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Factsheet HSV140 - Alcohol and Other Substance Treatment Services


This Factsheet explains what treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders is available to current and former members of the ADF, including eligibility and accessing treatment.

Eligibility for Treatment

To be eligible for treatment for an alcohol or other substance use disorder, individuals will usually require a DVA Health Card.  

A Gold Card identifies the owner as being eligible for treatment and care for all health care conditions at DVA expense. See Factsheets HSV59 Eligibility for the DVA Health Card All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold) and Factsheet HSV60 Using the DVA Health Care – All Conditions (Gold) or DVA Health Card Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold).

Holders of a White Card are entitled to treatment for specific conditions at DVA’s expense, including subsidised pharmaceuticals. These conditions are listed on their White Card.

A White Card may be issued where an individual’s condition is  accepted as related to his or her service. A White Card may also be obtained under non-liability healthcare arrangements for a variety of health conditions, including Alcohol Use Disorder and Substance Use Disorder.   See Factsheet HSV61 DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White).

Non-liability health care entitlements are entirely separate to the process of claiming compensation and do not require a relationship between the condition and an individual’s service.  For further information see Factsheet HSV109 Non-Liability Health Care

What treatment is covered?

A range of treatments may be available to you. This could include treatment from:

  • a general practitioner,
  • medical specialist including psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist,
  • a hospital service (both inpatient or outpatient in public and private hospitals),
  • Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling
  • pharmaceuticals; or
  • treatment from a range of community-based alcohol and drug service providers on the approved DVA community-based alcohol and other drug (AOD) services panel.  

DVA community-based AOD services panel

DVA has established a panel of community-based providers to assist in treating eligible members of the veteran community who are experiencing alcohol and other substance use disorders.

These providers have undergone rigorous screening as part of an open tender process, and have been assessed against the DVA Core Service Standards for the Provision of AOD services to the Veteran Community.

A list of organisations who are on the panel is available from the DVA online mental health portal

In order to access services through these arrangements, a DVA client must be referred to the provider by written referral from:

  • a medical practitioner;
  • a hospital discharge planner;
  • a mental health allied health practitioner registered under Medicare; or
  • Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling.

    The provider will not accept self-referrals from the client or from a carer of the client.  If a client presents to the provider without an authorised referral, then the provider will:

  • refer the client to an appropriate care provider, depending upon their needs (such as a medical practitioner or hospital); and
  • facilitate access to a referral agency / source such as a GP or Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *


DVA Website:

Factsheet Website:

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms


The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.


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12 April 2018