Where can I start?
Sometimes talking to friends and family can be really hard but often those closest to you know you best and can be a valuable resource. They may know people that have been in your situation and they can help you get the support you need.
How should I talk to my friends and family?
There can be a mix of feelings when thinking about talking with friends or family. You may feel that you do not want to 'worry' the person, you may experience feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, or fear when you’re thinking about opening up for the first time. Consider approaching a non-judgemental person. There can be a stigma surrounding drug and alcohol use and mental illness but it is becoming more acceptable to talk about this stuff openly. It’s important to challenge the stigma by engaging in conversations without shame.
Having a strong network of supportive family and friends to help you access and manage professional help is important. They can help remind you of appointments and motivate you to stay on track when things get hard.
A GP is a good starting point to discuss your tobacco, alcohol or other drug use because they can work out how your health is being affected and they know local treatment options. If you don’t have a regular GP, ask friends, family or neighbours for their suggestions or visit your local medical centre. Otherwise you can search online for a GP in your area.
How do I talk to my GP?
Even though it may be hard, it is important to be really honest with your GP. Your information is confidential. The more they understand your situation, the more they can help. It’s important to find a GP you feel comfortable with and it’s ok to ask your GP to explain things if you don’t understand. If you would rather not use your family doctor, you should find someone you feel comfortable being honest with.
What will my GP do?
To gain a good understanding of your situation the GP will want to know about your past and present drug or alcohol use. They might order some blood tests, do a physical examination, prescribe medications or refer you for further assistance If suitable, the GP can also help you to safely and comfortably stop your alcohol or drug use in your home.
Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1300 13 1340 for free, confidential information and counselling. The line is open from 8:30am -10:00pm, 7 days a week, every day of the year (South Australian callers only).
This service offers:
- Information about alcohol, illegal drugs and some prescription drugs.
- Counselling and professional assistance to help you deal with and understand your own or another person’s alcohol or other drug problem.
- Referral options if you require further assistance.
- Pamphlets on alcohol and other drug related information and services.
What will happen when I call?
The telephone counsellor will listen to what you have to say, ask questions about your drug or alcohol use and, if you have accessed services in the past, the counsellor will also ask questions about your experience with the previous service.
If you require ongoing assistance the counsellor will work with you to determine an appropriate referral option which best suits your needs. This may include making you an appointment to see a specialist drug and alcohol counsellor, providing a referral to another DASSA service such as detox and rehab services or referring you to your GP or a non-government service.
If you need further help, there is a wide range of services available.
Find a service
Our service directory has a list of services that may be right for you or the person you are concerned about.
Waiting for a service
Sometimes these services have a waiting time before you can access them. There are still things that you can do while you are waiting.
Talk to someone
It can really help to talk to someone at this time.
- Call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1300 13 1340
- Call Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Call Mental health emergency line on 13 14 65
- Visit Hello Sunday Morning to look at your relationship with alcohol
- Visit Counselling Online
Family, friends and other support people can call the Family Drug Support Line on 1300 368 186 (available 24/7) for advice and support.
Attend a support group
Get more information
There are a range of websites that provide great information including: