News & Events

Helping parents break the cycle of generational substance use

in News
16 Aug 2023
We provide support to pregnant women who are dealing with substance use issues and / or addiction.

Our parent’s and children’s residential rehabilitation program helps parents break the cycle of generational substance use.

Stigma around addiction is a significant societal issue that can have far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities. It’s important to recognise that addiction is a health issue.

Addressing stigma around addiction is crucial for improving public health outcomes and providing compassionate care for those affected.

Pregnant women and new parents struggling with addiction deserve empathy, respect, and access to appropriate care without judgment or discrimination to ensure they receive the support and care they need. The earlier we can support a client in their recovery the better – we know we can make a difference and even save a newborn baby’s life.


Pregnant women

We provide support to pregnant women who are dealing with substance use issues and / or addiction. Our programs aim to address the unique

challenges faced by pregnant women who are struggling with substance use, as it can have serious implications for both the mother’s health and the health of the unborn child.

These types of services often include a range of support options such as counselling, medical care, addiction treatment, prenatal care, and educational resources. The goal is to help pregnant women overcome their substance use concerns in a safe and supportive environment, while also promoting the well-being of the baby.

Alcohol and other drugs and medications can cause harm to a baby by:

– Impacting normal growth and development

– Impact on the placenta which provides nutrients for a baby during pregnancy

– Increased risk of premature birth

– Increased risk of baby withdrawing from substances when born


Parent’s and children’s support program

Our residential Parent’s and Children’s Program within the Odyssey Family Recovery Centre enables parents (including single mothers and fathers, as well as couples) to receive treatment for harms associated with alcohol and other drug use while maintaining care of their children (up to 12 years of age)—in a safe learning environment so positive and lasting change can occur.

Family life can be challenging for children living with the adverse effects of one or both parents’ use of alcohol and/or other drugs. There may be high levels of disruption, psychological or emotional neglect, violence and other challenges to children’s normal development.

Since the opening of the Family Recovery Centre in early 2023, we have received overwhelming demand for this service.

Clients reside in the centre which provides a home where parents can maintain care of their children during their recovery while we help them develop the skills to establish and manage a safe and healthy family home. We’re helping families reconnect, so treatment doesn’t trigger family separation and further challenges for parents, children and extended families.

We are immensely proud of this program, and the parents who graduate from it to return to their communities. They and their children experience significant personal growth during this challenging and complex treatment, which often takes more than a year.

While parents receive treatment and education to help them address harms associated with alcohol and other drug use, they also develop a safe home environment for their children, support restoration and reduce the need for future out-of-home care.  Parents receive guidance from family support workers and improve their life skills through parenting and education courses. Children attend early childhood centres or primary school locally and receive psychological, paediatric and specialist support to break the cycle of generational drug and alcohol use, and support their own recovery from their parents use of drugs and/or alcohol.



Recovering from methamphetamine addiction (also known as Ice) can have numerous benefits for women, just as it does for anyone overcoming substance abuse. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that can have devastating effects on physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

It’s important to note that the recovery journey is unique for each individual, and the benefits experienced may vary. Achieving and maintaining recovery often involves a combination of professional treatment, support from loved ones, lifestyle changes, and ongoing commitment to sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, seeking help from medical professionals and addiction treatment resources is crucial.


Drugs used to treat heroin and other opioid dependence

Methadone, buprenorphine and suboxone are prescription drugs, sometimes called pharmacotherapies. These help treat heroin and opiate dependency.

The risks to the fetus and pregnancy associated with heroin or other opiate use are greatly reduced with both of these treatments.

Odyssey supports clients  on depot buprenorphine including pregnant women, this is relatively new service addition with limited spaces.

However, to accept any client on depot buprenorphine we require ongoing committed support from the LHD for prescribing and dosing. For pregnant clients it is also important that we work in partnership with NSW Health Drug Health Service and prenatal services so the woman’s health is supported.


David Kelly Executive Director, Programs
Sandy Schofield Executive Director, Development and Engagement