Health Professional Education and Resources


Alcohol Treatment Guidelines

The Guidelines for the Treatment of Alcohol Problems have been periodically developed over the past 25 years. The present version of the Guidelines was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia to remain current and integrated with the updated National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) consumption guidelines (2020). Guidelines are available to download here.

Opioid Treatment

Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)

The University of Sydney provides free courses to train health professionals on behalf of the NSW Ministry of Health. The courses assist in the development of knowledge, skills, and practices to support the safe prescribing of opioid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid dependence.

Medical and nurse practitioners can complete the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC), which forms part of the process to apply to recieve accreditation as an opioid pharmacotherapy prescriber.

There are 4 courses that are available to complete. Two of these courses (the Fundamentals of Opioid Treatment and OTAC) are related to the accreditation process; the other two are standalone topics relevant to prescribing opioid treatment.

For anyone seeking to complete any of the 4 courses, visit to register for an account. For medical and nurse practitioners, there are 3 steps to complete apply for OTP accreditation in NSW:

Have an enquiry? You can send an email to or visit the website

Treatment of opioid dependency with Depot Buprenorphine

Interim guidelines for depot buprenorphine were developed to provide a framework for clinical decision making for clinicians and consumers in a range of service settings involved in the delivery of treatment of long acting depot buprenorphine products.

Clinical guidelines for use of depot buprenorphine (Buvidal® and Sublocade®) in the treatment of opioid dependence

Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the NSW Health Guidelines: Treatment of Opioid Dependence

This webinar aims to explain the clinical guidance, evidence base, pharmacology, and risks associated with depot buprenorphine, and how to implement it as an Opioid Agonist Treatment for opioid dependency. The webinar is presented by Assoc Professor Nicholas Lintzeris, Clinical Director of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District on 16 June 2020

Webinar – Introduction to depot buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependent patients

Long acting depot buprenorphine was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) on the 1st September 2019 as an s100 drug, making it free to people with an opioid dependency. This webinar explains the clinical guidance, evidence base, pharmacology, and risks associated with depot buprenorphine, and how to implement it as an Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) for opioid dependency.
Watch here

Webinar – Prescribing depot buprenorphine in primary care

From 3 April 2020, Buvidal® – one of the two depot buprenorphine formulations available for the treatment of opioid dependency – will be able to be prescribed in the primary care setting.

This webinar will help GPs identify patients suitable for depot buprenorphine, implement depot buprenorphine as an OAT for opioid dependency, specifically in relation to prescribing, induction, dose alterations & reduction off the drug, incorporate treatment with depot buprenorphine into your practice and comply with regulatory requirements of prescribing and storing of depot buprenorphine.
Watch here

Webinar – Using Opioid Agonist Treatment for Pharmaceautical Opioid Dependence

Watch here

Routine Opioid Outcomes Monitoring (ROOM) Tool

Opioid-based medicines come with risks and side effects which may be harmful. Each day in Australia opioid harm contributes to almost 150 hospitalisations and 14 emergency department presentations (AIHW, 2018).

The ROOM tool measures outcomes with opioids using a validated framework and includes domains such as pain, mood, opioid use disorder (using the OWLS), alcohol use and constipation.

Tools available to download:

Available webinars:

Opioid Risk Indicator

In collaboration with Monash University, Healthdirect Australia has created a self-guided digital Opioid Risk Indicator. The Online Tool is a series of four questions asking the user to consider their level of concern in the past three months about their opioid medication use.

The value of an online tool is that results can be viewed by the user straight away. The results page includes a supporting explanation of the outcome, links to additional information, links to find the nearest GP and an accompanying new tool, the Pain Question Planner which can help people prepare for the conversation with their GP.

The results of the Opioid Risk Indicator can be emailed or printed for future reference. A link to Counselling Online is provided for those who may want to talk about their concerns immediately.

Turn To Help

Indivior has launched a national opioid addiction awareness program. Turn to Help comprises of consumer advertising, education and editorial, alongside in-clinic health care professional support resources. The objectives are to raise community awareness of opioid addiction, to destigmatise the condition, and to encourage those at risk to take appropriate action and talk to their doctor. At the core of this campaign is the Turn to Help website which provides access to:

Other Resources

SafeScript NSW

SafeScript NSW is a real time prescription monitoring system which allows prescribers and pharmacists to access real-time information about their patient’s prescription history for certain high-risk medicines, known as monitored medicines. This information helps prescribers and pharmacists to make safer clinical decisions and reduces the incidence of harm, including death, from the unsafe use of monitored medicines. To support prescribers and pharmacists, a SafeScript NSW Clinical Advice Line as now been established. It is a free 24/7 clinical telephone advice service and is staffed by experienced Clinical Advisors, such as senior nurses, clinical nurse consultants or other relevant health practitioners. Clinical Advisors have access to other relevant medical specialists to provide detailed advice and support.

The service can be accessed via phone on 1800 434 155.

About SafeScript NSW

SafeScript NSW Education and eLearning Module


Alcohol and Other Drugs Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)

In order to ensure that patients receive the necessary care, GPs may consider optimising MBS items to better support their patients with alcohol and other drugs of addiction.

For more information on common MBS items used for the treatment of drug and alcohol for patients, the following resource has been developed:

Optimising the MBS for patients who use alcohol and other drugs (RACGP)


Telephone and Video Consultations Manual

The University of Adelaide has developed thie manual to support health professionals identify and respond to substance use.
Available here: Telephone and Video Consultations Manual (1.85 MB)

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