Frequently Asked Questions

You may have a few questions about the programs we offer at Odyssey House NSW.

We have a FAQs section about our Residential Programs, Community Programs and the MERIT program. We are currently refining our Community Program FAQs and will have them available shortly. In the meantime, our Community Programs can be found here.

Residential Rehabilitation

A therapeutic community is where the community itself, through self-help and mutual support, is the main method for promoting personal change.

In a therapeutic community residents and staff participate in the management and operation of the community, contributing to a psychologically and physically safe learning environment where change can occur.

In a therapeutic community there is a focus on social, psychological and behavioural dimensions of substance use, with the use of the community to heal individuals emotionally, and support the development of behaviours, attitudes and values of healthy living.

The treatment course is long and highly structured. Each resident spends an average of 6 weeks to 12 months in intensive residential and a minimum of 4 months in a structure re-entry program.

Please contact admissions on 1800 397 739 for more information.

Visits by loved ones is an essential part of the support system. Visits can occur only between 1-5pm on Sundays in line with the resident’s privileges. All visitors must be registered prior to attending. Unexpected visitors are not allowed on the premises.

All residents are entitled to the following personal property:

  • Basic jewellery – one piece (eg a watch, ring, one pair of earrings) and another item
  • Pillow, bath towel and beach towel on induction. Odyssey House will have pillows and towels available for use
  • Basic makeup
  • Unframed personal photographs

As residents move through the program, they are given more responsibility and in return receive access to additional personal property as well as earning additional privileges.

No, accommodation is dormitory style for males and females.

As a resident moves through the program, privileges will be earned and negotiated.

This needs to be discussed with the Admissions and Intake Centre staff.

Treatment is 80% of a resident’s Centrelink benefit. As Centrelink benefits increase, so do our fees. Any client who does not receive a Centrelink benefit should discuss treatment costs with the Admissions and Intake Centre.

Payment for detox – $255 admissions fee, current Medicare card, no other charges
Payment for Residential Program – $250, current Medicare card, health care card

Odyssey House will make every effort to meet dietary requirements of residents, within reason.

Contact 02 9820 9999 and leave a message with the receptionist. We do NOT confirm whether the resident is present due to confidentiality. The receptionist passes the message on to resident.

Family can also write letters with the same limits as phone calls. The letters are searched for inappropriate material but not read.

Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT)

Treatments offered for MERIT clients will vary according to what is appropriate for the particular participant and may include:

  • Detoxification
  • Methadone and other pharmacotherapies
  • Residential rehabilitation
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Case management and numerous forms of welfare support and assistance
  • Participants will participate in the treatment program as agreed to by themselves and the Caseworker
  • Participants will abide by all conditions of bail and the MERIT treatment plan
  • Participants will have the support and guidance of their MERIT Caseworker
  • Participants will be required to appear before the Magistrate during this period, as the Magistrate hearing the case will require an update on treatment process

In instances of non-compliance, MERIT Caseworkers will report this to the Magistrate. The consequences are that the Magistrate may remove the defendant from the program. If removed from MERIT, the defendant’s matters proceed to plea or hearing.

It should be noted that failure to respond to a drug treatment program will not be dealt with by punitive measures. If convicted of the offence(s) as charged, any penalty will relate to that offence only and not to any failure to respond to treatment.

The completion of the treatment program is likely to coincide with the hearing or sentencing of the outstanding court matter(s).

  • The Magistrate hearing the case will be provided with a report from the MERIT Team
  • The report will give information on the client’s participation in treatment and any further treatment recommendations
  • Where possible, a detailed aftercare program will be formulated to assist participants to further their rehabilitation

Withdrawal Services

Detox lasts for 7-10 days and includes a social and medical assessment and an individually tailored withdrawal regime as well as supportive individual and group counseling.  Participants are taught relaxation techniques and receive educational information on relapse prevention.

Residents are encouraged to move into the Residential Program once detox has been completed.