Free drug and alcohol dependency course returns to Limestone Coast

A course by Substance Misuse Limestone Coast for families to support people with alcohol or other drug dependencies has returned to the region. The Stepping Stones course returns to Substance Misuse Limestone Coast amid continued demand for alcohol or other drug services.

After first running in 2019, the therapeutic course returns in 2021 and is run by a skilled family drug support leader. The four-day intensive program aims to increase confidence and competence around substance misuse in families. Substance Misuse Limestone Coast project coordinator Sophie Bourchier said there was high demand for the course locally. “It really helps families to be able to manage themselves and their relationships with their family member or friend who is using,” Ms Bourchier said in a statement.

The course will provide a safe space for families to get a better understanding what people are going through, coming away with better self-care skills, while hearing from others in similar situations. “After last time, we actually had a wait-list so we thought that it would be a great course to run again in our region to see whether we could support families better and in a way they can take home to continue their support,” Ms Bourchier said.

The additional support for families comes after a survey revealed a steep rise in home alcohol use during the pandemic. The survey also revealed a rise in methamphetamine and other drug use. “Lockdown was a difficult time for a lot of people and the data reflects that,” Ms Bourchier said.

“What we may be seeing now is the after effects of that use and the impact on families.” The course will be run at Mount Gambier’s UniSA campus over two weekends in August this year. Ms Bourchier said previous participants had left positive feedback about the course. “The testimonials speak of changes in family dynamics, a deeper understanding of what people are experiencing and also use words such as ‘life-changing’,” she said.

Any interested community members should contact Ms Bourchier by the first week in August to register, with limited space available. “We only have room for a limited number from across the Limestone Coast region but if there is the demand for it, we will certainly look at running the course again,” Ms Bourchier said.

“The aim is to utilise our funding to bring programs or courses to the region that other agencies are not funded for or do not have the staffing to accommodate.”

Substance Misuse Limestone Coast is federally funded and supported by the Limestone Coast Local Government Association.

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