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Exploring the costs and effectiveness of the Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network: a home-based alcohol and other drug withdrawal service

Wright, CM, Norman, R, Varhol, R, Davis, J, Wilson-Taylor, E, Dorigo, J and Robinson, Suzanne 2018 , 'Exploring the costs and effectiveness of the Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network: a home-based alcohol and other drug withdrawal service' , Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 24, no. 5 , pp. 385-390 , doi: 10.1071/PY17110.

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The Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Network (DAWN) is a home-based withdrawal service based in Perth,Western Australia. Literature on outcomes, costs and client attitudes towards this type of home-based detoxification inAustralia is sparse. Therefore, this study assessed these factors for clients enrolled over a 5-year period (July 2011–June2016). Client experience was explored through semi-structured interviews with 10 clients. Over the study period, 1800clients (54% male, mean age 38 years) were assessed, and there were 2045 episodes of care. Although most first-episodeclients (52%) listed alcohol as the primary drug of concern, the proportion listing methamphetamine increased from 4%in 2011–12 to 23% in 2015–16. In 94% (n = 639) of withdrawal detoxification episodes with completed surveys, clientsused their‘drug of primary concern’most days or more often at baseline; this had reduced to 23% (n = 149) at the conclusionof detoxification. Five-year direct costs were A$4.8 million. Clients valued the person-centred holistic approach to care,including linking with other health providers. Barriers included low awareness of the program and difficulties findingan appropriate support person. Further exploration of cost-effectiveness would substantiate the apparently lower perclient cost, assuming medical suitability for both programs, for home-based relative to inpatient withdrawal.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wright, CM and Norman, R and Varhol, R and Davis, J and Wilson-Taylor, E and Dorigo, J and Robinson, Suzanne
Keywords: alcoholism, community health services, home care services, street drugs, substance-related disorders, substance withdrawal syndrome.
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Primary Health
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
ISSN: 1448-7527
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/PY17110
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 La Trobe University

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