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Extending drug and alcohol withdrawal support

St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network (DAWN) nurses are expanding their reach to help more people with addiction issues at a new service recently opened in Rockingham.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital DAWN service 

DAWN, in partnership with Cyrenian House, recently opened the new Serenity Withdrawal Unit in Perth’s south to provide 24-hour residential care and support for people withdrawing for drug and alcohol use.

DAWN Clinical Nurse Specialist Diana Grace said the new service was meeting a gap for clients who are unable to withdraw at home.

“Methamphetamine, alcohol and cannabis are the most prevalent substances used by the clients accessing the service,” she said.

“Many of the people in our care have underlying mental health issues primarily anxiety and depression, some have experienced symptoms of paranoia and/or psychosis around their methamphetamine use.

“Other common issues involve health issues such as blood born viruses, the impact of drug use in pregnancy, psychosocial issues around relationships, parenting, homelessness and isolation.”

The service features four-beds and offers clients a longer term, staged approach to specifically accommodate the crash phase of methamphetamine withdrawal.

Diana’s role at the facility extends from an initial assessment and helping clients prepare for withdrawal to clinical intervention, liaison with other service providers and discharge planning.

"One of the things I like about working at Serenity Withdrawal Unit is that it embraces the Values of St John of God Health Care as it is an inclusive person-centred service with no wrong door,” she said.

“It also extends the work of the Sisters of St John of God who historically led the way in Catholic health care by working with the marginalise, they were never afraid to demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based care at a grass roots level.”

Did you know?

  • The DAWN home-based withdrawal service is the sole provider of drug and alcohol home based withdrawal services in WA.
  • The program started in 2001 with a pilot program operating in the North Metropolitan area and now covers the entire Perth metropolitan area.

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