Mitigating barriers to addiction recovery in Aotearoa New Zealand: A lived experience perspective


  • Rachel Victoria Jowett Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Michael Dale Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Lareen Cooper Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand



Addiction, New Zealand, social work, lived experience, recovery


INTRODUCTION: The New Zealand government’s health surveys consistently identify that alcohol and other drug (AOD) addiction is an issue for New Zealanders. However, there is a lack of qualitative research on the lived experiences of health and social service professionals who have previous or current experience of AOD addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand.

METHODS: A constructivist approach was utilised, semi-structured interviews were conducted, and subsequent thematic analysis identified themes highlighting what contributed, and created barriers to, participants’ successful AOD addiction recovery.

FINDINGS: Identification of nine themes illustrated that the barriers to AOD addiction recovery in Aotearoa New Zealand experienced by the research participants were systemic and preventable.

CONCLUSIONS: The recommendation of this research is that the lived experience of people who have experienced AOD addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand is better utilised in order to mitigate, and enhance, identified barriers, and contributors to, successful AOD addiction recovery.


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How to Cite

Jowett, R. V., Dale, M., & Cooper, L. (2021). Mitigating barriers to addiction recovery in Aotearoa New Zealand: A lived experience perspective. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 33(2), 45–55.



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