Mural depicting many artworks by clients

Drug and Alcohol Services

Your guide to SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Services

Our goal is to improve health, wellbeing and social outcomes for individuals, families and the community, related to drug and alcohol use.

Drug and Alcohol Services in South East Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) provide treatment and support for people experiencing problems related to the use of alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, heroin or prescription medications (e.g. opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines).

An overview of Drug & Alcohol Services

SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Service offers a range of treatment and support services for people with problems from their alcohol, prescription or illicit drug use, and/or for their families and carers.

Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Services are located in clinics at:

  • the Langton Centre in Surry Hills
  • St George Hospital in Kogarah
  • Caringbah Community Health Centre at Sutherland Hospital

Inpatient hospital Drug and Alcohol Services are provided at:

  • Sydney Hospital
  • Prince of Wales Hospital
  • St. George Hospital
  • Sutherland Hospital

We also provide outreach clinical services across a number of community locations in the district. 

How to access Drug and Alcohol Services

People wishing to access the Drug and Alcohol Services can ‘self-refer’ by telephone or can be referred by health or welfare providers. A brief history is taken (including client’s details, substance use, and relevant medical, mental health and social circumstances), and an appointment or other referral options is provided.

See “Contact Us” for details on making referrals.

Withdrawal services

Withdrawal services aim to help clients with the early stages of stopping or reducing their alcohol or other drug use. Both outpatient and inpatient withdrawal services are available, based upon the client’s likely severity of withdrawal, general health, social supports and preferences.

Counselling and support services

Outpatient counselling and support services are provided in individual and group programs, and work with clients to address their goals.

Medication-assisted treatment

There are a range of medications that can help people address their drug and alcohol use, usually in combination with counselling and support services. This most commonly includes medications to help clients reduce their alcohol use (e.g. naltrexone, disulfiram), benzodiazepine or cannabis use.

Opioid Treatment Program (OTP)

This program provides medication (e.g. methadone, buprenorphine), case management and counselling for people who are dependent upon prescription or illicit opioids. OTP clinics are located at:

  • The Langton Centre (Surry Hills)
  • St. George Hospital
  • Caringbah (no onsite dosing facilities)

Services work closely with GPs and pharmacists in the community.

Hospital-based services

People attending SESLHD hospitals who also have drug and alcohol related problems can get help through the Drug and Alcohol Consultation Liaison Service, and Addiction Medicine Outpatient Department Clinics. Inpatient admissions are also available at Sydney and Sydney Eye Hospital and St. George Hospitals. 

Specialist programs

Drug and Alcohol Services also provide a number of targeted services for particular client groups:

Chemical Use in Pregnancy Service (CUPS)

CUPS helps women with drug and alcohol problems and their families before, during and after pregnancy, and are linked to perinatal and Child and Family services across the district (at Royal Women’s, St. George and Sutherland Hospitals). Postnatal follow-up clinics are also available for babies needing treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Court Diversion Programs

These provide treatment and monitoring for clients involved with the criminal justice system. Programs include MERIT and Adult Drug Court.

Cannabis Clinics

Cannabis Clinics provide specialist assessment and treatment for people whose primary concern is cannabis use. Outpatient services are located across the District

Pharmaceutical Opioid Clinics

For people with problems from their use of prescription or over-the-counter opioid analgesic medications. The team works closely with local Pain Clinics and community providers (e.g. GPs).

Psychiatric Co-Morbidity Clinics

For people with both mental health and substance use problems. The team works closely with mental health providers.

Needle and Syringe Services

Injecting equipment, health promotion and harm reduction services are available for people who inject drugs at all drug and alcohol sites across SESLHD.

Shared Care

SESLHD has a network of shared care nurses working in community settings to support GPs in responding to patients with drug and alcohol problems. The project includes the GLAD project (GP Liaison Alcohol Drugs), funded through Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and working collaboratively with Sydney Local Health District and StVHN, and includes clinical shared care activities and workforce development activities with GPs.

Assertive Community Drug & Alcohol Team (ACDAT)

A newly established services that provides intensive, time-limited case management, assertive outreach and specialist supports (e.g. neuropsychological, social work, occupational therapy) for clients who have difficulty engaging in drug and alcohol treatment due to complex comorbidities (e.g. cognitive impairment, psychiatric, medical or social needs).

Ngaliaya Wellbeing Project

Ngaliaya is a Dharawal word meaning friend or ally. The Ngaliaya Wellbeing Project is a joint project with the Aboriginal Health Unit (SESLHD) and partners in the community (Land Councils, The Noffs Foundation, Jarrah House, Oasis). The project aims to enhance engagement with Aboriginal communities across SESLHD catchment area, and includes the establishment of a network of Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Consumer Workers.

Providing Drug and Alcohol Services

Core Values

The core values of all SESLHD Services are Collaboration, Openness, Respect, and Empowerment.

Within these values, Drug and Alcohol Services aim to help individuals to identify and work towards their treatment goals. This involves working with each client to develop a treatment plan, often with other health and welfare providers.

Confidentiality

We recognise the importance of confidentiality for our clients, and Drug and Alcohol Services operate within NSW Health confidentiality policies.

Consumer Participation

There are a number of drug and alcohol consumer workers to help clients engage with services and to inform how our services can better meet the needs of consumers.

Multidisciplinary specialist workforce

Our services are provided by teams of specialist health professionals, including drug and alcohol workers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pharmacists and doctors.

Research and Evaluation

We are committed to evaluation and research in order to improve the quality of our services and to develop new treatment approaches. All research is done with SESLHD Human Research Ethics Committee approval, and with the principles of informed consent.