Withdrawal Management


Withdrawal is also known as detoxification or detox. It’s when you cut out, or cut back, on using alcohol or other drugs. You may have developed a physical or psychological dependence on a drug, or both. Symptoms experienced during withdrawal can be mild or severe, depending on:

  • How long you’ve been using for
  • What drug(s)
  • Age
  • Physical health
  • Psychological characteristics
  • Method of withdrawal

What can I expect?


While your body is getting used to functioning without the drug, you can experience a range of symptoms from minor to serious. Generally speaking, withdrawal feels like the opposite of the drug. For example when withdrawing from a depressant like alcohol you may feel restless and agitated, or have tremors.
These symptoms vary between people, and between drugs.  Find withdrawal symptoms for specific drugs: https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/

Hep C and Withdrawal

The symptoms of Hep C may increase while you reduce or stop you drug or alcohol use. You may get increased pain in the liver, aches and joint pain in the legs, cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Alcohol and other drugs may have been hiding these symptoms, so it makes sense that detoxing will bring these symptoms to your notice. You need to improve your general health to help with these.

Services provided

Our staff provide medical and other support in partnership with GPs and other health professionals to make sure your withdrawal is safe. They can also link you with other services to support you.

Consultation Liaison Nurses

Our Consultation Liaison nurses provide support and referral to people who are in hospital. The service works together with doctors, nurses and staff at Illawarra and Shoalhaven Hospitals.

This includes support:

  • For people who experience withdrawal when admitted to hospital for other reasons 
  • To identify and manage drug and alcohol withdrawal

Our Consultation Liaison nurses support health professionals, such as GPs, Practice Nurses and Mental Health Clinicians who would like:

  • Advice on how to help patients with drug or alcohol issues 
  • To connect patients with our service

How to access

If you are thinking about cutting down or stopping this should be discussed with your doctor or with our Drug and Alcohol Service. It is very important that you get medical help or support when withdrawing from alcohol, GHB, benzodiazepines or ketamine.

Your counsellor or Case Manager will be available to help and support you through your withdrawal. Try to use your initial enthusiasm to keep motivated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our service on 1300 652 226. 

The Health Care Interpreter Service provides a free and confidential interpreting service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For bookings please call 02 4223 8540.

If you need an interpreter let your service provider know immediately and they can book one for you in your preferred language.

Health professionals who would like to be connected with our Consultation Liaison, please phone: Illawarra 02 4254 2700 |  Shoalhaven 02 4422 9662.


Contact Information

1300 652 226