Support Services

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

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) 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. Visit the COVID-19 Support page for full details and further alcohol and other drug specific advice.
COVID-19 Support

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Checked Out To: nswhealth\60015433adis.aspx
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The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a free and confidential counselling helpline for NSW residents with concerns around alcohol and/or drug misuse and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ADIS is staffed by professional counsellors who provide education, information, counselling, support and referrals to other appropriate services in NSW.

Are you worried you could be drinking too much or consuming drugs in a way that has become a problem? Are you worried about your friends or family finding out and want to get help quickly and quietly? Are you worried about the drug use of someone close to you – maybe a family member or friend? Maybe you just want to know where someone can get help? 

ADIS clinicians understand the difficulties of speaking out, seeking help and finding appropriate drug and alcohol treatment, and use their knowledge and experience to assist you and answer questions, such as:

  • How can I cut-down or stop my alcohol or drug use?
  • What help can I get?
  • Do I have to wait long to get help?
  • Can anyone ring ADIS?
  • Who do I talk to when I ring ADIS?
  • Will drug and alcohol treatments be difficult?
  • What is this drug doing to me?
  • What are the short and long term problems that could develop if I continue using?
  • Will ADIS tell anyone that I rang?
  • What can I expect when I ring?
  • Does ADIS record calls?

You can call ADIS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 250 015 or for Sydney Metropolitan 02 8382 1000 or alternatively you can start a Web Chat.

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

ADIS also has a range of telephone lines offering specialised drug and alcohol information and support to particular groups.

ADIS logo
24 hour support line1800 250 015 24/7 information, support and referrals for those affected by alcohol and other drug useAlcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSWTelephone Services, For Families, Counselling
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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
  • Our chat is confidential unless you disclose any intention to harm yourself or others.
  • WebChat is provided in English however if you prefer to speak in a language other than English we would be happy to arrange a telephone call with you through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Please call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015 to arrange this.

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 chat service for people who have concerns about alcohol or other drug useADIS Web ChatOnline Services
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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

Use 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 health and welfare services directory, helping you find support and services in your areaYour Service HubOnline Services, For Families, Support Information
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Family Drug Support (FDS) provides support and assistance to families throughout Australia who are experiencing difficulty with a family member using alcohol or other drugs.

FDS is a non-religious, non-judgemental and caring organisation of volunteers who have first-hand experience living with family members experiencing alcohol or drug dependency.

FDS supports families by providing information about alcohol and other drugs, dependence and treatment options, while also helping families to overcome stigma and reduce self-blame, provide mutual support and help families build skills to strengthen their relationships.

FDS provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week support line for families, support groups and meetings, the 'Stepping Stones' and 'Stepping Forward' courses, events and resources.

Find out how FDS can help you.

24 hour support line1300 368 186Family Drug Support provides telephone support, groups and meetings for families in crisis due to drug and alcohol issuesFamily Drug Support (FDS)Telephone Services, For Families, Counselling
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​FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a term to describe a group of conditions caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

A baby born with FASD can have life-long problems with learning, growth, behaviour, memory, language, communication and everyday living. A baby born with FASD may also have birth defects and facial abnormalities.

It is important to have information if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Avoiding alcohol and drugs throughout your pregnancy can help your baby grow strong and healthy. You can find fact sheets, videos, podcasts and other resources about FASD on the pages below.

FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a term to describe a group of conditions caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)For Aboriginal People, For Families, Programs, Support Information
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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 for performing rescue breathing and chest compressions. Before doing so, refer to the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce guidance on basic life support for adults in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF).

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 is available in a very easy to use nasal spray, and as a pre-filled injection. Until recently, naloxone has only been administered by medical staff or emergency service officers. Now, 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
  • People who use illicit drugs, including cocaine or other stimulants (illicit drugs may contain unexpected substances, including opioids)

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. 

Take Home Naloxone is now available from an increasing number of community pharmacies, public alcohol and other drugs services and some non-government health and welfare services across NSW. 

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

Where can I get naloxone?

Naloxone in the form of the Nyxoid® nasal spray and Prenoxad® pre-filled syringe are available for free without a prescription from registered community pharmacies, Needle and Syringe Programs (NSP) and participating non-government organisations (NGOs) and private services in NSW.


Find your local participating pharmacy.
Tip: With the list open  use the search function (Ctrl and F keys) to find your postcode or suburb.

Pharmacies list (PDF)

NSW Needle and Syringe Programs

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

NGOs and private services

Find your local participating non-government organisations (NGOs) and private service.

NGOs & private services list (PDF)

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

Information for NSW public health services, Medically Supervised Injecting Centres (MSIC) and non-government and private service providers can be found at For information on the Commonwealth Government Take home naloxone pilot visit

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 reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Take Home Naloxone provides people at risk of witnessing or experiencing opioid overdose free naloxoneTake Home NaloxonePrograms, Support Information
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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 
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.

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#;NSW Opioid Treatment ProgramThe NSW Opioid Treatment Program provides patients with access to treatment for opioid dependencyOpioid Treatment ProgramPrograms
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Community Drug Action Teams (CDATs) are informal groups of community members, Local Health Districts, and representatives from other government and non-government agencies who volunteer to work together on alcohol and other drugs issues affecting their local community. There are 60 CDATs across NSW.

NSW Health has supported the CDAT Program since its creation in 1999.

Commencing January 2021, an Odyssey House NSW-led consortium will manage the CDAT Program. Karralika Programs, Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Service and The Buttery are also members of the consortium. 

Visit the CDAT site 

Want to make a difference to alcohol and other drug use in your community?

Key dates

  • Applications now open –  no close date at this point in time 
  • Funding announcements commence  30 Oct 2021 
  • Ongoing applications will be received form eligible CDAT’s, with these funding announcements made approx. 4 weeks after submission. 

Who is eligible?

  • You must have a designated Lead Organisation who will be responsible for the governance of the CDAT and be the primary contact for the CDAT
  • You must have a focus on prevention to reduce AOD related harm in community
  • You must meet the assessment criteria below

Application Criteria

The NSW CDAT Consortium will conduct a review of all applications using the following criteria:

  • Priority focus area
  • Demonstrated local need (local evidence of key issues, target audience)
  • Partnership (demonstrated ability to collaborate, sustainability of previous partnerships, expertise, skills and capacity to influence)
  • Community involvement and consultation
  • Experience or expertise; and capacity to deliver quality outcomes.

When the applications have been assessed and confirmed, Applicants will be notified of the outcome.

 Apply for funding here

If you would like further information on the CDAT Program, please contact the consortium at

#;Community Drug Action TeamsCDATs are groups of community volunteers and representatives from Local Health Districts, government and NGOs working together on alcohol and other drugs issues affecting their communityCommunity Drug Action TeamsPrograms
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​The Get Healthy Service Alcohol Reduction 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 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. The Get Healthy health coaches 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 free coaching sessions with your own personal health coach and a book containing information about appropriate alcohol intake, an alcohol facts booklet and an alcohol journey book to help you keep motivated and record your 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 to start your get healthy journey.

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

Get Healthy Service logo
Monday to Friday  8am – 8pm1300 806 258The Alcohol Reduction Program is a free telephone-based coaching service designed to support you to make healthy lifestyle changes and reduce your alcohol consumptionGet Healthy Coaching ServiceTelephone Services, Programs
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The Stimulant Treatment Line (STL) is a NSW state-wide telephone service providing education, information, counselling and referrals to support services. STL supports people specifically using stimulants such as speed, ice, ecstasy / MDMA, cocaine etc. STL clinicians understand the difficulties of speaking out, seeking help and finding appropriate drug and alcohol treatment, and use their knowledge and experience to assist you. Call anytime of the day or week as the service is open 24/7.

STL operates 24 hours, 7 days a week, call Sydney Metropolitan 02 8382 1088 or regional and rural NSW Freecall *1800 10 11 88

* Please note- Freecall numbers are not free from mobile phones

STL records some information about calls. Some things are kept for statistical purposes, such as type of drug being asked about, was the caller male or female, and the like as this will assist STL clinicians to provide the best tailored support to you. You do not have to provide any identifying information as it is not mandatory.

STL logo
24 hour support line1800 10 11 88The STL is a NSW state-wide telephone service providing education, information, referral, counselling and support for stimulant useStimulant Treatment Line (STL)Telephone Services, Counselling
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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 FestivalsSupport Information
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed 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. 

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 . 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.

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'.

Please note: The take home naloxone program includes instructions for performing rescue breathing and chest compressions. Before doing so, refer to the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce guidance on basic life support for adults in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF).

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

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 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.

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 SupportSupport Information
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Families, friends and loved ones can play a critical role in the recovery of people who experience alcohol and other drug problems, however they are often focused on the needs of others while they neglect their own their own health and wellbeing.

The Family and Friend Support Program (FFSP) is an online cognitive behavioural therapy program to support people who are caring for or supporting someone with alcohol and other drug use issues.

FFSP is based on a series of modules and includes information and activities on how families and friends can help their loved ones, with a specific emphasis on the person providing the support and their often unmet needs. The program is also suitable for health professionals.

For information on how to start a conversation with your loved one about their alcohol and or other drug use, tips on how to look after yourself and other resources visit our For Families mini-site.


The program is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Please note that for Health Professionals there are costs involved in the 5-step training. Details about the training can be found on the Health Professionals portal in FFSP (under the icon 5-step).

The FFSP is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

#;Family and Friend Support ProgramFFSP is an online cognitive behavioural therapy program for people supporting others with alcohol and other drug use issuesFamily and Friend Support ProgramOnline Services, For Families, Programs
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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. Alcohol, antidepressants and the developing brain
  8. Vaping and the developing brain
  9. Getting help for drug and alcohol issues

Animated series

The Respect Your Brain animated video series focuses on the impact of five 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?

The brain is highly neuroplastic (changing in response to experiences or exposure to chemicals), so during brain development (teens to 25 years) there is the risk of damage

The way a drug affects 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:


Hindbrain (pons, cerebellum and medulla oblongata), which is responsible for balance and coordination and basic automatic functions like breathing and heart rate.
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.
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

Alcohol, antidepressants and the developing brain

Antidepressants are prescribed to help treat mental health problems, like depression and anxiety. These medicines target neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain linked to low mood, such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.

Common antidepressants are 'selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors' (SSRIs), also known by brand names, like Lexapro, Cipramil and Prozac. SSRIs help increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking the recycling of serotonin from the space between nerve cells (see image below).  

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the synapse of a nerve cell

Your Room Alcohol and Antidepressant images.jpg

SSRIs block the re-uptake of serotonin, so it builds up in the synapse

Your Room Alcohol and Antidepressant images2.jpg

This helps serotonin stay around for longer to help improve mood. Other antidepressants include 'serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors' and 'tricyclic antidepressants', which have a similar effect on neurotransmitters. 

It can take weeks for the medication to start having an effect, and regular and consistent use is very important.

Some types of antidepressants can interact with alcohol in the body with side-effects such as drowsiness, reduced attention and insomnia.  Antidepressants when combined with alcohol (a depressant) can cause enhanced sedation – slow down reaction-time, affect co-ordination, decision making, lead to greater levels of drowsiness than taking either drug alone. This increases the chance of injury and other negative experiences associated with drinking, such as vomiting, fights and unwanted sexual experiences.

Alcohol slows down brain activity in the frontal lobe of the brain, making it harder to regulate stress and other emotions. Drinking alcohol can also intensify negative emotions and worsen underlying mood. There is also a strong link between frequent heavy drinking and symptoms of poor mental health where one disorder serves to maintain and worsen the other.

The safest thing during brain development (which continues until about age 25), is not to use alcohol at all particularly if also prescribed antidepressant medication.

For more information, refer to the fact sheet.

Vaping and the developing brain

Vapes (also known as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vape pens, pods or stigs) come in many different types. All have the same basic parts, as shown in the picture below: a battery, coil and cartridge. When the battery is switched on, the coil heats up the e-liquid, which is vapourised and inhaled.

vape ryb page.png

Many disposable vapes are one piece with no removable parts, and the e-liquid is stored inside a small pod.  Other vapes may be refillable with parts that can be changed.

Vapes can contain over 200 chemicals. In the short-term, vaping can cause damage to the lungs and throat, and lead to nicotine overdose. Vapes haven't been around for very long, so the long-term effects aren't well known.

Nicotine is incredibly addictive. Using nicotine-containing vapes means you may develop nicotine dependence. Needing nicotine all the time to feel normal, otherwise you experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, low mood, and even tremors. Vapes can deliver nicotine at higher doses – some as much as 50 cigarettes (often much more!)

Exposing young brains to nicotine early can wire your brain to be more addicted to substances into adulthood.

Vaping can lead to worse mental health, both in the short and long term, causing symptoms of depression within 12 months of starting. In the long term, it can lead to developing depression, anxiety and substance use disorders because of the way nicotine changes the brain.

It is illegal to sell vapes (and all other tobacco products) to anyone under 18 years old. It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to anyone, unless they are prescribed by a doctor to someone over 18 years for smoking cessation purposes, and obtained with a prescription from a pharmacy.

For more information, check 'Do you know what you're vaping?'

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 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 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, MDMA, alcohol with antidepressants, vaping affect a developing brainDrugs and the developing brainSupport Information
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PeerLine is confidential service run by the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA). NUAA works to improve the health, welfare and dignity of people who use drugs. 

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


PeerLine is available from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Call for free on 1800 644 413 or email to connect.

NUAA PeerLine
Monday to Friday  9am – 5pm1800 644 413 The NUAA PeerLine is a confidential peer-run telephone support line for people who use drugs, on the Opioid Treatment Program or seeking treatment in NSWNUAA PeerLineTelephone Services
19/10/2022 11:02 AMnswhealth\60015433

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 with a dependence on .

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 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 & supportBreaking the Ice is a free online interactive education tool to help individuals and communities learn more about crystalline methamphetamine or 'ice'Breaking the IceSupport Information
12/07/2023 11:05 AMnswhealth\60015433

The OTL (formerly MACS) provides information, referrals, support and a forum for pharmacotherapy concerns.

Update – 1 July 2023:

The NSW Opioid Dependence Treatment Program, which provides methadone medicine, changed on 1 July 2023. 

Methadone is now part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) making it easier and cheaper to buy.

Depending on where you currently get your medicine, you might need to go to a new location to get your medicine at the cheaper rate.

The medicine you receive will not change. You will still be able to get the same medicine you are taking now.

To learn more about the changes, visit the NSW Opioid Treatment Program  or call the Opioid Treatment Line (9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday).

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).

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.

OTL logo
Available 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday, (not including Public Holidays) 1800 642 428The Opioid Treatment Line (OTL) provides assistance and support to people with questions or concerns about opioid treatment in NSWOpioid Treatment Line (OTL)Telephone Services
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​ACON is a New South Wales based health promotion organisation supporting sexuality and gender diverse communities, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer. Specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support, Sexual Health, Mental Health and Alcohol and Drugs.

ACON runs several programs related to alcohol and other drugs. These programs span: harm reduction services, like the needle syringe program and the ACON Rovers; tailored resources and information for sexuality and gender diverse communities hosted on their AOD website Pivot Point; and a substance support counselling service. For information about the services ACON offers please visit the alcohol and other drug page on the ACON website.

Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm(02) 9206 2000ACON is a New South Wales based health promotion organisation supporting sexuality and gender diverse communities, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer. Specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support, Sexual Health...ACONTelephone Services, Counselling, Support Information
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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 blood borne 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 for more information. 

Who is the program for?

The NSP is for people who inject drugs to avoid contracting or transmitting blood borne 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)Programs
5/08/2022 10:55 AMnswhealth\60015433

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 a Request a NSW Quitline Call-Back form.

Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm13 78 48 Aboriginal Quitline is a telephone-based support service for Aboriginal people who want to quit smokingNSW/ACT Aboriginal QuitlineTelephone Services, For Aboriginal People
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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 to:

  • 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

Call 13 7848 (13 QUIT) Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm​. 

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

Calls from landlines and mobile phones are the cost of a standard call. 

Support to quit

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 48Quitline is a telephone-based support service for people who want to quit smokingNSW/ACT QuitlineTelephone Services, Online Services, Counselling
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AODconnect is an app which provides a national listing of alcohol and other drug treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The app is intended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers, community members or any health professional working in the AOD sector looking for a culturally appropriate service.

The app allows you to find a service by region or postcode through an interactive map of Australia. You can toggle between an alphabetical listing or see the service visually displayed on  the map of Australia.

Service information can also be filtered by the type of treatment they provide:
  • counselling and referral
  • harm reduction and support groups
  • outreach
  • mobile patrols and sobering up shelters
  • residential rehab
  • withdrawal management
  • young people
The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

google-play (1).pngapp-store.png 

AODconnect is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and managed by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.

#;AODconnect appAODconnect is a national directory of alcohol and other drug treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peopleAODconnect app Online Services, For Aboriginal People
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The services and resources listed on this page provide support and assistance for people who need help with their mental health or the mental health of someone close to them. You can also visit the Mental Health Services and Support Contact List page on the NSW Ministry of Health's website for more services. 

People who experience issues with alcohol and other drugs use may also experience mental health problems. This is known as 'dual diagnosis'. 

The relationship between mental health and alcohol and other drug use is a complex one. A mental illness may make a person more likely to use drugs to provide short-term relief from their symptoms, while for other people using drugs can trigger the first symptoms of mental illness. 

Head to Health  is provided by the Australian Department of Health, and brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations. 


WayAhead, works to educate people throughout New South Wales and beyond on mental health and wellbeing and link them to services and resources that improve their mental health.


SANE Australia is a national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues through support, research and advocacy. 1 800 187 263

Beyond Blue has been providing supports and services to people in Australia for 20 years and focused on supporting people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. 1 300 224 636

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit facility for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. They develop evidence-based population mental health programs, new treatments for depression, and suicide prevention and early intervention strategies. is an internet service for young people that provides information, support and resources about mental health issues and enable them to develop resilience, increase coping skills, and facilitate help-seeking behaviour. 

One Door Mental Health is the new name for the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW. They are a mental health service provider specialising in severe and persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder. 1800 843 539

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (the Embrace Project) is run by Mental Health Australia and provides mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. 

WellMob is for all of our frontline health and wellbeing workers and it brings together online resources made by and for Aboriginal people. Here you will find websites, apps, podcasts, videos, helplines, social media and online programs all with a focus on social and emotional wellbeing.

eMHPrac is a directory of Australian, evidence-based, free (or low-cost), publicly funded digital mental health programs and resources, ranging from apps, to crisis helplines, to self-guided online programs. Explore the directory to learn about the range of digital support available for Australians.

MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere, anytime.1300 78 99 78

Neami is a values-based, not-for-profit organisation providing mental health, homelessness and suicide prevention services and working to strengthen local communities.

Project Air 

Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders is a partnership between the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute at the University of Wollongong and the NSW Ministry for Health and Local NSW Health Districts. It seeks to engage the community, families, carers, consumers and health and drug and alcohol services and agencies, to support better treatments for personality disorders.

SAMSN is a not-for-profit charity that employs qualified staff and men with lived experience to provide services to male survivors of child sexual assault, their families, and supporters.  1800 4 SAMSN (72 676) 

The package of mental health resources included on this page was developed by South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Services, and was funded by Mindgardens Neuroscience Network.

seslhd logo.jpg    

The services and resources listed on this page provide support and assistance for people who need help with their mental health or the mental health of someone close to them.Mental health services and resourcesTelephone Services, Online Services, Counselling, Programs, Support Information
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​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. 

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.

NSW Sexual Health Infolink 1800 451 624 is available 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.

 Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm (excluding public holidays)1800 451 624The Sexual Health Infolink is a sexual health telephone and internet based information and referral serviceSexual Health InfolinkTelephone Services
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The Hepatitis Infoline provides free and confidential information about hepatitis B and C, including support and referrals across NSW.​

The Infoline is for people who:

  • are thinking about getting tested for hep B or C
  • have questions about treatment for hep C
  • are living with hepatitis B or C
  • know someone affected by hep B or C
  • may have hep B or C, but aren't sure about what to do next
  • would like more information about how to prevent or treat hepatitis B or C
  • are facing discrimination because of a hep B or C diagnosis

The NSW Hepatitis Infoline is available on 1800 803 990 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday  – 9am to 5pm and Thursday – 1pm to 5pm.

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 990The Hepatitis Infoline provides free and confidential information about hepatitis B and CHepatitis InfolineTelephone Services, Support Information
2/06/2022 9:33 AMnswhealth\60015433

The National Youth Mental Health Foundation's headspace provides 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, 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 headspaceOnline Services, Counselling
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1300 DRIVER provides 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.

1300 DRIVER (1300 374837) is anonymous, confidential and staffed by experienced health professionals 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are the cost of a standard call. 

The service is for long haul truck drivers who: 

  • have questions or experience issues related to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
  • struggle with managing sleep, long hours, alertness and thinking about stimulants 
  • experience problems relaxing and getting sleep when home
  • struggle with thinking about substances as a way to come down
  • experience anxiety and stress issues as a result of the job demands
  • changing smoking habits to meet work demands

1300 DRIVER is available via telephone on 1300 DRIVER (1300 374837), Twitter and online at

1300Driver logo
24 hour support line1300 374 8371300 DRIVER provides support to long haul truck drivers and ther families experiencing issues related to alcohol and other drugs1300 DRIVERTelephone Services, Counselling, Support Information
16/12/2021 1:02 PMnswhealth\60015433

​The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) acts to protect public health and safety by resolving, investigating and prosecuting complaints about health care. It is an independent body set up under the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.

The Commission has a central role in maintaining the integrity of the NSW health system, with the overarching aim of protecting the health and safety of individuals and the community.

The HCCC deals with complaints about all health services and providers in NSW including:

  • Health Organisations: such as public and private hospitals, medical centres, imaging and radiation services.
  • Registered Health Practitioners: such as medical practitioners, nurses, dentists and pharmacists.
  • Unregistered Health Practitioners: such as counsellors, speech therapists, massage therapists and alternative health care providers.

The HCCC priorities are:

  • To deliver a complaints management process that is responsive, impartial, effective and adaptable.
  • To investigate and prosecute serious complaints to protect public health and safety.
  • To play a key role in maintaining the integrity of the NSW Health system.
9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday1800 043 159​The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) acts to protect public health and safety by resolving, investigating and prosecuting complaints about health care.Health Care Complaints CommissionOnline Services, Support Information
16/12/2021 1:01 PMnswhealth\60015433

Gambling Help NSW is changing to GambleAware from 1 July 2021.

GambleAware supports people with information on how to gamble safely, plus free confidential support for anyone affected by gambling.

GambleAware is an innovative stepped care model to deliver gambling support and treatment services across 10 regions aligned to NSW health districts. Each region has a GambleAware Provider dedicated to delivering local services and providing support to everyone who needs it. 

Find out more about GambleAware.

24 hour support line 1800 858 858GambleAware supports people with information on how to gamble safely, plus free confidential support for anyone affected by gambling.GambleAware NSWTelephone Services, Online Services, Counselling
Your Room > Getting Help > Support Services