Our History

Drug ARM was established in 1980 as the specialised alcohol and other drugs service delivery arm of Healthy Options Australia (formally known as the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation).

EARLY YEARS 1980 - 2011

During the alcohol free hotel period the concept of outreach programs designed to bring much needed support, relief and information to those in need was established by the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation. Early outreach services were based at the Canberra Hotel in Brisbane until its sale in 1985. Recognising a need to introduce specialised services, the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation developed the program and service delivery entity – Drug ARM in 1980. The original Director of this new entity was Mr Dick Kennedy who established a reputation for the provision of quality programs and services. He was followed by Mr Geoffrey Maskelyne and more recently by Dr Dennis Young who was appointed in 1988. The organisation continued to increase its range of intervention and support services for the community across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. 


The merger between Drug ARM, the Mental Health Association QLD (MHAQ) and the Australian College of Community Services (ACCS) took place on 1 July 2011 under the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation. This merger saw the establishment of one specialist group that is committed to providing quality care and support for people presenting with complex needs. 

In 2013 the Drug Awareness and Relief Foundation changed its name to Healthy Options Australia (HOA) for the purpose of representing all three organisations. 

Looking to the future, Healthy Options Australia aims to have an open door policy where people with complex needs - alcohol, drug or mental health related - are able to find the help they need through the services Drug ARM, MHAQ and ACCS provides.