Drug & Alcohol Recovery and Education Centre

"Turning Lives Around"

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About Us

Understanding the complexities of alcohol and drug use in our community, Watershed is a leading treatment and education centre offering individuals and their loved ones a holistic and effective approach to actively motivate and foster the required mental, emotional and physical strength to overcome the effects of a dependency and bring about both a positive and permanent behavioural change.

For many individuals and their families, the process of recovery is a long, personal, and often painful journey.

Watershed provides our clients with a comfortable and safe treatment experience. Our approach and the effectiveness of our treatment programs are widely recognised as one of the best in the country.

We believe that educating our clients is essential. Addiction is a disease and this concept is the foundation upon which each client’s recovery is built.

We believe in our programs, and more importantly, we believe in our clients. Deciding to start treatment takes an admirable amount of strength, courage, and determination that people without addictions might not fully understand. Here, we do understand.

That is just one reason our clients trust our experienced and knowledgeable staff to help them sustain that effort and guide them through their alcohol and drug treatment successfully.


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Over 4000 people, from all walks of life have successfully completed our residential rehabilitation and aftercare programs.

Watershed (formerly the Wollongong Crisis Centre) was established in 1978 by a group of concerned community members and Alcohol and other Drugs (A&OD) workers, who had identified an innovative way to help dependant members of the community, find a more productive way of living. From the humble beginning of the first drug detoxification and rehabilitation service in the Illawarra, Watershed has evolved into a widely recognised, respected and professional organisation.

At Watershed we use a team approach to ensure that all clients receive a comprehensive, in-depth treatment experience. Each client works with a select group of caring and highly trained professionals over the course of his or her treatment to achieve the maximum results.

Years of experience and a commitment to ongoing training have shaped our team’s thorough understanding of the challenges, accomplishments and needs of clients undergoing drug and alcohol recovery.

Sometimes individuals who suffer from mental illness develop dependence on chemical substances as well—in these cases, treatment must address the underlying medical issue as well as the addiction.

Mental illnesses can cause mood swings, hormonal imbalances, and other issues from which a person seeks relief. When people find temporary emotional relief through narcotics or alcohol, addiction can set in. In our program, clients requiring medical and/or psychiatric attention can also find what they need with Cognitive Behavior and other therapeutic treatment programs.

We have a serious commitment to helping find the root causes behind drug addiction and alcoholism.

Residential treatment is a safe environment in which clients can identify issues that lead them back to self-destructive behaviours and learn how to define and deal with these issues.

Addiction is a disease, and must be treated just like any other disease by seeking the right kind of professional help. As those with a substance dependency use many different drugs to satisfy the phenomena of craving, Watershed uses a multifaceted approach to combat the disease of addiction.

Respect - Valuing diversity and showing respect for individuals in all interactions without judgment

Excellence - Demonstrating excellence in the provision of client care and support and delivering evidence based treatment and education services

Integrity - Maintaining and promoting social, ethical and organisational standards in all actions and decisions for the protection of clients and the community as a whole

Collaboration - Working in partnership with others to provide quality treatment and education to the community

Honesty - Demonstrating courage and being forthright in both challenging and addressing counter productive behaviors and decisions.


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Watershed’s treatment philosophy is based on the belief that substance dependency and related disorders are chronic and progressive illnesses. Those who suffer from such diseases cannot be cured but can recover through education, abstinence and by making emotional, behavioral, and environmental changes.

We believe in our clients’ inner strength and ability to change.


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Watershed's Vision

To live in a community that is free from substance misuse.

Watershed's Mission

To reduce harm to clients and the community through the provision of evidence based treatment and education services for substance misuse and co-occuring conditions.


What does that mean for our clients?

Our goal is to empower our clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to bring about a positive change so that they that they can overcome their substance dependency and fully engage in healthy, productive lives.

Watershed acknowledges the traditional custodians of country and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future.

Watershed holds accreditation with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards (ACHS).

Formerly: Wollongong Crisis Centre

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1800 818 872

IBC - Business Awardsp-2013

IBC Community Services Award Finalist 2012