ADDICTED AUSTRALIA

Series-producer: 

Jacob Hickey

Writer: 

Jacob Hickey

Director: 

Jacob Hickey

Genre:

Factual Series

Year:

2020

Distributor:

Blackfella Films

Press Kit:

Download the Press Kit

Purchase:

Stream on SBS on Demand

1 in 5 Australians will have a problem with alcohol, drugs or gambling at some point in their lives.

 

For 6 months we were given extraordinary access to 10 Australians and their families as they battled addiction.

 

Signed up to a unique six-month treatment program, we follow their heart wrenching journey from despair to hope and possible recovery.

 

Addicted Australia is a television first.

 

Blackfella Films invited Turning Point (part of Victoria’s Eastern Health network), a national research & addiction centre in Melbourne, to devise a six month treatment program for a group of Australians determined to tackle their addictions.

 

In a national system so bereft of structure and integration, this program is designed to provide holistic and bespoke care for each individual.

 

The program delivered by Turning Point is broad and varied, comprising one or more of the following depending on individual requirements: Detox and short stay rehab, medical support, one on one psychiatric and psychological counselling, group peer support, family support and social worker care.

 

In the Peer Support meetings, similar to the model followed by organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, we see the participants share their experiences in a group setting. This is access rarely, if ever, seen on television. And uniquely, the participants are each dealing with different forms of addiction. Drugs, alcohol and gambling. All are openly discussed.

 

By creating this space, the stigma and stereotype of addiction is reduced. We humanise those that have fallen to their vice and are desperate to escape it. We reveal and interrogate the trauma they have faced; the reasons for their addictions. And we show what treatment can look like to encourage others to seek help.

 

We see the participants in their everyday environments, including home and work. And witness firsthand the reality of the recovery journey; the highs and the lows.

 

This is also a story about families caught up in the heartbreak of the addiction cycle. The treatment program provides them with their own unique group run by SHARC (Self Help Addiction Resource Centre). The chance to meet, talk and seek out one another for support.

 

A team of professional staff, with years of specialist experience, run the treatment program. They oversee the six months of care, in line with the latest thinking and research around rehabilitating the many thousands of Australians battling addiction.

 

They’re hoping that this treatment program will not only help the participants, but also be a catalyst for systemic change. Succeed here, and Australia could shift its approach to dealing with the addiction crisis.

 

The ten participants are all at different starting points on their journey. Some in a state of abstinence hoping to sustain their recovery, others attempting to manage their addiction. For some they see this as their ‘final chance’ after years of failed treatment. For others, this is the first time they’ve put up their hand and finally asked for help. Their pathways to recovery over six months are richly varied and nuanced, with the narrative reflecting the myriad of possibilities.

 

We follow them all.

 

And there’s hope for Australia too... Hope that as a nation we start to accept responsibility for the sake of us all. That we act to tackle one of the greatest challenges the nation faces.

SBS
Episode 1, Tuesday 11th November at 8.30pm
Episode 2, Tuesday 17th November at 8.30pm
Episode 3, Tuesday 24th November at 8.30pm
Episode 4, Tuesday 1st December at 8.30pm