A close-up photo of a middle-aged man smiling from his car window

Odyssey House works with people from all ages and walks of life to help them break cycles of dependence on alcohol and other drugs (AOD). The Western Sydney Primary Health Network funds Odyssey House to provide free treatment, counselling, peer groups, education and aftercare support to help community members build sustainable healthy habits, recognise negative thought patterns and build support networks.

Bryan* has a long history of alcohol use disorder and self-referred to Odyssey House after a breakdown of personal relationships due to his alcohol use. This included an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against him from his ex-wife after an incident. He was incredibly distressed and shared that he had feelings of low-self worth and suicidal ideation.

Bryan wished to attend group sessions to hear from others in similar situations. Heavy alcohol use had been socially normalised in his family, work and peer groups, and he could not see himself abstaining completely.

Through Odyssey House, Bryan attended weekly SMART Recovery peer-support meetings, cognitive behavioural therapy sessions, psychoeducation on alcohol use disorders and values-based activities to identify ways to move towards his goals. Counselling sessions also helped Bryan learn emotional regulation and distraction techniques to better manage his triggers and cravings.

Bryan has now had the longest period of abstinence he can recall in his adult life, has avoided heavy-drinking peers and problematic social situations and is engaged with his family more positively. He shared that his mood and sleep have improved, and he is able to handle daily stressors without resorting to alcohol use.


*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.  

Telephone: 1800 397 739
More information: odysseyhouse.com.au/


Download a PDF of this story.