Alcohol and Other Drug Telephone Services Guidelines

NCETA was contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to develop guidelines for Australia's alcohol and other drug telephone information, referral and counselling services. The purpose of the guidelines was to identify benchmarks for best practice, document the nature and delivery of alcohol and other drug telephone services provided by states and territories, identify what consumer data was or could be collected, and establish key performance indicators in order to enhance treatment outcomes, service delivery and policy development.

NCETA undertook a literature review, call for submissions, and engaged in an extensive consulative process with states and territories and other relevant stakeholders in order to develop the guidelines. 


Roche AM, Evans K, Steenson T, Pidd K, Lee N, Cusack L. (2012) Australia’s Alcohol and Other Drug Telephone Information, Referral, and Counselling Services: A Guide to Quality Service Provision. Adelaide, SA: National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University.

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) was engaged by the Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) to develop a guide to the provisionof quality services for Australia’s alcohol and other drug telephone information, referral, andcounselling services.

The purpose of this document is to provide a benchmark for states and territories to assist them to provide consistent telephone services, whilst recognising that there may be minor variations between the services provided within each jurisdiction. This document provides abasis on which jurisdictions can appraise their existing policies and service standards and is designed to assist in the provision of an appropriate, high-level service to the community.

The variability in current service provision notwithstanding, this guide offers a tool whereby a greater degree of consistency can be achieved within and between jurisdictional services with the goal of achieving greater harmonisation, improved consistency and quality of treatment and care in this key service delivery area. It is anticipated that the guide will be used to shape and inform the ongoing process of establishing and maintaining optimal quality care.