Alcohol & Drugs

Many sexuality and gender diverse people use alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and most do so in a way that does not cause harm, however some in our communities do experience harms and may benefit from accessing specific information and support.

ACON runs several programs related to alcohol and other drugs. These programs span: harm reduction services, like the needle syringe program and the ACON Rovers; tailored resources and information for sexuality and gender diverse communities hosted on our AOD website Pivot Point; and a substance support counselling service.

We also conduct sector capacity building initiatives, aimed at upskilling the AOD sector in the provision of services that are inclusive and safe for sexuality and gender diverse communities.

We’re committed to developing nuanced understandings around AOD use among our communities and we actively participate in research projects and partnerships seeking to develop an evidence base to inform practice.

Further information about ACON’s AOD programs is listed on this page.


Pivot Point: Alcohol and Other Drugs Online Resource

Funded by Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, Pivot Point is a one-stop-shop for sexuality and gender diverse people who are looking for support in relation to their AOD use, which may be becoming difficult to manage and starting to negatively impact on their lives.

As well as information on AOD and helpful strategies on quitting or reducing use, Pivot Point features an online self-assessment tool allowing visitors to gauge the risks from their AOD use, directories for resources, and services that offer assistance to those seeking support. Pivot Point also has a blog featuring personal stories from community members, harm reduction tips, and helpful information for our communities related to news and current events in the AOD arena.

Visit Pivot Point for AOD related information, resources and support.

Latest articles:

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Drug Use: Will’s Story
(8 April 2020): Will is a gay man who is 35 years old – he identifies as a person who injects drugs.  Pivot Point spoke to Will about drug use in the time of COVID-19 – about how he’s managing lifestyle changes at the moment, including changes to how he usually socialises and uses drugs.

COVID-19 Restrictions: An opportunity for change
(8 April 2020): In these forced pub shutdowns, there exists an opportunity for members of our communities to explore resetting their relationship with alcohol. New environments can be very conducive to changing and sustaining new habits.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Inclusive Practice Guidelines

Sexuality and gender diverse communities can face a range of specific challenges accessing safe inclusive professional support around substance use.

In collaboration with the Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (NADA) and Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, ACON has developed AOD LGBTQ Inclusive Practice Guidelines For Treatment Providers, this resource is available on Pivot Point. The aim of the resource is to assist AOD services be accessible, culturally informed and inclusive.

Click here to download the ‘LGBTQ+ Inclusive & Affirming Practice Guidelines for Alcohol, Substance Use and Mental Health Services, Support and Treatment Providers’ guide.


Needle and Syringe Program


Through our Needle & Syringe Program (NSP), we provide FREE sterile injecting equipment and health promotion services to people who inject drugs. This helps reduce the transmission of blood borne viruses such HIV and hep C and other injecting-related risks.

Our NSPs provide the following:

  • FREE sterile injecting equipment
  • Disposal of used equipment
  • Access to advice, support and relevant health information (e.g. HIV, hep C, safer practices)
  • Referral to internal and external services
  • Access to condoms.

Our NSPs are located at our offices in SydneyNewcastle and Lismore.

Coronavirus update: 

Due to the COVID-19 situation, ACON opening hours have been temporarily reduced. Current operating hours are:

  • ACON Sydney (414 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills): Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
  • ACON Hunter (129 Maitland Road, Islington): Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays | 10am – 2pm
  • ACON Northern Rivers (Suite 4P Conway Court, 17 Conway Street, Lismore): Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays | 10am – 2pm

Substance Support Counselling


We provide FREE and confidential short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ people aged 18 years and older seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs. We also offer short term counselling support to people who are concerned about the drug and alcohol use of an LGBTQ+ family (chosen or biological) member, partner, friend or other loved one.

We work from a harm reduction approach to assist clients to reach their goals to manage use, reduce or quit. 

This service is offered face to face in Sydney. It is also available via telehealth for people living in Sydney or across regional NSW. 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please complete the Online Intake Form or contact your nearest ACON office. 

This service is funded by Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and the NSW Ministry of Health. 

Substance Support Counselling Regional NSW


We provide confidential FREE short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for sexuality and gender diverse people and people with HIV seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Our counsellors work from a harm reduction approach to assist clients reach their goals to manage use, reduce or quit.

This service is offered face to face in Sydney. It is also available via telehealth for individuals living in Sydney or across regional NSW.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Sydney office or submit an enquiry.

Coronavirus update: Due to social distancing requirements, all ACON counselling and support services will be conducted virtually or over the phone.

Fair Play


Fair Play is a community initiative to help partygoers understand their legal rights and how to keep safe during the Mardi Gras Festival. It’s a partnership project by the Inner City Legal Centre, Mardi Gras and ACON to provide accurate legal resources and education to sexuality and gender diverse communities.

Fair Play is committed to respecting human rights through the principles of harm reduction and is interested in your safety, along with providing you with as much information as possible.

The Fair Players are a team of specially trained volunteers who are on site at key Mardi Gras events to share legal and safety information, monitor the operations of police and provide support to people who have been searched or questioned by police.

For more information about Fair Play, please visit

To sign up and volunteer as a Fair Player, you can visit

ACON Rovers


The ACON Rovers program has been operating since 2003. Rovers are a volunteer-based community led initiative and we promote a culture of care at sexuality and gender diverse dance parties and events. Rovers are LGBTQ+ peers and allies, and we work in teams to:

  • Help patrons who require medical assistance to easily access onsite services
  • Provide harm reduction services to patrons (e.g. provide water, encourage people to take breaks and cool down, provide accurate alcohol and drug information)
  • Provide party information to patrons (e.g. directions, lost property, show times, DJ info)
  • Help patrons easily access party basics (e.g. band aids, ear plugs, sunscreen)
  • ACON Rovers are not security and are only concerned with people’s health and safety.

ACON recently surveyed community members about the Rover’s program. In this survey we found that among those familiar with the ACON Rovers, 98% agreed or strongly agreed that Rovers provide an important service at dance parties.

Book the ACON Rovers

Having the ACON Rovers on site is a great way for promoters and event organisers to support the health and wellbeing of patrons. If you are an event organiser and you are interested in having Rovers at your event, check out our information for promoters page.

Join the ACON Rovers

We’re always interested in hearing from people who would like to volunteer for our ACON Rover program. If you are interested in becoming an ACON Rover, read about what’s involved on our volunteers page.

M3THOD: Peer-Led PnP Service


Some people refer to the combination of sex with drugs like crystal methamphetamine and GHB as ‘chemsex’ or ‘party and play’ (PNP), others call it ‘wired fun’ or ‘partying’. Whatever you call it, if you are looking for a space to chat to someone who understands the scene from personal lived experience, M3THOD is for you.

Not everyone who combines drugs and sex will experience negative impacts on their everyday life. However, some of us do experience harms and want to reflect on our experiences, or perhaps even change our relationship with PNP.

M3THOD is here to empower you to use more safely, gain a sense of control over your drug use, and make informed decisions for yourself.


M3THOD is a free and confidential service led by trained and non-judgemental peers. We offer both one-on-one peer support, and group workshop to adults who PNP and identify as men who have sex with men (cis or trans), non-binary people, or trans women.


M3THOD One-on-One peer support is a great place to start if you haven’t reached out for help before, and the service is available all year round with minimal waiting time. Appointments are run by people who have a personal lived experience around using crystal meth and G for sex. Each consultation will usually go for 45-60 minutes. One of our peers will lead you through a structured chat to work out how best they can support you. Peers are friendly, knowledgeable, and everything is strictly confidential.

You can access this service in-person or virtually via a video call. It can help you :

  • Explore your relationship with PNP
  • Find out how to reduce the harms
  • Learn strategies to manage your use
  • Connect to services that offer additional support

Group Workshop

M3THOD Workshop is a 6-week group program by and for people who PNP. This includes those who want to reduce the frequency of PNP and people who wish to stop using drugs or long periods of time. This workshop is facilitated by trained peers and clinicians together and is a great opportunity to meet others with similar experiences and learn how to manage PNP.

Workshops are held 2-4 times per year, fill the form below and get in touch to find out when is the next one.

To get in touch with the M3THOD team, fill out the form below. Usually, a team member will conduct an intake in 2 business days.