News & Events

New Alcohol & Drug Treatment Programs Roll Out

in News
9 Jun 2017

Innovative new support services for people struggling with addiction to alcohol or other drugs are now being rolled out across South Western Sydney.

The services, commissioned by South Western Sydney PHN (SWSPHN) under the Federal Government’s National Ice Action Strategy, will be delivered by four key organisations in the sector – ACON, Odyssey House, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army.

The organisations have been funded to provide rehabilitation, withdrawal management, after care and psychosocial counselling and support services for the local community, including targeted populations such as the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex) community, young people aged 12 to 25, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with dual drug and alcohol addiction and mental health concerns.

Together, ACON, Odyssey House, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army will also play a key role in working with SWSPHN to build the capacity of local GPs in the ongoing management of patients with drug and alcohol issues and to improve referral pathways between primary health and rehabilitation and treatment services.

South Western Sydney PHN CEO Rene Pennock said the commissioning of the services was the culmination of more than 12 months of consultation with GPs, consumers, stakeholders and peak bodies within the sector to assess local needs and service gaps.

“What we found was there was an obvious gap in services for young people seeking help for addiction to alcohol or other drugs and there were far too many young people being bumped from one service to another,” Mr Pennock said.

“We also found GPs were crying out for more information and better linkages to appropriate services for their patients and their patient’s families, and conversely that the services didn’t understand how GPs can play such a vital role in supporting patients through their recovery journey.

“This is why we are excited to see Odyssey House introduce an innovative new model of GP shared care where people are supported to continue their withdrawal management with their own GP.

“We are also excited to see ACON extend its support for clients from the LGBTI community through its digital resource and provide training to local GPs and the NGO sector who work with ACON’s clients through their recovery.

“It is important to recognise we have excellent services we can draw upon with expertise in this field who know how best to reach their clients to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved. And linking these experts with primary health is the key to long term success in tackling drug and alcohol addiction.”

Key features of the services include:

Odyssey House
: will provide psychological counselling, care coordination, after care, and case management services for adult clients with co-occurring drug and alcohol and mental health issues. Services will be available at multiple sites across South Western Sydney, including outreach services at Tahmoor, Bowral and Bankstown.Odyssey House will also provide withdrawal management through the new GP shared care model embedded within general practice.

St Vincent de Paul: will use the funding to enhance its six-week non-residential rehabilitation day program currently delivered in Campbelltown with additional before and after care, psychosocial counselling, case management, psychosocial education groups and support groups for adults with alcohol or drug dependency or misuse. Outreach services will also be available in Liverpool, Fairfield and Warwick Farm. St Vincent de Paul will also work with the local Aboriginal Medical Service, Tharawal, to deliver culturally appropriate support/treatment services.

ACON: will use its deep understanding of alcohol and other drugs and broader health issues affecting LGBTI to offer support for individuals, their partners, family and friends through digital resources and skype counselling. ACON will also provide training to local GPs and other AOD service providers on recovery specific for LGBTI clients and will introduce its shared care model to residents in South Western Sydney.

Headfyrst (Salvation Army): Headfyrst is an innovative, integrated AOD mental health co-morbidity service providing treatment, counselling and support services for young people aged 12 to 25 years. Headfyrst is a collaboration of the Salvation Army’s youth services, Youthlink, and headspace. The service, new to South Western Sydney, aims to be accessible and responsive to the individual needs of young people with these dual needs and will set up outreach services in Liverpool, Campbelltown and Bankstown. Headfyrst will also work towards improving linkages between providers, including GPs, in care pathways for young people.