Through bushfires and pandemics, the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District's Drug and Alcohol services have remained open and their staff available to provide care and support when it's needed most.
Drug and Alcohol Service Nurse Manager, Deanne Green, said a glass or two may feel like it helps in the short term, particularly during stressful times, but sustained high levels carry the potential to lead to much larger problems.
"Excess drinking can cause poor sleep, greater stress and carries the risk of worsening pre-existing anxiety and depression," Ms Green said.
Nurse Unit Manager for the Inpatient Withdrawal Unit, Katherine Keane, said some clients have been reporting a general sense of uncertainty made more challenging by not easily catching up in person with friends and relatives.
"Stress can come from many areas in your life," Ms Keane said.
"Losing your job or being on reduced working hours, working from home or schooling the kids at home can become overwhelming."
"Pausing to assess your behaviour can lead to an early response and may help you to avoid worsening your health," she said.
Ms Green says all staff working in the Drug and Alcohol services respect every client's right to choose from a range of treatments offered.
"Our service is designed to be inclusive and culturally responsive to all client's needs," she said.
"Our specialised and experienced team are here with free, non-judgemental and confidential advice.
"Help is in reach."
People can self-refer or be referred by families, friends, GPs, medical and nursing staff or other service providers.
NBMLHD Drug and Alcohol services are available in Lithgow, Katoomba, Springwood, Penrith, Cranebrook and St Marys.
More information about accessing services, including details on locations and assessments can be found by calling the Central Intake Line on 1300 661 050 everyday between 8.30am and 5pm.
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