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

Melbourne

RESIDENTIAL REHABILITATION – MELBOURNE

Odyssey House Victoria’s adult residential rehabilitation program provides live-in treatment for individuals, couples and parents with their children (aged 0-12). Operating as a therapeutic community, the values-based program provides a structured environment where up to 112 residents and 30 staff work together to help people make changes and choices on their pathway to recovery.

About

The program provides a balance between work, structured group sessions and recreation.

Participants are encouraged to deal with self-defeating patterns of thoughts and behaviours. This occurs in a safe and supportive environment where Odyssey House’s values of trust, concern, respect, honesty and love are promoted.

Residents have access to a range of professional staff including counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and social workers. A number of staff members add value through both their professional qualifications as well as their personal experiences with addiction.

All residents participate in community decision-making. They also contribute to the functioning of the community through cooking, cleaning, and working on property development and maintenance. Over time, residents take leadership roles in various departments such as the office, children’s centre, property management and the kitchen.

One of the unique features of the Odyssey House therapeutic community is that 32 beds are allocated to families. Residents who come to Odyssey House as a family unit are fully integrated into the program and also participate in specific parenting and family strengthening activities. Children attend either an on-site child development centre and/or local kindergartens and primary schools.

In general, families are able to have regular contact and visits with residents. The Odyssey House therapeutic community is located at 28 Bonds Road, Lower Plenty.

“Coming here has changed my life around. This time last year I was doing nothing. I was staying home in Gippsland using alcohol and my life was going nowhere. When I came in I was really quiet. I wouldn’t talk. About three months into the program I started finding my voice. It’s just fantastic. It’s changed my kids’ lives too. Instead of seeing me home doing nothing they now see me not drinking. …Once there were promises that were never held up to because of the drinking. Now the kids are seeing a mum who has stopped drinking, has her learner’s permit to drive and know that if she makes a promise she’ll stick to it…They’ve settled down a lot and are into a routine.”

-Leanne

Children’s Centre

Odyssey House Victoria offers the only residential treatment program in Victoria (and one of only a handful in Australia) that allows parents to have their children stay with them while they undergo treatment.

This means, at any given time, up to 30 children (aged 0-12) are also members of the Odyssey House community. While living at Odyssey House these children participate in an on-site developmental care program run through our Children’s Centre from Monday to Friday. Our family services staff are qualified in early learning and childhood development and are also highly experienced in alcohol and other drug treatment services.

Structured and unstructured play and recreational activities allow children to develop linguistically, cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. Children are encouraged to explore, discuss and share their life events with peers through trained facilitators who create a safe ‘emotionally contained’ environment. Activities are child focused and identified needs are addressed where possible.

Provision is made for residents to have access with their children if they are not the primary carer.

Odyssey House also supports women through pregnancy and childbirth.

The aims of Odyssey House’s family services are many, but the underlying purpose is to provide support, care and healing for children and their parents to help keep the family unit drug-free and for family members to live safe, meaningful lives.

To date, over 1000 children have lived at Odyssey House while their parents participated in the drug treatment program.