Department of Health and Human Services

Community alcohol & drug treatment services: M-R

Page content: Methadone regional outreach workers | Mobile drug safety workers | Mobile overdose response service | Outpatient withdrawal service | Peer support | Residential rehabilitation

Methadone regional outreach workers

To support and enhance the role of trained GPs in

one methadone regional outreach worker has been appointed in each of the three rural regions. These workers are employed by specialist drug treatment services.

Target group

Mobile drug safety workers

Mobile drug safety workers provide education on drug safety, plus needle distribution, clean water, and sterile supplies in areas of high drug use. They are trained in resuscitation and are able to refer users for treatment and rehabilitation.

Target group

Clients may be recruited through the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) site in the Region with posters inviting attendance at workshops and also workers asking users when they come in to collect injecting supplies.


This service is based at Needle and Syringe Programs, in drug ‘hot spots’ in each region or at a drug treatment service with outreach and NSP distribution functions in those rural regions where no NSP service exists.

Mobile overdose response service

The mobile overdose response service offers non-fatal overdose survivors support, information and assistance with access to rehabilitation services. The Service offers mobile non-medical support to ambulance officers and emergency department staff who encounter people who have overdosed. Referrals to the service also come from users, families and friends, support and user groups, needle and syringe programs and health services.

Target group


The Service has been established in each of the six major drug ‘hot spot’ areas that experience high levels of street drug use: Melbourne Central Business District (CBD), Box Hill, Dandenong/Springvale, Footscray, Collingwood/Richmond and St. Kilda.

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Outpatient withdrawal service

Outpatient withdrawal services are provided to clients who have a withdrawal syndrome which can be appropriately managed without admission to a residential service. The service provides a series of intensive individual outpatient consultation over a short period, followed by ongoing counselling and support to complete withdrawal.

Peer support

Peer support provides mutual support and information by individuals with personal experience of alcohol and drug use for individuals who may be having, or who have had, difficulties in the past associated with their alcohol and drug use.

Peer support groups or activities are usually established by current or past alcohol and drug users, and may operate out of and be supported by community organisations, alcohol and drug agencies or community health centres.

Target group

Residential rehabilitation

Residential rehabilitation services provide a 24 hour staffed residential treatment program of an average of 3 months' duration. They will provide a range of interventions which aim to ensure lasting change and to assist reintegration into community living.

Residential rehabilitation services are provided from a community-based setting, such as a house or houses located in a residential area.

Target group

Residential rehabilitation programs are offered to alcohol and drug clients who have undergone a drug withdrawal program or other alcohol and drug treatment/rehabilitation programs and have not been successful in reducing or overcoming their drug use problem and are not suited to attend an outpatient program.

Clients include those who suffer the more severe consequences of harm associated with alcohol and drug use, such as criminal involvement or social disadvantage, and whose home setting or social circumstances are not supportive of non-residential treatment options.

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