What are signs of addiction?

People can develop addiction to alcohol, drugs and gambling. If you or someone you know are experiencing any of the signs below, addiction may have become an issue.

Do you, or they:

  • Experience sudden changes in behaviour or mood?
  • Seem to withdraw from family commitments or regular gatherings?
  • Appear careless about personal appearance?
  • Increasingly lose interest in work, family, hobbies or favourite pastimes?
  • Neglect responsibilities?
  • Experience financial difficulties?
  • Struggle with sleep?
  • Feel confronted when others express concern about the possibility of addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling?

If you experience any of these signs, it is important that you seek the advice of a health professional.

Where to get support

There are many different forms of support available and treatment can be tailored to each person’s needs. Taking action and getting support early gives people the best chance at getting better, and show great courage and strength. Remember, there is no need to wait until a crisis to get help.


Turning Point offers a program called BreakThrough, developed in partnership with SHARC and the Bouverie Centre with funding from the Victorian Department of Health.

The program helps families with practical strategies to talk to loved ones about their substance use, better respond to and manage challenging behaviours and practice self-care. Information on where to access additional help and support is provided.

For more information or to register for a session, please visit the BreakThrough website.

If you would like to attend a BreakThrough session, you can register here.

Families who are unable to attend a BreakThrough session can download and read either of the resources available. Ice Education for families or BreakThrough Families Understanding Addiction.

Services you can access yourself


Directline is a free 24/7 telephone service, offering on-the-spot counselling and referral to specialist treatment services for people affected by addiction. It also offers information about local peer support groups and meetings.

Counselling Online

Counselling Online is a free national 24/7 online counselling service for people affected by addiction. It offers helpful information, guided self-help and an active peer support forum.

Ready 2 Change

Ready 2 Change (R2C) is a free telephone counselling program for people living in Victoria who are struggling with their alcohol or drug use and are unable to attend face-to-face services.

Gambling Help Online

Gambling Help Online is a free, national confidential service that operates 24/7 to provide online support and referral for anyone affected by gambling. It offers helpful information, guided self-help and an active peer support forum.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery provides face-to-face and online support groups for people experiencing addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous provides a community-based group recovery program for people who have experienced addiction to alcohol.

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous provides a community-based group recovery program for people who have experienced addiction to drugs.

Alcohol and Other Drug Pathways

AOD Pathways supports individuals, families and friends who have had difficulty accessing drug and alcohol treatment.

Services you can be referred to

Intake service and referrals

Turning Point Eastern Treatment (TPETS) Intake Service

Comprehensive assessment for services including detox, medical support and counselling.

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Referral forms

Referrals can be sent to Turning Point via fax (03) 8413 8499.

Inpatient detox and short stay rehabilitation

1 East and Wellington House

7-28 day residential detox and short-stay rehabilitation. Located at Eastern Health's Box Hill Hospital Campus.

While we usually offer up to 28-day stay, our length of stay has been affected by COVID -19. For more information about the length of stay we are currently offering for residential detox, please contact our helpful Intake team on 1800 778 278.

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Specialist addiction clinics

Specialist pharmacotherapy service

Treatment for people who are dependent on prescribed or illicit opioids. Treatment options include methadone, Suboxone, Buvidal and Sublocade.

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Addiction medicine clinic

Specialist addiction clinic for people requiring assessment, diagnostic clarification and management planning for AOD use or other addictive behaviours (e.g. gambling).

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Addiction neuropsychology service

Neuropsychological assessment and secondary consultation for people with AOD issues and suspected cognitive impairment.

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Counselling, psychotherapy and care coordination

Alcohol and other drug (AOD) counselling

Counselling support for people to help address their alcohol and drug concerns.

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Aboriginal alcohol and other drug (AOD) support

Outreach and treatment for people who identify as Aboriginal and who are seeking support for their alcohol and other drug use.

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Counselling, care and recovery coordination

Treatment and care coordination for people requiring support from AOD and other health and support services.

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Group programs

SMART Recovery

Cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing based group program to help people manage their addictive behaviours, facilitated by Turning Point staff.

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The KickStart program is an eight-week therapeutic group specifically for men who are involved in the justice system where a link has been identified between offending behaviour and substance use.

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