Latest News from ReGen

News items regarding activities at ReGen.

View our Media Releases here

Events and Seminars here

croakeyThe following article has been published on the Croakey health journalism site.

In the past 30 years, Australia has gone from being a global drug policy leader to the back of the pack. UnitingCare ReGen CEO LaurencAlvis says the Abbott/Turnbull Governments’ cuts to the alcohol and other drug sector and downgrading of expert policy advice have left the country without a clear drug policy framework and increasingly ill-prepared to respond to emerging concerns.

Melbourne, VIC, 7th November 2016: The recent announcement of the defunding of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) is yet another blow to an already embattled Australian alcohol and other drug sector. It is the latest in a series of significant losses (under the Abbott and Turnbull Governments) of sector capacity to provide sustainable treatment services, undertake key research into emerging issues and contribute to the ongoing development of effective, evidence based drug policy.

Read more: Australian drug policy is adrift: we need it back on course (07/11/16)

We have submitted the following letter to the editor of the Herald Sun to express our concerns about a highly stigmatising and inflammatory front page article on welfare payments to people who use methamphetamine.  It has not been published, but the paper has published this response by Mark Zirnsak, Director of the Uniting Church's Justice and International Mission unit.  For more on the Federal Government's rhetoric about the proposed welfare reforms, see our recent opinion piece.

Read more: Stigmatising rhetoric a prelude to Federal welfare reforms? (20/10/16)

Thanks to everyone who attended the Open Day. You can see some photos from the event on our Facebook Page.


UnitingCare ReGen would like to invite workers in AOD industry and justice services to the Catalyst and Torque Programs Open Day.

The Catalyst Program is an award winning initiative, non-residential program open to people 18 years and above in Victoria. The Torque Program is based on the original Catalyst Program for people involved in the justice system.

The Open Day is on Friday 21st October 2016 from 9.15am– 12.15pm @ 26 Jessie St Coburg

The day will provide an opportunity for workers to gain an understanding of the program aims, model and referral pathways and to hear from previous participants experiences.

Please RSVP to Loren on by Friday 7 October 2016 if you would like to attend.

October 10: Thanks to all who participated in this workshop. Based on the workshop discussion, we'll be developing a resource to support safe social media practice by people who use AOD treatment services. We'll post it shortly, once it has been reviewed by the workshop participants.


ReGen will be running a workshop for people who use our services and social media at our Coburg site on Monday, October 10.

We will be discussing the associated benefits and risks, what strategies people currently use to stay safe online and what support ReGen can offer.

For more information, see the workshop flyer or contact Con Hatzi ( or 9384 8882).

croakeyThe following article has been published on the Croakey health journalism site:

As the Federal Government ramps up the political rhetoric in promoting its NZ-inspired ‘Priority Investment Approach’ to welfare reform, UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis urges Ministerial caution in the search for easy wins and early outcomes. He says there are lessons to be learned (and avoided) from local and international initiatives that rely on simplistic understandings of complex issues (such as alcohol and other drug dependence) and do little to address the structural and social determinants of health.

Read more: Federal Government needs to resist urge to scapegoat welfare recipients (27/09/16)

The following article has been published by Crosslight (the Uniting Church paper) in response to last night's Four Corners program on the private rehabilitation industry.  It features our CEO, Laurence, explaining that there is much more to AOD treatment than residential rehabilitation and the importance of holistic responses to people's typically complex needs.


An ABC Four Corners report that aired on Monday night revealed the high price parents pay to help their children fight ice addiction.

Many publicly-funded rehabilitation centres have long waiting lists, forcing some parents to turn to expensive private clinics.

According to the Four Corners report, the standard cost for a three-month treatment is $30,000. Many parents risk emptying their superannuation accounts or face the possibility of bankruptcy to fund their children’s treatment.

UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said residential rehabilitation is not the only option for people seeking support for substance abuse.

Read more: Private pain of rehab: ReGen responds to Four Corners program (13/09/16)

Due to renovation works linked to the construction of our Mother and Baby unit, Curran Place will be closed for eight weeks from July 4, 2016. The unit will reopen in September. During the temporary closure, the process for people seeking residential withdrawal will be the same, but they will be referred to alternative services. ReGen, the Department of Health and Human Services and other treatment services have been working to ensure that no one seeking treatment will be denied treatment due to the temporary closure of Curran Place.  

For more information, see our updates for:

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has also issued a factsheet on the alternative arrangements involving other withdrawal services that will be in place during the temporary closure of Curran Place.

An edited version of the following article has been published on the Croakey health journalism website.croakey

The article is our response to recent media coverage and broader concerns about the marketing claims made by some for-profit AOD services.


As the capacity of mainstream media outlets to fund quality journalism continues to decline, they become increasingly reliant on cheap, externally sourced content. UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis highlights the increasing success of for-profit providers of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment and drug testing services in securing free promotion (and occasional explicit endorsement) of their services by compliant (and unquestioning) media outlets. He argues that this success is distorting public understanding of the impacts of AOD use, the treatment options available and appropriate policy responses.

Read more: Decline of mainstream media a boon for for-profit drug services; a bust for informed debate...