Support during COVID-19
Last Updated 12 May 2020
Turning Point is open and focused on maintaining support for its existing clients and people seeking support.
From midnight tonight, Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions will ease in Victoria. The new arrangements, permitting outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people and up to 5 visitors to each home, represent the start of reconnecting our communities. For people affected by addiction, these new arrangements mean that some support services and groups will be able to return to community facilities and host in-person meetings. Here at Turning Point, we will remain open and available to help through a combination of in-person, online and phone services.
We understand that people may be experiencing mixed emotions about the reviewing of restrictions. There may be relief about being less isolated, or anxiety about the uncertainty and continued vigilance that will be part of the weeks ahead. We recognise that now is still a challenging time, so please continue to check in with how you are feeling, maintain healthy habits, and reach out for support where needed.
COVID-19 Clinician Resources
As we evolve the way we provide care during COVID-19 it is important that there are appropriate resources available to help clinicians support your clients and yourselves safely. Here are a range of resources that have been developed for you to use, we will be updating and adding more as the situation evolves.
For health professionals referring to us, here is the current access details for all of our sites and services.
Alcohol and other Drug Support
Across Australia you can access online information and counselling at counsellingonline.org.au or you can call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline 1800 250 015 to speak to someone in your state.
There is a lot of information about this virus and it is difficult to work out what is real and what is not. We suggest you minimise the sources of information to help you keep a clear view of the situation, the Commonwealth and State Government websites are solid places to start.
As always we know practising harm minimisation e.g. using sterile equipment, managing dose etc. reduces the associated risks for people who use drugs and drink alcohol. With the increased risks presented by COVID-19 (it greatly affects respiratory function) it is additionally important that you look after yourself.
You can find useful tips and advice from local harm minimisation services below:
Self-isolation, restricted activity and staying at home
With the possibility of community transmission some people are required to self-isolate, this can be due to:
- Recent overseas travel
- Being in contact with people who have the virus
- Are awaiting their own test results
- Or have the virus themselves
There are also a range of restricted activities and advice on staying at home depending on where you live. You can find the most up-to-date information for your states here:
Withdrawal or detox
For people who regularly use (or are trying not to use) alcohol and other drugs isolation may present unique challenges.
People who use substances may find that they experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop suddenly. Withdrawal can be dangerous, if you are concerned about you or someone else, contact your GP, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 or chat to one of the counsellors at Counselling Online.
Here are some sites with excellent resources to help you learn more:
We know during times of great stress and upheaval drug use can increase, this means the risk of overdose can also increase, particularly with social distancing measures in place that mean you may be alone. Take care of yourself and those close to you, if you are in a situation where someone is overdosing, try to remain calm, call 000 – emergency services are there to help.
Heroin and other opioids
Heroin and other opioids are responsible for more than half of the fatal overdoses in Australia each year. The majority of these overdoses are unintentional. Learn about the symptoms to watch out for.
Naloxone is an opioid-inhibitor that is frequently used to reverse overdoses, and is becoming more widely available throughout Australia. It’s a good idea to arrange to get some naloxone now, just to have on hand.
- 1800Respect offers support related to sexual assault, family or intimate partner violence.
- SANE Australia offers counselling and support for people experiencing or caring for mental illness.
- Suicide Callback Service also offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people concerned about suicide.
- Lifeline 13 11 14 offers 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention counselling.
- Counselling Online offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people who are affected by alcohol and other drugs.
- Gambling Help Online offers 24-hour telephone and online counselling for people who are affected by gambling.
- National Debt Helpline is a telephone line available Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm to discuss any problems related to debt.
- Headspace offer an online and telephone counselling service for young people 12–25 who are concerned about mental health issues.
- Kids Helpline is a free helpline for young people 5–25 to confidentially discuss any problem.
- QLife offers a free counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing any issue that may affect their health and wellbeing. Available 3:00 pm to 12:00 am.