The history of Odyssey House Victoria
The first Odyssey House opened in New York in 1966 as a residential rehabilitation program for people with a drug or alcohol addiction. The program was founded on the ancient idea of a therapeutic community. Central to Odyssey House’s philosophy is the conviction that a new, drug-free lifestyle can be created through self-discovery, behavioural change and new relationships. This can be achieved within a supportive environment, based on mutual respect and responsibility.
Today, several Odyssey Houses exist throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Odyssey House Victoria was established in Melbourne in 1979, and now offers a wide range of programs and services throughout the state.
True to its origins, Odyssey House Victoria still provides long-term, intensive residential treatment for individuals and families (including parents with addictions and their young children) within an 85 bed Therapeutic Community in Lower Plenty. In addition, several other residential and community-based treatment and support services are also available to address drug and alcohol problems, along with any associated mental health, vocational, health, relationship and family issues.
Odyssey's logo, the symbol of the ship, is central to the psyche of the organization.The old-style sailing ship represents an odyssey or journey.
In Homer's classic tale, The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a long and dangerous voyage. In the same way, Odyssey clients make their own fearsome journey of self-discovery.
Rarely is the journey easy or the pathway clear. It is perhaps the ultimate test of character for all of us - summoning the courage to honestly examine our behavior and then choosing to change. For this reason it is hard not to respect the endeavors of our clients as they ask difficult questions of themselves and inevitably grow as they answer them.