In light of restrictions announced on 26 June 2021 covering many parts of NSW, opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescribers are encouraged to put in place any reasonable measures that support services and patients to avoid the potential for COVID-19 transmission, to stay at home and to reduce congregation at services.

For patients on OAT these measures may include:

  • increased use of Telehealth for patient appointments
  • arranging for dosing at community pharmacies
  • prescribing an increased number of unsupervised or 'takeaway' doses based in individual clinical risk assessment

This is an update to information that was provided in the recent letter that advised prescribers to return to standard guidance on prescribing unsupervised doses. The letter sent In April 2021 followed many months of low risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW and highlighted the safety and quality aspects of OAT prescribing.

The NSW Ministry of Health will continue to provide guidance to support alcohol and other drug clinicians respond to the changes in COVID-19 risk. A reminder that the COVID-19 FAQ for OTP Patients is available and may help reassure patients about their care during COVID-19.

If your service has to make changes to its availability or access for clients due to the impacts of COVID-19, the NSW Ministry of Health would appreciate it if you could fill out this short surveyto assist in relaying the information to consumers via the Opioid Treatment Line (OTL) Alternatively you can contact the OTL on 1800 642 429 to provide the information over the phone. The OTL is a helpline providing information, advice and referrals relating to the NSW Opioid treatment Program. OTL operates from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm and temporarily includes weekends and public holidays from 9.30am to 2.00pm.

In addition to the OTL consumers can also contact PeerLinewhich is a service operated by the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) providing peer-based information, support, referrals and advocacy on 1800 644 413 or email

Current as at: Thursday 1 July 2021