Drug and alcohol addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction affects people from all walks of life. Our programs and our specialists are here to help you better understand why you use alcohol or drugs excessively, the impact it has on your life and to support you through your recovery.

 Caregiver listening carefully to patient

What is drug and alcohol addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic condition where you are physically or psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol or both.

Your addiction may leave you feeling as though you do not have control over your desire to use the substance which can cause harm and hurt to yourself or others.

How drug and alcohol addiction programs can help you

Our drug and alcohol addiction programs help you address the physical, emotional and social factors associated with substance abuse or drug or alcohol addiction.

Through our treatment programs, you will:

  • understand your triggers for substance abuse
  • get equipped with skills and techniques to control your addiction
  • learn different ways to handle stress
  • develop your capacity to deal with life’s challenges.

All programs are offered by experienced therapy teams and may include psychologists, psychiatrists, 12-step counsellors, registered nurses and other allied health professionals.

We include your family in your treatment and recovery as appropriate, and provide your loved ones regular information and support sessions are available to help them better manage and support you through your recovery journey.

When you come to our hospital for inpatient alcohol and drug addiction program, we will help you understand and manage the physical, emotional and social aspects of your condition.

Staying at our hospital as an inpatient gives you the opportunity to better understand your condition, detox and re-establish a healthy lifestyle away from distractions and triggers.

What to expect?

Inpatient drug and alcohol addiction programs include a 21-day or 28-day stay at our hospital.

You can access a mix of individual and group-based therapies.

Referrals and costs

A GP can provide you a referral to access our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

Most private health insurers cover the costs of our programs and excess or co-payment may be payable depending on your level of cover.

Care is also available through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Work Cover. Self-funded patients are welcome.

Interested in our drug and alcohol addiction inpatient program?

To make an enquiry please fill in the form below.

Our day programs provide continuing support to help reduce your risk of relapse.

Our programs are based on cognitive behaviour therapy, to help equip you with the skills you need to beat your addiction. Therapies also include mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy.

What to expect?

We offer a range of day group programs to suit your needs – whether it is ongoing support immediately after discharge from hospital or for ongoing support.

Our offerings include day programs after discharge and relapse prevention which are offered either ongoing or as a part of a 12-week program.

You may also be able to access a support group which meets once a week, on an ongoing basis.

Referrals and costs

You do not need a referral to access our day drug and alcohol group programs.

Our program costs are covered by most private health insurers, however you may have an excess and/or co-payment depending on your level of cover.

We can provide care through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Work Cover. We also welcome self-funded patients.

Interested in our drug and alcohol day group program?

To make an enquiry please fill in the form below.

The Aftercare program is 15-week outpatient support group for people who have recently completed the three-week inpatient drug and alcohol program. It is an abstinence-based program designed to help achieve long-term sobriety and support people when they find abstinence difficult.

Aftercare is face-to-face, or online for those who have difficulty attending in person.

Benefits of the Aftercare program

  • Program content teaches you about the nature and experience of addiction and builds on what you have been taught while in hospital.
  • We strongly recommend you link in with Aftercare as soon as you discharge from hospital. Evidence suggests those who do this are more likely to achieve long-term sobriety than those who delay attending – or those who don’t attend at all.
  • Aftercare provides professional support from experienced facilitators. You also receive support from others in recovery who you can relate to as a result of a shared lived experience with addiction.

When does the program run?

You are transitioned to Aftercare during the third week of your inpatient admission.

In addition to Aftercare, we strongly recommend you also participate in the Twelve Step program. 


  • Tuesdays 5.00pm – 8.00pm (face to face or online)
  • Thursdays 9.30am – 3.15pm (face to face)
  • Fridays 9.30am – 3.15pm (face to face)

How to book your place

To book the Aftercare program, contact the Burwood Counselling and Therapy Centre by phone on 02 8746 4400 or fill in the form below.

Additional information:

  • We can help you confirm if your health insurance covers this program.
  • We can provide care through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Work Cover. We also welcome self-funded patients.
  • Refreshments will be provided during the program.
  • Car parking is available via 3 Grantham Street.

You can choose to see one of our psychiatrists who specialises in helping people with drug and alcohol addiction. You can see a psychiatrist for individual appointments, in combination with a day program or as an inpatient.

What to expect?

Our psychiatrists will keep you informed about your rights regarding confidentiality, speak with you about your wellbeing, and work with you to develop a plan towards recovery. This plan can involve therapy and/or medication.

Single or ongoing appointments with a private psychiatrist are available.

Referrals and costs

A referral from a GP is needed to see a private psychiatrist.

There is often a one-off fee for your first appointment with a private psychiatrist. We recommend you call your psychiatrist's rooms to check costs before your appointment.

If your psychiatrist recommends you enrol in one of our anxiety treatment programs, the costs of these programs are covered by most private health insurers. Any excess and/or co-payment depends on your level of cover.

Interested in an appointment with a private psychiatrist?

Use our Find a Specialist search to find a psychiatrist who specialises in drug and alcohol addictions at St John of God Burwood Hospital.


Please complete the form and we will contact you during regular office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm). If you require urgent help please call Lifeline: 13 11 14

Once you have submitted this form please allow 24 to 48 hours for a reply during business hours.