Althea Wellness Centre (Directions Health Services)

Provides primary health care for people impacted by alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues.

Telephone: (02) 6132 4800
Fax: (02) 6132 4801
Mailing Address: PO Box 538, Woden ACT 2606
Email address:
Location: Level 6, Cosmopolitan Centre, Woden Square, Bowes St, Woden ACT 2606
Social media: and

Access Information

Maximum waiting time for service: 

  • Within two weeks

Pre-Treatment support:

Target Group:

  • Adults
  • Men, women and couples (including same sex couples) and with accompanying children
  • Accepts both ACT and interstate residents, however ACT residents get priority
  • People under 18 may be able to access some supports

Documentation required:
No documentation required, however the following should be brought if available:

  • Medicare Card
  • Concession Card
  • Prescription
  • Other relevant health records if available

When and how to access:

Operating hours: Program operating hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday -Wednesday) for GP, practice nurse and psychologist appointments; office operating hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday).
Ways to access: By appointment only (for GP and Psychologist), drop-in (no appointment required to access Nurse), Althea offers primary health outreach to a number of locations including Civic Needle and Syringe Program, Ainslie Village and others.
Disability access: Accessible toilets, lifts, doorways and parking, access to interpreter services (sign language)
Referrals accepted from: Self, friend/family (with service consumer permission), another service, GP, Courts, Police, but no referrals are required
Transport: Bus tickets available


  • Assessments attended to at first face to face visit with Practice Nurse prior to GP appointment
  • Takes less than 1 hour

Specialist ATOD assessment includes:

  • Comprehensive alcohol, tobacco and other drug assessment
  • Comprehensive mental health history
  • Physical health & medical history
  • Social and family history
  • Domestic and family violence screening
  • Criminal and legal history
  • Risk assessment
  • All new althea clients complete a comprehensive health assessment with a practice nurse prior to seeing a GP

Treatment Plans

  • An individual treatment plan will be developed

Drug Testing

  • Drug testing is conducted as part of opioid substitution treatment; the tests are conducted by pathology laboratories
  • Types of testing used include urine drug screening,  breath alcohol concentration by Alcohol Breathalyzer


Program type: Medical and multi-disciplinary health service

Model: Holistic general medicine

Duration and intensity: As required

Philosophical approach: Harm Minimisation

Additional program description: Provides multidisciplinary and person centred primary care for individuals and their families who experience issues with ATOD. Access to nursing, medical and psychological services are available. Referral to the Dental Program is also offered.

Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Support

  • Provides on-site integrated screening and treatment for viral hepatitis
  • Supports people with advanced liver disease to access ongoing liver monitoring support through external organisations
  • Referrals to access screening, treatment and ongoing monitoring for viral hepatitis with external providers
  • Provides on site hepatitis A & B vaccines
  • Provides on-site screening and treatment for STI
  • Referrals to access screening & treatment for sexually transmitted infections with external providers
  • Provides safe sex information
  • Provides condoms
  • Provides on site Human Papillomavirus Vaccines (HPV).
  • Partnerships with hepatitis and sexual health organisations

Aftercare and Exit of Service

  • Relapse prevention strategies
  • Links with community self help groups (eg 12 step)
  • Active referrals and support to access other services
  • Integration with Directions Health Treatment Support Service Program, Arcadia House and other Services

Harm Reduction

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


  • Opioid overdose prevention and education sessions
  • Provides access to Naloxone script through a GP appointment
  • Subsidised access to naloxone available on a case by case basis

Mental Health

  • Screen for mental health
  • Assessments include a mental health component
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Staff have mental health training
  • Partnerships with mental health services (i.e. Maintaining joint management, consultation and liaison advice)
  • Mental Health Specialty staff (i.e. Psychologist)

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

  • Staff undertake Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

  • Access to interpreter services over the phone and through written materials (i.e. Translating and Interpreting Service – TIS)
  • Staff undertake cultural awareness training
  • Tools and resources in different languages
  • Partnerships with CALD services

Tobacco Management

  • Completely smokefree
  • Provides tobacco screening
  • Tobacco management support and counselling
  • Nicotine replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy provided (i.e. Through access to a GP)
  • Service has a tobacco management policy


No cost, services are bulk billed through Medicare

Staff Available

  • Nurse
  • Psychologist
  • General Practitioner x 4 (part time)

Help for Families & Carers

  • Families and carers of people experiencing ATOD issues are also able to access support through other Directions programs, including counselling and Compass Support group

Other Information

  • Provides support letters for people to access Housing ACT
  • Preparation of reports for Care and Protection
  • Preparation of reports for Courts

Last Updated on April 2019

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