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Opioids include illegally obtained drugs such as heroin and legal drugs prescribed for pain such as oxycodone and fentanyl.

Pharmacotherapy is a method of treatment that uses medication (i.e. methadone or buprenorphine) to treat addiction.

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 individual 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 & Legal Outreach (HALO)
  • Mental health services
  • Hepatitis C treatment

Methadone is available through a range of community pharmacists and is usually administered by general practitioners who have been trained to prescribe it. Specialist methadone services may be required when there are associated complex medical, psychiatric or psychological problems.

The Opioid Dependence Program enhances links between methadone service providers (general practitioners and pharmacists) and service recipients.


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 into the program contact Gateway Health and ask to speak to a pharmacotherapy nurse.

Pharmacotherapy nurses are available at Gateway Health:

Last Update: August 2nd, 2023