Withdrawal management

Withdrawal management (detoxification) includes medicated and non-medicated treatment in a residential or non-residential setting, to help manage, reduce or stop the use of a drug of concern. This type of treatment is not available for people seeking treatment for someone else’s alcohol or drug use). See glossary for further information on withdrawal management.

In 2020–21,

  • One in 10 (10% or 22,331) treatment episodes for a clients’ own alcohol or drug use involved withdrawal management as the main treatment.
  • Of these, most treatment episodes were for alcohol (51%) or amphetamines (16%) (tables Trt.3, Trt.24).

Client profile

In 2020–21, for clients whose main treatment was withdrawal management:

  • 3 in 5 (59%) of all people receiving treatment for their own alcohol or drug use were male
  • around 1 in 8 (13%) people identified as Indigenous Australians
  • over one-quarter (27%) of clients were aged 30–39 and 26% were aged 40–49 (tables SC.18–20).

Treatment profile

Among withdrawal management treatment episodes as a main treatment type:

  • three-quarters of all treatment episodes for own alcohol or drug use (75%) lasted from 2-29 days, followed by 1 in 8 (12%) treatment episodes lasting 1-3 months.

Over the 10-year period to 2020–21:

  • the proportion of withdrawal management episodes lasting 2-29 days rose from 71% in 2011–12 to 75% in 2020–21
  • median treatment duration has remained stable at 8 days since 2011–12 (tables Ov.11, Trt.29).