top of page

In March 2015 the Victorian Government released the $45.5 million Ice Action Plan. The plan was developed to tackle the growing use of methamphetamine (ice) in the Victorian community and the harms associated with use. Families of people who use ice were identified as a top priority.


With funding from the Ice Action Plan, Turning Point, Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC) and the Bouverie Centre developed the BreakThrough program. In 2019, with additional funding, the program now focuses on addictive behaviours more broadly. Originally designed as a face-to-face program, BreakThrough has been adapted for an online setting in response to Covid-19 restrictions, allowing for greater participation from people not able or willing to attend in person. 


Facilitated by Turning Point and SHARC, BreakThrough has been very successful in addressing the stigma associated with problematic alcohol and drug use and linking families into ongoing support options.


To date, nearly ninety per cent of participants who responded to an evaluation of BreakThrough rated their satisfaction with the program as high or very high. Over ninety per cent said they were very likely to follow through on suggestions made in the session, and almost everyone who attends BreakThrough say they would recommend the program to others.

Program content

What happens to the brain when we repeatedly use substances like alcohol and other drugs? Why do some people develop a problem with their substance use or gambling while others don't? BreakThrough explains the effects substances have on the brain and the relationship between drug use and mental health. We also explore the process by which people decide to seek help for their addictive behaviours and how families can support these decisions.


BreakThrough isn’t just about the addictive behaviour. We provide practical strategies to help family members discuss drug use, set boundaries, develop safety plans and work on self-care. Managing challenging behaviours and keeping family members safe and functioning during difficult times is also explored.


BreakThrough provides families with the skills and knowledge to navigate the alcohol and drug treatment system and obtain the best possible outcomes for loved ones. We explore some of the barriers to seeking help and how to overcome these. All participants are given information about ongoing support activities.

group work.jpg
Project partners
Turning Point

Turning Point is a national treatment, research and education centre that provides leadership in the alcohol and drug, gambling and mental health sectors. Turning Point is part of Eastern Health and is affiliated with Monash University. 

Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC)

SHARC provides opportunities for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction and related problems to recover and achieve meaningful, satisfying and contributing lives.

The Bouverie Centre

The Bouverie Centre is a statewide provider of family based therapy, especially for people affected by mental health issues, alcohol and other drug use, acquired brain injuries (ABI) and/or complex and traumatic circumstances.

bottom of page