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Opioid dependence is a complex health condition that affects people from all walks of life – not only injecting drug users but also people who become dependent upon pain relievers because of a range of different circumstances.

Pharmacotherapy is an effective medical treatment to reduce people’s use of opioids such as heroin, oxycontin and fentanyl. It is also referred to as opioid replacement therapy (ORT).

This program provides assessment, prescription, support, treatment planning and coordinated care for people requiring ORT.

The program enhances links between methadone service providers (general practitioners and pharmacists) and service recipients.

We offer counselling, support and crisis management to clients, family members and significant others. We also facilitate referrals to other agencies as appropriate.

Specialist methadone services may be required when there are associated complex medical, psychiatric or psychological problems.

The Opioid Dependence Program includes:

  • A comprehensive assessment to identify current opiate and other drug use
  • An individualised treatment plan
  • Ongoing support and education
  • Communication with other health professionals involved in the treatment program

We offer advice and referrals for:

  • Alcohol and other drug counselling
  • Residential detox and rehabilitation
  • Housing/accommodation support
  • Relationship, family violence, and other general counselling services
  • Holistic Assistance and Legal Outreach (HALO)
  • Mental health services
  • Hepatitis C treatment


This is a free and confidential service available to people of any age.

Note: Minors need consent from their parents and a second opinion from a doctor in Melbourne in addition to their local GP.

You do not need a Health Care or Medicare card to access this service.

For intake, assessment and referral contact one of our Pharmacotherapy Nurses at our Wodonga and Wangaratta Gateway Health sites.

Last Update: March 14th, 2023