ODYSSEY HOUSE VICTORIA: Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment, Training & Support

History, Vision and Purpose


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.

Our Beginnings

Odyssey House Victoria was established in Melbourne in 1979. Today, several Odyssey Houses exist throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Australia offering a wide range of programs and services.

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 a 112 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.

Our logo

Odyssey’s logo, the symbol of the ship, is central to the psyche of the organisation, representing 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 behaviour and then choosing to change. For this reason it is hard not to respect the endeavours of our clients as they ask difficult questions of themselves and inevitably grow as they answer them.

Odyssey House Victoria has been a place of hope and positive change for individuals working towards breaking their pattern of addiction for more than 35 years. We are a multi-service agency with a holistic approach to drug treatment.

Our vision

Our vision is a society free from the problematic use of alcohol and other drugs, in which citizens reach their full potential and are meaningfully engaged in work, family and community life.

Our purpose

Odyssey House Victoria’s purpose is to provide opportunities for change and growth by reducing drug use, improving mental health and reconnecting people to their family and the community.

Our values

  • Promoting Hope for change and expectation to reach one’s full potential
  • Upholding our pillars of love, trust, honesty, respect and concern
  • Encouraging perseverance and innovation in order to make a real difference in people’s livess

Our principles

  • Striving for excellence, quality and integrity in all we do
  • Providing individual and holistic responses in a welcoming environment
  • Valuing the unique experience and contribution of each individual
  • Operating efficiently and sustainably
  • Building partnerships to achieve common goals