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Information for drug users

Protocols Booklet

What is community detox?

Community Detoxification supports service users to reduce or stop their use of opioids, benzodiazepines or z hypnotics through an organized process involving key workers and prescribing doctors within their 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 detox. 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. If an individual needs help sourcing a key worker or doctor, the community detoxification national representative can help locate one in their area.

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.

What is involved in a Community Detox?

The Community Detoxification Guidelines.

There are three separate community detox guidelines for methadone, benzodiazepines and z hypnotics. New community detoxification guidelines have been developed based on the experiences of the community detox protocols. The new community detoxification guidelines have been approved by the community detoxification steering committee and will be launched in the second quarter of 2015. To receive a draft copy of the redeveloped community detoxification guidelines or to discuss their implementation in your local area, please contact the national representative - contact details below.



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

More information


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