As the Western Sydney Primary Health Network, WentWest has been contracted by the Department of Health to increase the service delivery capacity of the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) treatment sectors to support people across the Western Sydney region who require help for AOD.

AOD Priority Areas

Working with partners such as the Western Sydney Local Health District Drug Health, the NGO AOD sector and their peak body Network of Alcohol & Other Drugs Agencies, Agency Clinical Innovation and other stakeholders, we have identified that the AOD priority groups for Western Sydney are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Co-morbidity with mental health problems
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
  • Older people
  • People who have recently been released from prison
  • People who identify as LGTBI
  • The homeless
  • Young people

AOD Services and Programs

Commissioning services that make a tangible difference in people’s lives to move towards a life that’s drug and addiction free is at the core of the work we do in the AOD area. The below services and programs provide assistance to the above priority groups.

Family Drug Support (FDS) reaches out to families affected by drugs and alcohol through support, family therapy and education in Western Sydney. These activities will provide support and learnings to enable Western Sydney residents to keep connected to their family members affected by alcohol and/or other drug dependence, thus facilitating social inclusion. Due to COVID-19, Online support has been made available through the FDS website.

The service will deliver high quality, evidence and best-practice based interventions to the client target group through individual and family counselling, workshops, and mentoring. The focus will be on encouraging participants to re-engage with their community, apply their potential, and improve their lives. In providing assessment and intervention for drug and alcohol and co-morbid issues the service will work from a harm minimisation model, valuing support and education as well as teaching relapse prevention and strength-based resiliency strategies. Visit the Ted Noffs Foundation website for more information.

Close to 70% of people on remand have or have had a problematic relationship with drugs and/or alcohol. Many people on remand within the prison system are locked in a cycle of problematic drug use, crime, homelessness, and incarceration. Remand populations are a notoriously difficult population to provide services to in the community because of the frequently rapid cycles of incarceration and release patterns, and the frequently chaotic nature of their lives while in the community. Community Restorative Centre will enhance specialist through-care support to people exiting the prison population into the Western Sydney region.

 Find out more about the program online. 

We have commissioned Ted Noffs to provide expert advice and educational material to support youth workers and schools in Western Sydney on issues related to adolescent development with specific reference to drug and alcohol use. The training will be available at three locations in the Western Sydney region; the Hills District, Blacktown/Mount Druitt and Parramatta.

Due to the current constraints imposed by COVID-19, three live drug and alcohol training packages will be delivered online and the first package is for those who work with young people who use drugs or alcohol. Visit the Noffs website for more information.

Drug and Alcohol First Aid was developed in response to an identified gap in professional and practice education for community and health workers and for workplaces. A short, focused course helps to meet this gap and equip people with the skills they need to respond to problem substance use appropriately. The workshop will be targeted at community service workers, allied health professionals, and AOD workers in in the WentWest PHN region. The workshop will be held at Dennis Johnson Library Function Centre, Stanhope Gardens. If you would like to access this service, please complete the Referral Form.

There is a focus on providing culturally appropriate support to the Elders of the community, who provide extensive and immeasurable support in many ways to multiple generations of their families. Grief and loss are understood to underpin drug and alcohol abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The program run by the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation assists the community in its own work of healing from inter-generational trauma and in building resilience. This approach is presumed to offer healthier ways of coping with and recovering from trauma, without using drugs and alcohol to cope with unbearable emotional pain.  

Odyssey House seeks to connect its clients with their families and the wider community. There is a focus on increasing access to drug and alcohol services for priority populations including families with children, people leaving prison, people with co-occurring mental illness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people and LGBTIQ people. The approach is client-focused with a tailored program of individual counselling and groups. With this approach, Odyssey House community service at Blacktown, with outreach in Doonside, will work to improve the health and social functioning of clients.

Marrin Weejali will provide a culturally appropriate AOD treatment and case management model which supports adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women with families experiencing the harmful effects of alcohol and illicit substances to achieve physical, social and emotional wellbeing. The service will support clients with AOD issues, with or without co-morbidity, and their families, through their treatment and wellness journey, utilising both internal services and referral pathways/linkages (such as legal, employment, medical, child and family care and housing). Please complete the Referral Form if you would like to access this service.

From the evidence collected across 20 years of clinical drug and alcohol treatment provision, Drug And Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC) has developed a culturally responsive model and use its expertise to enhance the provision of culturally appropriate treatment to 200 people from Western Sydney communities from CALD backgrounds.

Living with Alcohol Dependency Video Series

To help members of our community, their families and friends learn more about the effects of alcohol dependency and how to take the first steps to seek help, we created a series of videos where Western Sydney community members share their stories on living with alcohol dependency. In the five-part series, we hear about the early days, recognising the problem, treatment, changing lifestyle and words of wisdom. 

There are two series available on our YouTube Channel. GPs can also access, view and share the videos with patients via GoShare

Getting Help with Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence

Helping community members find the right path from alcohol and other drug dependence back to wellness, we have an animated video available on our YouTube channel that’s been translated into four languages. These videos are also available in GoShare for GPs to access, view and share.  

Progressing Health Now

Find out more about other Programs and Priorities for Western Sydney.