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Community Detoxification Information

Protocols Booklet

What is community detoxification?

Community Detoxification supports people to reduce or stop their use of illicit or prescribed opioids, benzodiazepines or z-hypnotics through an organized process involving key workers and prescribing doctors within the community. It can be accessed as an alternative option to in-patient residential detoxification, or as a necessary step toward meeting entry requirements for residential treatment. The initiative is overseen by an expert steering committee who are leaders in addiction services from medical, community/voluntary and research fields.

Who is it for?

It is for people who are taking prescribed or illicitly sourced benzodiazepines or people who are prescribed methadone and want support to reduce/cease their use of these substances, but can’t or don’t want to go into a residential detoxification service. It’s also for people who want to go into residential treatment and need to reduce down their use to meet entry criteria.

Getting started

First, the person needs to have a supportive key worker and doctor in place to help them through the process. 

What is a key worker?

A key worker works with people who would benefit from support in managing life issues, including changes to substance use (prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and alcohol). They can be employed in specialist projects or in mainstream health services.

You can search local drug and alcohol support services through the Service Directory

What is involved in community detoxification?

The Community Detoxification Guidelines

There are guidelines for methadone and benzodiazepines.The Community Detoxification Guidelines have been redeveloped based on the experiences of the Community Detox Protocols.The revised Community Detoxification Guidelines have been approved by the Community Detoxification Steering Committee.


Community Detoxification for Methadone

Community Detoxification for Benzodiazepines


If you, or someone you know, is interested in community detoxification, contact your local drug service and/or GP for further information.

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