BreakThrough: practical support for people impacted by substance use

Families and friends impacted by a loved one’s alcohol or drug use can access information and learn practical strategies at a free workshop coming to Geelong in July.

BreakThrough: Families understanding addiction is a community support and education program being offered through Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC) at Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF).

BCYF’s Manager Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) & Mental Health Services Josephine Taylor is encouraging anyone who is struggling with a loved one’s substance use to reach out and seek help.

“We know that addiction can impact people from all walks of life and for those close to them it can be really difficult knowing how to help. Stigma around drug and alcohol use also prevents many people from reaching out. We want them to know that support is available.”

BreakThrough Project Lead at Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), Glenn Hunter, said the program was aimed at family, friends and partners of people with addictive behaviours and offers practical strategies about how to talk to loved ones about their substance use, better respond to and manage challenging behaviours, and make self-care a priority. Participants will also learn more about navigating the drug treatment system and obtaining the best possible outcomes for their loved ones.

The program has been running since 2015, originally developed as part of Victoria’s ICE Action Plan and focused on methamphetamine (ice) use, however it has since been broadened to focus more broadly on addictive behaviours.

For the past two years during the pandemic the workshop has been delivered online only and facilitators are looking forward to offering it in-person in Geelong.

BreakThrough: Families understanding addiction will be held on Tuesday 26 July 6-9pm, at BCYF, 25 Gordon Avenue, Geelong West. The workshop is free however registrations are required. Register here or phone Family Drug Help on 1300 660 068.

The program is a partnership between Turning Point and Family Drug and Gambling Help, part of the Self-Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), and is funded by the Victorian Department of Health.

Individuals and families affected by substance abuse can also access counselling and support at any time through BCYF’s Family Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) services. For more information call 1300 022 293 or email

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