1 February 2024

"The support you gave has helped me to live again.”

Image: Close-up profile photo of a mature woman's face. She is looking off camera, has brown/grey hair in a plait, and pearl drop earrings.

Adele* suffered from long-term back pain and unfortunately turned to illicit drugs to cope. Some people in her support network noticed the change in Adele, and raised concerns about her reliance on drugs, which included morphine. Although Adele was initially resistant to engage with an Alcohol and Drugs (AOD) service, eventually she connected with our Assertive Outreach team.

Adele could see that her Life Without Barriers support team respected her, and was consistently there for her, and she learned to trust them and open up about her experience of anxiety and social isolation.

Adele decided she did not want to be held back from enjoying her life to its fullest potential any longer. So, she worked with a Life Without Barriers' social worker and a psychologist to develop anxiety-coping skills and to reduce her cannabis use.

Adele was supported by a registered nurse, who referred her to an alternative pain clinic to explore a pain management trial. Adele completed the Life Without Barriers' Assertive Outreach program when she started the trial.

Nine months later, Adele’s former team received a call from her. She let the team know that she has ceased all morphine use for the last three months, is in less pain, and her mental health has also improved. Adele has made new friends, is more active, and takes part in community events again.

“I have not even thought about using morphine again. I still feel pain, but it is more manageable," Adele said.

"The support you [Life Without Barriers] gave has helped me to live again.”

Adele said that when she is anxious, she hears her support worker's voice in her head, which motivates her to use her coping strategies. She reflected that the program was a much-needed first step for her, and that she would highly recommend us to anyone in need.

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

Life Without Barriers is one of the largest AOD providers in South Australia, with 18 different geographical areas of coverage across the state. The youngest person we have helped was 11, and the oldest is 79. Twenty-five staff members in our team come from different disciplines, including counselling, social work, psychology, nursing, Aboriginal primary health, peer work, and community support work.

Life Without Barriers' Assertive Outreach Program is a holistic, multi-disciplinary program that works with people who have a history of poor engagement with traditional Alcohol and Other Drug programs. We continue to see a reduction in hospital admissions and substance use and an improvement in people’s physical health and quality of life as outcomes for this program.

Last year, Life Without Barriers AOD staff helped around 900 people a month through our three services: Outpatient Counselling & Police Drug Diversion Initiative, Country SA Primary Health Network Far West program, and the Assertive Outreach program.

Alcohol and other drugs counselling

Free one-on-one individual counselling and group sessions for people with identifiable alcohol and/or other drugs dependency.

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