Odyssey House Victoria

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Many people think that drug or alcohol addiction won’t happen to them. Not to my friends. Not my son. Not my daughter. The truth is that no-one can predict when addiction might strike, or to whom it might happen. When it does though, the effects are usually devastating and felt by the whole family.
Recently, we spoke to June* and David* who raised four children in country Victoria. Like most of the families affected by addiction, they were totally surprised when they discovered that one of their sons had a drug problem. Like most in their position, this discovery led to a range of emotions including denial, fear, shame, and anger.Now, after years of struggle and treatment, they are finally hopeful of a bright future ahead. This is their story. June and David already had two adopted sons and an adopted
daughter when they decided to adopt another child. A baby called Luke*. Although they were aware that Luke had a few health issues, June was a nurse and everyone thought she would be well placed to cope with him. They went to the hospital to see him and June recalls



Luke was aged 2 months by the time he came out of hospital. However, June and David were not allowed to formally adopt him until he was 2 years of age because of his health issues. Nevertheless, Luke was a gentle child who never got into any trouble. Over time, Luke’s health problems improved and he grew up as a very affable kid that everyone liked. The first signs of Luke’s problems began when the family moved house, and he was bullied at the local school. Later, in boarding school, Luke started smoking marijuana with some of the boys who lived locally. He struggled through his studies up to year 11, eventually leaving school to start work. Several years later and after the birth of his son, Luke appeared to settle down. It was then that June and David found out that Luke had a serious drug addiction.

With the support of his parents, Luke went through detox and came to live in the residential treatment program at Odyssey House Victoria. He went through 10 months of the program before he felt that he was strong enough to leave and stay drug free back in his community. June and David were relieved that he had seemingly managed to overcome his problems and thought that his treatment would be the ‘end of the matter’. However, when Luke relapsed just over 2 years later, June said that they were devastated. June admits that nothing could have prepared her for the shock.

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* Disclaimer - Names, details and images may have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.


Odyssey House to open its doors to more Victorians in need

Over the past two years, the Victorian State Government has been working with the alcohol and other drug sector to change the way we work. These reforms aim to improve the accessibility, the consistency and the effectiveness of the treatment services we all deliver.

Last week, the Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge announced that Odyssey House Victoria had been successful in our bid to offer a greater number of community based services across Melbourne and country Victoria. We will be doing this in partnership with a range of other service providers, especially ReGen and members of the Stepping Up Consortium.

As a specialist provider of drug and alcohol treatment, with a long history and strong track record of high-quality and innovative services that respond to community needs, Odyssey House Victoria is excited about working in close partnership with ReGen and other local service providers to deliver better outcomes for Victorian in need and their families.

Together with our partners, we will be opening new services in September in the north and west metropolitan areas of Melbourne, in Barwon and the Frankston/Peninsula, in the south east parts of Melbourne, and in the Goulburn Valley.

While there will be some challenges in transitioning across to new providers and new models of care, we believe we have the expertise and experience to meet the aims of the Government Reforms. Further information and advice about the reforms for consumers can be found at www.vicaodsector.org.au or 1800 77 14 00.

A number of new roles for alcohol and other drug workers are available at www.odyssey.org.au/jobs


Writers Competition 2014

Last year's winning entries here.


Koori Women’s Pilot Project

Odyssey House Victoria has been funded by the Department of Justice in a one-year pilot program to achieve improved justice outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians and to provide diversion and alternative initiatives to imprisonment to reduce Koori over-representation in the criminal justice system.

The pilot program will provide 4 residential treatment beds targeted to Aboriginal women (and their children) who are referred from the Victorian justice system, with priority given to women who are at risk of incarceration. This includes women on remand, on community-based orders, or completing the program prior to sentencing. It may also be available for women as a transition option post-release from prison including on parole.



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Our Commitment


Artwork inspired by Chris Thorne.  There are five pillars that are upheld by the residents and staff at Odyssey House Victoria.

This artwork represents counting these pillars on one hand. They are Respect, Concern, Honesty, Trust and Love.


We acknowledge the traditional land owners of Australia and we welcome all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our service.

Download our Reconciliation Action Plan


Did You Know...

Odyssey House Victoria has saved the Victorian Community more than $1 billion since 1979. These significant savings relate to things such as loss of life, medical/healthcare costs, community loss due to criminal activity, law enforcement and judicial costs and lost productivity.