Getting Help: Where Do I Start?
How to find a treatment service?
• Contact Odyssey House Victoria on (03) 9420 7600 (statewide) or Stepping Up on 1800 828 466 (locations in Pakenham, Cranbourne, Melton & Werribee)
• For immediate assistance, call Directline on 1800 888 236 for a 24/7 counselling, information and referrals to other services, OR try Online Counselling at www.counsellingonline.org.au or www.eheadspace.org.au (for youth)
• You can also contact your local Alcohol & Drug or Mental Health service directly
• For telephone support and advice for families members, contact Family Drug Help - Helpline on 1300 660 068 or www.familydrughelp.org.au
How do I get into treatment?
There are different ways to get help, including:
• Going to your local doctor/GP to get a referral
• Calling an ambulance/going to a hospital if it is an emergency
• Contacting any Drug & Alcohol service directly and making an appointment for an assessment or to see a counsellor
Most public organisations will provide a free service. However, there may be a waiting list for some services. You may want to try telephone counselling (1800 888 236) or online counselling (counsellingonline.org.au). There are also private services (like psychologists) available at a cost who can be accessed through your local GP.
Generally when you go for treatment, they will ask you questions about
• The drugs you are using and your drug use history
• The people who support you and your current living/financial arrangements
• Your mental health now and your mental health history
• They may also ask you about your family and your past
These questions help the service plan the best treatment options for you. You do not have to tell them anything you don’t want to but the more honest you are about your drug use and mental health, the more useful the treatment plan will be.
Types of Treatment - different treatments are available depending on your needs:
Counselling/Therapy: for both mental health and substance use issues. Counselling can be individual or family inclusive.
Detox (Drug Withdrawal) Services - it should be noted that Odyssey House Victoria does not provide Detox services but we can refer you to another service provider.
• Home-based: Drug withdrawal happens at home with the help of health care workers who visit you every day, and someone close to you who
is able to support you.
• Outpatient: You withdraw at home but stay in regular contact with the health care team or your doctor.
• Community residential: (Adult or Youth) withdrawal occurs in a specialist residential unit, where you receive care and supervision. This can be particularly helpful if you are likely to get very unwell or don’t have someone to support you during detox.
In-house/Residential treatment programs: This can be anything from short stay programs (a few weeks), such as Odyssey House’s Circuit Breaker to long stay services, such as the Odyssey House Therapeutic community (more than a year). Residential treatment may be based on a variety of philosophies. For example ‘the twelve step model’ (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) is common. Odyssey House services are based on a variety of evidence based interventions including peer support, cognitive, family and behavioural approaches. Each service has its own way of thinking and operating but there can be a lot of overlap.
Supported Accommodation: You live with others who also have alcohol/drug and/or mental health issues, usually in 2 bedroom properties. A support worker keeps in contact with how you are and helps you to sort out what you need including further treatment, social activities, employment and further accommodation.
Medication: This can help with both mental health and substance use issues and is prescribed by a GP or a psychiatrist. Medication can reduce symptoms including alcohol/drug cravings, depression, anxiety and unwanted thoughts or hallucinations.
What treatment comes first?
• The treatment you have will depend on what you want to get out of it, how you want to live your life and what a healthy life would look like to you.
• This means that any service you go to will be making sure you have a treatment plan that fits the goals you agree to. This will help to decide what are your best options.
• Often drug withdrawal is the starting point, because a period of time without drugs will help you and your counsellor better understand what symptoms come from where.