Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1981

Volume 6 Issue 2

Treatment of Addicted Parents and their Children: The Odyssey House Parents’ Programme

Judith Tenenbaum

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The James McGrath Foundation’s Odyssey House is a drug-free, residential therapeutic community for the treatment of drug addiction. The programme was initiated by Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, a psychiatrist and lawyer, in the United States of America fifteen years ago, and has been operative in Australia in New South Wales since October, 1977 and in Victoria since July, 1980. The Victorian residential facility is located at Lower Plenty in a spacious building originally constructed by the Roman Catholic Church, situated on nine hectares of land and now “home” for one hundred and thirty former drug addicts. There are three specific programmes incorporated within the overall Odyssey programme offering treatment services to adults, adolescents thirteen to seventeen years old and parents and their dependent children. Referrals to these programmes are in general from medical and mental health programmes, social services agencies, schools, jails, courts and probation and parole departments. In addition, fifty-two percent of residents are self-referred or referred by family or friends.

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