In 2013, the Victorian Government will embark on making significant and well overdue changes to the drug and alcohol treatment system in Victoria.
More than 77,000 Victorians are now hospitalised for their alcohol and drug related conditions each year.
Also around 27,000 individuals enter government-funded treatment programs, with increasingly complex problems. However, in 2011, the Victorian Auditor General found that investment in the Victorian system has not kept pace with demand, with waiting times for residential treatment programs doubling in the last 6 years, and services becoming fragmented, confusing and difficult to access, with no assurance of quality. This is not surprising as there are now over 105 different organisations providing drug and alcohol treatment in Victoria. Furthermore, while over 31 internal government reviews since 1999 have identified a range of issues, little has been done by government to improve the system.
Odyssey House Victoria hopes to continue to play a significant role in guiding and implementing these reforms, and we hope that they will deliver real and long-term benefits to the people who need our help.
As one of the leading drug and alcohol treatment, training and support organisations, Odyssey House has a strong reputation for quality.
We are recognised by government and others in the health and community sector as successfully assisting people to beat addiction and go on to lead healthy, happy and meaningful lives in the community for over 30 years.
In addition, our innovative work with families, in community schools, and in sporting clubs around Victoria continues to be recognised through awards, very strong demand for our programs, and financial support for new initiatives like the additional 10 beds at our Lower Plenty facility which will help people seeking to withdraw from their long term use of Methadone.
Early this year, Odyssey House Victoria will also be launching a media campaign to highlight the problem of addiction and to help reduce its stigma. The campaign will invite Australians to do more to tackle the issue and encourage people to seek help when they need it. We will also highlight recent research which demonstrates the savings to the community that investment in programs like Odyssey House make.
Thank you for your continued support and for helping us make a difference.
Dr Stefan Gruenert, CEO
Odyssey House Victoria