Opioid Treatment Services (Alcohol and Drug Services, Canberra Health Services)

Provides opioid substitution treatment and coordinated care by working with other health and pharmacotherapy services.

Telephone: (02) 5124 9977
Fax: (02) 6244 2990
Mailing Address: GPO Box 825, Canberra City ACT 2601
Email address: adp.ots@act.gov.au
Website: http://www.health.act.gov.au/our-services/alcohol-and-other-drugs/opioid-maintenance-treatment
Location: Wruwallin Clinic, Building 7, Canberra Hospital, Palmer St, Garran ACT 2605
Parent organisation: Alcohol and Drug Services, Canberra Health Services

Access Information

Maximum waiting time for service: 

  • Approximately 1 -2 weeks

Target Group:

  • Adults
  • Men, women and couples (including same sex couples) and with accompanying children
  • ACT residents get priority
  • Special population groups get priority as follows:
    • Pregnant women
    • Women and their partners with children under the age of two
    • People under the age of 18
    • People who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    • People being released from correctional institutions
    • People on diversion programs from the criminal justice system
    • People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and their partners
    • People with hepatitis and their partners

Documentation required:

  • Photo Identification
  • Medicare Card
  • Concession Card

When and how to access:

Dosing operating hours: 7:15am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 3pm (Monday – Friday), 7:15am – 9:30am, 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm (weekends and public holidays)
Other operating hours: Doctor operating hours 9am – 4:51pm (5 days a week); Social Workers available for counselling from 8:30am – 4:51pm (5 days a week); office hours 7:30am – 4:51pm (Monday – Friday)
Ways to access: By appointment only
Disability access: Accessible toilets, lifts, doorways and parking
Referrals accepted from: Self, friend/family, another service, GP, Courts


  • Assessment required
  • Over the phone
  • Face to face
  • Appointment required
  • Can take less than 1 hour, but assessment time varies
  • If the service is right for the individual, they can be admitted or go through intake straight away

Specialist ATOD assessment includes 

  • Comprehensive alcohol, tobacco and other drug assessment
  • Comprehensive mental health history
  • Basic physical health & medical history
  • Social and family history
  • Domestic and family violence screening
  • Criminal and legal history
  • Risk Assessment
  • Includes other assessments: Suicide Vulnerability Assessment Tool (SVAT)

Drug Testing

  • Drug testing is conducted as part of treatment; the tests are conducted in-house/on-site by program staff and conducted by pathology laboratories.
  • Types of testing used include urine drug screening, breath alcohol concentration by Alcohol Breathalyzer, smoking status by Smokerlyser


Program type: Opioid pharmacotherapy

Model: The program is provided in line with the National Guidelines for Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (2014) and Opioid Maintenance Treatment in the ACT: Local Policies and Procedures.

Duration and intensity: Ongoing as needed

Philosophical approach: Harm minimisation

Specialist focus interventions on drugs of concern: Opioids

Additional program description: Provides prescription and dosing of pharmacotherapies for people seeking to manage opioid use. A Key Worker is offered for Tier 1 clients (i.e. people dosing at the clinic) and people will continue to be reviewed by a Medical Officer while on pharmacotherapies. Prescriptions are reviewed every three months or more frequently as required. The program also provides coordinated care by working with other health and pharmacotherapy services.

Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Support

  • Integrated screening and treatment for viral hepatitis on-site
  • Supports people with advanced liver disease to access ongoing liver monitoring support through external organisations
  • Referrals for people to access screening, treatment and ongoing monitoring for viral hepatitis with external providers
  • Referrals for people to access screening & treatment for sexually transmitted infections with external providers
  • Provides safe sex information
  • Partnerships with Hepatitis ACT and sexual health organisations

Harm Reduction

  • Harm reduction drug education and strategies (i.e providing safer injecting information)
  • Opioid overdose prevention and education

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)
  • Partnerships with mental health services
  • Mental health services in-reach
  • Mental health specialty staff (i.e. Psychiatrist, Psychologist)

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
  • Partnerships (i.e. Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Services)
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander staff (i.e. Referrals to the Alcohol and Drug Services Aboriginal Liaison Officer for case management and support is available)

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

  • Access to interpreter services
  • Tools and resources in different languages
  • Partnerships with CALD services
  • CALD services in-reach

Tobacco Management

  • Smokefree
  • Provide repeated or ongoing support and/or counselling for smoking cessation (i.e. Provision of NRT Clinic and 1-week supply of NRT tailored to the clients’ needs with a written letter to the GP for ongoing support)
  • Provide access to subsidised or free nicotine replacement therapies (i.e. NRT Clinic)
  • Provide access to GPs/medical officers to prescribe NRT patches or other smoking cessation pharmacotherapies (i.e. Referral written to GP)
  • Service has a workplace tobacco management policy


No cost

Staff available

  • AOD Worker (Clinical)
  • Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Social Worker
  • Addictions Medicine Specialist
  • Smoking Cessation Worker
  • Other Medical Practitioner

Help for Families & Carers

  • Information and education offered to families and carers

Alexander Maconochie Centre  

  • Provides assistance to people in, and post release from the AMC to ensure continuity of care including allocation of a Key Workers to support transitions

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email