Making an impact

We’ve seen first-hand what addiction can do to a person, to a family, to a community and to all of us. We listen to those who seek our support, we look at what the data tells us, test what we see, and pass on that knowledge to others. We keep pushing, searching for the next solution. That is what addiction requires of us. To keep striving for a better way.

Our treatment programs encompass everything from face-to-face specialist interventions and residential services in Melbourne, through to telehealth services that cover the whole of Australia. We provide advice to GPs, pharmacists and hospital doctors through our Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Service, as well as specialised wellbeing support lines for health professionals.

Our clinical and social researchers work together with clinicians and consumers to address barriers to help-seeking and test new interventions that promote recovery. We work with government to develop clinical guidelines and resources for families and consumers, as well as understanding what works for whom. Our National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit (NAMHSU) team works use extensive data sources to create evidence and policy solutions that provide early warning surveillance for addiction, self-harm and suicide and outcomes data that can drive best practice.

Our education and training programs integrate the latest evidence, applied skills and real-world clinical observation to equip the frontline workforce to deliver the highest quality care.  From one-day intensives to accredited postgraduate courses, we provide a pathway of learning that is tailored to clinicians’ needs. Workshops and seminars ensure that the latest evidence is rapidly disseminated to health professionals and policy makers to drive change.

Key projects

  • We developed the world’s first national self-harm and suicide surveillance system, built on partnerships with Australian ambulance services, and strengthened through machine-learning support from Google. 
  • We examined risky drinking practices across the Victorian community, and supported local councils in their alcohol culture change initiatives.
  • We developed a school-based intervention, MAKINGtheLINK that teaches young people the skills to support their peers with substance use or mental health issues, as well as seek professional help for themselves.
  • We conducted Australia’s largest alcohol and drug treatment outcomes study, Patient Pathways that highlighted what works and how the treatment system can be improved. 
  • We developed a national quality framework for alcohol and drug treatment services to ensure that care is safe and effective for all Australians. 
  • We pioneered world-leading interventions that combine pharmacological, cognitive, psychological and social approaches that lead to meaningful and sustained outcomes for people affected by addiction. 
  • We developed novel telehealth interventions that overcome existing barriers to care and improve health and wellbeing.
  • We developed self-help strategies to support gamblers, as well as identified how to improve gambling supports among Australians with mental illness.
  • We conducted Australia’s first study of what life in recovery looks like.
  • We developed a family education program, Breakthrough that teaches practical support strategies as well as opportunities for family members to connect and learn from each other
  • We established an Australia-wide online postgraduate program in addiction to build the knowledge and skills of health professionals and policymakers.