GEGAC AOD Workers Kirsty Collings and John Tziaras. Photo: Jake Lynch/GEGAC


In Bairnsdale and surrounds our mob may be struggling with alcohol and drug use.

Tomorrow, August 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day, and here at GEGAC we want to take the opportunity to let you know there is help for you here.

First Nations Australians are more than three tim-es as likely to die from an accidental overdose than non-Indigenous people.

Overdose deaths, and drug and alcohol abuse devastate our families and our community.

That’s why we have dedicated Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Workers trained, ready and keen to help any mob struggling with drugs or alcohol.

To contact one of our AOD Workers, you can just come down to GEGAC Medical Reception Monday to Friday, call 5150 0760, or email tanderra.referrals@gegac.org.au.

“If you or someone you know is at risk of overdose, reach out support is available for you right here at GEGAC,” said GEGAC AOD Worker John Tziaras. “We are here for you – there is no shame in getting help. Keep a look out for your brothers and sisters. Check on those around you.”

Kirsty Collings, another AOD Worker at GEGAC, said the first step toward overcoming drug and alcohol abuse was always to yarn about it – be willing to talk about it with others and seek help.

“Overdoses happen, and they happen here,” Kirsty said. “If you or any of your mob are struggling, come and talk to us. We are all about no judgement. It’s just about being a part of the solution.”

Get in touch with Kirsty or John by calling 5150 0760 and asking for the AOD service, emailing tanderra.referrals@gegac.org.au., or just come down to GEGAC Medical Reception Monday to Friday during business hours.

Here’s some other resources that might be of assistance:

  • DirectLine – 1800 888 236. Confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral
  • Family Drug Support Australia – 1300 368 186. 24/7 telephone support service for families affected by alcohol and drug issues
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Emergency Services – 000
  • GLCH Needle Syringe Program – 5155 8300
  • BRHS After Hours Emergency – 5150 3333

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