Addiction to alcohol and other drugs can have a significant impact on friends or family members, including children. It is normal to feel some shame that this has happened within your family or circle or friends, and to worry that people around you won’t understand.

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Where to start

It can also be difficult to watch a loved one slowly deteriorate, especially if you feel powerless about getting them the help and support they need. Naturally, it is easier to support someone into treatment if they are ready to get help.

This is best done through a phone call to a local Intake Service. They can provide information about the treatment options that are available, as well as arrange an assessment of someone’s needs. The table and map below provides a list of contact numbers for them to call, depending on their location.

How you can help

If your friend or loved one is not at the point where they want help, there are some things that may assist. Leaving some drug and alcohol treatment brochures lying around can often instigate a conversation. Focus on what you have directly observed and how it is making you feel.

If you do decide to talk to them directly, avoid doing this when they are ‘in crisis’ or in a state of high emotion. Most people are more receptive to talking about their issues when they are feeling calm. It can also help to talk about your concerns with other family members or friends in order to agree on a consistent message or approach.

As the journey to recovery can be long and challenging, it is important to look after yourself. Intake Services can also provide support for you. Likewise, Family Drug Help provides a telephone service to family members and friends who are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol and other drug use. The can be contacted on 1300 660 068 or at www.familydrughelp.com.au.

Contact numbers by area

CatchmentService providerIntake and assessment no.
BarwonBarwon AOD Consortium1300 094 187 or
1300 763 254 (Colac area)
BaysideInner Sth Community Health Service1800 229 263
Eastern MelbourneSURE consortium1300 007 873
Inner North
North Melbourne
North West Melbourne
South West Melbourne
Odyssey / Uniting Vic.Tas1800 700 514
Frankston-Mornington PeninsulaFaMDAS1300 665 781
Hume
Goulburn Valley
Grampians
Loddon Mallee
Great South Coast
Gippsland
ACSO
1300 022 760
Inner EastTurning Point1800 778 278
South East MelbourneSECADA1800 142 536