Key messages

  • In Victoria, a variety of treatment services are available so that people can get the most suitable treatment and support for their needs. Most people access state-funded treatment services through DirectLine or the intake provider in their area.
  • Additional access and referral arrangements are available for Aboriginal peoples, young people, forensic clients, parents of children subject to a family reunification order and people treated under the Severe Substance Dependent Treatment Act (2010).
  • Other service providers, including those from the health and human services, support services, justice sectors, and primary health providers have referral pathways into treatment services.

Not everybody who presents with an alcohol or other drug use issue will require specialised alcohol and other drug treatment. Some people may benefit from information and advice about drug use including self-managed care options. Intake and comprehensive assessment will determine the correct referral pathway for each person who accesses the alcohol and other drug treatment system.

Most people access government-funded treatment services through the 24-hour, 7-day telephone and online service, DirectLine. Catchment-based intake providers across the state also provide an intake point for people in their local catchment. These points of entry allow people to choose how and where they access the support they need.

Access for Aboriginal people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can also access treatment through self-referrals and direct referrals from other services such as Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs).

Access for young people

Young people can also access services through self-referrals or direct referrals from other services, including the specialist youth service, Youth drug and alcohol advice (YoDAA). Young people aged up to 25 years will be offered the choice to attend a youth-specific service.

Access for forensic clients

People referred through the justice system access treatment through the Australian Community Support Organisation’s (ACSO) Community Offenders Advice and Treatment Services (COATS) program. For clients referred through Community Corrections, the courts and the Adult Parole Board, ACSO will develop initial treatment plans and refer clients to appropriate services.

Forensic clients referred through diversion programs can access the treatment system through catchment-based intake providers. This includes clients referred to DirectLine through the Drug Diversion Appointment Line (DDAL).

Access for parents of children subject to a family reunification order

The Victorian Government has invested to provide extra services for parents who need alcohol or other drug treatment as part of their children’s family reunification order. Clinicians are available across Victoria to provide dedicated services to these parents, to help them access timely treatment and maximise their chances of reuniting with their children. Parents in this client group seeking treatment can talk to their children’s child protection practitioner, who will actively support them to connect with their local intake provider.

More information on service expectations, access and referral arrangements for this initiative (for child protection practitioners, intake providers and service providers respectively) is available in the fact sheets below.

Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act (2010)

People required under the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act (2010) to attend residential withdrawal treatment have priority access to voluntary treatment services after they complete their court-ordered treatment.

How other service providers refer clients into the treatment system

Other service providers, including those from the health, human services and justice sectors have clear pathways for referral into and integration with treatment services.

Any service provider seeking further information may contact DirectLine 24-hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 888 236 or their local intake provider.

Please see the Alcohol and other drugs program guidelines for more information about access and referral to treatment.