Family Drug Support Australia
Support Line: 1300 368 186
(available 24 hours 7 days a week)

International Family Drug Support Day 2018

Tony Trimingham talks about International Family Drug Support Day 2018.
See the website for details of events around the world here:

Family Drug Support Now Online for Families

FDS Support Online3 April 2017

Tony Trimingham, the Founder and CEO of Family Drug Support (FDS), has described how proud he is with the development of the first Australian interactive online resource designed specifically to support families struggling to deal with drug and alcohol problems.

The New resource is available here:

This project was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health through the National Ice Action Strategy. It has been produced by Readymade Productions in collaboration with FDS staff and volunteers.

The resource centres on the documentary film of a family support group, and will be of particular benefit to families in regional and rural communities who don’t have ready access to support group meetings. The new resource, together with FDS’ 24/7 telephone support line, will help ensure every family can access support when they need it.


There are different support and treatment options for people recovering from drug and alcohol dependence
These can range from:
  • Withdrawal units (commonly known as detox) either medicated or unmedicated
  • Live-in residential rehabilitation or day programs
  • Community or Outreach Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Self-help meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery and GROW Groups
  • Pharma-cotherapies: prescribed medication programs for heroin and other opiate dependence e.g. methadone, buprenorphine (subutex), suboxone
  • Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers or Counsellors (some can be accessed through the Medicare supported Psychologist Referral Scheme – see your local doctor for more information)
  • Not all treatments work for everyone. If your family member feels one option isn't working for them, encourage them to try something else or support them to look into a different program or service. A combination of things can be more effective than just relying on one approach.
  • The person needs to acknowledge that they have a problem and are willing to get help. In Australia we generally don't have options to force a person into treatment unless they are ordered by the courts (some drug-related criminal offences) or Community Services; where there are children at risk
  • Learn about recovery from drug and alcohol dependence and what's involved.
  • Sorting out drug and alcohol issues always takes time and for most people several goes at it.
  • For some it may be a very up and down journey and the journey may be long and difficult.
  • While they are in rehab, take this time to look after yourself – medical issues, catch up with friends, reconnect with others in the family, work with your own counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist. Maybe join a support group.
  • Life in rehab is like life in general – there are good days and bad days and can be very emotionally turbulent. There may be days when they sound miserable or unhappy. This is not uncommon; being in a rehab program is a big adjustment as is being without drugs and alcohol.
  • They may be negative about the program, other people in the program, their case worker/counsellor. It is important not to problem solve but listen and provide emotional encouragement rather than solutions. In general it's best to encourage the person to stay in the program.
  • Understand that the person is not just giving up drugs and alcohol they are re-shaping and reassessing their whole life and who they are.
  • Acknowledge and focus on the positives, the small steps and "successes".
  • If you have contact with them on family or visit days do not just grill them about the program and their progress. They often want to hear about regular things; what is going on for you and the rest of the family.
  • If a person leaves the program early or is asked to leave, we may need to accept that the time just isn't right or the program is not the right one for them. Focus on what we can do, which is to keep communicating and maintaining our relationship with our family member.

Bridging the Divide

BTD SUPPORT LINE 1300 884 186
Hours: Monday & Wednesday - 9am - 4.30pm

The goals of Family Drug Support 'Bridging the Divide' program are to:

  • Work collaboratively with treatment services.
  • Up skill treatment staff in family support needs.
  • Provide more pathways to support families with members in treatment.
  • Provide families with realistic expectations of treatment.
  • Support families and those in treatment towards successful outcomes.
  • Increase capacity of treatment services to engage with families

Aust-Gov.-DHA stacked
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  • Project Officers Contacts (Areas)

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