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Alcohol and other drug services

Our alcohol and drug services are committed to bringing hope, freedom and wholeness to all people adversely affected by alcohol, other drugs and gambling.

We provide safe, high-quality and evidence-based support that enables people to pursue holistic transformation, to improve outcomes for themselves, their families and communities. 

Find out more about how we can support you

Our services are designed to help people at all stages of recovery. Our services include: 

  • detox/withdrawal management
  • residential rehabilitation programs
  • non-residential programs
  • primary health and harm reduction services

Find out more about our alcohol and other drug programs

Our philosophy

We believe that:

  • Every person matters and will be treated with dignity and respect
  • People have the right to make informed choices and experience personal growth
  • Harm reduction strategies can prevent or reduce drug related harms and help people to reduce or cease use.
  • A holistic approach to recovery involves healthy partnerships and relationships
  • The recovery journey is personal and each person must travel at their own pace

Do you or someone you know need help with an addiction?

Respecting and supporting diversity and inclusion in our alcohol and other drugs services

The Salvation Army is committed to providing services that are inclusive and welcoming to all people – regardless of age, culture, ability, language spoken, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and intersex status.

We are committed to supporting all participants with accessing our alcohol and other drugs (AOD) services in ways that are culturally safe. Participants will be supported to access services in a sensitive, affirming manner and decide where they feel most safe and comfortable in the service. The Salvation Army is committed to continually reviewing and improving our AOD services to minimise or remove any barriers to access.

Intersectionality in our alcohol and other drugs services

Intersectionality is a term to describe the way different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to multiple levels and layers of discrimination and marginalisation. Human experiences cannot be accurately understood by a single factor related to a person’s identity. Aspects of identity include gender, ethnicity and cultural background, language, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, geographic location or visa status, among others.

Any of these identities may create barriers to services, increase the risk of social isolation and exacerbate social and economic disadvantage. When multiple, overlapping aspects are present, barriers are amplified. The Salvation Army is committed to empowering people – especially those who experience intersectionality – to help minimise these barriers to accessing alcohol and other drugs treatment. We do this by providing person-led and accessible services in inclusive, non-discriminatory environments.

National AOD Model of Care

Our alcohol and other drugs (AOD) services are informed by our Model of Care which is based on current best practice evidence, and supported by an intersectional human rights framework.

You can view and download our Model of Care here.

The following principles inform our Model of Care and underpin our services:

We provide care in our AOD services that is informed by the best available evidence and practice recommendations. We are accountable through quality assurance measures and feedback from those who use our services.

We offer AOD services that provide the right care, for the right person at the right time. We strive to create pathways for people to access the services that are right for them. We acknowledge the unique and diverse needs of every person.

We endeavour to offer care, respect and support to all people who enter our AOD services. We understand and seek to overcome barriers that prevent people from getting the support they need. We use the best available knowledge to improve our service capacity to provide safe and inclusive care for all people who may benefit from our services.

We meet people where they are. We understand that people have a range of needs and achieving their goals is achieved by addressing more than one aspect of a person’s care needs. Our fundamental premise is that people are relational and create meaning, security and a sense of belonging through family, friends and social networks.

We work to sustain and develop partnerships to be effective and efficient in meeting the needs of people who use our AOD services or may benefit from access to our services. In particular, we understand the importance of partnerships and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and community services. We strive to overcome the limitations of system fragmentation one partnership at a time.

We demonstrate a commitment to sound, effective, evidence-based programs across our services. We work towards a capable, qualified, supported workforce who are provided opportunities to engage with current and new knowledge to support their practice. We respond to new issues as they emerge with enthusiasm and responsible innovation.

We strive to develop new ways of working to meet the needs of our diverse and complex participants and caring significant others. We incorporate the best available evidence and practice knowledge. New ideas and approaches to care are evaluated to ensure they are effective in improving the lives of the participants who engage with our services.

How we demonstrate our commitment in alcohol and other drugs services

We know that culture is central to a person’s identity and sense of belonging. Our practices ensure cultural rights, values, beliefs and expectations are respected. We are committed to delivering culturally safe alcohol and other drugs services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have different cultural and support needs depending on their location.

We have positive working relationships with local community groups and we understand the need to be well-informed by local knowledge. We endeavour to continue to strengthen relationships and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and community supports to holistically address the care needs of this group. We respond to specialist knowledge to improve access to our services.

Alcohol and other drugs services work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. People of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds vary in risk factors, patterns, rates and consequences of alcohol and other drugs use and may also vary in how they respond to alcohol and other drugs treatment.

Strong evidence shows that culturally responsive treatments lead to significantly larger reductions in post-treatment alcohol and other drugs use compared to programs where culture was not considered. People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, particularly those newly arrived, may be unfamiliar with health services in Australia. Our Salvation Army alcohol and other drugs services understand this. These participants can expect that the service options available will be explained and that staff will describe the interventions we use and how and why they work. We discuss intake and assessment processes as well as topics like wait times for programs.

Services use interpreters where required. This is preferable to relying on family members, particularly where confidential or sensitive issues are being discussed or where there are risk concerns. Our alcohol and other drugs services recognise the importance of building and maintaining relationships with local cultural community groups and service providers. We continue to recognise the inherent cultural barriers in services and seek opportunities to overcome them.

The Salvation Army is committed to supporting all participants with accessing our services in culturally safe ways. Our services are sensitive to, and inclusive of the needs of, LGBTIQA+ people. We are committed to making sure our services are safe and welcoming spaces enabling LGBTIQA+ people to thrive. For all services, especially those historically segregated by way of gender, participants who identify as LGBTIQA+ will be supported to access services in a sensitive, affirming manner and decide where they feel most safe and comfortable in the service. The Salvation Army AOD services commit to regularly reviewing our services and minimising and removing any barriers individuals face with accessing alcohol and drug counselling or treatment.

Some of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is through:

  • Maintaining confidentiality and not disclosing a person’s gender identity, sexual orientation or intersex status without consent

  • Respecting people’s genders by correctly using names and pronouns

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with LGBTIQA+ specialist services

  • Facilitating LGBTIQA+ training for our staff to ensure our services are inclusive

  • Ensuring local services have procedures and practice guidance to implement LGBTIQA+ inclusive alcohol and other drugs services

Our services ensure people living with a disability can participate fully in all programs and services. We focus on abilities and value the unique talents, skills and potential of every person.

Some of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is through:

  • Delivering services and programs that are designed in such a way that any person living with a disability can participate in all programs and activities

  • Ensuring our physical and social environments are accessible and safe

  • Ensuring people with disability have the same opportunities as other people to access services and events

  • Ensuring people with disability have the same opportunities as other people to access buildings and other facilities

  • Ensuring people with disability receive information from our services in a format that will enable them to access the information as readily as other people are able to access it

  • Ensuring people with disability receive the same level and quality of service from all Salvation Army staff

  • Ensuring people with disability have the same opportunities as other people to make complaints to The Salvation Army

  • Ensuring people with disability have the same opportunities as other people to participate in all public consultation by The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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