Assessment is usually the first step to accessing most support and treatment services. Assessment is conducted by a trained worker who explores a wide range of issues to help your family member decide what will be the most suitable service or treatment type for them. Some treatment types are a better fit for some people and are more effective for some problems. Assessment makes sure people get the help they need.
Support for diverse communities
Many public services can provide support, including treatment, for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, that is in languages other than English. When contacting a service let them know about your needs and they will ensure you get the right support. If you need further help with accessing alcohol and other drug support, you can contact the
Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre (DAMEC) for information and specialised services.
NSW drug and alcohol services welcome people from all cultures and provides support and treatment to people from a range of backgrounds. For information on where and how to get help for drug and alcohol use in languages other than English, watch the videos 'Where can I get help?' available in Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Chaldean, Farsi, Karenni, Kirundi, Mandarin, Nepali, Swahili, Tigrinya, Assyrian, Hindi and Vietnamese. For other translated resources check
Publications and choose your preferred language.
Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug services are available across NSW. That is because Aboriginal ways of working can be very different to mainstream methods, particularly when building trust, rapport and maintaining relationships in general. This may include the involvement or support of families and communities of people who are having alcohol and other drug problems. Treatment might also involve integrated practices, traditions and activities that are based within Aboriginal cultural values, spirituality and beliefs.
Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) or
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) are based on a holistic model to address the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Visit the
For Aboriginal People pages for further information on the types of services available.
Support for LGBTQI people
ACON is an NSW based specialised service committed to providing inclusive support for people of diverse sexualities and genders. They provide a range of alcohol and other drug information, support and treatment services in Sydney and across regional NSW. You can contact ACON for free short-term counselling in relation to alcohol and drug use and other concerns. For further resources and support for LGBTQ people, their partners, friends and family visit ACON’s
Pivot Point website and
In the following video Genevieve Whitlam, Associate Director Clinical and Client Services at ACON, talks about tailoring alcohol and other drug services to LGBTQI people.
Support in pregnancy
The Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Support (SUPPS) services operate out of several hospitals in NSW and work alongside antenatal services. SUPPS work with pregnant women with alcohol and or other drug use problems during pregnancy and early parenthood. They provide counselling and intensive case management for up to 5 years post childbirth, as well as referrals to other specialist services as required for example, withdrawal management services, psychologists, residential detoxification or rehabilitation services, general practitioners, antenatal care, child & family service support. SUPPS clinicians are there to help get the best health outcomes and advocate for mothers and babies. For more information about SUPPS contact your local health district, call 1300 652 226 or text your name to 0497 652 227 for a call back during business hours (SUPPS call back will appear as a private number).
Support for young people
Specialist programs for young people experiencing problems with alcohol or other drugs are available in NSW, you can call ADIS on 1800 250 015 to be referred.
Headspace (National Youth Mental Health Foundation) is a service dedicated to young people aged between 12-25 who need information relating to general mental health, physical health, work and study and alcohol and other drugs. Headspace provides in person support via their centres and support online via their free online and telephone support service eheadspace. Both young people and their families and friends can access counselling via eheadspace, for further detail visit
headspace.org.au/eheadspace. At headspace centres young people can access expert health services at free (or low cost). Centre staff can provide information, treatment services and alcohol and drug counselling. Many centres have on-site GPs who provide young people with safe, confidential and judgement-free medical advice and treatment. Find a centre near you at
Kids Helpline is 24 hour, 7 days a week phone and online counselling service for children and young people aged up to 25 years. Its free, confidential and they can chat with a counsellor online via
kidshelpline.com.au or call 1800 55 1800.
Take a look at 'Support for partners and family' under
Talking about it for further detail on the support services for family and loved ones.