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Dealing with Detox

The decision to spend some time in a detoxification unit to withdraw from your drug of choice can be a frightening thought, whether it is your first time or your twentieth; whether you're going to rehab, to lower your tolerance, or just playing it out. Today detox units are staffed by doctors, nurses and other allied professionals and are safe environments.

On your arrival you will be assessed and asked about what you are using and the frequency, so it is important that you keep it pretty honest, especially if you are taking a cocktail of drugs. They can only act and plan your withdrawal on what you say, and the last thing you want is an unexpected seizure on your hands, so no matter how bad the war stories are tell them — they will listen. They may have heard a lot, but they haven't heard what you've been going through. It will give them and you a better understanding of what to expect.

One important thing that you may want to think about is that you are there for you and nobody else, so try not to run with the pack — it may end in tears with you being asked to leave. If you are thinking of using while in detox it is a bit selfish, it does impact on others, and the staff takes a grim view of such behavior. You will at times be bored, frustrated, and just plain pissed off with it all, so if you are thinking of leaving halfway through your withdrawal (and you will — it's not much fun being sick and hanging out) it might be best to have a yarn to the staff member that is assigned to you and tell them what is happening. It's not a good idea to shoot yourself in the foot by leaving as the process of re-admission is problematic to say the least and you may have to wait a few weeks. If you are homeless, it's not such a great idea.

Getting into Detox

The admission process can at times be downright frustrating so it may be a good idea to have a few allies on your side. You might want to speak to your doctor who may provide support and options while you are waiting, or a social worker or drug and alcohol worker who may advocate on your behalf. This may speed things up. There are waiting lists, beds are always in high demand, and it is a case-by-case assessment so you may have to wait a week or so. You will have to ring the detox every day. They like to hear that you are committed and the calls are all logged. If you can speak to the same person each time you ring they will get to know you and your situation.

If you feel that you are in crisis and can't wait, you may need to present at hospital. You have a basic human right to do that — stand your ground, withdrawal can be complicated and dangerous! They have a duty of care, never mind the attitude that may greet you on arrival — a lot of hospitals have detox facilities on site.

When presenting at a hospital you will not receive much of a hearing if you demand help and look and sound aggressive. They will call the authorities and the last thing you need is a strip search, warrant check, and a possible few nights in custody. Try to be clear on what you are feeling — you need to work with them and they may need to call in a specialist to attend. This may take some time so try to be patient. Hospitals tend to get busy at night and on weekends, so maybe the best time is mid-morning.

Detoxification Clinics

There has been over the past 10 years a dramatic shift in policy resulting in the reallocation of resources from inpatient to home based withdrawal programs. As a result there has been a significant loss of beds and the closure of a large number of facilities.

Some clinics only offer home based detoxification; if have little or no support and have played a bit to hard of late, a medical detox might be the way to go.

Salvation Army Anchorage:
81 Victoria cres Abbotsford 9495 6811

Royal Women's Hospital Chemical Dependency Unit
9344 2386

Daswest, Medical Withdrawal Service
Western Hospital, 3-7 Eleanor Street FOOTSCRAY 3011
Phone: (03) 8345 6682
Fax: (03) 8345 6027 click here for website

Salvation Army Home-Based Withdrawal
12 Chapel Street ST KILDA 3182
Phone: (03) 9521 2770
Fax: (03) 9521 1426 click here for website

Windana Society
Drug Withdrawal Unit
88 Alma Road ST KILDA EAST 3183
Phone: (03) 9529 7955
Fax: (03) 9521 3581

UnitingCare Moreland Hall
Withdrawal Services - Residential Drug Withdrawal Unit
26 Jessie Street Coburg 3058
Phone: (03) 9386 2876
Fax: (03) 9383 6705 click here for website

DePaul St Vincent's Hospital
Community Residential Drug & Alcohol Withdrawal Unit
Address: 38 Fitzroy Street, FITZROY 3065
Phone: (03) 9288 2624
Fax: (03) 9288 2623 click here for website

South East Alcohol & Drug Services (SEADS)
Drug Withdrawal Unit
229 Thomas Street DANDENONG 3175
Phone: (03) 8792 2330
Fax: (03) 8792 2331 click here for website

For more information on detoxification clinics ring- Direct Line 1800 888 236, open 7 days 24 Hours. Counsellors can provide: Immediate counselling and support, including crisis intervention. Support in dealing with the impact of drugs and assistance in developing strategies to deal with alcohol or drug problems.

Private Drug & Alcohol Detox Units

Private detoxification facilities cost and arm and a leg. No Medicare cards accepted here, only private cover.

Warburton Clinic - Health Scope - Alcohol & Drug Clinic
Donna Buang Road Warburton Phone: 59-547- 522

Pinelodge Clinic
1480 Heatherton Road Dandenong Phone : 9794- 5953

Epworth Hospital - Drug And Alcohol Unit
34 Erin Street Richmond Phone: 9426-6331

Vaucluse Hospital -
82 Moreland Road Brunswick Phone: 9383-1155

Home Based Detox - Withdrawal

Home-based withdrawal involves supporting an individual through withdrawal from dependent drugs and alcohol use in their own home or other safe accommodation. Community nurses or doctors visit your home to provide medical care, support and supervision to the client and their family (that's if you have any left) usually on a daily basis throughout the home-based withdrawal.

Home-based withdrawal entails having a safe, drug-free environment, with a supportive family or other responsible friend (not your best mate who you use with) to be involved in care and supervision.

Home-based withdrawal is much safer than trying to manage drug withdrawal alone; it can be extremely dangerous and confronting, or if you feel that a clinic may be to confronting. Home-based withdrawal is not for everyone if you feel that you need a clinic and the extra supports that they offer dig your heels in especially if it is your first time. After the home-based withdrawal is completed, the individual is linked to other support networks such as counselling or drug and alcohol workers within their community and community-based services for ongoing support

Salvation Army Bridge Centre
Home-Based Withdrawal
12 Chapel Street ST KILDA
Phone: (03) 9521 2770
Fax: (03) 9521 1426

Alcohol & Drug Program
Drug Withdrawal Team
228 Pakington Street
Phone: (03) 5222 1700
Fax: (03) 5222 2270

Barwon South West Youth Alliance
12-14 Halstead Place
Phone: (03) 5244 7372
Fax: (03) 5221 1442

DasWest, Home-Based Withdrawal Service
Western Hospital
3-7 Eleanor Street FOOTSCRAY
Phone: (03) 8345 6682
Fax: (03) 8345 6027

Women & Children's Drug & Alcohol Service
Home-Based Drug Withdrawal Service
129 Durham Road SUNSHINE
Phone: (03) 9311 3099
Fax: (03) 9311 2016

Peninsula Drug & Alcohol Program
Outpatient & Home Withdrawal Service
Hastings Road FRANKSTON
Phone: (03) 9784 8100
Fax: (03) 9784 8112

Access Alcohol & Other Drug Services
Home-Based & Outpatient Drug Withdrawal
Address: 1st Floor, Upton House,
Thames Street BOX HILL
Phone: (03) 9895 3348
Fax: (03) 9895 3313

South East Alcohol & Drug Services
Home-Based Withdrawal Programs
Address: Level 2, 229 Thomas Street
Phone: (03) 8792 2330
Fax: (03) 8792 2331

Uniting Care Moreland Hall
Home-Based Withdrawal Program
Address: 26 Jessie Street MORELAND
Phone: (03) 9386 2876
Fax: (03) 9383 6705

Western Region Alcohol & Drug Centre
Youth Home-Based Withdrawal
Address: 26 Fairy Street WARRNAMBOOL
Phone: (03) 5560 3222
Fax: (03) 5560 3200

Youth Substance Abuse Service
Home-Based Withdrawal Support Service
Address: 953 Whitehorse Road
Phone: (03) 9890 7855
Fax: (03) 9898 0692

Youth Substance Abuse Service
Home-Based Withdrawal Support Service
Address: 20 Young Street
Phone: (03) 9770 5622
Fax: (03) 9770 5688

Address: 165 Smith Street
Phone: (03) 9417 3431
Fax: (03) 9417 3439

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