Help for alcohol and drug problems

Last updated: 
30 June 2020

There is help available if you or someone you love has drug or alcohol problems. 

Healthcare services you may receive

You may be eligible for healthcare services to help you with your drug or alcohol problem. The services include:

You may also get services through the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services panel. Services on this panel can:

  • assess your mental and physical health
  • help you to manage your progress
  • counsel you
  • give you follow-up care
  • refer you to a residential program that can provide 24/7 care
  • help you when you withdraw from drugs or alcohol
  • teach you positive coping strategies and life skills

Who can receive them

If a medical professional has assessed that you have a clinical need for this service, you may be eligible.

You may also be eligible if you have 1 of the following:

Who can help

There are people who can help you if you have problems with drugs or alcohol. They include:

  • general practitioners (GPs) who can prescribe medicines
  • mental health specialists, including psychiatrists and psychologists
  • social workers
  • occupational therapists
  • drug and alcohol counselors
  • Open Arms

Some special care centres may also help you. Our AOD centres have experience in treating veterans who have problems with drugs and alcohol.

Your healthcare specialist can refer you to a different centre if 1 of the following applies:

  • there is no space for you at an AOD provider
  • you have a compelling need to go elsewhere

We will need to give your specialist our permission before they can refer you to another centre. 

Open Arms has a wide range of counselling services available to you and your family, no matter the colour of the card you hold.

How you access services

To access a GP's services, you should contact their office and make an appointment.

You will need your GP to refer you if you need special help from:

  • mental health specialists
  • social workers
  • occupational therapists

An AOD centre cannot accept you unless 1 of the following healthcare practitioners refers you:

  • your GP
  • a hospital discharge planner
  • a mental health practitioner who is registered with Medicare
  • Open Arms

You can then contact an AOD centre to discuss next steps.