm     Teaching/concept group     
8:00 pm     Evening Meeting 
8:00 pm     Wash-up dishes and Tidy House 
8:30 pm     Free time     
10:00 pm   Bedtime

Family and Whanau


Contact with people outside the programme is limited to family/whanau.


Those people who are unable to have contact with their family/whanau may be able to negotiate to have contact with other close supports if appropriate.


Some supervision of visits is required in the early stages of the programme.

The amount of contact with family/whanau increases as a person progresses through the programme.


A resident can have:

Family / Whanau visit each week on Saturdays between 3 pm and 5 pm

2 x phone calls to immediate Whanau/family per week plus extra phone calls to children

Write and receive mail from Whanau/family.

Attendance at family/whanau Groups
Families are invited to community dinners three times a year

Residents may have individual therapy with there family if it is agreed by both parties
The monthly family/whanau group meetings are held on the first Saturday of each month, which is an opportunity for families to come together to support each other.


This is also an opportunity for families to find out how the programme operates and gain some insight and understanding of addictions and how this impacts on the families.


From its very beginning, Odyssey House has developed psychiatrically oriented, drug-free residential programmes whose methodology derives from the therapeutic community concept of mutual self-help. 
The Therapeutic Community (TC) is composed of diverse individuals who choose to belong.· Its primary goal is to foster change.· The vehicle is a social learning process imposed mutually by a community of individuals committed to recovery.· The "community", composed of all its members (staff and residents) serves as peer, therapist, teacher and role model in the complex change process called recovery.· It is a highly structured and therefore, supportive environment with definite moral boundaries encompassing a code of behavior and communal belief. 
This community both rewards and sanctions. When fully developed there

is an intensive treatment regime emphasizing group therapy, skills development and self-esteem that improves with useful functioning within the community.



All referrals must come via an Alcohol & Other Drugs assessment completed by an agency approved by the Ministry of Health prior to entry into the Odyssey House Christchurch Programme. 
In Canterbury the referral agencies are: 
Salvation Army 
City Mission 
Youth Speciality Services 
Pacific Island Trust 

If you are unsure of the authorised agency in your area you can access these on the Addictions Treatment Directory at



To maintain community safety each resident is required to give a supervised urine sample three times a week.· You will be asked to "give up" (provide a urine sample) every Monday in the presence of a same gender staff member. You may also at times be required to provide a random sample for testing. The urine samples are tested for all substances.


A breathalyser is used on a random basis.· It is also used in circumstances where staff or residents have concerns about·· the alcohol free status of an individual


Anyone returning a positive urinalysis result or positive breathalyzer result is questioned about the result. ·If there is no appropriate reason for the positive result (eg prescribed medication), the resident may be discharged from treatment.· This process helps to keep the programme safe and drug-free.

Bill of Rights


All residents of the Odyssey House Therapeutic Programme have the absolute right to the following:


A supportive environment, drug-free, unless medically prescribed and/or approved by Odyssey House.

Treatment without regard to gender, race, national origin, creed, political affiliation, sexual preference, previous criminal record or public assistance status

Dignity, respect, health and safety

at all times.

Knowledge of the programme philosophy and methods.

Information given accurately of all current rules/regulations of the programme as well as sanctions, disciplinary measures and any modification of rights.

Access to a Board-approved grievance procedure to register complaints about the administration of all rules and regulations, sanctions, disciplinary measures and modifications of rights.

Definition of all fees and costs to be charged, methods and schedules of payment and the availability of money and personal property during the programme and on leaving.

Confidentiality of information regarding participation in the programme and of all treatment records in accordance with the law of the country.

Examination of personal records within Board-approved guidelines and the insertion of a counter statement of clarification to rebut recorded information.

Discharge of themselves from the programme at any time without physical and psychological harassment.

Personal communication with relatives or friends of whereabouts on admission and thereafter according to the rules of the programme except when prohibited as a documented part of the treatment plan.

Protection from real or threatened corporal punishment, from physical, psychological or sexual abuse and from involuntary physical confinement.

Provision of nutritious food, safe and adequate lodging, physical exercise and adequate personal hygiene needs.

Medical care from qualified practitioners and the right to refuse the medical care offered. (Refer No.2)

Access to legal advice or representation where required.

Clear definition of responsibilities when working in the position of a staff member, with adequate training, adequate staff support and supervision (including evaluation and feedback), no exploitation and the right to decline the position without any recrimination.

The right to guidance and assistance when leaving the programme for any reason, about other health-care and assessment services, sources of financial aid and places of residence.



17 years and over* 


Meet DSM IV criteria for alcohol and/or other drug abuse - dependence 

Personality difficulties requiring long-term residential treatment.· (Personality disorders which are predominantly

anti-social, borderline or narcissistic) 

Not currently suicidal, homicidal or psychotic (any history of arson, physical or sexual assault requires further follow-up) 

Agrees voluntarily to rules and regulations of Odyssey House 

Is medically suited for programme 

Not intoxicated on admission 

Not requiring medical detox 

Methadone maintenance if stable 

May be on home detention 


*In some cases we will consider 16 yr olds depending on their circumstances 


People are screened for entry on the basis of determining whether they present any threat to the safety of others in the Therapeutic Community, and also whether Odyssey is the appropriate treatment agency for the specific problems facing the individual. In some cases, clients will need to share a room with another resident. 



When the person has been assessed as suitable they will be given an admission date and time or could be placed on the waiting list.


Things to bring

Appropriate Clothing
Current bank account

Don't bring

Drugs & alcohol
Money or valuables


Admission Process


Fill out admission forms.

The person needs to complete various forms which include an agreement to follow the rules of the programme.

Fill out the financial forms.

This includes an application for a benefit from NZISS and consent for the benefit to be paid to Odyssey House Trust towards the cost of treatment.


The new admission is asked to have a shower while the clothing they are wearing is searched for drugs or contraband. All of the new admissions clothing & property is searched also.

This helps to keep the program drug free. Personal property will be placed in a secure room for safe keeping except for articles of clothing.

Introduction to Buddy.

The person is introduced to one of the residents who will help guide them through the first 2 days in treatment.

They are issued with personal items (toothbrush, soap, towel, deodorant). They will also be given a general overview of the programme.



Wash-up dishes, vacuuming, tidy surroundings etc.· An emphasis is placed on making the environment clean and tidy and this is a structured part of every day.


WORK (vocational training):

The programme structures the working day for everyone involved in treatment. During this time residents have projects to complete or help with general maintenance of the facilities and grounds.


Residents will be in at least one therapy session on most days. Sometimes the group will have an educational theme or be open for discussion on treatment issues.· Attendance at groups is compulsory·


Personal time is for showers and other personal needs such as doing your washing etc.


These groups are designed to learn about Odyssey House and how the programme operates.



These happen every day and the purpose is to bring everyone together to organise any functional activities and other discussions relevant to the programme day.· Morning meeting also is where the group interacts and has fun to help get the day off to a good start.


Activities/recreation occurs throughout the programme.

General Programme


The Therapeutic Community makes use of encounter groups, therapy groups, one to one counselling, work projects, education groups, role modelling by senior residents and staff.


Social learning occurs through intensive daily experiences and all activities are considered part of therapy which is directed towards encouraging the individual to engage in "right" living patterns (practice).


The Therapeutic Community model includes aspects of the following:


Behaviour modification

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Supportive psychotherapy

Psychodynamic therapy when appropriate

Stage of change model - Motivational Enhancement Therapy

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