Recovery Support Services
(Us on a trip up Mt Bogong)
SHARC Recovery Support Service (RSS) is an Alcohol and Other Drug treatment service offering community-based housing and a day program for young people aged between 16-25 years who want to learn to live without using drugs.
Our houses are in the community so our residents can stay connected with their families and friends while they learn new ways of having fun, meeting friends and getting on with their lives without falling back into drug use.
(Video by JN – thanks so much)
(Us on the RSS bus on the way to somewhere important)
Recovery Support Services offers a balance between support and independence; residents have the opportunity to recover with a group of like-minded people while living in the community. RSS believes that making new friends, helping others and building a fun and balanced life is essential to long term recovery.
Our houses are ordinary houses and units in the community. Some of them are mixed gender and others are specifically for men or women. Our residents cook and clean for themselves, get about by public transport and manage their own lives out of program hours.
The RSS day program is a mixture of groups, recreation, attending community-based support meetings and having regular contact with staff. It runs from 10.30 – 3.30 Monday to Friday and there are some evening activities.
Each resident sets their own recovery goals; these can include returning to work and study, regaining the trust of people they love, reconnecting with family, becoming healthy and working on psychological issues as well as enjoying life to the full.
RSS staff are not only qualified Alcohol and Other Drug professionals, they are in recovery themselves and have insight and understanding available only to those who have lived through the experience.
(Us bowling – as if you couldn’t figure it out)
I loved using ice and GHB but they ended up destroying my life.
I’d be partying and up for 6 days on ice and I’d use GHB to put me back up instead of coming down. I’d drive and be unconscious at the wheel—I almost hit a couple of trucks—and people would raid my mates’ houses and steal everything. I was sick of it. One time I went all the way to the Mornington Peninsula to pick up and got stuck there for four days, I shredded one of my tyres and went to a 7/11 to get them to pump it up, I was loopy, and I sat in my car for ages wishing I could get out of the situation. I threw my drugs out of the car. I didn’t care. I smashed my pipe. I was done. I told a woman I needed to get home and she gave me her myki. My parents said they’d help if I did what they said.
I went to a rehab for 3 months and the manager told me about SHARC (Recovery Support Services). She said I would get to do a day program and spend time with people my own age. My parents said to go with your heart.
I’ve been here for 6 months so I’ve been off drugs for 9 months and I’ve learned about relapse and new ways to live; I’ve learned to cook and help out with other people. I want to give back and tell new people what it’s like to not use drugs, I feel better about myself when I do this. I went on a hike over Mount Bogong and found out I’m stronger than I thought and I experienced the peace of the mountains and bush. It made me want to become an outdoor educator.
But the main thing is I’m not using drugs which is a miracle; this is my first recovery.
I had to stop having unrealistic expectations about myself.
I’ve been at RSS for 17 months and I’m working part time and getting ready to leave.
I guess I finally realised that I needed to be at RSS when I learned that all my expectations about where I should be, and who I should be, were making things worse. I learned that my life travels better when I accept myself and stuff as it is. I relapsed after 9 months in the program because I wasn’t being honest and didn’t fully follow the program and was lucky enough that the staff took me back.
I used drugs, called up the staff and came in to the office and they said I had to go back to my parents so I used for a bit more. But I stayed in contact with people who weren’t using and it looked like their lives were changing; they were going to school and getting jobs and I wanted that too. So having faith that I could do these things, I learned to stop having unrealistic expectations about me and my situation and do something about my low self-esteem, and when I worked through these things, other people were saying they saw changes in me that I couldn’t see.
Having other people in recovery to support me and encourage me was really important, I didn’t feel so alone and was able to accept my life just as it was, while believing that things could get better because I had proof in other people.
The reason I had to do something about my using was that I died.
I was found dead on the nature strip a few houses up from my parents’. I tore my family to pieces emotionally and divided them against each other, they ended up putting security cameras around their house to make sure I didn’t go around when they weren’t there. I was so broke internally.
I’ve been clean 9 months this week, I had a relapse but I’ve been around recovery and RSS now for about 20 months and the best thing is that I have relationships again with people who love me, it’s amazing to have some self-worth too. I put myself in healthy environments, have healthy relationships with people with the same goals as me and I’m open to getting support. I’m actually proud to be me.
I’m working again and there’s nothing in my life worth complaining about except when I get the flu.
I had to develop a new group of friends
It look a while before I felt I really belonged in RSS. I stayed away from everyone, I’d speak to a few of the other residents when I had to and then go home. Then one of the other girls invited me to her place and we had a few sleep-overs and stuff like that, she totally guided me and when I was against doing parts of the program she’d put a positive light on things. She’d been here for 8 months and I followed in her footsteps.
After a few months a new girl came in and we just clicked and then I had two friends who lifted me out of a bad place. After a few months I found the misery going out of my life; I’ll never forget how horrible it was.
I’d always had people around but when I stopped using I lost my old friends. I had to develop a new group of friends, without these new people I don’t think I’d be clean and have the life I have.
Having friends is massive.
I realised that recovery only happens when you want it.
In full-on rehab you get followed around and you can’t go to the bathroom without putting your hand up; sometimes I still feel that there are cameras watching me I got so used to it and I’ve never been happy about being forced to do stuff, even if it’s good for me. I finally decided I wanted recovery when I was homeless, living in my car, couldn’t go to my family home because they didn’t want to see me. Even my friends kicked me out of their places. I ended up lonely and crying in my car and all I knew to do was use. I was so isolated and lonely. I wanted independence and I also needed support from other people. That’s what SHARC gives me.
Having friends is massive. SHARC allows me to run most of my life and make a lot of my own decisions, good decisions. I’ve been here for two months and it’s working out.
More recovery stories coming soon …
(Photos of things that are important to us)
Q. How long can I stay at Recovery Support Services?
A. This will depend on your progress in the program. You can stay with us for up to 12 months.
Q. Do I need to be drug-free to get into RSS?
A. Yes. We can either help you to get into a drug withdrawal unit or will need you to provide us with 2 drug-free urine screens before you can enter the program.
Q. Can I drink alcohol when I’m in RSS?
A. No. When you’re in RSS we ask you to remain drug and alcohol-free.
Q. Does RSS cost anything?
A. There’s no cost for the RSS program itself however you’ll have to pay rent for your property (25% of your income) and pay for personal expenses such as groceries, public transport etc. Your rent will generally come out of your Centrelink payment. If you’re not receiving a Centrelink payment you’ll have to make firm arrangements to have your rent and expenses paid for.
Q. Does RSS provide food?
A. RSS provides community lunch on a Thursday and community dinner on a Friday evening. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy your own groceries and food.
Q. Will I have to share a bedroom?
A. No, everyone gets their own room and a key.
Q. Can my family and/or friends come and visit me?
A. Yes, outside of program hours. You must always check with your housemates first. People who are substance affected may not visit at any time.
Q. Can I have my phone when I’m in RSS?
A. Absolutely, but you will need to turn it off or to silent during groups.
Q. Can I work/study when I’m in RSS?
A. During the Entry Phase all residents are required to participate in the day program. If you become a Senior Resident you may work and/or study up to 3 days per week however you need to attend program on the days you’re not working or studying. If, for example, you work a 3 hour shift in the afternoon you’ll need to come to the program in the morning.
Q. Can I have my car when I’m in RSS?
A. You cannot have your car or drive during the Entry Phase. Once you’ve successfully completed your Entry Phase you can drive and bring your car to the house. If you have your car in RSS you’re still required to travel with the community to external program activities.
Q. Can I go on leave for a night or the weekend??
A. During the Entry Phase of the program, residents are required to sleep in their own beds every night. Once you’ve successfully completed your Entry Phase you may apply to go on overnight or weekend leave.
Q. What are the Entry and Senior resident phases?
A. The Entry Phase is usually 60 days in the program although this may be interrupted by being exited or failing to commit to the program. After successfully completing the Entry Phase you’ll be able to use your car and apply for overnight or weekend leave. If, after successfully completing 90 days in the program, you want to commence work and study or take extended leave, you can apply to become a Senior Resident
How do I apply?
(Us on a hike at Wilsons Prom)
You can contact Recovery Support Services yourself, or you can be referred by your worker, family or a friend.
Call us on 9573 1759 and we’ll either pick up the phone or you can leave a message so we can get back to you.
We’ll ask you a few questions on the phone, tell you more about RSS and then may book you in for an assessment. If you’re too old or young for the service, or need more support than we can give you, we may refer you to other more appropriate services.
Face to face assessment:
We’ll get you into the office, show you around and complete an assessment. Once you’ve completed your assessment we’ll ask you if there are people we can contact to get up-to-date information about your health, legals etc. After we’ve received everything we need, and staff believe we can support you in our service we’ll work with you to set a pre-admission date.
If you’re in rehab or hospital when you’re assessed and accepted into RSS, we ask you to transfer directly to RSS when you’ve completed that program.
If you’re using, we’ll probably ask you to spend time in a residential drug withdrawal unit before admission; in this case, we’ll help you to find one.
(The outside of our office)
If you want to refer yourself to Recovery Support Services or just need information about us please contact us:
Address: 140 Grange Road, Carnegie, 3163
Phone: 03 9573 1759
Fax: 03 9571 8096
We are a Monday to Friday business hours service so if you call outside these hours you’ll need to give us time to get back to you.
If you use the email address, it goes to all our staff and someone will get back to you soon.
If you’re in crisis, please call Emergency services on 000 or go to the Accident and Emergency unit at your local hospital.
(Photos of us doing stuff at SHARC)
Statewide Alcohol and Other Drug counselling, information and referral.
Phone: 1800 888 236
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Phone: 13 11 14
Free professional, anonymous support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week across Victoria.
Phone: 1300 651 251
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential, telephone and on-line counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
Narcotics Anonymous Australia
Narcotics Anonymous is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.
National Phoneline: 1300 652 820
Victorian Area Helpline: 03 9525 2833
Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
Having trouble with alcohol? Does your drinking worry you? Is it causing you to get into unpleasant or dangerous situations? Are family members complaining about your drinking? See if the AA program of recovery is what you need.
National helpline number: 1300 22 22 22
Barwon Health Drugs and Alcohol Services (DAS) NEW Peer Support Group!
Are you someone with a lived experience of drug and/or alcohol issues and in the process of...Read More
Win with SHARC and People’s Choice Community Lottery!
SHARC is once again participating in the People’s Choice Community Lottery in 2016!SHARC...Read More