The Portal to Alcohol Counselling Therapy (PACT) is a referral service for general practitioners seeking counselling for patients with concerns about their drinking. The service provides GPs across Victoria with a portal to alcohol counselling for patients, including the option of a telephone-based structured psychological intervention. The introduction of the telephone-based intervention will be a first for Australia, and will provide a viable alternative pathway for those that can’t easily access face-to-face services. This will be of particular value to people in rural areas with limited access to alcohol & other drug treatment services.
The PACT service provides GPs with a range of alcohol treatment options including referral to local alcohol counselling services, a specialist medical assessment at the Turning Point Clinic, secondary consultation with DACAS consultants or a telephone-based psychological intervention. A goal of this initiative is to help reduce demand for acute services through enhanced service coordination.
For patients requesting face-to-face services, our DACAS staff will refer the individual to an appropriate local service. Alternatively, if the patient wants to utilise the telephone-based service, a convenient contact time will be arranged for an assessment followed by a 4-6 week structured program. Updates are provided to GPs for all patients engaged in the telephone intervention.
The steps to refer a patient to PACT;
- Identify any concerns you or the patient has about their alcohol use
- Consider using the World Health Organisation’s AUDIT-C screen to gauge the patient’s level of alcohol consumption.
- Contact DACAS during the patient consultation. DACAS staff will:
- assist with a referral to a face-to-face counselling service, or book an appointment for the telephone based PACT intervention
- organise a secondary consultation with an Addiction Medicine Specialist if needed.
- If an appointment has been made for the telephone-based intervention, complete the consent form with the patient and fax to Turning Point.
For more information, GP’s can contact
DACAS 1800 812 804