A NSW Government website

Youth Drug and Alcohol Clinical Service (YDACS)

When you or a young person you care about needs help with their alcohol or other drug use, it can be very distressing and confusing to know what to do. Understanding where to go and how to get help is the first step towards making the change that may be needed.

The Youth Drug and Alcohol Clinical Service (YDACS) is a youth specific drug and alcohol service, that works with young people up to18 years of age who are experiencing moderate to severe impacts related to their drug and/or alcohol use. This may include impacts on their mental health (heightened anxiety, depression, psychosis), attendance at school or work, relationships with family and friends, their overall health (weight loss, sexual problems) and finances (in debt). Some people start using alcohol or drugs to feel good or manage difficult emotions but there can be some unwanted or very harmful effects as well. Often people decide to reach out for help when they or someone close to them can see their use is causing harm.

YDACS is a specialist service that is flexible to an individual young person’s needs. It is a voluntary service that offers drug and alcohol assessment, counselling, treatment for young people and their families. We understand that all young people come from diverse backgrounds, genders, sexuality, cultures and have their own unique experiences and stories.

Client journey at YDACS

How to get to your appointment

We are located on James Fletcher Campus

There is limited parking on campus.

We recommend driving in to King Edwards Park for free parking and walking back along the road to 72 Watt St.

For those out of area, we are also able to offer telehealth.

Our building on campus is where the pin has been dropped on the map.

There are rainbow coloured poles as you walk towards our entrance and see a pastel flower mural through the main window. Please check in at reception.

If reception is unattended, please call your clinician, or if you do not have their number, please call our general number (1800 950 755).

If the weather is good, there is the opportunity to do the appointment outside, you should bring a pair of sunglasses

Cancelling your appointment

Please let your clinician know on their work mobile, via call or text, if you need to cancel your appointment. We can reschedule for another time that suits. Alternatively, if you have lost their number, please contact us on 1800 950 755.

Our service

We have multiple people working on our team including social workers, an occupational therapist, a clinical nurse specialist and paediatric doctors. We also have a clinical psychologist who is currently on leave.

As part of your journey we will try to work with you around your goals which may include substance use goals, life goals, emotional regulation techniques and how your health has contributed to or been affected by substances

As part of getting to know you, multiple members of our team explore your physical and psychosocial health through questions about your life. Sometimes it may be appropriate to have a physical examination, blood work tests or catch up vaccinations on site

Please ask us if you have any questions or feel that there are other things you would like to address while you are with us!

Resources about drugs
Your Healthcare Rights and Privacy Information:
Useful Numbers:
  • Mental health
    • Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
    • Mental health Line 1800 011 511
    • Headspace 1800 650 890
  • Drugs and Alcohol
    • Alcohol Drug information service 1800 250 015
    • Family Drug Support 1300 368 186
  • Family Planning 1300 658 886
Drug warnings and Clinical Safety Alerts

NSW Health closely monitors drugs circulating in NSW, these are likely to have been identified from NSW Poisons line, presentations to ED for drug overdoses. Once identified, samples of these substances are tested and monitored in terms of their effects, amounts circulating in the community. To address these concerns, Public drug warnings (nsw.gov.au) and Clinical safety alerts (nsw.gov.au) are distributed across LHDs and Networks to ensure education is provided to patients accessing these dangerous substances.

YDACS referrals

YDACS understand that families and carers of young people are their greatest strengths and best supports, therefore whenever possible families are included in the assessment and treatment.

Young people can refer themselves to YDACS by calling 1800 950 755. Families and carers can also call this number for information and support.

Referrals can also be made by any service provider including GPs, Community Health Services, inpatient hospital units, Department of Communities and Justice, Police or schools.

Download the referral form here.

The team

YDACS is a multidisciplinary team, which includes Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health staff (social work and occupational therapy)

Contact YDACS

Email: HNELHD-YouthDACS@health.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 1800 950 755.


Thwaites Building 4/72 Watt Street, Newcastle

Macquarie St Centre
Suite 1, 7 Macquarie St, Taree