Our Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network (DAWN) empowers people living with alcohol or drug dependency on their withdrawal journey, to enjoy the life they want.

Doctor with patient

You don’t have to break your dependence on alcohol or drugs alone.

Just as anybody can struggle with the stresses of life and alcohol or drug use, anyone can refer themselves to our team. If you want to stop relying on alcohol or drugs, we’re here with practical one-on-one support to help you start living the life you want.

Our specialist nurses will work with you and your family or support network, providing the practical advice you need to understand and deal with your triggers. From setting goals to liaising with your GP to referrals to other support services, we empower you to manage your withdrawal at home, on your terms.

Our service

Our free, confidential withdrawal service is run by clinical nurse specialists who visit you at home and support you through your withdrawal in shared care with your general practitioner (GP). Once assessed for suitability, our service is available to people of all ages.

We provide education and support for your family members and GP and can refer you to counselling, rehabilitation and other services for ongoing care that’s best suited to your individual needs. 

We offer:

  • the ability for clients to self-refer
  • assessment
  • a medicated or non-medicated home-based withdrawal plan
  • GP liaison
  • home visits
  • specialist case management with clinicians available to support GPs during consults with relevant patients via telephone
  • education and support for yourself, your family and your GP
  • referrals to appropriate counselling and rehabilitation services.

Our Community Services Charter explains your rights and responsibilities, and what you can expect, when engaging with our services.

Our caregivers are taking all appropriate precautions during COVID-19 as directed by government and St John of God Health Care guidelines and will continue providing home-based withdrawal as long as there are no people with COVID-19 isolating in the residence.

Frequently asked questions

One of our specialist nurses will discuss your individual circumstances with you to ensure a home-based withdrawal is the best treatment option for you. If a home-based withdrawal is not the safest treatment option, we can still support you by facilitating referrals to other agencies and services to best suit your needs.
It depends on your situation and what substance/s you are withdrawing from. Once you have been assessed, the nurse will talk to you about how long you can expect to need to be supported.

The clinical nurse specialist who is assigned to you will:

  • co-ordinate your withdrawal
  • provide support for you, your family and significant others
  • ensure you are in a safe environment
  • keep in regular contact with your general practitioner (GP)
  • monitor your withdrawal symptoms
  • monitor the use of any medication prescribed to assist you with your withdrawal
  • help you plan your days to change your drug or alcohol use
  • explore relapse prevention strategies
  • explore options for ongoing post withdrawal support with you (including counselling and rehabilitation) and facilitate referral to the service that best meets your needs.
DAWN is a free service. You do not need private health insurance. The costs you may incur are out-of-pocket charges from your GP and medications to assist with your withdrawal.

Make a referral

DAWN is a professional home-based withdrawal service providing an effective treatment option for people who want to safely reduce or cease their substance use.

The service is free for patients and GPs.

To make a referral, or to self-refer, please complete the DAWN referral form and fax to 08 9380 9793.

Advice and support for people caring for others

We understand that caring for people who are experiencing mental health issues can be overwhelming. 
We’ve got some advice on how to care for yourself, how to seek professional help and additional information. 

Contact us

In 2020, St John of God Social Outreach was awarded full accreditation against the QIC Health and Community Services Standards, with accreditation renewed in 2023, demonstrating our commitment to providing quality services that are best practice, driven by effective systems and processes that support our clients’ positive experience and achieving better outcomes for everyone we serve.

Social Outreach accreditation