New addiction program to begin in Shepparton

By Ashlea Witoslawski

After recently sharing her personal story of addiction and recovery at an event in Shepparton, Maria Hutchison is determined to support the community further with a program designed to help families.

More than 80 families heard from Ms Hutchison at recent event host Shepparton-based drug recovery facility, The Cottage, hosted.

Designed to help the community understand addiction and the importance of connection in recovery, Ms Hutchison shared an honest account of her child sex abuse and subsequent addictions.

‘‘Alongside every individual in active addiction are loved ones who find themselves being held hostage, misunderstood, taken advantage of and/or simply forgotten,’’ she said.

‘‘Many are blaming themselves for something they don’t understand and which simply doesn’t make sense.’’

Ms Hutchison is hoping to help more loved ones in the future with a six-week program.

‘‘Whether you find yourself in a friendship, a partnership or a family with someone who is suffering from the disease of addiction, it inevitably takes a toll on your health and wellbeing,’’ she said.

‘‘You may find yourself disconnected from your loved one, from society and even from yourself and your own purpose.’’

Ms Hutchison said the program would be a small-group environment ‘‘to enable participants to share, connect and become empowered and together rebuild a life of hope through understanding and ownership’’.

‘‘The space will allow for people to ask more direct questions in a small group,’’ she said.

For more information, people can attend a session with Ms Hutchison tomorrow at The Connection, 7287 Midland Hwy, Shepparton, from 6pm for a 6.30pm start to 8pm.

Cost is $25 per person.

Bookings are encouraged, phone 0438 053 507 or visit