Key messages

  • Telephone and online services in Victoria have an important role in offering counselling and assistance for alcohol and other drug users, their families and support people. These services also provide information and education, contacts for self-help groups and referral for treatment.
  • There is a wide range of other telephone and online services for alcohol and other drug users and their families and support people, and for health and human service professionals.

Role of telephone and online services in the treatment system

Telephone and online services in the alcohol and other drug treatment system are often the first point of contact for alcohol and other drug users, their families and support people across Victoria.

Telephone and online services provide confidential counselling and assistance, information and education, self-assessment tools, contacts for self-help groups and referral for treatment.

About telephone and online services

DirectLine

DirectLine is a statewide telephone and online service which supports people seeking alcohol and other drugs information, advice or referral. It is a useful first point of contact for alcohol and other drug users, and health and human service providers, including general practitioners.

Most clients identified as non-dependent users are offered telephone and online supports, including information and advice, brief interventions, worker-facilitated and self-guided supports, and referrals to other services. Clients identified as likely to require treatment for alcohol and other drug-related risk, harm or dependence are referred to catchment-based intake services.

DirectLine offers information, advice and brief interventions before, during and after treatment and operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It is staffed by professional counsellors at Turning Point, a centre of excellence for alcohol and other drug treatment, research and education, a part of Eastern Health.

DirectLine can be accessed over the phone on 1800 888 236 or at the DirectLine website.

Drug and alcohol clinical advisory service

The Drug and alcohol clinical advisory service (DACAS), is a free specialist telephone consultancy service for health and welfare professionals in Victoria. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DACAS offers clinical advice to health and welfare professionals who have concerns about the clinical management of patients and clients with alcohol and other drug use issues. Assistance can be provided about a wide range of medical and psychiatric issues related to alcohol and other drug use.

DACAS consultants are addiction medicine specialists, qualified to help with enquiries about medical and psychiatric issues related to alcohol and other drug use and their management.

DACAS can be accessed over the phone on 1800 812 804 or at the DACAS website.

Family drug help

Family drug help, delivered by the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), provides services that aim to strengthen the physical and mental health of families dealing with a loved one's alcohol and other drug use, and support the family's ability to cope with their individual situations. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing access to information and referral to support groups and family counselling.

Family drug help can be accessed over the phone on 1300 660 068 or at the Family drug help website.

Youth drug and alcohol advice service

Youth drug and alcohol advice (YoDAA) is Victoria's specialist youth service. YoDAA offers anyone concerned about a young person's substance use with access to youth alcohol and other drug information, personalised advice and direct connection with appropriate services.

YoDAA is staffed by a dedicated team of experienced youth professionals from Victoria's Youth Support and Advocacy Service. The service has a specialised and enhanced capacity to respond to carers and workers in the out-of-home care and child protection system.

YoDAA can be accessed over the phone on 1800 458 685 or at the YoDAA website.

Other telephone and online services

A wide range of other telephone and online services are provided for alcohol and other drug users and their families and support people and for health and human services professionals.

Useful alcohol and other drugs service details

Alcohol and drug services

HIV/AIDS resources

Advocacy

Education and awareness

Research

Strategy