Anna holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical) and works across two programs at Turning Point, Ready 2 Change and the psychology program in the clinic, which involves evidence-based psychological interventions for addiction.
What made you want to work in the addiction sector?
I almost accidentally ended up in addiction sector when I was working as a social worker in the homelessness sector and became involved in a long-term project addressing alcohol and other drugs (AOD) in homelessness. I loved the work and the people and haven't looked back since.
What are the misconceptions of addiction?
Many! That it is easy to stop, it's just a matter of will power. There is a lot of stigma around illicit drug use and yet alcohol and cigarettes cause far more damage both physically, and as a community. And, that it can affect anyone – regardless of age, gender etc.
What are the biggest challenges for someone with an addiction?
Overcoming stigma, accessing appropriate treatment in a timely way. Accessing treatment that addresses what are often the underlying issues for someone with an addiction, such as trauma, social marginalisation and isolation.
What has been your experience of the documentary?
It was great to have the opportunity to work with a terrific group of people both participants and the clinical group. To work with people for longer and in a team where it was possible to access services and specialised programs in a timely manner – a dream!
What do you hope people will see when they watch the documentary?
Real people. That it will open up conversations and connect people.
How can we as a society ‘Rethink Addiction’?
By no longer seeing people with addiction as “other” or different from anyone of us. We need to conceptualise addiction as being like any other chronic health condition.