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Drug Health Services Centralised Intake Line

Call us on 1800 793 466 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm) to find out which services is best for you.

Community Outreach, Engagement and Health Promotion

Our two outreach teams work with more vulnerable people in the community less likely to seek help. These teams provide care support, assessment, case planning and linkage to treatment. We also have specialist clinicians who work in partnership with other health providers and non-government organisation to improve access to treatment.

Maintaining a friendly presence in vulnerable communities is an important aspect of outreach, so we attend community meetings and interagency hubs, like Redlink in Redfern to ensure people know who we are and where to go for assistance.

The more we are aware of emerging place-based concerns, the more we can coordinate or provide support to prevent or reduce harm to affected communities. Throughout the year, we hold regular health promotion events to encourage testing and treatment and promote healthier choices. On occasions, we host barbecue lunches to celebrate events like NAIDOC week. All community members and patients are welcome at these events.

Counselling and Tobacco Cessation Support

Counselling can help you make sense of some of the complex issues underlying substance use. If you are ready to make changes with regards to your drug or alcohol use, and you’re open to receiving guidance and support, counselling services are available at Royal Prince Alfred and Canterbury Hospitals and at Croydon Community Health Centre. Counselling support is also available for people who want to cease smoking.

Counselling sessions are usually face-to-face, but telehealth options are also available if more convenient. Counselling is also available to support family members of people who are struggling with substance use.

Court Diversion Programs

In some circumstances, people facing criminal charges in NSW courts may be referred to a drug and alcohol treatment program intended to address any underlying problems.

A magistrate or judicial officer will adjourn your case while you participate in treatment over a period specified by the court. If you live within Sydney Local Health District, you may be eligible to be referred to Drug Health Services’ Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) program or the Drug Court of New South Wales. Our staff can assess you for eligibility but only a magistrate can make the decision to adjourn your case and refer you to treatment.

General Practitioners Liaison Alcohol and Drugs Program

Our General Practitioner Liaison Alcohol and Drugs (GLAD) program links General Practitioners (GPs) and speciality Drug Health Services within our District, to improve your care and streamline referrals between services.

We recognise that continuity of care is important so we encourage you to stick with your GP while we assist with advice, additional linkages and referrals to other relevant supports as required. The GLAD program does not provide individual treatment, but works with your GP so they can better support you.

Hospital Consultation and Liaison

If you are admitted to a general medical hospital ward or through an emergency department, our addiction medicine and nursing specialists are available to specifically address issues relating to use of alcohol and drugs. This team of Hospital Consultation and Liaison staff can provide treatment and contribute to referral and discharge planning. They will help you identify a plan of action so when you leave hospital, you are able to take further steps to maintain or improve your health.

Needle and Syringe Programs and Automated Dispensing Machines

To reduce and minimise the spread of blood-borne viruses in the community, we provide free needles and syringes to injecting drug users: 

During business hours

Our primary walk-in Needle and Syringe Programs are available at Redfern and Marrickville Community Health Centres or at Canterbury Hospital. We also provide secondary outlets through RPA and Canterbury Opioid Treatment Programs.

24/7 support We offer 24/7 support at any of our six Automatic Dispensing Machines (ADMs) at RPA HealthOne Green Square, Redfern, Croydon and Marrickville Community Health Centres and RPA or Concord Hospitals.

Opioid Treatment Programs

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are public health clinics providing treatment for people dependent on opioids. Our OTP clinics are located at RPA and Canterbury Hospitals. These treatments are provided free of charge.

To access treatment you must be first assessed by a prescribing doctor who can help develop a treatment plan. Available opioid medications include methadone, Suboxone and depot buprenorphine such as Buvidal.

Once engaged, we can assist or support you to address social problems like employment, legal matters, housing or help link you into other relevant health services. Once you have stabilised on treatment, we can refer you to other dosing providers in the community.

Outpatient Medical Services

Outpatient Medical Clinics are available at Canterbury and RPA Hospitals to assist with ambulatory withdrawal treatment for patients at home who don’t require admission to hospital; pain management for patients suffering chronic pain and concurrent substance use; viral hepatitis screening and treatment including disease management and vaccinations; treatment for alcohol-related liver disease including referrals to liver transplantation services; and assessment and follow-up following referral from hospital emergency presentations or your General Practitioner.

Pregnancy and Parenting Support

We provide specialist care to women who use substances during pregnancy or who are caring for young children. Support is also provided to partners and families.

At Canterbury Hospital, our Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS) team collaborate with other prenatal and ante-natal services throughout pregnancy with support available for the first two years following birth.

At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, our Pregnancy and Family Services (PAF) program works with other multidisciplinary clinicians as well as social workers, neonatal and obstetrics services to support pregnant women using substances.

Primary Healthcare Clinics in the Community

If you use substances and don’t normally go to a GP or have trouble accessing primary healthcare support, we offer anonymous access to community based Primary Healthcare Clinics at Redfern Community Health Centre, and fortnightly at Common Ground in Camperdown, in conjunction with Camperdown Support Services.

These services are free of charge and can assist you with basic health and medical care including support for people with alcohol related liver disease; wound and injury management; screening, diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B and C; sexual health screening; provision of take-home Naloxone, needles and syringes; and referrals to other health and social services. You can also get tested for blood borne viruses, and get Naloxone, at Marrickville Community Health Centre and Canterbury Harm Reduction Program.

Specialist Support for Young People

Young people often need more specialised support in less formal settings outside of adult hospital environments. Working closely with other youth support workers, our Nurse Practitioner supports young people, in the community, aged between 12 to 25 years at Youthblock in Redfern and at Weave Youth and Community Services in Waterloo.

Withdrawal Management (Inpatient and Outpatient Detox)

We provide a range of services to help you cease or reduce your reliance on alcohol and other drugs. If you need intensive monitoring and medical support, admission to our Inpatient Withdrawal Unit at Concord Hospital is recommended. If you need less intensive support, ambulatory withdrawal (outpatient care) may be more convenient. This is when you undertake a supervised withdrawal program while still living at home, though you’ll still need to attend a clinic for review and to collect any medications prescribed throughout. We will need to assess your suitability to undertake any withdrawal management program so please call our Intake Line first on 1800 793 466.