Available 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and has temporarily extended hours to 9:30am - 2:00pm on weekends and public holidays to support Covid-19 related queries.

1800 642 428

Opioid Treatment Line OTL (formerly MACS)

OTL provides information, referrals, support and a forum for pharmacotherapy concerns.  

This is a helpline for people who:

  • are opioid dependent and want to know more about what is available for them; or

  • are currently on an opioid pharmacotherapy program (treatment using prescribed methadone or buprenorphine) or want to be on a program and have questions about treatment; or

  • are having issues with their opioid pharmacotherapy treatment and need information or assistance; or

  • want to know more about the system of opioid treatment in NSW; or

  • are health professionals seeking information, advice and referral 

 OTL also maintains a central register of complaints and concerns about opioid treatment and providers and ensures NSW Health hears your issues to help improve opioid pharmacotherapy treatment in NSW.

 OTL was established to assist and support opioid treatment in NSW. Listening to individual stories, answering questions, recording problems and treating clients and professionals with dignity and respect is the basis of OTL work.

 OTL is a confidential, anonymous service giving voice to those who would like to raise their issues privately or officially. OTL works with both the patient and the treatment provider in order to help clarify and resolve problems, or can act as an intermediary, explaining the reasoning behind certain decisions and how they relate to the Opioid Treatment Guidelines.

 OTL is often the first place opioid dependant people contact when trying to access treatment.  OTL can provide the contact details of services that are available. The availability of OTL means individuals can be helped through the understanding of the various treatment options.

 OTL also provides feedback to other organisations, involved with opioid pharmacotherapy  treatment including NSW Health, Justice Health, the Health Care Complaints Commission  (HCCC), NSW Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit, NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA), Opioid  Treatment Managers' Group, and the Pharmacy Guild.

 OTL can collect information from callers to assist in resolving issues in treatment or accessing treatment.

 Frequent calls to OTL include questions around:

  • Types of treatment available

  • Where and how to access treatment

  • NSW Guidelines around treatment and clients' and providers' rights and responsibilities

  • Problems contacting or communicating with treatment providers

  • Transferring between areas, states and countries

  • Dissatisfaction with treatment

 Whatever your question or concern, OTL will listen and help wherever possible.

  
  
  
  
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aboriginal-quitline.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:51 AMROGERS, Peter

The Aboriginal Quitline is run by Aboriginal Advisors, who are experts in helping people quit the smokes. Quitline is a telephone-based service, where Advisors give confidential advice and support to people who want to quit smoking.

Your Aboriginal Advisor can give you tips on how to quit smoking, and help you plan how you will quit. They can also give information about what medications and products could also help you quit.

Aboriginal Quitline Advisors will help you work out the best way to quit. They will listen and give advice that is suited to you.

Aboriginal Quitline offers a free call-back service, where an Aboriginal Advisor will call you to check in on how you are going as you quit the smokes.  

Call Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT) and ask to speak to an Aboriginal Advisor.

The cost is the same as a local call (can be higher from mobiles).

Or you can ask for an Aboriginal Advisor to call you by filling in this short form by clicking here. 

Monday–Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm13 78 48 NSW/ACT Aboriginal Quitline
adis.aspx
  
17/09/2020 4:33 PMnswdoh\60181432

Whether you are having issues with alcohol or other drugs, are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or just have general questions about alcohol or other drugs, you can call ADIS any time of the day or week for support, information, counselling and referral to services in NSW.

ADIS Web Chat is also available from Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).

24 hour support line1800 250 015 Whether you are having issues with alcohol or other drugs, are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or just have general questions about alcohol...Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
ADIS-Web-Chat.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:38 AMROGERS, Peter

The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) Web Chat is a live online conversation with a professional counsellor. The service is free, confidential and open to anyone affected by alcohol and other drugs, including people concerned about their own use, or about a family member or friend. Web chat is only available for people living in NSW.

The service is provided by ADIS at St Vincent's Hospital, in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.

What to expect

  • A counsellor will chat with you about your alcohol or other drug concerns
  • A counsellor can provide a referral or contact information for relevant alcohol and drug services in NSW

To start a web chat counselling session read and accept the 'Terms and Conditions of Use' below.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a drug and alcohol counsellor over the phone, please call the National Alcohol and Other Drug helpline on 1800 250 015 which will direct you to your state service. The helpline is available 24/7 for anonymous and confidential support.

Emergency Assistance

Call Emergency Services on 000 if you:

  • require urgent medical attention or 
  • are in immediate danger or 
  • are at risk of harming yourself or someone else.
ADIS Web Chat
Monday to Friday  8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays)#;Web ChatADIS Web Chat is a free, anonymous and confidential online chat service for people who have concerns about alcohol or other drug useADIS Web Chat
AODconnect-app-.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:53 AMROGERS, Peter

The AODconnect app has been developed by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet to help alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers, community members and health professionals working in the AOD sector to locate culturally appropriate services.

The app enables users to search for services by state, territory, region and postcode via either an interactive map of Australia or by alphabetical listing.

The services listed on the app are also available through the Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre website. 

The app is free to download on 

google-play (1).pngapp-store.png 

#;AODconnect appThe AODconnect app has been developed by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet to help alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers, community members and health professionals working in the AOD sector to locate culturally appropriate services.AODconnect app
Breaking-the-Ice.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:45 AMROGERS, Peter

NSW Health in collaboration with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and local agencies has a suite of resources including videos, factsheets and free interactive online education modules to help you and your community learn more about crystal methamphetamine or ice and its effect on individuals and communities.

These resources also explain where you can get help if you or someone you know has an ice problem or you want to support someone struggling with dependence.

On this page

  1. Online learning
  2. Video messages from people affected by ice
  3. Where to get support
  4. What should I do in an emergency?
  5. Fact sheets and further information

Online learning

This interactive tool will help you learn more about ice, its history, the effects and how to access support services, with audio and video animation.

Module 1 Ice and its impact

Module 1 – Ice and its impacts

Explore the effects of ice on the body and brain.

Start module 1

Module 2 Getting support

Module 2 – Getting support

How to get support for you or a loved one who is struggling with ice use.

Start module 2

Module 3 What communities can do

Module 3 – What communities can do

Find out the best way to help your community.

Start module 3

Module 4 Reducing stigma

Module 4 – Reducing stigma

Learn how stigma affects the user and loved ones. See the person, not the drug.

Start module 4

Messages from people affected by ice

Breaking the ice in our community

Hear from an ex-user, clinicians, harm minimisation specialists and families on the impact of ice on their communities and life after ice.

 

Jay Morris’s story

Ex ice user Jay talks about his experience of overcoming a dependence on ice. Watch to hear from Jay about when he realised using ice became a problem, the moment he knew he needed help and his message to people using ice.

 

Debbie Warner’s story

Mother of ex-ice user, Debbie talks about her experience of dealing with the stigma of ice and how she found support. Hear her message for families struggling with drug dependence.

 

Dr Suzie Hudson’s Story

Hear from Clinical Director Dr Suzie Hudson on what ice is, how it is used, the support available and her experience of working with the people using ice. Hear her message to communities.

 

Where to get support

  • Call the National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline on 1800 250 015 for free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • Call the Stimulant Treatment Line (STL) on 02 9361 8088 Sydney Metro or Free call* on 1800 10 11 88 Regional & rural NSW for concerns about psychostimulants (crystal, ice, coke, MDMA, etc) use. 24 hours, 7 days a week. (*Free call numbers are not free from mobile phones.)
  • Call Family Drug Support (FDS) on 1300 368 186 or www.fds.org.au for caring, non-religious and non-judgemental support and assistance throughout Australia.

What should I do in an emergency?

If you can’t wake someone up or you are concerned that they may have sustained a head injury from a drug related fall – call an ambulance immediately – dial Triple Zero (000).

If the person has been mixing methamphetamines with other drugs, tell the NSW Ambulance paramedic exactly what they have taken. Paramedics are there to help. Generally paramedics don’t involve the police unless there is danger to themselves or other people/children, someone dies, or a crime (such as violence or theft) has been committed.

Fact sheets and further information

For further information on methamphetamine or ice visit Methamphetamine or refer to resources for individuals and families:

For the latest data on methamphetamine related emergency department presentations and methamphetamine related hospitalisations please visit NSW Health Stats Drug Misuse.

Health service providers can find more information on alcohol and other drugs, including early intervention, strategy, programs and guidelines on the NSW Health website.

Breaking the Ice
#;Ice (crystal meth) information & supportVideos, factsheets and free online education to help you and your community learn more about crystalline methamphetamine or 'ice'Breaking the Ice
COVID-19-Support.aspx
  
13/08/2020 11:51 AMROGERS, Peter

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change lives in many different ways, to support the community we have developed a range of alcohol and other drug specific resources to help you with accessing services and support you with any stress and anxiety you may be experiencing. We will continue to update this page as new resources and information becomes available.

For general updates, advice and facts visit COVID-19 (coronavirus) and follow NSW Health on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) for up-to-date information about
service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ADIS helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 250 015 or via Web Chat Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5:00pm.

You can also contact the Family Drug Support (FDS) 24/7 helpline on 1300 368 186 for drug and alcohol issues, or access online support via the FDS We hear you - Families matter during COVID 19 page.

On this page

  1. Impact on alcohol and other drug services
  2. Managing your use of alcohol and other drugs
  3. Looking after your mental and physical health
  4. Safety and wellbeing

Impact on alcohol and other drug services

As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, NSW Health is working with local health districts, non-government organisation (NGO), alcohol and other drug (AOD) services and community pharmacies to ensure continuity of service. For full details visit Guidance for AOD Services about COVID-19 on the NSW Health website. For information on access to free naloxone (opioid overdose reversing medicine), visit 'Take home naloxone – a key component in COVID-19 preparedness'.

Visit the Opioid Treatment Program page for information on the program and FAQs for OTP patients during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF), which includes answers to questions such as: Will I be able to continue to get my opioid treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are my rights when negotiating my treatment during this time? I am required to self-isolate or have COVID-19 and cannot leave my house, how do I get my dose?

People who test positive for COVID-19 and are currently undergoing treatment for alcohol and other drug dependence can continue with their program. Talk to your service provider to discuss your treatment in the event you test positive.

Watch Dr Anthony Gill, Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist, NSW Health on advice for service providers. 

Managing your use of alcohol and other drugs

NSW Health have launched the new free smartphone app, Drinks Meter. The app is a useful tool in this time of social distancing and isolation as it provides you with an opportunity to manage your alcohol consumption in times of stress and anxiety.

The Get Healthy Service Alcohol Reduction Program is also available for people who want to reduce their alcohol consumption to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and a healthier lifestyle. The Alcohol Reduction Program is open to anyone aged 18 years and over.

NUAA, the NSW Users and AIDS Association, have published a new fact sheet on COVID-19 and Harm Reduction. The fact sheet provides advice and information on protecting your health while using drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read ACON helping to reduce COVID-19 drug and alcohol harm, for information and harm reduction advice regarding alcohol and crystal (methamphetamine) use. Written and designed by ACON, Australia's leading community-based organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTQ health.

Looking after your mental and physical health

In this time of unprecedented concern about our collective health and livelihoods, it is more important than ever to remain socially connected and physically healthy. For more advice and tips to keep healthy read Maintaining happiness amid global anxiety and Soothing COVID-19 isolation anxiety.

Safety and wellbeing

There is no excuse for violence and abuse. This includes during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or someone you care about is experiencing domestic and family violence there are services available to provide support.

If you or anyone else is in immediate danger, please call Police on 000 (triple zero).

You can contact 1800 RESPECT online or by phone on 1800 737 732 for confidential information, support and counselling. Women can also contact the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 for support, counselling and referral to ongoing support.

If you are worried about your own behaviour and use of violence, you can visit the NSW Government's Communities & Justice webpage for information or contact the Men's Referral Service online or by phone on 1300 766 491.

Please note: in a situation where rescue breathing and chest compressions maybe required please refer to the Australian Resuscitation Council for NSW Health recommended advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For further information please visit the NSW Government's COVID-19 Mental health and safety webpage.

COVID-19 virus
#;COVID-19 SupportAlcohol and other drug specific information and resources related to COVID-19COVID-19 Support
drinks-meter-app.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:44 AMROGERS, Peter

Drinks Meter is a user-friendly app for your phone or tablet that provides confidential, personalised feedback about your alcohol use based on advice from doctors and the Australian guidelines to reduce health related risks from alcohol. 

Drinks Meter is:

  • Free to download
  • Allows you to easily enter alcoholic drinks you have had in the past 7 days
  • Adds up your weekly spend on alcohol
  • Shows what you've been drinking in equivalent standard drinks
  • Shows what you've been drinking in kilojoules/calories you've consumed and the equivalent to foods like cheeseburgers or chocolate bars
  • Shows you how your drinking compares with national alcohol guidelines and other users of Drinks Meter
  • Personalises your feedback adjusted to risk factors based on family and medical history (e.g. BMI, prescription medication, mental illness and addiction)
  • Has tools to help you cut down your drinking, like weekly goal setting and a drinking diary
  • Includes an interactive pouring tool to help you understand how much is a standard drink

Get started by downloading the Drinks Meter app through your app store.

app-store.png google-play.png

Drinks Meter screenshots




Drinks Meter app
App available for iPhone and AndroidDrinks MeterDrinks Meter app
Drug-safety-and-overdose.aspx
  
26/03/2020 9:27 AMnswdoh\60181432

MDMA and other stimulants affect everyone differently. Some people can experience an overdose after taking only one or two tablets. 

People respond differently to MDMA depending on many factors, including:

  • Size, weight and general health
  • Using other drugs, especially stimulants, at the same time
  • Strength of the drug (you can't tell by looking)
  • Taking many tablets or pills at once or more too close together (a person may think they've built up a tolerance and take too much)
  • The presence of other contents in the tablet or pill
  • Use of medications or supplements
  • Dehydration or lack of food
  • Prolonged use (taking a drug consistently over a long period of time)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Their genetic makeup (some people's bodies can't process and get rid of drugs or alcohol very well).
Drug safety and overdose
fds.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:46 AMROGERS, Peter

​​ FDS provides telephone support to families in crisis due to drug and alcohol issues. FDS is staffed by volunteers who have firsthand experience of drug dependent family members.

Find out how FDS can help you here.               

24 hour support line1300 368 186Family Drug Support (FDS)
get-healthy.aspx
  
1/09/2020 12:41 PMnswdoh\60181432

​The Get Healthy Service Alcohol Program is a free telephone-based coaching service designed to support you to make healthy lifestyle changes and reduce your alcohol consumption.

The Get Healthy Service offers up to 10 coaching calls to support you to achieve a healthy weight, eat healthier, increase your levels of physical activity and reduce your alcohol consumption by making small simple changes to your lifestyle.

If you are, or know someone who is worried about their level of alcohol consumption then the alcohol reduction program is highly recommended. Our health coach will assess the risk of drinking and provide support and motivation needed to help you reach your health goal. The program uses the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), an internationally validated screening tool to screen for alcohol risk.

What's included?

You will receive 10 free coaching sessions with their own personal health coach and a book containing information about appropriate alcohol intake, an alcohol facts booklet and an alcohol journey book to help keep participants motivated and record their progress.

How to Enrol

The NSW Get Healthy Service is available Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm. To enrol simply call 1300 806 258 or register online at www.gethealthynsw.com.au to start your get healthy journey.

Learn more about how the Get Healthy Service can help you.

Monday to Friday  8am – 8pm1300 806 258Get Healthy Coaching Service
headspace.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:59 AMROGERS, Peter

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing mental health services to 12-25 year-olds. 

headspace services cover four core areas: mental health, physical health (including sexual health), work and study support and alcohol and other drug services. Services are confidential, youth friendly and free or low cost. Young people and their families can access information online at headspace.org.au, face-to-face services at one of over 100 headspace centres across Australia, or via eheadspace – a national online and telephone counselling service. 

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing mental health services to 12-25 year-olds. headspace
Law-and-problems.aspx
  
25/11/2019 12:44 PMnswdoh\60181432

In the event that drugs become a problem for you, discover more about how to identify the problem and where to get help.


Drugs and the law

​Preservation of life is a law enforcement priority. Police will not be called to a drug overdose unless there is a threat of danger to ambulance officers or if the overdose becomes fatal and the person dies. Hospitals and doctors also DO NOT notify the police if you request medical attention for a suspected overdose.

NSW Police on MDMA / Ecstasy and the law:


“You are breaking the law if you possess, use, manufacture, import or sell ecstasy. In NSW, if you are found guilty of possessing or using ecstasy, you could get a fine of up to $5,000, and/or other penalties including community service work or a term in prison of up to 2 years. These penalties apply to both adults and young people aged between 10 and 18 years.”


For further information visit NSW Police | Drugs and Alcohol.


When drugs become a long-term problem

Recognising that you have a problem with alcohol and drugs can be a confronting experience but help is available. If drugs are getting in the way of you achieving your goals, studying, working or having quality relationships, or if you experience the following symptoms, it may be time to get help.

  • Often feeling sick or low in energy
  • Changes in mood, either feeling more anxious or unhappy or frequent ups and downs
  • Trouble sleeping, eating or doing normal daily tasks
  • Missing study or work or not doing things you were meant to
  • Difficulty controlling how much alcohol and drugs you use
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

If you think your alcohol or drug use is becoming a problem give an Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) counsellor a call on 1800 250 015, they are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide confidential support and advice.

The law and long-term drug problems
Naloxone.aspx
  
15/09/2020 1:20 PMnswdoh\60181432

Naloxone provides a significant opportunity to save lives because opioid overdoses tend to happen gradually, rather than suddenly. Opioids include pain-relieving drugs legally prescribed by a medical professional such as oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. During an overdose, opioids slow down or stop a person’s breathing, which may eventually result in death (see ‘Signs of opioid overdose’ below). However, it is possible to prevent death by administering naloxone to reverse the effects of the overdose. For this reason it is best to avoid using opioids alone, as naloxone can only help if someone can administer it quickly. 

Please note: the take home naloxone program includes instructions to perform rescue breathing and chest compressions. Before following this advice, refer to the Australian Resuscitation Council for NSW Health recommended advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opioids are responsible for over three deaths in Australia per day (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Prescribed opioids account for 70 per cent of opioid-induced deaths either by accident or through misuse. In 2018 the highest number of heroin-induced deaths was seen since 2000.

  1. What is naloxone?
  2. Who is naloxone for?
  3. Take home naloxone in NSW
  4. Where can I get naloxone?
  5. Signs of opioid overdose
  6. Pharmaceutical opioid use
  7. More information

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. In technical terms naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist that stops the central nervous system slowing down, giving a person experiencing an overdose the ability to breathe normally again. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system.

Naloxone can be given to a person experiencing an opioid overdose via a pre-filled injection or via a nasal spray. Traditionally, naloxone has only been administered by medical staff or emergency service officers, but with basic training it can be administered by anyone.

Who is naloxone for?

Naloxone is for anyone at risk of overdosing on opioid drugs or anyone who may witness an opioid overdose.

People in the following circumstances should consider keeping a supply of naloxone close by: 

  • People on high doses of opioid pain medicines 
  • People who use opioid drugs 
  • People returning to opioid use after a period of stopping or quitting 
  • People who use opioids in combination with other drugs or medicines 
  • Family, friends or loved ones of people who use opioid drugs

Take home naloxone in NSW

Take home naloxone programs, for people at risk of witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose, have been established in Australia and internationally to increase awareness of naloxone, and reduce harm and death from overdose. Having naloxone at home enables community members to access the medicine quickly when and where they need it to treat an opioid overdose.

In NSW, take home naloxone was previously available as part of a research study in St Vincent's Health Network, five Local Health Districts (South Eastern Sydney, Sydney, Western Sydney, Hunter New England and Murrumbidgee) and the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.

The naloxone intervention is now being expanded across NSW and people are able to access free naloxone and training on how to administer the medicine. 

Naloxone is also available on prescription by a doctor or over the counter from a community pharmacy.

Where can I get naloxone?

Nyxoid® nasal spray and Prenoxad® pre-filled syringe are available for free without a prescription from community pharmacies and NSW Needle and Syringe Programs (NSP) registered in the take home naloxone program.

Pharmacies

If pharmacies registered for the take home naloxone program are out of naloxone stock, they will be able to order stock for you on request. Please allow time for processing and delivery on new orders, this should take 24 hours to complete.

Find your local participating pharmacy on the list of NSW take home naloxone registered pharmacies.

Pharmacies list (PDF)

Note: With the document open you can use your browser or PDF viewer's search function (Ctrl and F keys) to enter and search via postcode or suburb.

NSW Needle and Syringe Programs

Take Home Naloxone is also available from some Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) sites across NSW. Please contact your local NSP service to confirm naloxone availability.

Needle and Syringe Program sites

Information about overdose

Pharmaceutical opioid use

There is a high risk of accidental overdose from pharmaceutical opioids such as fentanyl when used other than by your doctor's instructions, due to its potency and very fast action once inside the body. For example, fentanyl patches that attach to the skin can cause fatal overdose when heat is applied over the top, or if someone does not keep track of how much and how often it is being taken.

If you are prescribed a pharmaceutical opioid only use it as prescribed by your doctor and pay attention to any warning or caution advice.

More information

Check out the A-Z of Drugs listing and Support Services pages, including the NSW Opioid Treatment Program page for further information.

For further enquiries on the take home naloxone Intervention in NSW email MOH-naloxone@health.nsw.gov.au.

Information for NSW public health services, Medically Supervised Injecting Centres (MSIC) and non-government and private service providers can be found at health.nsw.gov.au/aod/programs/Pages/naloxone. For information on the Commonwealth Government Take home naloxone pilot visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/take-home-naloxone-pilot.

For free and confidential advice give an Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) counsellor a call on 1800 250 015, they are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide confidential support and advice.


Take home naloxone
#;Take Home NaloxoneNaloxone is a medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. NSW Health is now providing naloxone for free to people at risk of witnessing or experiencing opioid overdose.Take Home Naloxone
nsw-hepatitis-infoline-getting-help.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:58 AMROGERS, Peter

​Got a question about hep B or hep C? Call the Hepatitis Infoline for confidential information, support and referrals, across NSW. 

You can also search their online Services Directory to find hepatitis services near you. 

Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri - 9am to 5pm,Thurs - 1pm to 5pm1800 803 990Got a question about hep B or hep C? Call the Hepatitis Infoline for confidential information, support and referrals, across NSW. NSW Hepatitis Infoline
NSW-Needle-and-Syringe-Program.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:50 AMROGERS, Peter
The NSW Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) is an evidence-based public health program that aims to reduce the transmission of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. NSP outlets provide sterile injecting equipment such as needles and syringes, Fitpacks and other injecting equipment (such as swabs, water, spoons and cotton balls) as well as disposal facilities free of charge.

NSP outlets are staffed by specialist workers who provide access to sterile injecting equipment, promote safe disposal practices and facilitate referrals to health, welfare and community services as needed. NSP outlets may also be able to assist with testing for bloodborne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C. You may not even require a blood test such as with the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) test. Ask your NSP staff member or visit dbstest.health.nsw.gov.au for more information. 

Who is the program for?

The NSP is for people who inject drugs to avoid contracting or transmitting bloodborne diseases and to provide a place for safe disposal of sharps containers (needles and syringes).

NSP Outlets in NSW

To help the community access the program, an interactive map has been developed listing all public NSP outlets across NSW. Use the map below to find your nearest NSP outlet or refer to the NSP listing by suburb page for details.

If you would like further information and/or advice call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015.

Sealed unused syringes
#;NSW Needle and Syringe ProgramFind your local Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) to access sterile injecting equipment, advice, information and referrals in NSWNSW Needle and Syringe Program (NSP)
NUAA-PeerLine.aspx
  
1/09/2020 12:41 PMnswdoh\60181432

PeerLine is a free, confidential peer supported telephone service for people who use drugs, who are on the Opioid Treatment Program or seeking treatment.Trained peers will help you with information, advice and advocacy

NUAA-PeerLine-FullLogo.png

PeerLine is service run by the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA).

NUAA PeerLine
Monday to Friday  9am – 5pm1800 644 413A peer-run support line for people who use drugs in NSWNUAA PeerLine
opioid-treatment-line.aspx
  
1/09/2020 12:17 PMnswdoh\60181432

OTL provides information, referrals, support and a forum for pharmacotherapy concerns.  

This is a helpline for people who:

  • are opioid dependent and want to know more about what is available for them; or

  • are currently on an opioid pharmacotherapy program (treatment using prescribed methadone or buprenorphine) or want to be on a program and have questions about treatment; or

  • are having issues with their opioid pharmacotherapy treatment and need information or assistance; or

  • want to know more about the system of opioid treatment in NSW; or

  • are health professionals seeking information, advice and referral 

 OTL also maintains a central register of complaints and concerns about opioid treatment and providers and ensures NSW Health hears your issues to help improve opioid pharmacotherapy treatment in NSW.

 OTL was established to assist and support opioid treatment in NSW. Listening to individual stories, answering questions, recording problems and treating clients and professionals with dignity and respect is the basis of OTL work.

 OTL is a confidential, anonymous service giving voice to those who would like to raise their issues privately or officially. OTL works with both the patient and the treatment provider in order to help clarify and resolve problems, or can act as an intermediary, explaining the reasoning behind certain decisions and how they relate to the Opioid Treatment Guidelines.

 OTL is often the first place opioid dependant people contact when trying to access treatment.  OTL can provide the contact details of services that are available. The availability of OTL means individuals can be helped through the understanding of the various treatment options.

 OTL also provides feedback to other organisations, involved with opioid pharmacotherapy  treatment including NSW Health, Justice Health, the Health Care Complaints Commission  (HCCC), NSW Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit, NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA), Opioid  Treatment Managers' Group, and the Pharmacy Guild.

 OTL can collect information from callers to assist in resolving issues in treatment or accessing treatment.

 Frequent calls to OTL include questions around:

  • Types of treatment available

  • Where and how to access treatment

  • NSW Guidelines around treatment and clients' and providers' rights and responsibilities

  • Problems contacting or communicating with treatment providers

  • Transferring between areas, states and countries

  • Dissatisfaction with treatment

 Whatever your question or concern, OTL will listen and help wherever possible.

Available 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and has temporarily extended hours to 9:30am - 2:00pm on weekends and public holidays to support Covid-19 related queries.1800 642 428Opioid Treatment Line OTL (formerly MACS)
Opioid-Treatment-Program.aspx
  
27/07/2020 10:04 AMnswdoh\60181432

The NSW Opioid Treatment Program (OTP), also known as opioid agonist treatment or opioid substitution treatment, provides pharmacotherapy and support services to people with an opioid dependence. Treatment may be provided as a short term measure to assist people to stop using other opioids, or for long term maintenance.

The OTP is provided through public clinics, private clinics, general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacies, and correctional facilities, and may be provided alongside other treatments such as counselling or residential rehabilitation. The pharmacotherapy medicines used in the NSW OTP are methadone, buprenorphine – including depot buprenorphine, given in an injection under the skin weekly or monthly – and buprenorphine-naloxone.

  1. What is opioid dependence?
  2. What are pharmacotherapy medicines?
  3. NSW Opioid Treatment Program
  4. Mixing OTP medicines with other drugs
  5. Driving Safety
  6. Talk to someone about OTP
  7. FAQs for OTP patients during COVID-19 (PDF)

What is opioid dependence?

When some people experience pain, both physical and or psychological, they may rely on opioids to make their body and mind feel better. People who are dependent on opioids find it very hard to stop using or cut down because of withdrawal symptoms. Stopping opioid use abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, these can begin to occur within only a few hours after last use.

Symptoms can include:

  • Sweats and chills
  • Sleeplessness and broken sleep
  • Uneasiness/anxiety
  • Feeling restless
  • Diarrhoea
  • Restless legs
  • Stomach and leg cramps
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Joint pain
  • Cravings (wanting opioids very badly)

Some people may experience withdrawal after they have been on strong medicines prescribed by their doctor, such as oxycodone (Endone) or codeine. While others may experience it after using illicit drugs like heroin. Dependence is a medical condition, regardless of how people become dependent or what drug they use, everyone is entitled to treatment.

What are pharmacotherapy medicines?

Methadone, buprenorphine and buprenorphine-naloxone belong to a group of sedating and strong pain-killing drugs called opioids. Both methadone and buprenorphine are long-acting opioids, therefore only one dose per day is usually needed to prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Methadone and buprenorphine may also be prescribed by clinicians to patients to treat severe or chronic pain or in palliative care settings.

The effects of methadone and buprenorphine can include relief from pain and a feeling of wellbeing, but can also cause nausea, sleepiness and long term use can have effects on male reproductive health, libido and cause sweating and constipation.

Buprenorphine is effective at blocking the effect of other opioids, as it binds tightly to the opioid receptors in the brain. It comes in three different forms, a tablet (Subutex) or film (Suboxone) which are dissolved under the tongue, and a long acting injection (depot- Buvidal and Sublocade). For depot buprenorphine, injections last a week or a month.

Buprenorphine may also be mixed with naloxone (buprenorphine-naloxone) to discourage people injecting.

NSW Opioid Treatment Program

The purpose of the OTP is to provide patients with access to treatment for opioid dependency, with a focus on improving patients’ health, wellbeing and engagement with their families and community.

Patients can access treatment through public drug and alcohol services, private clinics, GPs and community pharmacies. The type of treatment they access will depend on the complexity of the care they need and their location.

Treatment through public clinics is free for patients with the most complex care needs or for those needing supervised dosing.

In many cases, patients can be treated in community settings such as private GP clinics with management of methadone or buprenorphine dispensed daily through community pharmacies.

Most patients are required to start the program with a nurse or a pharmacist watching them take the methadone or buprenorphine every day. After some time patients may be able to have some of the medication to take at home, but this is only after the patient and the doctor are comfortable with how the treatment is progressing, and it is safe to do so.

Long-acting depot buprenorphine does not require supervision because once the medication is injected it is slowly released over days or weeks, depending on the formulation.

Patients and doctors will decide together what treatment plan and medication is best. Some patients may want to take the medication for a short amount of time, other patients may feel they need the medications for longer, each patients’ needs are different.

Clinicians delivering the OTP are guided in practice by the NSW Clinical Guidelines: Treatment of Opioid Dependence.

Only patients with opioid dependence are suitable for the OTP program. Similar opioid treatment programs are available in all states and territories.

Mixing OTP medicines with other drugs

Methadone and buprenorphine alone are not risky to take but it is necessary to understand how they interact with other sedating substances – particularly benzodiazepines and alcohol. There is a risk of over-sedation when taking sedating medications or alcohol while being treated with methadone.

It is important that patients discuss with their clinicians (doctor, nurse or pharmacist) about all their prescriptions and their other substance use. Doctors can choose a different combination of prescription medication to reduce the risks.

Driving Safety

It is not risky to drive when on a stable dose of methadone or buprenorphine, as long as you are not taking other sedating substances or drugs at the same time.

In the first two weeks of buprenorphine and first four weeks of methadone treatment, and any time where the dose is changed by 5mg or more, you are strongly advised NOT to drive or operate heavy machinery.

For more information, visit drivingsafety.com.au 
or
Download the Driving Safety and Medicines Fact Sheet

Pregnancy and child safety

Babies and children can die from taking methadone or buprenorphine. It is important that any takeaway doses are stored in a locked cupboard or drawer, and to never take the medicines in front of children. Depot buprenorphine is a good alternative for parents, as there are no takeaway doses and therefore no chance of exposing children to the medicines.

Methadone and buprenorphine must never be given to babies or children, unless prescribed to them. If a child has taken it call 000 (triple zero) immediately.

If you are dependent on opioids and pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, it is important you consider getting treatment for opioid dependency. Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS) can coordinate treatment, call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015, for counselling and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Talk to someone about OTP

The Opioid Treatment Line (OTL) is a phone based service that provides opioid pharmacotherapy information, referrals, advice and a forum for pharmacotherapy or treatment concerns. OTL assists people who want to know more about the system of opioid treatment in NSW, including how to get onto a program, and what they should expect from clinics and doctors providing the service.

For more information contact the Opioid Treatment Line (OTL) on 1800 642 428, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm with temporarily extended service hours to include 9:30am - 2:00pm on weekends and public holidays to support Covid-19 related queries.

For information from a consumer led organisation, contact NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA).

NEW! Consumer guideline series is available online through NUAA.

For free and confidential advice call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available 24/7 to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm.


medicine cabinet
#;NSW Opioid Treatment ProgramThe NSW Opioid Treatment Program provides patients with access to treatment for opioid dependency, with a focus on improving patients’ health, wellbeing and engagement with their families and community.Opioid Treatment Program
quitline.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:52 AMROGERS, Peter

For the cost of a local call (except from mobiles), professional Quitline advisors provide encouragement and support to help you cut down, quit smoking or stay quit. Quitline also offers multilingual services.

Call Quitline and

  • Request a free quit kit
  • Talk to the specially trained telephone advisors
  • Take part in the free callback service, where advisors ring back to support you while you are quitting

Advisors can

  • Give you information and advice about quitting smoking
  • Help you assess your level of nicotine dependence
  • Provide strategies on preparing to quit and staying quit
  • Provide information on products and services to help you quit
  • Encourage and support you in your quit attempts
  • Assist you to work with lapses or relapse

Ring 13 7848 (13 QUIT)

Calls from landlines are the cost of a standard call.
Calls from mobiles are charged at the standard rate.

Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm

Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm

Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm​

Outside these hours you are welcome to leave a message with your name and contact phone number and a Quitline Advisor will call you back.

Websites for quitting

NSW Quitline website
Australian Quitline website
Smartphone Apps for Quitting 

Callers can phone the following numbers to speak with a Quitline Advisor in their own language or to leave a message to be called back in their own language. Message instructions are given in the appropriate language.

Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm, Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm13 78 48NSW & ACT Quitline
Respect-Your-Brain.aspx
  
1/09/2020 12:18 PMnswdoh\60181432

Adolescence and emerging adulthood are periods of significant brain growth and development. Scientists call the adolescent brain highly 'neuroplastic' because it is a time of organising, construction and strengthening of connections in the brain.3 different light globe animated characters

  1. Respect Your Brain animated series
  2. How do drugs affect the developing brain?
  3. Areas of the brain in development
  4. Alcohol and the developing brain
  5. Cannabis and the developing brain
  6. MDMA and the developing brain
  7. Getting help for drug and alcohol issues

Animated series

The Respect Your Brain animated video series focuses on the impact of three drugs commonly used in Australia and explores the way these drugs affect a young person’s developing brain.


How do drugs affect the developing brain?

Because the brain is highly neuroplastic during brain development (teens up to 25 years of age) there is the risk of damage.

The way a drug effects a person depends on which part of the brain it targets. Some drugs have far reaching effects, for example alcohol can reach three areas of the brain where important functions occur, whilst other drugs may be more localised and specific, for example MDMA is attracted to the limbic system and binds strongly to areas such as the hypothalamus. Often, it’s the amount of the drug taken (dose) that influences the risk of harm to the brain. Because we are all different, the effects can vary from person to person and be more harmful for some.


Areas of the brain in development

There are three significant areas where brain function occurs, they are:


Brain_Back-350.png


Hindbrain (pons, cerebellum and medulla oblongata), which is responsible for balance and coordination and basic automatic functions like breathing and heart rate.
Brain_Mid-350.png
Subcortical midbrain (limbic system), which is responsible for our animal instincts, like our 'pleasure centre,' our flight or fight response and memory storage. It's also the home of the hypothalamus, which enables us to maintain internal balance and physical wellbeing despite changes or outside factors.
Brain_Front-350.png
Forebrain (cerebral cortex, including prefrontal cortex), which is responsible for our complex, high level thinking, like planning for the future and regulating our emotions.


Alcohol and the developing brain

Alcohol is a depressant which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. It can affect the brain within five minutes of consumption (absorption may be slower if the person has recently eaten).

Drinking, particularly heavy drinking, at any time before, during and after brain development, can have a negative effect on the way the brain works.

Early alcohol use may interrupt cell growth in the frontal lobe of the brain, an area which does not reach full maturity until a person reaches their mid-twenties. The frontal lobe of the brain controls higher mental processes such as planning. Drinking alcohol interferes with brain development and harms can include poor attention, poor decision making and disrupts the ability to forward plan – impacting on mental health and educational performance and completion.

Little is known about whether excessive alcohol consumption in teenage years leads to permanent changes to the brain. However, there is evidence that excessive drinking (more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion) can lead to young people taking risks and putting themselves in dangerous situations, such as drink driving and having unsafe sex.


Cannabis and the developing brain

Cannabis acts as a central nervous system depressant that also alters sensory perception.

THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active ingredient in cannabis which is responsible for the mood-altering effects which can make people feel high. Synthetic cannabis functions in a similar way to THC.

Cannabis can affect memory and attention, which can interfere with your ability to take in and remember new information. This can affect everyday life, particularly when learning something new or doing something difficult.

Using cannabis regularly when you are young and your body is still developing increases your body's exposure to the harms associated with cannabis use, such as a higher risk of respiratory illness.

Cannabis use can affect mental processing and if cannabis is used heavily over many years, persistent problems with memory, attention and the ability to handle complex information may be experienced.

Early and heavy cannabis use may affect your choices and options in life, leading to impact on social and physical wellbeing (Cannabis Facts for Young People. National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, October 2011).


MDMA and the developing brain

Methylene DioxyMethAmphetamine (MDMA) – also called ecstasy – is a derivative of amphetamine and has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Stimulants speed up the central nervous system and brain, and hallucinogens can cause people to see, hear, feel or smell things that do not exist.

The effects of MDMA can start within an hour and typically last up to about six hours. Some effects may continue for up to 32 hours.

MDMA affects your brain by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers of brain cells): serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Serotonin regulates mood, sleep, pain, appetite, and other behaviours. MDMA causes mood-elevating effects by releasing large amounts of serotonin. This release depletes the brain's supply of serotonin and some people can feel down or anxious the day after taking MDMA. Known as the 'come down', this may include sleep problems, feeling depressed and finding it hard to concentrate and can last for several days.

MDMA may cause an increase in body temperature (hyperthermia) and dehydration. A body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or higher is life-threatening. Some symptoms of over-heating include confusion, nausea or vomiting and rapid breathing.  MDMA can also cause fluid retention and water intoxication, which can also be life threatening.

Mixing MDMA with alcohol or other drugs is also dangerous, mixing drugs can cause people to feel unwell and put their health and life in danger. Some drug interactions are of particular concern, they are:

  • MDMA and some of painkillers or antidepressants can lead to serotonin toxicity which can be fatal
  • MDMA, methamphetamine (ice and speed) and cocaine are all stimulants so if either drug are taken together the effects can be very unpleasant or lead to an overdose
  • MDMA with alcohol raises blood pressure and body temperature and increases the chance of dehydration and confusion, which could lead to taking more MDMA and the increased risk of overdose

If someone shows the following signs of MDMA / ecstasy overdose an ambulance should be called immediately on Triple Zero (000).

  • Feeling really hot / overheating
  • Rigid muscles, tremors or spasms
  • Clenched jaw
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty walking
  • Severe agitation or panic
  • Having difficulty breathing
  • Fast racing pulse / heart
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Unconsciousness


Getting help for drug and alcohol issues

There are lots of services that young people can call or chat with online if they have concerns about themselves of others, including their family. All of the following services are free and confidential (unless there is a risk of harm to them or someone else) and can be accessed anonymously.

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)
ADIS is 24 hours 7 days a week free, confidential and anonymous telephone service, providing counselling, support, referrals and information for those affected by alcohol or other drugs.

ADIS also provides Web Chat which is free, anonymous and confidential for people with concerns about alcohol or other drug use. Web Chat is available Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).
T: 1800 250 015

Family Drug Support (FDS)
FDS provides 24 hours 7 days a week free telephone support line for families and friends affected by alcohol and drug use.
T: 1300 368 186

Kids Helpline
The Kids Helpline is a free, private, and confidential 24 hours, 7 days a week telephone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
T: 1800 55 1800

ReachOut
ReachOut is Australia's leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents. They have a supportive, safe and anonymous forum space where people care about what's happening to you, because they've been there too.

Lifeline
Lifeline is a 24-hours 7 days a week free crisis support and suicide prevention service.
T: 131 114


More information

Check out the A-Z of Drugs for more information.



Respect Your Brain animated light globe character
#;Respect Your BrainThe Respect Your Brain animated video series explores how alcohol, cannabis and MDMA affect a developing brainDrugs and the developing brain
services.aspx
  
27/07/2020 9:57 AMnswdoh\60181432

​​If you need information about support or treatment options for alcohol and other drugs you can contact one of these services.

Support Services
Sexual-Health-Infolink.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:54 AMROGERS, Peter

​The Sexual Health Infolink is a telephone and internet based information and referral service. It is staffed by specialist sexual health nurses and promotes the sexual health of the NSW community by providing accurate and timely information and referral options. In particular, the service specialises in HIV and STI risk assessment, testing, treatment and support. The service also provides specialist support to nurses, doctors, counsellors and other professionals who are caring for people with sexual health problems. 

The telephone line is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Also visit Play Safe which is a sexual health website for young people. It features a sexual health Q&A service, service locator, online forum and a quiz. Click on the button below.

 Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm (excluding public holidays)1800 451 624The Sexual Health Infolink is a telephone and internet based information and referral service.Sexual Health Infolink
Stay-OK.aspx
  
27/07/2020 10:08 AMnswdoh\60181432

Music festivals are the highlight of the calendar. You're psyched to be seeing your favourite artists, hanging out with mates, meeting new people and having an awesome experience. To make sure the fun doesn't stop for you and your mates, it's important to know how to party safe and stay OK.

Ultimate festival experience = Preparation

Preparation is paramount to the ultimate festival experience. Planning for what could happen in the event you or someone else needs help because of alcohol or drug use is just as key as your wardrobe, bum-bag game, road trip playlist, phone and other essentials.

  1. Pre-festival safety checklist
  2. Drug safety and overdose
  3. The law and long-term problems


Stay OK at Music Festivals
stimulant-treatment-line.aspx
  
24/07/2020 10:55 AMROGERS, Peter

This is a line for people who have concerns about psychostimulants (crystal, ice, coke, MDMA, etc.) use. STL operates 24 hours, 7days a week, offering education, information, support, referral, and counselling for people concerned about stimulants, STL can also refer people to treatment services that specialise in psychostimulants.

 STL was established when it was recognized that there was an increasing and problematic use of methamphetamines like crystal or ice in the community. It was also recognized that many people who used these types of drugs were hesitant in approaching traditional alcohol and other drug services.

 The STL can provide brief intervention to callers and may also provide referral to other, non-specialist alcohol and other drug services, including the Stimulant Treatment Program (STP). STP provides itensive counselling and other interventions, including medication, for those people who are wanting help to cutdown or stop their psychostimulant use.

24 hour support line1800 10 11 88Stimulant Treatment Line (STL)
support-and-treatment.aspx
  
1/04/2020 11:25 AMGREEN, Jessica

If your drug and alcohol use is negatively impacting on your health, family, relationships, work, school or other social situations, you may need to seek help. Support services are available for you, your family and friends.

How do I know if treatment is needed?What is treatment?
x1300-driver.aspx
  
24/07/2020 11:04 AMROGERS, Peter

​​​Available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.1300 DRIVER is anonymous, confidential and staffed by experienced health professionals. 

Your phone number does not appear when you call and calls are not recorded.Education, information, one-off and ongoing support, and referrals for long haul truck drivers and their families with issues related to health, wellbeing, stress, anxiety, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and lifestyle. 1 300 DRIVER offers support via telephone, Twitter, and website 1300DRIVER.org.au. 

If you are a long haul truck driver, and have questions or experience issues related to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, including struggling with managing sleep, long hours, alertness and thinking about stimulants; Having problems relaxing and getting sleep when you get home, and thinking about substances as a way to come down; Have anxiety and stress issues as a result of the job demands, and are looking at substances as a way to manage; Changing smoking habits to meet work demands;Talk to 1300 DRIVER, get some answers and some support now.If you have a truckie in the family and you are worried about them, call 1300 DRIVER for information and referral. 

Check out the 1300DRIVER website. 

24 hour support line1300 374 8371300 DRIVER (1300 374837)
your-service-hub.aspx
  
11/08/2020 3:45 PMROGERS, Peter

Your Service Hub is an online directory of alcohol and other drugs support, health and welfare services. If you need support for your own or someone else's substance use, you should use terms in Find Services like:

  • drug and alcohol family support

  • drug and alcohol Aboriginal services 

  • drug counselling

  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation

  • drug and alcohol residential treatment

along with your suburb name to narrow the search to services near you.

Not sure what service you need? Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.

#;Your Service HubYour Service Hub is an online directory of health and welfare services you can use if you need support for your own or someone else's substance use. Your Service Hub
Your Room > Getting Help > Opioid Treatment Line OTL (formerly MACS)