Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services - Withdrawal Management (Previously known as 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.
Withdrawal Management Services (WMS) provides a safe and supportive environment to assist youth and adults in safely withdrawing and recovering from the effects of substance use or dependence. The unit offers 24 hour care and is open every day of the year. The length of stay varies with each individual depending on withdrawal severity, health status and treatment plans.
We provide services to youth and adults who would like assistance in withdrawing from alcohol or other drugs.
- Assessment is vitally important in assisting clients to stabilize
- Vital signs are recorded and monitored on all clients
- Withdrawal Management Services uses the same standardized treatment tool, the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment (CIWA) for alcohol, as does the Whitehorse General Hospital
- Withdrawal Management Services offers 24-hour care, 365 days per year to ambulatory and voluntary clients who want help to safely withdraw from substances
- Fourteen beds for adults and four beds for youth in a separated Youth Unit
- Admission is based on a first-come-first-served model, with the exception of pregnant women who are given priority access into WMS.
- Medically supported facility:
- Staffed with Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Residential Unit Attendants (RUAs), and a Nurse Practitioner position.
- A Communicable Disease Nurse visits the centre on a weekly basis
Clients must be:
- voluntary (they must choose to attend WMS)
- able to provide basic information on admission and be verbally responsive in order to medically assess their condition
- 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
- 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
- There is a unit for adults and a separate four-bed unit for youth (ages 14 – 18)
- Support for clients to medically and emotionally withdraw safely from substances while maintaining dignity, privacy and respect
- Regular monitoring of vital signs and withdrawal symptoms in order to assist clients in stabilizing
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Residential Attendants are on shift 24 hrs. a day,
- Referral to Whitehorse General Hospital if a client is not stabilizing or symptoms become worse
- Day programming that includes group discussions, educational videos on a variety of addictions or related topics, educational material, and attendance at AA meetings (once individual is stable)
- Referral to other ADS services for ongoing support once discharged from Withdrawal Management Services
- Support in developing a recovery plan prior to discharge
- Social support: in addition to LPNs and Residential Unit Attendants, there are two Social Workers who work in Withdrawal Management Services in order to provide clients with a range of social support.
- Support to former clients by developing a day contract with them and/or inviting them to drop in for a coffee/talk with staff.
- Former Clients or individuals experiencing distress in recovery can call 867-667-8473 anytime. WMS will also accept collect calls.
Length of stay and discharge
Length of stay varies with each client. Discharge is voluntary with the exception of extenuating circumstances where a client may be asked to leave.
- Length of stay depends on withdrawal severity, health status and treatment plans
- As needed, clients may be referred to other supportive agencies upon discharge
- Clients are often referred to other ADS services such as: The Intensive Treatment Program (a Live-In program), counselling, and/or Recovery Group
- Staff make every effort to assist the client in developing 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
- Provide additional support for recovery
- Former clients can come in on a daily basis and participate in recovery activities
- Pamphlets, reading material, handouts
- Basic addictions information
- 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
- Former clients or individuals experiencing distress in recovery can call anytime 867-667-8473 from 8 am – 5 pm. After 5 pm WMS will accept collect calls
- General phone inquiries from the public are also accepted
- The majority of clients coming to WMS are self-referred. However, WMS also receives referrals from referring parties such as Community Health Centres, Wellness workers, the Salvation Army Shelter, RCMP and Whitehorse General Hospital
Do I have to be intoxicated or can I be sober in order to get into Withdrawal Management Services?
Clients coming to Withdrawal Management Services 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. Withdrawal Management Services provides a safe environment for clients to withdraw from substance use.
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.
Withdrawal Management (Detox)
For a list of services provided in Yukon Communities please visit our Yukon-wide Services
Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-866-456-3838
Withdrawal Management (Detox) (H-7)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Location: Sarah Steele Building |609 Steele Street | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]