Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS)

The Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS) at the Royal Hospital for Women offers case management and assistance for women and families affected by alcohol and other drug use.  This also includes prescription medications that are necessary to maintain a mother’s health.   

SUPPS provides support and information regarding all aspects of alcohol and other drug intake during pregnancy and beyond, to enable informed choice about treatment options.  Other interventions may include: 

  • Counselling
  • Referrals to other services
  • Telephone support service

Consultation and referral to a variety of agencies can be provided.  A postnatal clinic is provided at Sydney Children’s Hospital where babies, including those with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), are treated expertly and confidentially.   

SUPPS liaises with other community service providers such as:

  • Opiate Treatment Clinics
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Shared care GPs
  • Welfare agencies
  • Mental health
  • Child protection agencies

Consulting with other key service providers allows for continuity of care during pregnancy and effective planning of follow up care, with discretion and confidentiality.

If you are undecided about continuing with your pregnancy, SUPPS can arrange for counselling to help with your decision.

Receiving the right care during pregnancy improves outcomes for mothers and babies, regardless of which substances are being taken.
SUPPS is a voluntary service for women antenatally, but postnatally SUPPS will need to be part of your baby’s follow-up care.  Even if you don’t want SUPPS involvement, it is essential that you receive adequate antenatal care.

The role of SUPPS is to give you the information you need to make informed choices about drug or alcohol use and treatment options, whilst keeping you and your baby safe.

SUPPS has the most current information on the effects of substances and can work with you towards achieving stability or abstinence by the time your baby arrives. Partners can also be referred for treatment or counselling if needed as it makes it much easier if those close to you support your choices.

SUPPS can refer you to services to help with finding suitable housing prior to your baby’s birth. Unfortunately, some women are wary of SUPPS as they are worried about Department of communities and Justice (DCJ) involvement (previously DOCS/FACS). It’s true that SUPPS workers, like all health or education workers, are legally required to report any real concerns that a child may be at risk.  However, SUPPS will be upfront about those concerns and discuss them with you beforehand and assist with addressing any concerns raised.

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) 24/7 Helpline

This hotline provides confidential support for people struggling with addiction. You can call the Alcohol Drug Information Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

1800 250 015