Bush Detox Service Bringing Detox Services Home in Western NSW
Western NSW residents wishing to reduce their dependence on alcohol have a new, discreet way to detox safely from home, with the launch of a new GP-designed and evidence-based telehealth service.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) has commissioned Clean Slate Clinic to pilot a new a clinically supervised telehealth home alcohol or stimulant withdrawal to 20 patients in the region. The Clean Slate Clinic: Bush Detox service is available now and is encouraging those who need this service to take the suitability test.
Despite pre-pandemic figures showing falling alcohol-related emergency department presentation figures in Western NSW, problematic relationships with alcohol for individuals and links to domestic violence and disconnection to family and community means it remains as one of the top 5 community health concerns in the region, and localised drug and alcohol rehabilitation services noted as a key need from WNSW PHN consultation workshops. *
WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Coe, says the pilot program will provide vital information on local service design for the future.
“Individuals living with alcohol dependence is not unique to Western NSW or Australia, but this new pilot program will allow us to effectively gauge how effective at-home detox support can be for people in our region,” Mr Coe said.
“Due to the vastness of our region, delivery of healthcare services always presents unique challenges, especially when dealing with delicate issues like addiction, so this program presents not only a perfect opportunity to harness the flexibility of telehealth but the data it provides will be crucial.”
He added, “With up to half of the available 20 fully-funded places being made available to people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, we’re excited to initially make a hugely positive impact on the lives of these individuals and then improving services and availability right across the region.”
Co-created by GP Dr Chris Davis, Hello Sunday Morning founder and former CEO Chris Raine and health economist, Pia Clinton-Tarestad, the telehealth service is modelled off Dr Davis’ many years of successfully home-detoxing patients in Darlinghurst, Blacktown, and before that in the UK.
Since inception in 2014, Dr Davis’ GP outpatient program has shown remarkable success in helping people cut down or stop using alcohol with or without medication and is now being offered via telehealth to support people through a medicated withdrawal process from the comfort of their own homes.
Dr Davis said one of the great joys in his career was seeing patients transform from being highly dependent on alcohol to being completely free of it in their lives.
“The difference withdrawing from alcohol can make to the person and their families is truly life changing. Being able to improve access to home detox for those who need it is a dream come true; our mission is to make alcohol withdrawal and recovery services accessible to every Australian who needs them, irrespective of postcode or socio-economic status.”
Mr Raine, whose Hello Sunday Morning he founded now supporting one of the world’s biggest online communities focused on changing people’s relationship with alcohol, said the telehealth service was a “game changer”.
“Detoxing from alcohol is hard enough, but our system makes it even harder by requiring people to go to hospital or rehab to do it safely – this is especially difficult in regional Australia,” he said.
To access the Clean Slate Clinic, or for more information regarding the 20 detox at-home positions available in the WNSW PHN region, patients and GPs can email email@example.com or visit the website at https://www.cleanslateclinic.com/contact.