What is the Inroads program?

This online program has been specifically designed for young people aged 17 to 30 who are currently feeling anxious in some or all areas of their life and may use alcohol to cope. The Inroads program will help you identify the areas of your life that are challenging and provide you with the skills to deal with them in healthier ways.


It is common to feel anxious and be worried about your drinking. In fact, one in four young people experience mood or anxiety concerns in any 12-month period. You may not have a mental health disorder, but might just feel that you need some help in managing your feelings better. That's ok! We would encourage you to work through the program and see if it is beneficial to you.


The Inroads program is based on the “CASP program”, a treatment program developed at Macquarie University to help adults with significant anxiety and drinking concerns. We know the CASP program is an effective treatment, because it was tested in a clinical trial and compared to standard treatment. People who received the CASP program were able to reduce their drinking, and also experienced a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms, and improved quality of life compared to the standard treatment. You can read more about the CASP program and this research here.


The Inroads program is an adaptation for young adults of the effective CASP program. It is for young people who need some assistance managing anxiety symptoms and setting limits around drinking. Targeting anxiety and alcohol use together in the one program like this is in line with current guidelines. The online format of the Inroads program means that it can be accessed easily, on your computer, phone, or tablet. Brief email and/or phone sessions with an experienced psychologist will help you with some extra advice or support when you need it.


To find out whether the program is right for you, the first step is a brief online self assessment.

Is the program still available?

The Inroads program is now freely available. Head to https://inroads.org.au/register to register an account to gain access to the program. 

Who is it for?

The treatment trial is for people aged 17 to 30 who experience both anxiety and are drinking above recommended Australian health guidelines (less than 10 standard drinks per week, no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day).


How do I know if the program would suit me?

The best way to find out if you would benefit from the program is register and complete our screening survey at inroads.org.au/registerThe survey will ask a number of questions about your drinking, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms to determine if the program is right for you.


You can also contact us on info@inroads.org.au and ask to speak to one of our experienced staff. They can also answer any questions you have about the project.


How much does it cost?

There is no payment required for accessing the treatment program. 


What does treatment involve?

The Inroads online treatment program uses two types of therapy called Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). These types of therapy have been shown in many research studies to be effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and in helping people to better control their alcohol use. These therapies are recommended in Australian clinical practice guidelines for anxiety and alcohol management, and you can review this research here:
•    Review of CBT for anxiety
•    Review of CBT for managing alcohol use
•    Review of Motivational Interviewing for managing alcohol use
MI is very focused and goal-directed which facilitates and engages intrinsic motivation to change behaviour, while CBT encourages you to examine the various situations you are involved in every day, and looks at your reactions to those situations (for example, your thoughts, worries, assumptions etc.) which may affect how you feel about that situation and how you behave.
MI aims to help you explore your short and long term goals and the things that may be stopping you from getting to where you want to go and assists you on how to get there. CBT aims to help you think, feel and behave differently in situations causing you worry and stress using a range of different skills and strategies, so that things can improve for you.
The Inroads program is based on techniques from successful tried and tested interventions which has been used in several research studies conducted in Australia, and has been shown to help people better manage anxiety symptoms, mood, reduce alcohol use and improve quality of life.
Throughout Inroads program, you will have the opportunity to hear about the experiences of an individual of your choosing, who might be in a similar position to you. In addition to these real life stories, you will learn different techniques to help you through your current situation. You will be provided with personalised feedback on your drinking and how you compare to others similar in age. There are also a range of worksheets and information sheets available for you to print or save for future reference.

Where do I go for treatment?

Inroads is an online treatment program, which means that you can do it on your computer, phone, ipad or other device at home or wherever you feel comfortable. There is no need to attend any face to face appointments.


What is required of me?

If you decide to take part, you will be asked to:

  1. Complete questionnaires in which you will be asked about anxiety, depression, drinking, and other symptoms;
  2. Read and interact with a new program for anxiety and drinking weekly for 5 weeks;
  3. Answer questions about your experience with the online program.

All the information and personal details gathered during the study are completely confidential. Only members of the team will have access to the data, and you will not be individually identified in any publication of the results.


Can I pull out of the program?

Yes. You are free to withdraw from the research and to discontinue participation in the program at any time without having to give a reason and without prejudicing your relationship with the researchers or the University of Sydney.


Who developed the Inroads program?

The Inroads program was developed by researchers at the University of Sydney. The program was informed by the latest research on the link between anxiety and alcohol use, and the best ways of overcoming these issues. 


In 2017, the Australian Rotary Health funded a trial of the program to determine the benefits for young people living in Australia. The study received approval from the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC 2020/319).


For any questions, please contact the inroads team on info@inroads.org.au



The Inroads team acknowledges and thanks the photographers of images included in the program:

Module banner image:

Jens Johnsson on Unsplash


Dashboard images:

Jens Johnsson on Unsplash

Olympus Tg-4 on Pixabay

Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash


Module 1 images:

Alessio Lin on Unsplash

Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Kukuh Himawan Samudro on Unsplash

Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Vinicius Amano on StockSnap

William Ferguson on Unsplash

Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

Erik Dungan on Stocksnap

Brooklyn Morgan on Unsplash


Module 2 images:

Bergadder on Pixabay

Alice Wu on Unsplash

Mike Wilson on Unsplash

João Silas on Unsplash

Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Toa Heftiba on StockSnap


Module 3 images:

Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

Unknown on StockSnap, StockSnap_5H69NO60GO

Unknown on StockSnap, StockSnap_MWV8S2HEYO

Dariusz Sankowski on StockSnap

Can Anh Khai on StockSnap

WEB AGENCY on StockSnap

Tim Marshall on StockSnap

Tom Sodoge on Unsplash

Unknown on StockSnap, StockSnap_ZSG9OL741J

Chris Lawton on StockSnap

Negative Space on StockSnap


Module 4 images:

Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Amanda Perez on Unsplash

Nestoras Argiris on Unsplash

Antón Jáuregui on Unsplash

Jordan McQueen on StockSnap

Jake Ingle on StockSnap

Chad Madden on Unsplash


Module 5 images:

Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Jakob Owens on StockSnap

NeONBRAND on StockSnap

Greg Raines on Stocksnap

Anja on Unsplash

Ryan McGuire on StockSnap

Tasi Zoltán on StockSnap

Averie Woodard on StockSnap