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Alcohol & Drug Services - Withdrawal Management (Detox)

Our mandate is to provide a safe and secure environment for individuals going through withdrawal from the use of alcohol and or other drugs.

Admissions Criteria

Clients must be:

  • voluntary
    (they must choose to attend Detox)
  • 16 years and older
  • able to provide basic information on admission
  • able to sign an admission consent form and consent to having a body/pack search done
  • able to attend to their own self care
  • willing and able to answer questions about alcohol and drug abuse and medical history

As well:

  • Some clients may require further medical attention and be sent to WGH prior to admission
  • Clients demonstrating violent behavior toward staff or other clients will not be admitted

Continuous Monitoring

Clients are monitored:

  • Every hour or more frequently if needed
  • By offering reassurance/support

If a client is not stabilizing or symptoms become worse, the client is referred to WGH for further assessment.


Length of stay varies with each client (discharge is voluntary with the exception of extenuating circumstances)

  • Clients who have been discharged from Detox must wait 24 hours before readmission
  • Length of stay depends on withdrawal severity, health status and treatment plans
  • Three to five days is the average range of stay
  • Collaborative referral to supportive agencies
  • Referral to other ADS services: Live-In Treatment and Outpatient Addiction and Mental Health Counseling (these services are voluntary but, patients are strongly encouraged to attend an outpatients appointment while staying in Detox)
  • A recovery plan is completed prior to discharge
  • After discharge many clients return home; others may be admitted to WGH for other related health concerns

Post-Discharge Recovery Support

Day contracts

  • Provide additional support for recovery
  • Ex-clients can come in on a daily basis and participate in recovery activities

Supportive Counselling

  • Pamphlets, reading material, handouts
  • Basic addictions information

Supportive Drop-in

  • Clients can come anytime for coffee and/or to talk with staff. This provides an additional link to clients experiencing a variety of issues as a result of substance abuse

Supportive Phone-in/after-hours

  • Former Detox clients or individuals experiencing distress in recovery can call anytime 1-800-661-0408 ext# 8473 from 8 am – 5 pm. After 5 pm Detox will accept collect calls
  • General phone inquiries from the public are also accepted


  • The majority of clients coming to Detox are self-referred.  However, Detox also receives referrals from Community Health Centres, Wellness workers, the Salvation Army Shelter, RCMP and Whitehorse General Hospital


  • All staff are trained in addictions and withdrawal management
  • Detox provides a safe, confidential and supportive environment with a high standard of compassionate care and professional treatment
  • Detox staff support clients medically and emotionally to safely withdraw from substances while maintaining client dignity, privacy and respect

Withdrawal management

  • Assessment is vitally important in assisting clients to stabilize
  • Vital signs are recorded and monitored on all clients
  • Detox uses the same standardized treatment tool, the Clinical Institute Withdrawal of Alcohol Assessment (CIWA), that WGH emergency services uses

The Facility

  • The detoxification unit offers 24-hour care, 365 days per year to ambulatory and voluntary clients who want help to safely withdraw from substances
  • Four-bedroom/10-bed co-ed facility
  • One bedroom (two beds) reserved for women
  • Medically supported facility:
    • Staffed with Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Residential Unit Attendants (RUAs)
    • Contracted physician services Mondays and Wednesdays (three hours per day)
    • A Communicable Disease Nurse visits the centre on a weekly basis



Do I have to be intoxicated or can I be sober in order to get into Detox?

Clients coming into Detox are usually intoxicated or withdrawing from other drugs. What we suggest is you (or a friend or family member) give us a call regarding your particular circumstances and we can see how we can be of assistance.


Am I obligated to stay?

No, you can leave any time you like. Detox provides a safe environment for clients to withdraw from substance use. There are bedrooms with two beds in each room and one room that has four beds. Detox provides a warm atmosphere and continuing support.


Can I have something to eat?

Food is not offered immediately upon admission. However, a bit later a person may be able to have some broth. It will depend on the initial state of your health. After you have stabilized, Detox offers three nutritious meals a day plus snacks.


Can I have visitors?

If you wish to have visitors, discuss this with staff. All visits would need to be arranged in advance.


What is the cost of the services provided by Alcohol and Drug Services?

As a branch of Yukon Government, there is no charge involved.

Contact info

Alcohol & Drug Services - Withdrawal Management (Detox)

Business hours:
From Whitehorse (8:00 am – 4:30 pm)    667-5777
From communities, no charge (8:00 am – 4:30 pm) 1-855-667-5777

For after-hours support:
From Whitehorse (4:30 pm – 8:00 am) 667-8473
From communities, no charge (4:30 pm – 8:00 am) 1-855-667-5777

Phone: 867-667-5777

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-855-667-5777

Fax: 867-667-8471

Mailing Address:

Alcohol & Drug Services - Withdrawal Management (Detox) (H-7)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: Sarah Steele Building |609 Steele Street | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]


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