Counselling and Treatment Service (Alcohol and Drug Services, Canberra Health Services)

Provides ATOD counselling for adults, young people, family members and carers including a range of therapeutic and education groups

Telephone: (02) 5124 9977
Fax: (02) 6205 0951
Mailing Address: GPO Box 825, Canberra City ACT 2601
Email address:
Location: Level 1, ACT Health Building, 1 Moore St, Canberra City ACT 2601
Parent organisation: Alcohol and Drug Services, Canberra Health Services

Access Information

Maximum waiting time for service: 

  • Within 4 weeks

Pre-Treatment support: 

  • Support available while on the waiting list
  • Phone support
  • Active referrals and support to access other services
  • Other: Groups

Target Group:

  • Men and women
  • Adults
  • Under 18 (i.e. from 12 years of age)
  • ACT residents get priority
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Documentation required:

  • Identification
  • Medicare Card

When and how to access:

Operating hours: Program operating hours are 9am – 5 pm (Monday – Friday), office hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)
Ways to access: By appointment only
Disability access: Accessible toilets, lifts and doorways
Referrals accepted from: Self, friend and family, another service, GP, ACT Corrective Services, Schools
Transport assistance available: Bus ticket


  • Intake conducted over the phone
  • Face to face
  • Appointment required
  • Takes 1 hour

Specialist ATOD assessment includes: 

  • Comprehensive alcohol, tobacco and other drug assessment
  • Comprehensive mental health history
  • Basic physical health & medical history
  • Includes other assessments

Treatment Plans

  • An individualised treatment plan will be developed


Program type: Counselling and psychotherapeutic or psychosocial services.

Model: Brief interventions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy are the most commonly used interventions (in line with a Model of Care for the Counselling and Treatment Service).

Duration and intensity: Duration is consistent with a treatment plan developed with the service consumer. Appointments are typically weekly.

Philosophical approach: Harm minimisation based on demand and harm reduction principles.

Additional program description: Provides short, medium and long term counselling and a range of therapeutic and psycho-educational groups to individuals, families and carers. Counselling and psychotherapy support is for hazardous or harmful ATOD use as well as substance intoxication, substance abuse and substance disorders identified in the DSM-V-TR. Treatment for a range of psychosocial problems that result in or derive from presenting issues is also offered. 24/7 telephone number for people seeking crisis support related to ATOD is also provided.

Programs and Groups include:

Youth Drug and Alcohol Program (YDAP): Tertiary service for young people aged 12 – 25 years with complex ATOD issues. This includes substance dependence, injecting drug use, poly drug use or co-occurring issues. Provides face to face counselling, crisis intervention, information and support, advocacy, support for carers, families and friends and referrals.


  • Mindfulness, Meditation and Stress Reduction
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
  • SMART Recovery

Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Support

  • Referrals to access screening, treatment and ongoing monitoring for viral hepatitis with external providers
  • Referrals to access screening & treatment for sexually transmitted infections with external providers
  • Provides safe sex information
  • Provides condoms

Harm Reduction

  • Harm reduction drug education and strategies (i.e. safer injecting information)

Mental Health

  • Screen for mental health
  • Assessments include a mental health component
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Relationships with Mental Health ACT (i.e. Maintaining joint management, consultation and liaison advice)
  • Staff have mental health training
  • Mental health services in-reach

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

  • Staff undertake Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander services in-reach (i.e. An Aboriginal Liaison Officer is able to facilitate access to treatment if requested). Identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellor is available.
  • Partnerships

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

  • Access to interpreter services
  • Access to staff that speak a language other than English (i.e. Arabic, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese)
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse staff
  • Tools and resources in different languages (i.e. A range of pamphlets)
  • Staff undertake cultural awareness training
  • CALD in-reach to service

Tobacco Management

  • Smokefree
  • Screen for tobacco use
  • Provide tobacco intervention (i.e. Referral options specifically for smoking cessation with Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Health)
  • Support for smoking cessation can be included in counselling psychotherapy process
  • Provide access to subsidised or free nicotine replacement therapies
  • Service has a workplace tobacco management policy


No cost

Staff available

  • AOD Worker (Clinical)
  • Nurse
  • Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Administrator
  • Executive
  • Manager

Help for Families & Carers

  • Information and education offered to families and carers
  • Family information nights (i.e. Information for parents, carers or family of young people with alcohol and/or drug use. The two hour session covers information about drugs and alcohol, strategies for helping the young person with these issues, and services that are available to help)
  • Counselling for family and carers (i.e. Families and carers can access the counselling service for brief interventions)

Alexander Maconochie Centre 

  • Counselling (i.e. with throughcare services provided)
  • Information and education (i.e. Provide brief intervention including pharmacology, short term effects and long term risks of problematic substance use)
  • Harm reduction (i.e. Education about the harms of substance use, the provision of strategies to reduce the frequency and amount of substance use)
  • Assessments (i.e. biopsychosocial)
  • Referrals accepted for people in AMC
  • Throughcare services to support people to transition from the AMC into community services (i.e. counselling)

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre

  • Withdrawal management (i.e. Psychosocial support regarding withdrawal and liaison with medical addiction specialists as required)
  • Counselling
  • Information and education (i.e. Education about the harms of substances used, the provision of strategies to reduce the frequency and amount of substance use and a focus on the negative affects of problematic alcohol and drug use)
  • Harm reduction
  • Assessments (i.e. biopsychosocial)

Other Information

  • Provides support letters for people to access Housing ACT
  • Preparation of reports for Care and Protection
  • Preparation of reports for Courts
  • All services require informed consent (i.e. Support letters and reports are subject to Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS) Release and Information procedures)

Last Updates on April 2019

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