New addiction treatment in the House

NSW MLC Scott Farlow, Dr Kieran Le Plastrier, NSW Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward, Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith, Jewish House CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel and NSW MLC Walt Secord at the Interventionist Program launch at Parliament House on September 29. Photo: Shane Desiatnik

A FAMILY oriented drug and alcohol addiction treatment program with a 90 per cent success rate in America for helping users to seek further treatment is being offered by Jewish House in Bondi.

Jewish House CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel and clinical director Dr Kieran Le Plastrier were presented with National Association of Drug and Alcohol Interventionists training certificates by NSW Minister for Mental Health Pru Goward at the Interventionist Program launch, held at Parliament House on September 29.

Rabbi Kastel said the program is already underway and referrals are being channelled through partnerships with organisations including The Sydney Clinic, Jarrah House in Bronte and the Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre.

“We’ve already got people into treatment who initially were resistant and I think this program really encourages them to understand that it’s worth doing,” Rabbi Kastel said.

Le Plastrier said during an intervention, the addict is confronted, in a compassionate way, by a carefully selected group of people they know well, in the presence of a trained staff member.

“Love is so important in this process,” Le Plastrier said.

“When they [addicts] have lost sight of the world around them and are so disconnected and lost, that actually drives further addictive behaviours.

“So during interventions, relatives or close friends will sit down and firstly say to them, ‘This is why I love you, this is how you change when you take drugs, and these are the consequences of your addiction on me and others.’

“Next, they would say something like ‘we are going to stand by you as you find a way to beat the addiction.’

“We then try to get a commitment from the person with the addiction to take up this opportunity to begin treatment.”

Goward said strong communities and supported families are the best weapons in the battle against addiction.

“The intervention is not the end goal – supporting a person to sustained recovery is the ultimate outcome,” Goward said.

“Jewish House is passionate about supporting families, and I know with your wonderful track record and the emphasis you place on evidence-based programs, this will be a great success.”

Vaucluse MP and NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton, Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith, Heffron MP Ron Hoenig, and NSW Legislative Council members Walt Secord and Scott Farlow also attended the launch.