‘Drive soba’ big suc­cess

Northern News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STAFF REPORTER

This win­ter marked 10 years and 1000 par­tic­i­pants since the Drive Soba Pro­gramme be­gan in North­land.

Over ten years, 1000 peo­ple have com­pleted the 12-ses­sion course, which pro­vides al­co­hol ed­u­ca­tion, re­lapse preven­tion and role play­ing to de­velop em­pa­thy and prob­lem solv­ing to change peo­ple who have been ha­bit­u­ally drink driv­ing.

Those un­der­tak­ing the pro­gramme range from 18 to 70 years, are mostly male, and are re­ferred by the jus­tice sys­tem, Cor­rec­tions or self re­fer un­der Sec­tion 65 of the Land Trans­port Act.

Psy­chol­o­gist Bron­wen Wood de­vel­oped the pro­gramme in 2007 when it was iden­ti­fied that the wait for treat­ment was too long and there was a need to pro­vide ev­i­denced based in­ter­ven­tion to re­cidi­vist drink driv­ers.

The DSP was pi­loted for two years by the North­land DHB in Whangarei, was found to be ef­fec­tive and was then ex­panded to the whole of North­land.

North­land DHB con­tin­ues to fund the pro­gramme with the sup­port of Road Safe North­land and Min­istry of Health. Bron­wen said it sits well un­der North­land DHB be­cause al­co­hol is a health is­sue.

‘‘We use whakawhanaun­gatanga to make it a safe learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment, and it is an ev­i­dence­based pro­gramme that re­duces re-of­fend­ing.’’ Visit health­point.co.nz

Drive SOBA fa­cil­i­ta­tors Sarah Jar­man, Bron­wen Wood and Steve Staunton.

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