Working with women with AOD issues



      Are you looking for a specialist women's service that provides drug and alcohol treatment to women?  

See the Women's AOD Services Network Profile 2015 (Download the resource [PDF]) and the referral directory or call ADIS for more assistance.


           Help is available 24 hours  a day, 7 days a week:          

            Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)         

          Ph: (02) 9361 8000      

          1800 422 599 (rural)    



Women's AOD Services Directory (2013, Updated 2016)

This referral directory (v.3) provides information on specialist women's services providing AOD treatment or support in NSW. The directory is in MS Excel format and information is provided actross four tabs including:

1. The Service

2. The program

3. Intake and referral

4. Contact details.

If you are not familiar with MS Excel this User Guide will help guide you through using the tool.


Women's AOD Services Network Profile (2015)

This resource has been developed by NADA, in partnership with the Women's AOD Services Network, to promote referral pathways for women accessing AOD treatment.

The resource includes brief overviews of the 12 Network members-who are specialist non government women's services providing AOD services in NSW, a map of where each organisation is located across NSW, and also highlights activity of the Network since its establishment in 2013.

Download the resource.


Women's AOD Services Network
The Women's AOD Services Network is a collective of service providers that works together to improve service delivery, share skills and resources to strengthen services providing AOD treatment and support for women in NSW.

For information on the network and associate membership click here.


Shortcuts to sections on this page:
- Working with Women in AOD
- Pregnant women
- Child protection
- Family and domestic violence
- Trauma Informed Care
- Women's Health
- Other topics of interest


Working with women who have alcohol and other drug issues

The NADA Practice Resource: Working with Women Engaged in Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (2016) 2nd Ed. was developed to support NADA memebr organisations in becoming gender responsive. 

It can be downloaded here and a workshop has been developed to support implementation of the resource. For more information contact Ciara or Suzie at NADA.


The NADA Advocate: Women's Issue

NADA's Advocate (June 2015) provides information on a range of initiaticves, research and services relevant to service provision for women. Click here to view the Advocate Women's Issue and for more information on the Program click here.



Are you asking the DV question? Forum (October 2016)

Identifying and responding to victims of domestic violence in AOD settings 

NADA Members and Stakeholders were invited to attend a free one day forum on 13 October 2016 - Are you asking the DV question?

The forum was hosted by NADA and the Women's AOD Services Network - and was the first official Women's Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) Services Network Associate Membership event to be held following the opening of an associate membership category in August 2016. 

For more information on the event and speakers click here.



What's Gender got to do with it? forum ( March 2016) 

NADA and the Women's AOD Services Network hosted a free forum for NADA members and Stakehodlers on 22 March 2016 - What's gender got to do with it? - for information on the event and speakers click here.

Other resources of interest:

- The practice guide provides a raft of uselful information and references to further resources.

- Women's AOD Services Development Program Needs Analysis (NADA 2014)

Best Practices for Lesbian/Bisexual Women with Substance Use Disorders (Eliason 2009)

- How practitioners can better meet the needs of midlife women with alcohol dependence: Results of the researching with Women in Recovery (RWR) study


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Are you looking for information on working with women who are pregnant and have drug and alcohol issues?

There are a range of useful resources and services that can be of assistance in this area including:
Clinical guidelines for the Management of Substance Use during Pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period, NSW Ministry of Health, 2014 and access the summary document here.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Guidelines NSW Ministry for Health 2013

Supporting Pregnant Women who use Alcohol or other Drugs: A guide for primary health professionals. NDARC 2014

Supporting Pregnant Women who use Alcohol or other Drugs: A review of the evidence, NDARC 2014  

- It's time to have the conversation: Understanding the treatment needs of women who are pregnant and alcohol dependent report (FARE) 2013

Perinatal Mental Health of Women from CALD Backgrounds Beyond Blue 2013


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Services that support pregnant women

There are a number of specialist services for pregnant women who use drugs and alcohol in NSW, the referral directory to help you find out more about the NGO's who work with pregnant women. 

Specialist services for pregnant women enrolled in an opioid pharmacotherapy program include (details up to date as of March 2015):
- Chemical Use in Pregnancy Services (CUPS)
Langton Centre and Royal Hospital for Women - Sydney
(CUPS:  (02) 9382 7111, Langton Centre: (02) 9332 8777, Caringbah (02) 9540 7668)

- Western Sydney and Westmead Hospital Drug Use in Pregnancy Service (DUPS) Westmead and Blacktown
(DUPS: (02) 8860 2560 or (02) 8860 2565)

- Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting (SUPPS)
Wollongong (SUPPS: 1300 652 226)
- Perinatal and Family Drug Health (PAFDH) Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
(PAFDH: (02) 9515 7611)
- South West Sydney LHD Perinatal and Family Drug Health (PAFDH)
(PAFDH: (02) 9616 8586)

Mid North Coast LHD  Drugs in Pregnancy Service (DIPS)Kempsey 1300 662 263
Coffs Harbour 1300 662 263
Port Macquarie 1300 662 263

Northern LHD
Tweed Heads Community Health Mum's Program (07) 5506 7540
Riverlands Detox Centre Lismore (07) 6620 7608

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Child protection

For Kids' Sake: A Workforce Development Resource for Family Sensitive Policy and Practice in the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector (NCETA, 2010)

The signs of safety: Child protection practice framework, WA Department of child protection 2011

Legal Aid Care and protection factsheets

What Family Sensitive Practice Means for Alcohol and Other Drug Workers: A Survey Report. NCETA 2010

Care and Protection: Practice Standards Information for families working with Family and Community Services caseworkers Office of the Senior Practitioner, Family and Community Services, Community Services NSW

Supporting Families Early Package - SAFE START Guidelines: Improving mental health outcomes for parents and infants Published by NSW Department of Health in 2009

Keep Them Safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing Community Services NSW 2009

Child Wellbeing and Child Protection - NSW Interagency Guidelines  Family and Community Services NSW 2006

NSW Mandatory Reporter Guide 2014

- The Hidden harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families. (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education,Canberra) 2015


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Family and domestic violence

- The Domestic Violence Website and 24 Hotline
Phone: 1800 656 463

- Lesbian Relationships and Abuse - Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

- NCETA have developed a wide range of resources to support workforce development in AOD services including a suite of resources on family sensitive practice. They can be accessed here.

Breaking the Silence: Addressing family and domestic violence problems in alcohol and other drug treatment practice in Australia NCETA 2012

Can I Ask...? An alcohol and drug clinician's guide to addressing family and domestic violence NCETA 2013

Walking a Tightrope. Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Violence: A Guide for Families.Family Drug Support and NCETA 2014 

GLBTIQ Domestic Violence Toolkit, ACON 2011

- Supporting Women with Complex Needs (WANADA)

- The Hidden harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families. (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education,Canberra) 2015


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Trauma informed care

- MHCC Trauma Informed Care and Practice webpage

- Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA)

ASCA's Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery ASCA 2013 

- Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) Website:

- NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)

Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Practices in Women's Substance Use Services (Jean Tweed Centre for Women and their Families, 2013)

- NADA Trauma Informed Care Page

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Women's health

NSW Health Framework for Women's Health 2013
- Women's Health NSW
- Australian Women's Health Network
- Aboriginal women and sexual assault: 'Hey sis, we've got your back'
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA)
- ACON provide specific support services that relate to the health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women.

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Other areas of interest

Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Limited (ANROWS) is an independent, not-for-profit company established as an initiative under Australia's National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan).

- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) For information on FASD  visit the NADA Complex Needs Website

Family Inclusive practice  For more information see the NADA Focus Area: Family page 

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness

Immigrant Women's Speakout Association NSW

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