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Drug and alcohol services

There is a range of services available in South Australia for people who experience problems with alcohol and other drugs, which means there are many options for people with differing needs and treatment preferences.

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA)

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) provides statewide alcohol and other drug treatment services.

Other substance misuse services and locations

SA Health contracts non-government agencies to provide a range of alcohol, tobacco and other drug services through the Specialist Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Treatment Services program.

Services and locations

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)  

A confidential telephone counselling, information and referral service for the general public, concerned family and friends, students and health professionals.  
Call 1300 13 1340 (8.30am to 10pm every day).

More information about ADIS

 

For people seeking support

Aboriginal services and programs

More information about alcohol and other drug treatment services for Aboriginal people in metropolitan and country areas is available on the Aboriginal services and programs page.

Service brochures:

Clean Needle Program

The Clean Needle Program (CNP) provides sterile needles and syringes, sharps disposal containers and disposal facilities, information, education and referral for people who inject drugs.

More information about the program and its activities.

DASSA Community Services

Free, confidential services in both metropolitan and country areas including:

Community treatment services brochure (PDF 135KB)

Metropolitan:

Appointments are required. To make an appointment and/or further information 
call 1300 13 1340 (South Australian callers only - local call fee)
8.30am to 10pm every day.

DASSA Central Services
91 Magill Road, Stepney SA 5069

DASSA Northern Services
22 Langford Drive, Elizabeth SA 5112

DASSA Southern Services
1/209 Main South Road, Morphett Vale SA 5162

Country:

Appointments are required. To make an appointment and/or seek further information call 1300 13 1340 (South Australian callers only - local call fee).
8.30am to 10pm every day.

Services are based in:

Barossa
Ceduna
Clare
Mount Barker
Mount Gambier
Murray Bridge
Port Augusta
Port Lincoln
Port Pirie
Riverland
Southern Fleurieu
Whyalla
Yorke Peninsula

DASSA Library and Resource Centre

91 Magill Road, Stepney SA 5069
Telephone: (08) 7425 5075
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

More information about the library

Medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence

Drug and Alcohol Services SA offers methadone, buprenorphine and other drug treatment programs as well as outpatient counselling for opioid-dependent clients, assisting them to reduce or abstain from the use of illicit opioids.

Outpatient counselling services are also available for stimulant and other drug problems. The unit also provides referral, liaison and support for private prescribers and community pharmacists and specialist education and training for health professionals working in the alcohol and other drug area.

Information brochure about medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence (PDF 55KB)

Telephone: 1300 13 1340 (South Australian callers only - local call fee)
8.30am to 10pm every day.

  • Central Service
    91 Magill Road, Stepney SA 5069
  • Northern Service
    22 Langford Drive, Elizabeth, South Australia 5112
  • Southern Service
    1/209 Main South Road, Morphett Vale SA 5162

DASSA Obstetric Unit

The DASSA Obstetric Unit is a specialist service for substance-using pregnant women and their partners from conception until after the baby’s birth. The service provides assessment, treatment, education, support and advocacy to ensure the safest outcome for mother and baby.

This service is provided at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Lyell McEwin Health Service and Flinders Medical Centre.

Telephone: 1300 13 1340 (8.30am to 10pm every day).

The Woolshed

The Woolshed is a residential therapeutic community for men and women aged from 18 years with drug or alcohol related problems. The Woolshed offers a structured program to develop living, work and interpersonal skills through education, counselling, group work and recreational activities. It has associated halfway houses in Adelaide and links with self-help groups.

The program takes 3 to 6 months; a shorter program may be negotiated for those assessed as having commitments/needs which make the full program unsuitable.

The Woolshed accepts clients committed to living without illicit drug use. This can include those not receiving medication and those clients on medication assisted treatment for opiate dependence (MAT-OD). All MAT-OD clients wishing to enter the Woolshed will need to do so via a DASSA withdrawal unit.

To arrange an assessment call 1300 13 1340 
(South Australian callers only - local call fee). 
8.30am to 10pm every day.

Ashbourne SA 5157
Telephone: 1300 13 1340 (SA callers only - local call fee)

Woolshed brochure (PDF 1.2MB)

Withdrawal Management Services

This service provides assessment and inpatient medical detoxification for people withdrawing from alcohol and a range of other drugs. The service is free and confidential. No referral is necessary.

To arrange an assessment call 1300 13 1340 (South Australian callers only - local call fee). 
8.30am to 10pm every day

Services are located at:

Glenside Health Services
226 Fullarton Road, Eastwood, SA 5063

Inpatient Withdrawal Services brochure (PDF 165KB)

 

For health professionals

Please click on the following headings to go to the relevant section of this page for further information.

Clinical advice

Referrals for alcohol and/or drug withdrawal

Referrals to DASSA community based clinics – metropolitan and country

DASSA operated Aboriginal drug and alcohol services

The Woolshed

DASSA Obstetric Unit

Hospital Drug and Alcohol Consultation Liaison Service

Police Drug Diversion Initiative (PDDI)

Clean Needle Program

Other DASSA services for clinicians and other health professionals

Community Pharmacy Program

DASSA Library and Resource Centre

General Practitioner Program

Education and training

Clinical advice

Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Service (DACAS)

A 24-hour telephone service for general practitioners, hospital based medical practitioners or nurses and pharmacists in hospitals or the community, seeking advice in managing people with drug and/or alcohol problems.
Telephone: (08) 7087 1742

Referrals for alcohol and/or drug withdrawal: 

Referrals from the community:

  • Many patients/clients can be safely withdrawn from drugs in the community.
    For general advice
    .
  • Some clients/patients require an inpatient withdrawal (eg people with high severity alcohol dependence with a history of seizures or delirium).

    The DASSA Withdrawal Services are located at Glenside. To arrange an admission ask the patient/client to contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1300 13 13 40.

    Send referral information (including the patient/client’s contact details). For more information: DASSA Referral information.
  • If the situation is unclear then either:

OR

Direct transfers from acute hospitals to DASSA Withdrawal Services can be arranged for higher risk patients needing inpatient withdrawal, who have been medically cleared, are not subject to any Mental Health Treatment Orders, are not needing IV treatment, and are able to attend to their own activities of daily living. Transfer may be able to be arranged same day, but is often deferred to the following day due to bed availability.

Please:

  • refer to your own Organization Wide Instructions regarding this.

OR

OR

  • Ring the DASSA Withdrawal Services Liaison Nurse or Coordinator (08) 7087 1700 between 0800 and 1700hrs seven days per week.

Referrals to DASSA community based clinics – metropolitan and country

DASSA is able to provide a range of services for patients or clients referred by general practitioners, specialists and other service providers. DASSA provides ongoing care for patients and clients needing multi-disciplinary medical, nursing and allied health interventions.

Clients/patients needing less intensive interventions will be referred to other services. (eg those who have already ceased their substance use, or reduced it to low levels who are primarily needing relapse prevention interventions).

Service responses available through DASSA are as follows:

Assessment:

Referred patients/client will undergo an initial comprehensive assessment by a clinical staff member. Appropriate treatment options will be explored. The DASSA clinician will communicate the outcome of this assessment back to the referring service.

Clinical advice regarding ongoing care:

Many people will have been well managed by their GP, specialist or other service, who may only require some additional specialist advice to continue with management.

Referring doctors can:

Therapeutic counselling:

  • DASSA is able to provide counselling services for those people seeking to overcome drug dependence. Such counselling is usually given for people with complex presentations with the need for ongoing multi-disciplinary medical, nursing and allied health interventions.
  • Clients/patients may be referred on to services within the non-government sector depending on their needs.  This will be discussed with the client and the referring service will be informed.

For patients/clients with opioid dependence DASSA can provide:

  • Review of people referred because of concerns related to their use of prescription opioids for chronic pain
    A comprehensive initial assessment and a medical assessment will be undertaken followed by a letter sent to the referring GP with copies to other appropriate bodies, such as the Drugs of Dependence Unit. Assessment outcomes may range from advice regarding continued GP management to a recommendation that the patient is best treated with methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone due to the development of drug addiction.
  • Initiation of pharmacotherapy treatment: DASSA doctors are able to implement a range of pharmacotherapy treatments for dependence to a variety of drugs. Methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone are commonly used for long term opioid treatment.
    DASSA can commence and stabilise a patient/client on Suboxone and transfer them back to their GP for ongoing care if requested.
  • A take-over of existing treatment authority: DASSA metropolitan clinics are able to take over the authority for treatment for those people who become non-compliant or de-stabilised whilst under GP care. This may be a temporary or permanent arrangement depending on the wishes of the GP and the outcome from specialist treatment.

Other medication based treatments

Besides opioid dependence, some other substance dependencies can be treated with medications. For alcohol dependence, acamprosate, naltrexone or disulfiram are the more frequently prescribed medications.

DASSA clinicians can commence these and provide advice back to the referring GP or specialist regarding their continuing them.

Modafinil can be used to assist with methamphetamine withdrawal by DASSA services as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Referral back to GP treatment when stabilised:

As with most specialist services, patients are generally referred back to their GP when their clinical situation has stabilised.

DASSA operated Aboriginal drug and alcohol services 

These include:

  • Aboriginal Connection Program based in metropolitan Adelaide
  • Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) Substance Misuse Service

More information about Aboriginal services and programs.

The Woolshed 

The Woolshed is a residential therapeutic community for men and women aged from 18 years with drug or alcohol related problems. The Woolshed offers a structured program to develop living, work and interpersonal skills through education, counselling, group work and recreational activities. It has associated halfway houses in Adelaide and links with self-help groups.

For further information: Woolshed brochure (PDF 1.2MB)

Patients or clients interested should ring the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1300 13 13 40 to arrange an initial interview with Woolshed staff.

DASSA Obstetric Unit

The DASSA Obstetric Unit is a specialist service for substance-using pregnant women and their partners from conception until after the baby’s birth. The service provides assessment, treatment, education, support and advocacy to ensure the safest outcome for mother and baby.

This service is provided at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Lyell McEwin Health Service and Flinders Medical Centre.

For initial advice contact the Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Service on (08) 7087 1742.

Hospital Drug and Alcohol Consultation Liaison Service

A specialist medical and nursing service that provides consultation and liaison on alcohol and other drug related problems to clinicians in the acute care setting of major public hospitals in South Australia. This service is provided at Flinders Medical Centre, Lyell McEwin Health Service and the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

This is only available for these three hospitals and further details can be obtained from the following intranet page.

For health professionals in other hospitals, contact the Clinical Advisory Service (08) 7087 1741.

Police Drug Diversion Initiative (PDDI)

Young people and adults detected by the police for simple possession drug offences can be diverted from the criminal justice system into education, assessment and treatment through the Police Drug Diversion Initiative.

DASSA is responsible for the statewide coordination of the program as well as the Drug Diversion Line, a 24-hour telephone appointment and referral service.
Telephone: (08) 7425 5000

More information about the Police Drug Diversion Initiative (PDDI).

Clean Needle Program

The Clean Needle Program (CNP) is an important public health initiative that reduces the spread of blood borne viruses including HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs and the wider community.

More information about the program and its activities.

Other DASSA services for clinicians and other health professionals

Community Pharmacy Program

The Community Pharmacy Program recruits community pharmacies to participate in both the Maintenance Pharmacotherapies Program and the Clean Needle Program. The program provides information, professional advice and support, while ensuring efficacy, safety and practice standards are maintained within DASSA and participating community pharmacies.
Telephone: (08) 7425 5000

Information for pharmacists.

DASSA Library and Resource Centre

91 Magill Road, Stepney SA 5069
Telephone: (08) 7425 5075
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

More information about the library.

General Practitioner Program

The General Practitioner (GP) Program provides support to prescribers of medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence (MATOD) including the provision of training, clinical resources and education.
Telephone: (08) 7425 5000

More information about the GP Program

Education and training

There is a range of drug and alcohol-related training options available in South Australia, for people with differing levels of qualification, expertise and interest.

More information about training and education

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