23 November 2022

The program has recorded impressive results in changing the lives of people affected by alcohol and other drugs.

Close-up of a man with dark hair, a beard and a hoodie standing outside.

Tom*, 27 , started having behavioural challenges at a young age, which saw him enter the criminal system. Tom has brain impairment, learning difficulties and an alcohol dependency. Supported by Next Steps, Tom has been able to deal with his alcohol addiction and has started a new job!

“This is the first time I can remember my heart feel happy,” Tom said.

The Next Steps program has a heavy emphasis on relationships and uses a holistic approach to recovery. The program provides the opportunity to build rapport, so people can engage in treatment when they are ready and able. Participants are then actively supported to engage in mainstream treatment and support.

“When I look back on that time in my life, I was nearly dead."

"I was trapped in needing hospitals and drinking but my life is not like that today." Shared Tom.

"No other service would have stuck around. Life Without Barriers was willing to talk and work with me [even] when I was intoxicated…it saved my life. Their patience was next level,” said Tom.

While traditional programs have one worker supporting many people, Next Steps has multiple specialists supporting one individual. In the Next Steps program, the team make consistent and regular contact so the process is easier for the person dealing with dependency.

As well as helping Tom, the Next Steps pilot program has seen:

  • 97% of people referred actively engaged in the program

  • 90% reduction in use of alcohol and other drugs

  • 40% reduction in use of hospital emergency departments

You can learn more about Life Without Barriers' Alcohol and other drugs counselling here.

A person's story is precious. We take storytelling seriously. Sometimes people are able to tell their own story, and we love that. We always make sure they give us their ok, and we will always honour the trust placed in us to bring their story forward.

*Names have been changed to protect the people in this story.

Mental Health services

Life Without Barriers offers a number of mental health services in select communities across Australia

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