Transition Program – Successful Road To Community Integration

May 4, 2018

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held this month over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Mrs Penny Chugg, AOD Statewide Manager – TAS with The Salvation Army Bridge Program joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Transition Program – Successful Road To Community Integration’.


Short term residential treatment has been found to be effective for many people, however, for some groups such as methamphetamine users and vulnerable clients, longer term supports and treatment is recommended (Zhang, Gerstein, Friedmann 2008). The Bridge Program is trialling offering additional supports through transitional accommodation to improve relapse rates amongst clients who have completed the program. Evidence suggests that most clients will relapse between 3 and 6 months after treatment (Miller 2011). Between April and November 2017 10 clients have participated in the transition project. The results have been impressive to date. All 10 participating clients have reported that they have maintained their recovery goals (either abstinence or harm minimisation goals) since commencing the transition project – the longest abstinence recorded being 11 months for a long term methamphetamine user, far exceeding the average 3-6 month relapse rate (Miller 2011).

Data also clearly demonstrates improved client outcomes in key areas such as education & training, accommodation and family & relationships. The greatest outcomes have been in family reunification (60%) and accommodation (60%).

• 10 clients have participated in the transitional project since it was piloted in April 2017
• The average stay in transition is 57 nights, with the most nights being 150 and the least nights being 51. Which takes the average treatment time to 108 days, confirming the findings of Zhang, Gerstein, Friedmann (2008).
• 4 clients identified as Aboriginal (40%). 6 clients are parents, (60%)
• All 6 (100%) have reunited with their children and 1 has reconciled with his partner and returned to the family home
• 2 clients are now working and 1 is studying at TAFE
• 6 clients have been supported by SASH to secure accommodation


Penny is the Tasmanian State Manager of The Salvation Army Bridge Program. Penny has extensive experience in Community Services and corporate sectors specialising in business management, leadership and performance for over 25 years. Penny held Senior Project Management roles with Commonwealth Government and facilitated the implementation of several major Commonwealth government initiatives in Tasmania. Penny leads a team of 30 staff within the Tasmanian AOD Sector and has successfully operationalised strategic direction, designed and developed service specifications for program and achieved accreditation for the program. Penny has a strong interest in leadership, supervision, policy and procedure development and organisational compliance.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference please visit the conference website.




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