Australia’s addiction crisis is one of the nation’s most harrowing battles—but despite affecting thousands, many suffer in silence. Around one in 20 Australians have a substance abuse problem, one in six consume alcohol that places them at a lifetime risk of disease, and Australia is home to one of the highest statistics of ‘problem-gamblers’ in the world.
While addiction—whether gambling, substance, or alcohol—continues to ravage parts of the country, destroying families and communities, only one in four Australians will seek help.
Shining a spotlight on Australia’s addiction crisis, Addicted Australia is a new documentary series offering a bold and revelatory look at the personal stories of those struggling with addiction.
The four-part series, produced by Blackfella Films for SBS, provides unprecedented access to ten Australians and their families as they battle different forms of addiction, all at different starting points in their journey. Signed up to a unique six-month treatment program, we follow their heart-wrenching journey from despair to hope and possible recovery.
It lays bare the challenges faced by families and their loved ones who are searching for a different life.
“Addiction is one of the most stigmatised of all health conditions,” says Professor Dan Lubman, Turning Point executive clinical director, the organisation that developed the targeted treatment program for these ten Australians. “The accompanying shame and stigma can result in a delay of up to 20 years from when somebody starts developing a problem with alcohol, drugs or gambling before they seek help.”
By opening this space, Addicted Australia aims to provide all Australians with a deeper understanding of addiction and recovery, reduce stigma and stereotype, and spark a national conversation. By showing what addiction and treatment can look like, it also aims to encourage others to seek support.
Addicted Australia premieres Tuesday, November 10 at 8.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand. The four-part documentary series continues weekly.