Drugs and alcohol – getting help

Drugs and drink may make you happy and help you cope with stress. They can also cause problems, because they change the way your brain and body work. They can mess up your relationships, cause physical and mental health problems and lead to problems at school or work. You might get into trouble with Police.

If you are having problems with drugs or alcohol, or know someone who is having problems, there are people who can help.

Police can help

Police has a range of specialist officers who can help with advice and education.

Alcohol Harm Prevention Officers

Specialist staff located within each district to prevent harm through the monitoring of licences and by creating a safe drinking environment.

School Community Officers

School Community Officers (formerly known as Police Education Officers) work within schools to promote drug awareness and education. They also provide advice to concerned teachers, parents and principals.

Youth Aid Officers

These traditionally work on a case-by-case basis with youth offenders. Youth Aid Officers conduct disciplinary meetings and family conferences. They also look at alternative means of disciplinary action, such as restorative justice.

Iwi/Pacific/Asian Liaison Officers

These people can put you in contact with resources that are available within your iwi, Pacific or Asian community.

Speak (in confidence) to one of these officers to raise your concerns or discuss an issue.

Contact your local police station.

Treatment, counselling centres and helplines

Addiction Treatment Directory

The Addiction Treatment Directory website contains a comprehensive and up-to-date directory of all the addiction treatment and advice services available in New Zealand.

Visit the website of  the Addiction Treatment Directory.

Alcohol Drug Helpline

The Alcohol Drug Helpline offers you free confidential information and support on any problem, issue or query you have about your own or someone else’s drinking or drug taking.

Phone 0800 787 797


CareNZ is the delivery arm of The New Zealand Society on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, which works with people affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The treatment services are available to anyone, regardless of age, race, sex, financial situation and occupation.

Visit the CareNZ website.

Community Alcohol and Drug Services

Community Alcohol and Drug Services is a free drug and alcohol counselling service for youth, Maori, Pacific islanders, Chinese and gay drug users in Auckland.

Visit the website of Community Alcohol and Drug Services.

Health Promotion Agency

The Health Promotion Agency website has a section called ALAC (formerly the website of the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand). It includes advice on how to monitor or change your own drinking and how to support your friends.

Visit the Health Promotion Agency website.

New Zealand Drug Foundation

The New Zealand Drug Foundation provides information and analysis on key drug issues, including legal and illegal drugs. The Drug Foundation's website provides information on alcohol and other drugs, including effects of their use. The website also provides resources for teachers, schools, health promoters, researchers and anyone else with an interest in drug policy matters.

Visit the New Zealand Drug Foundation website.

New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme

For information about needle exchange programmes for adults around NZ visit the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme website

Odyssey House

Odyssey House is a popular and respected treatment centre in Auckland that operates a range of specialist programmes for adolescents and adults experiencing difficulties with substance abuse.

Visit the Odyssey House website.


Supports people to overcome alcohol, drug and gambling issues in Wellington and on the West Coast. Co-existing services suppot people who are recovering from mentall illness and also overcoming addiction.

Visit the Pact Group website.

The Salvation Army Bridge

Whether you're considering getting some help for yourself or a friend or relative, The Salvation Army Bridge offers the opportunity to evaluate alcohol or drug use and explore ways to bring things under control again.

A range of support services are available in the following regions: Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere, Kaitaia, Whangarei, Kaikohe, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington, Upper Hutt, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill.

Visit The Salvation Army Bridge website or call freephone national number 0800 53 00 00.


Urge provides information about keeping safe when taking drugs and gives guidelines for what to do in a crisis.

Visit the Urge website.