A SUCCESSFUL but largely unknown program will return to the Wimmera to help people minimise drug and alcohol harms.
Grampians Community Health will run the day rehabilitation program Making a Change in Horsham from the end of this month.
The organisation received money from the state government’s Ice Action Plan to implement the eight-week initiative.
Grampians Community Health’s gambling, alcohol and drugs team has helped more than 4000 people with drug and alcohol issues in the past two years alone.
Making a Change offers an interim option for people who might be facing lengthy waiting lists for residential rehab programs.
The organisation’s chief executive Greg Little said the model had run successfully in the Wimmera in the past, but many people were unaware of it.
“Therefore, like many services, people don’t know where to start when they are ready for help,” he said.
“With the closest residential rehabilitation place being in Ballarat, and no residential withdrawal facility closer than Geelong, programs like Making a Change are appropriate for people who want to take that first step, or follow up after withdrawing while still being able to remain with the support of family and friends.
“This isn’t a one-off program. We will continue to run them in Horsham and Stawell while there is funding, and that will continue while people need and want to use these available services.”
Mr Little said the organisation would also continue to look at other innovative ways to provide services.
“We would really like to see more people take advantage of the Making a Change program and other gambling and other drug programs such as home-based withdrawal service, which works with young people and adults to provide a safe withdrawal in the comfort and security of the client’s home,” he said.
Making a Change co-ordinator Sarah Garton said the free program involved group work and personalised support, depending on a person’s needs and goals.
“We are here to encourage people to make positive changes regarding their substance use and to strengthen connections in their personal lives and community, something that is often lost when in the grips of addiction,” she said.
Fellow co-ordinator Kim Brown said day rehabilitation was a reasonably new concept in the Wimmera.
“Residential rehab programs often have lengthy waiting lists,” she said.
“The Making a Change program may be of benefit in the interim period, for those wishing to begin to minimise harm now.”
Mr Little said people could call 5358 7400 to make a confidential booking.