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Annual Report 2022/23

Alcohol and other drugs


alcohol and other drug services commissioned by CESPHN in 22/23 FY


Occasions of service of direct treatment over the past year by CESPHN commissioned service providers who have supported 2,242 people.

The principal drugs of concern for clients accessing treatment within the CESPHN region were









Of those episodes closed throughout the 22-23 financial year


of clients saw an improvement in K10 scores (Kessler 10)


improvement in SDS (Severity of Dependence)


improvement in WHO8 (Quality of Life) score


CESPHN commissioned services won multiple categories in the AOD Awards for the NSW Non-Government Sector hosted at this year’s NADA Conference.  

Chris Sheppard from the Community Restorative Centre was the joint winner of the AOD Frontline Champion Award. This award recognises an outstanding frontline worker in a NSW non-government alcohol and other drug service who has made a significant contribution to supporting clients and creating meaningful change that benefits the sector.  

WHOS Harm Reduction Program won the Excellence in Harm Reduction Award, which recognises excellence and innovation to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug related harms.  

WHOS CEO Garth Popple also received the Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of his significant contribution to the sector. 

The Community Restorative Centre also won the Excellence in Research and Evaluation award which recognises individuals or organisations that contributed to building the evidence base for practices to reduce alcohol and other drugs related harms. 

Weave's Speak Out Program

Weave’s Speak Out Dual Diagnosis Program was launched in 1997 and was the first program established in NSW for young people experiencing co-occurring challenges related to mental health and alcohol and other drug use.

The service is a therapeutic long-term support model, providing holistic, wraparound casework and counselling to young people aged 12-28 years. Alongside casework and counselling, Speak Out also runs youth-led projects, groups, group therapies and opportunities for young people to get involved in advocacy about issues affecting young people in our community (Youth Advocates)Recently, the Speak Out program went through an external evaluation that looked at Speak Out’s activities between 2015 and 2020.

The evaluation found that: 

  • Speak Out staff have been highly successful in creating a sense of safety 
  • Speak Out has a strong track record in engaging clients.  
  • The Speak Out model has been highly effective in engaging and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, who reported feeling safe, welcome and included, and that their culture was respected and valued. 
  • The integrated, client centered and holistic Speak Out approach is consistent with recommendations in Australian literature and national guidelines on working with people with co-occurring MH and AOD. 
  • Speak Out supports a ‘sizeable and underserved population’ in Sydney; the program experiences consistently long client wait lists. 
  • Speak Out effectively supports people experiencing complex needs, including a high proportion of people experiencing homelessness, in contact with the criminal justice system and living with complex mental health experiences.

Through the evaluation, Speak Out participants provided insights on many things.

“Not a lot of places will treat you if you're a drug user with mental health problems. They are like, lost cause, one like that, but Weave helped”

“It really helped to be in a group. We would influence each other, there would be less shame, we'd have less shame to speak more…”

“It helps to build my confidence and encourages positiveness, should be offered to all patients.”