Department of Health

Key messages

  • Telephone and online services in Victoria have an important role in offering counselling and assistance for alcohol and other drug users, their families and support people. These services also provide information and education, contacts for self-help groups and referral for treatment.
  • There is a wide range of other telephone and online services for alcohol and other drug users and their families and support people, and for health and human service professionals.

Role of telephone and online services in the treatment system

Telephone and online services in the alcohol and other drug treatment system are often the first point of contact for alcohol and other drug users, their families and support people across Victoria.

Telephone and online services provide confidential counselling and assistance, information and education, self-assessment tools, contacts for self-help groups and referral for treatment.

About telephone and online services

DirectLine

DirectLine is a statewide telephone and online service which supports people seeking alcohol and other drugs information, advice or referral. It is a useful first point of contact for alcohol and other drug users, and health and human service providers, including general practitioners.

Most clients identified as non-dependent users are offered telephone and online supports, including information and advice, brief interventions, worker-facilitated and self-guided supports, and referrals to other services. Clients identified as likely to require treatment for alcohol and other drug-related risk, harm or dependence are referred to catchment-based intake services.

DirectLine offers information, advice and brief interventions before, during and after treatment and operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It is staffed by professional counsellors at Turning Point, a centre of excellence for alcohol and other drug treatment, research and education, a part of Eastern Health.

DirectLine can be accessed over the phone on 1800 888 236 or at the DirectLine website.

Drug and alcohol clinical advisory service

The Drug and alcohol clinical advisory service (DACAS), is a free specialist telephone consultancy service for health and welfare professionals in Victoria. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DACAS offers clinical advice to health and welfare professionals who have concerns about the clinical management of patients and clients with alcohol and other drug use issues. Assistance can be provided about a wide range of medical and psychiatric issues related to alcohol and other drug use.

DACAS consultants are addiction medicine specialists, qualified to help with enquiries about medical and psychiatric issues related to alcohol and other drug use and their management.

DACAS can be accessed over the phone on 1800 812 804 or at the DACAS website.

Family drug help

Family drug help, delivered by the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), provides services that aim to strengthen the physical and mental health of families dealing with a loved one's alcohol and other drug use, and support the family's ability to cope with their individual situations. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing access to information and referral to support groups and family counselling.

Family drug help can be accessed over the phone on 1300 660 068 or at the Family drug help website.

Youth drug and alcohol advice service

Youth drug and alcohol advice (YoDAA) is Victoria's specialist youth service. YoDAA offers anyone concerned about a young person's substance use with access to youth alcohol and other drug information, personalised advice and direct connection with appropriate services.

YoDAA is staffed by a dedicated team of experienced youth professionals from Victoria's Youth Support and Advocacy Service. The service has a specialised and enhanced capacity to respond to carers and workers in the out-of-home care and child protection system.

YoDAA can be accessed over the phone on 1800 458 685 or at the YoDAA website.

Other telephone and online services

A wide range of other telephone and online services are provided for alcohol and other drug users and their families and support people and for health and human services professionals.

Useful alcohol and other drugs service details

Alcohol and drug services

  • Confidential alcohol and other drug counselling and referral in Victoria.

    DirectLine

  • A free 24-hour counselling service for Australian kids and young people aged between five and 25 years.

    Kids Helpline

  • Lifeline offers online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.

    Lifeline

  • Narcotics Anonymous is a support group for people who are or have been addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

    Narcotics Anonymous Australia

  • A telephone counselling service for parents and carers of children aged from birth to 18 years.

    Parentline Victoria, Department of Education and Training

  • Self Help Addiction Resource Centre promotes self-help approaches to recovery from alcohol and other drug-related issues.

    Self Help Addiction Resource Centre

  • The Youth Support and Advocacy Service supports highly vulnerable and high-risk young Victorians affected by, or at risk of, being affected by alcohol and other drugs.

    Youth Support and Advocacy Service

HIV/AIDS resources

  • Provides leadership, coordination and support to Australia's policy, advocacy and health promotion response to HIV/AIDS.

    Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations

  • Quit provides information and support to those who want to reduce or stop smoking.

    Quit

  • World Health Organization Department of HIV/AIDS provides help and support to countries so that they can provide treatment and care and prevention services for HIV and hepatitis.

    HIV/AIDS, World Health Organization

Advocacy

  • The Australian National Council on Drugs makes sure that the non-government sector is heard and influences policy related to the alcohol and other drug sector.

    Australian National Council on Drugs

  • The Media Awareness Project Drug News Archive encourages unbiased media coverage, online media activism and is a drug policy research tool.

    Drugnews Archive, The Media Awareness Project

  • Hepatitis Australia helps people by providing national leadership and advocacy on issues related to hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

    Hepatitis Australia

  • Harm Reduction International works to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use.

    Harm Reduction International

  • The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association provides leadership, representation, advocacy and information to both the alcohol and other drug and the non-alcohol and other drug-related sectors.

    Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association

  • Harm Reduction Victoria educates, informs, supports and advocates on behalf of Victorian people who use drugs and their friends.

    Harm Reduction Victoria

  • Help with English is for people who need help understanding the English language.

    Help with English, Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government

  • A national organisation representing people who use or have used illicit drugs.

    Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League

Education and awareness

  • The National Drugs Campaign aims to reduce young Australians’ motivation to use alcohol and other drugs by increasing their knowledge about the potential negative consequences of drug use.

    National Drugs Campaign, Department of Health, Australian Government

  • Turning Point is a Registered Training Organisation for the alcohol and other drug sector.

    Turning Point

  • The injection safety programs in the World Health Organization promote the rational and safe use of injections through global communication campaigns and training of healthcare workers.

    Injection safety, World Health Organization

Research

Strategy

  • The National Drugs Strategy aims to improve health, social and economic outcomes for Australians by preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs in our communities.

    National Drugs Strategy, Australian Government

Reviewed 25 November 2021

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