Louise

Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Testimonial

I can’t speak the praises of Toora Women’s AOD programs loudly enough.

I was privileged to stay at Marzena, one of Toora’s AOD Recovery houses and to participate in both the Day Program and the SMART Recovery program.

I had been substance dependant for 15 years when I came to Toora. I had tried everything I knew how to get off the drugs and get my life back but without the tools and knowledge of how to do that I had failed every time.

During my time working with Toora I received comprehensive case management with my case worker. I was supported right the way through my early days in recovery. The SMART recovery program gave me a safe place to open up about my challenges of the week and find REAL practical solutions to some very complex problems. The comradery of a group of women meeting to openly discuss the very similar challenges we were all facing gave me a sense of belonging and like I wasn’t alone in my struggle to beat substance dependence and overcome the huge amount of problems that go hand in hand with that.

The Day Program taught me everything I didn’t know about substance dependence and the far reaching and sometimes hidden ways it impacts your entire life. I learned about building support networks, building self esteem and self efficacy, life skills, how to value myself for who I am, not what I have done. The atmosphere was one of acceptance, respect, dignity and a woman’s understanding of issues specific to women. The all-female programs created a safe space for me to talk about my substance issues and the other challenges I was facing in a safe and comfortable environment. I could discuss sensitive topics that I could never have opened up about in front of men.

My case worker was honest, supportive, kind, and respectful and having her there to speak to in difficult times was invaluable. During the time I was working with my case manager, my children and I had to go into a domestic violence refuge and relocate to a new property. My case worker supported me through that process and four months later my children and I were settled in a new housing property.

With Toora’s support and educational programs I have now been substance free for a year and half minus two lapses in that time. I have new friends, I have custody of my children back, I am studying and my mental health is stable and better than it has ever been. I’m living in stable affordable housing and I am looking to go back to work early next year.

The community needs more programs like Toora offers. My life is changed forever and my children’s lives are changed forever, because they have their mum back and I can be a better mother than I ever could before. None of that would have been achieved without Toora’s intervention.