GP Liaison in Alcohol & Other Drugs at St Vincent’s Hospital

There is a shortage of Opioid Agonist Treatment [OAT] prescribers in NSW. Prescribing of OAT is becoming increasingly concentrated in a small group of mature GPs who have been practicing for many years. These GPs are moving towards retirement and while the recruiting of new GPs is occurring, it is proving a challenge to recruit and retain OAT prescribers [1].

OAT, methadone and buprenorphine, are safe and effective treatment options for opioid dependence. There are a high number of benefits for patients on these treatment modalities, including reducing the risk of overdose risk by 70% relative to patients not in treatment [1].

GPs may be deterred from prescribing due reservations about their ability to provide quality care. There is a perception that prescribing OAT for opioid dependence is a complex process and remains a persistent barrier [1].

The GP Liaison in Alcohol and other Drugs (GLAD) CNC, has a key role to play in working with GPs to identify and respond to barriers they may face when prescribing OAT.

One of the GP’s supported by the GLAD CNC at St Vincent’s Hospital describes his experience working with OAT as follows:

‘Prescribing OAT is one of the most satisfying elements of my GP work. Using an established, proven, evidence-based treatment that not just minimises harms but can give people their freedom and lives back, is very rewarding. These patients are generally very grateful to be able to find a community prescriber and as their GP you can provide the wrap around holistic care that they and their families need.’

If you’re curious about prescribing OAT, call GLAD on 0436 607 480. GLAD can support you with:

  • Overview of OAT treatment
  • Clinical Guidelines
  • Regulation and governance of the OTP
  • Application process

Education for GPs- Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)  OTAC – Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course with options for a face to face or it can be completed online.

GLAD referrals may be sent via: Email: svhs.adsintake@svha.org.au or Phone: 0436 607 480.

GLAD CNC: Tara Kenny 

Staff Specialist: Dr Chris Davis.


  • 24/7 telephone advice for NSW health practitioners call DASAS (Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service) – Sydney Metropolitan 02 8382 1006 or 1800-023-687
  • For online clinical advice, information and referral pathways: Sydney Health Pathways Health Pathways (Username SESYDNEY Password HEALTHCARE)

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33360851/