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  • SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    A place for community rundowns, special events and announcements from Counselling Online forums facilitation team.
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    Vik
    Senior Member
    Posts: 206
    Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

    SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:43 pm

    A special event: Q&A with Shannon, an AOD Counsellor about barriers to accessing and navigating support.
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    CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANSWERS - LIVE NOW.

    Seeking formal support for changing substance use can be an overwhelming, confusing process. While there are a lot of great options available, it can be difficult to know what to expect, what’s appropriate, how to navigate the system, and how to access it.

    Shannon is an alcohol and drug counsellor from Turning Point, a national addiction treatment centre. He’s here to break this all down for you, and minimise any barriers to you continuing on the path to change – for yourself or someone you care about. He’s here to try help with any questions you might have, or support you working past any barriers you’re experiencing to seeking support.

    This thread will be open until July 1, for you to share your queries. Simply press ‘Post Reply’ below while signed in. After this, Shannon will work to answer as many of these as possible. Why not ask today?
    You might be curious about what to expect from counselling, about detox or rehab, or some advice around how to build the confidence to. Take advantage of the ability to anonymously let us know any little thing that might be stopping you, and let us help you move past it!

    Remember there are no questions too great or small! We will do the best we can to answer them. However every situation is different, and information provided is not designed to replace one-on-one professional advice given to you.
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    Nana70
    Junior Member
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    Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:59 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:04 pm

    I don't have a car and live in a small country town, been trying to get help since February last year.
    My AODS caseworker told me to look at this site for help.
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    Nana70
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:59 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:20 pm

    I need help but in a rural area and no car. I feel lost
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    User avatar
    Vik
    Senior Member
    Posts: 206
    Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:51 pm

    Thank you for your query @Nana70, rural living can be a barrier for many in Australia. Looking forward to seeing what suggestions Shannon has for you after July 1.

    Welcome to the community! Glad to have you and I hope you are able to find great support here.
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    Trying2019
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:33 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:24 pm

    Living in a smaller community, feeling like I don't really having anonymity? And having put up a facade it is difficult to be honest with my GP. I also worry I will be put on an anti depressant which I am not keen on, and the greater implications, if being on anti-depressant or admit my alcohol usage I have heard it may impact life insurance.
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    Charliez83
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:25 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:26 pm

    FEAR....
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    Charliez83
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:25 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:02 pm

    FEAR has stopped me from seeking help...
    The government has portrayed all meth users in such a bad light. Insert the word method, crack into any sentence and instantly it is criminalised....
    I am not what they portray meth users to be and I fear seeking help as I don't want to be labelled or judged in that way.
    I also fear that reaching out for help will consequently have my children taken from me. Regardless of the fact that they are in no danger, they are well fed and rarely miss school or sporting activities or appointments and have no idea of my drug use...
    I want help I don't want judgment or ridicule, I live in a country town where its unusual if 5 people don't know when you farted last!
    2 x
    Green
    Member
    Posts: 32
    Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:49 am

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:25 pm

    These are some questions we often see come through the chat that some others might be interested to hear about:

    • I have social anxiety and still want counselling, what options do I have?
    • What role does medication have in coming off drugs or alcohol?
    • I’m worried I’ll be judged for asking for help, what can I expect from my first session?

    Thanks for doing this, Shannon!
    1 x
    User avatar
    Vik
    Senior Member
    Posts: 206
    Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

    Re: SPECIAL EVENT - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:39 am

    Awesome - I think these are all valid concerns, I'm really looking forward to Shannon's responses. Thank you to the brave posters.

    I will lock this thread in the time being while he works on them - stay tuned.
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    User avatar
    Vik
    Senior Member
    Posts: 206
    Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

    ANSWERS - Q&A - What's getting in your way?

    Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:42 pm

    Shannon's answers
    (posted on behalf of guest)
    Hi everyone! My name is Shannon. I’m a drug and alcohol counsellors at Turning Point. Thank you to everyone who put forward their questions and concerns. It’s great to see people engaging with the service.

    Rural and regional living
    There seems to be a common theme in the Q & A, which is the ability to access treatment when you live in a rural area or small town.
    There are a range of support options available for people living in rural areas but they will be different depending on where you are located in Australia.
    • Phone Counselling Programs - Depending on which area of Australia you live in, you can access anonymous phone counselling through one of the state phone services. Some of the states and territories even have structured ongoing telephone counselling options, which you can discuss with your appropriate helpline.
    • Counselling Online - Counselling Online is a great support service for people who don’t want to access services in person. There could be many reasons why someone does not want to or is not able to use services in person, such as social anxiety, concerns about anonymity, living in rural areas or any other health related concerns. Counselling Online operates 24/7 and you can speak with a qualified drug and alcohol counsellor any time to get support.
    • Home Detox - A home detox is where a nurse or other health professional will visit your home over an agreed timeframe to help you withdraw from alcohol or drugs safely. Home detox is not available to everyone and your appropriate helpline will be able to help you establish your suitability.
    • Support groups - Sometimes rural or country towns will have support groups, or if not, it may be worth searching nearby towns. There are a number of different groups available, such as Smart Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
    • Phone apps - First of all, apps are not advised to replace treatment but are best used to supplement other supports you may be engaging with. Mobile phone apps can be a great way to learn new skills, gain motivation, manage urges and receive inspiration. In addition watch this space as Counselling Online are revamping their SMS tool.
    Confidentiality
    The common barrier that people who live in rural areas are concerned about is confidentiality.
    Firstly, all staff who work in health organisations, such as drug and alcohol counsellors, general practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers, to name but a few, are to adhere to strict rules about confidentiality. This means that when you access services for support, they cannot disclose to anyone else any information about you accessing treatment. There are some limits to confidentiality though, such as if you’re at risk of harming yourself or harming someone else. Sometimes this will mean an appropriate emergency service might need to be contacted. However, even if other professionals are called upon, they will still be required to adhere to the strict confidentiality standards.

    Impact on family & children
    A further concern about confidentiality relates to how it may affect families, and whether disclosing drug use would result in children being taken away from someone as a result of seeking support. Each state and territory has a different response to these situations but what they all have in common is the priority of keeping children with their family as much as possible.
    If someone is using drugs but accessing treatment, this is seen as a ‘protective factor’ - meaning it is a positive consideration in the situation. This is what Child Protection will take into account if there was ever a reason for them to become involved in working with your family. There are many people who are going through alcohol or drug use issues and it does not automatically mean that Child Protection will become involved. The main reason that they would become involved is if there is an immediate risk to a child.

    Medication’s role in coming off alcohol or drugs
    Firstly, medication is not for everyone but sometimes people may need a little bit of extra assistance and medication may fill that role. The decision to use medication or to not use medication is an individual choice. A doctor or psychiatrist may recommend a specific medication which could assist you in reducing your use of alcohol or drugs, but it’s still an individuals’ decision as to whether they will follow the recommendation or not. People may choose to start medication for many different reasons. The first place to start the conversation about what medication may be suitable for you is with your general practitioner, or in some cases, your psychiatrist.

    Judgement from counsellors
    It’s very normal to feel a level of apprehension about attending your first counselling appointment. The first appointment with a counsellor is usually about gathering relevant information, such as your history with drug or alcohol use and working out what you’re hoping to get out of seeing a counsellor. Each counsellor is different because we’re all individuals and this means that counselling styles may vary a bit. Sometimes you might meet your first counsellor and everything goes perfectly and you’re a great match. Other times, you may not feel a connection with the counsellor and that’s ok as well. If you don’t feel a strong connection with your counsellor, there is always an option to find a different one within that same service or ask to be referred to another service. It can be useful to commit to 2-3 sessions with a counsellor before evaluating the connection as it usually takes this long to become involved with the matter at hand.

    Thanks for inviting me onto your forum. It’s been great having the opportunity to reply to some of your concerns. Our journeys are all different, so just because one option works for one person, remember that it might not work for the next person. There can be a bit of trial and error to find what works for you. However, engaging with and continuing to utilise support can be hugely beneficial in your road to recovery.

    All the best, Shannon.


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