ReGen announces new after-hours services (29/10/13)

ReGen to expand after-hours treatment, support and consultancy services

Melbourne, VIC, 29th October 2013 – UnitingCare ReGen, the lead alcohol and other drug treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania, today announced the commencement of its new after-hours service to improve the accessibility of treatment and support services in Melbourne’s north.  Commencing on 30th October, the service will provide phone-based and face-to-face non crisis related alcohol and others drugs services from 6.00 to 11.00pm on weekdays and 10.00am to 3.00pm on weekends.

Developed in partnership with the Northern Metropolitan Medicare Local, the service will work closely with GPs, police, mental health and a range of other services to advise and support better access to AOD treatment  services for residents within the Hume (excluding Sunbury), Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Banyule and Darebin local government areas.

In launching the after-hours service, ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis said:

We have known for a long time now that there is a clear need for AOD services to be accessible beyond standard business hours, particularly on weekends.  Until now, our service funding has only allowed us to offer after-hours services two nights per week.  This has enabled us to work with people who would otherwise be unable to engage with AOD treatment due to work, family or other commitments, but we have always known that it was not enough.

We are very pleased to have secured this project funding from the Northern Metropolitan Medicare Local.  It will enable us to provide immediate responses to the AOD concerns of people coming into contact with key service providers like GPs, police and mental health services.  We need better co-ordination with these services to ensure that people get the support they need.  Our experienced after-hours workers will provide a direct point of contact for these services to support their work, provide initial support for individuals, family members and develop a planned treatment response.

Our after-hours service will provide the following elements:

• Direct services – advice, assessment and brief counselling for individuals.  For people experiencing AOD-related problems who may have difficulty accessing 9am – 5pm screening and assessment services, or are seeking post-crisis timely follow-up out of normal work hours. For example, a person who experienced an alcohol or other drug issue on a Friday/Saturday evening and after sobering up/calming down they or their families seek  advice, support or assessment the following day when AOD services are typically closed.

• Supporting affected families – advice, support or counselling for concerned family members or carers. This service acknowledges the distress, frustration and concern that families often experience at times when a family member is affected by alcohol or other drug use. This may take the form of telephone advice at the time of a crisis or follow-up sessions with workers trained in providing family ‘single counselling sessions’.

• Support and advice for health and welfare professionals – Providing secondary phone consultations for GPs, ED and other hospital staff, mental health service staff and police about strategies for effectively managing people experiencing a range of AOD problems. When there are more serious medical management issues the services can link treating staff to services such as the Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Service where Addiction Medicine Specialists on-call to provide 24 hour advice. Program staff can also take referrals for after hours, on-site & outreach assessments, family sessions & brief client interventions

The after-hours service can be contacted 6.00 to 11.00pm on weekdays and 10.00am to 3.00pm on weekends on (03) 94971122.



For further information or comment please contact Laurence Alvis on (03) 9384 8880 or Media Contact Paul Aiken 0435 875 818.


Background about ReGen:  UnitingCare ReGen is the lead alcohol and other drugs treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania. We have been promoting health and reducing alcohol and other drug related harm since 1970.  We support social justice and sustainable change at an individual, community and systemic level.