Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services aims to improve health and reduce harm for individuals, their families and carers and the wider community.
DACS is a specialist treatment service for people with substance use problems. Harm Minimisation is a key tenet of the model of care. It is a multidisciplinary service that includes nursing, medical and allied health clinicians alongside Aboriginal health workers. DACS operates in a range of community, outpatient and inpatient settings, providing prevention, early intervention drug and alcohol assessment and treatment counselling and case management throughout Hunter New England Health.
Services that are provided include:
- A 12 bed inpatient withdrawal unit situated at Belmont Hospital
- An opiate treatment program for approximately 1200 patients with centres in Newcastle, Cessnock, Taree and Tamworth,
- Drug and alcohol counselling services across the region
- Specialist cannabis and stimulant treatment clinics from Newcastle
- An intensive management for people with complex needs
- Youth drug and alcohol services (include link to YDACS webpage)
- A substance use in pregnancy and parenting service based in Newcastle
- Court and custodial diversion services in Newcastle and Tamworth
- Consultation liaison service based at the John Hunter Hospital and through other DACS staff attached to hospitals in the District
- Needle Syringe program to provide safe injecting equipment
- A clinical research unit to facilitate translational research and develop drug and alcohol knowledge
The Drug & Alcohol Intake Service is open Monday to Friday 8.00 – 4.30 pm (closed public holidays and weekends) and is the initial contact for assessment and referral to Hunter New England Health Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services.
The service is open to all members of the community and it provides:
- Drug & alcohol information and brief interventions to individuals, family or friends
- Initial assessment to identify individual clinical needs
- Referral to appropriate services for people requiring assistance with drug and alcohol issues
Other key drug and alcohol services include:
- The Calvary Mater Alcohol and Drug Service providing outpatient consultation, counselling and withdrawal and inpatient treatment
- Drug & Alcohol Health Services (Muswellbrook) providing counselling, court diversion and an opiate treatment program in the Upper Hunter