How to find help

There are a range of treatment and support options available if you or someone you care about is experiencing problems associated with alcohol and/or other drugs.

How to find help

There are services throughout Australia that offer drug and/or alcohol support and treatment options for yourself or people you care about.

Different people will have different service needs, and this will depend on the nature and complexity of the issues they might be facing.  In many cases, starting a conversation with your local doctor or primary care provider can be a good first step.

There are a range of treatment and support options available if you or someone you care about is experiencing problems associated with alcohol and/or other drugs. Some people need lower intensity help while others need more intensive treatment options, such as residential rehabilitation.

If you are unsure of what help might best meet your needs, contact your local doctor, visit Counselling Online or call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015 to discuss your situation and work out what might be the best option.

What services are available

It takes courage for someone to admit they may have a problem with drugs or alcohol.  Recognising you might have an issue and asking for help is an important first step to making a change. The Australian Government is offering more help than ever before, with a range of options available, such as:

  • counselling
  • treatment
  • information
  • support. 

National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline

The states and territories operate local alcohol and other drug telephone services that offer support, information, counselling and referrals to services. These Alcohol and Drug Information Services offer services for:

  • individuals
  • family and friends
  • general practitioners
  • other health professionals
  • business and community groups.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug hotline: 1800 250 015. It will automatically direct you to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service in your state or territory.

Counselling Online

Counselling Online allows you to communicate with a professional counsellor about your own alcohol and drug use or that of someone you care about. You can:

  • Chat to a counsellor – get help by chatting online to a counsellor
  • Email a counsellor – get help and email your questions.

This service is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Australia.

Family Drug Support

Family Drug Support  (FDS) is a national service for families dealing with drug and alcohol. FDS provides a toll free, 24-hour national telephone support line, as well as support groups, education programs, counselling and bereavement services for families.

FDS has also developed an online resource for families to help families deal with issues associated with ice and other drugs in a way that strengthens relationships and achieves positive outcomes – FDS Online.

Phone: 1300 368 186

Kids Help Line

Kids Help Line telephone, web and email counselling is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to children and young people aged 5–25.  You can contact the Kids Help line on 1800 55 1800.

Lifeline

Lifeline is a 24-hour phone and online counselling service designed to help people through any problems.  You can contact Lifeline for support on 13 11 14.

Hello Sunday Morning 

Hello Sunday Morning’s Daybreak app is a free resource designed to assist people in changing their relationship with alcohol. The app provides access to private chats with professional Daybreak coaches, an anonymous and supportive community and a comprehensive library of behavioural experiments, built by clinicians and designed to help people develop the skills they need to change their relationship with alcohol.

Information about drugs

There are places available to help you if you’re looking for general information about drugs. These include:

There are places available to help you if you’re looking for general information about drugs. These include:

Positive Choices

The Positive Choices Online Portal provides information, tools and resources on the harms of alcohol and other drugs for:

  • parents
  • teachers and other school staff
  • students.

Improving access to evidence-based drug prevention resources helps parents and school staff to give children trusted and up-to-date information.

Positive Choices also provides parents with information and guidance about how to have important conversations with their kids about drugs.

Cracks in the Ice

The Cracks in the Ice toolkit provides the Australian community with trusted, evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine. The toolkit provides factual and evidence-based information for:

  • community groups
  • friends and families
  • parents
  • teachers and students
  • health professionals.

Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre

The Knowledge Centre is an online resource that provides evidence-based and tailored materials to workers and communities involved in efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and other drugs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  

The Knowledge Centre provides workers and communities in regional, rural and remote areas with access to online resources and support. The Knowledge Centre phone app ‘AODconnect’ is helpful for workers and people living in communities that have no internet access.  It allows people to find culturally appropriate services by state, territory and/or region through an interactive map of Australia by: 

  • alphabetical listing
  • postcode
  • service type.

What to do in an emergency

Drugs are unpredictable. They can affect people in different ways. As there is no quality control for illicit drugs, there is no way of knowing their content or strength.

Call 000 for an ambulance immediately if there is even the slightest risk that someone is having an unusual reaction to a drug.

Emergency services will only contact a parent or guardian if the person is under the age of 18 and taken to hospital.

Emergency services will only notify police if there is a risk to their own personal safety or if someone dies.

How to talk about drugs with someone you care about

If you are worried that a friend or family member is using drugs, or you want to prevent them from using drugs, it is important to keep the lines of communication open to keep them connected with you. We know that starting a conversation about drugs can be tricky. The Positive Choices portal provides access to a range of tailored resources to support you to talk to your loved ones.

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