Inside the Adult Withdrawal Admissions process

When people are referred to Windana, our Intake and Admissions staff focus on getting to know each new client to understand their goals. The aim is to help people access the right treatment, as smoothly as possible. Goldie works with people referred to Windana’s Adult Withdrawal (detox) service in St Kilda and helps explain how our Admissions process works.

A red pincushion flower. Text alongside reads: "A look at how admission to Adult Withdrawal works at Windana."

In Victoria, people can find out about and access drug and alcohol treatment by contacting the Intake and Assessment service providers that look after the local area (or ‘catchment’) they live in. People can also contact DirectLine – the central point of contact for anyone wanting to discuss a drug or alcohol-related issue in Victoria.

During a session with their local Intake and Assessment service, a person will learn about treatment options available and can seek referrals to services like Windana. People may also get referred to Windana directly from doctors, drug and alcohol workers and from the Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO). Clients can also self-refer to Windana directly, and the admissions team will try to set up an appointment internally for an intake and comprehensive assessment if available.

If a person is referred to Windana’s Adult Withdrawal service in St Kilda, the referral comes through to the Admissions team. Referrals are received via the referrals inbox – .

“We review each referral and do our own assessment based on the information received from the Intake hubs and are guided by the client and their treating GP,” Goldie says.

“We then elaborate on this to develop a client’s treatment plan for entering residential withdrawal, and often strengthen their discharge plans. We also collaborate with the client’s professional supports which can include their GP and mental health supports.”

When Goldie calls new clients on the phone, it’s often the first time they’ve had contact with Windana. Goldie uses this as an opportunity to assure each client from the get-go that Windana is committed to caring without judgement, one of our core Values.

“If we can manage the withdrawal at our St Kilda residential withdrawal program, we will arrange an admission date. Another option is to invite the client in for a pre-admission session to meet with Windana’s Addiction Medicine Specialist so we can better understand what they are after and discuss a treatment plan.”

“Another outcome is that the client can access our Non-Residential Withdrawal Service and still achieve the goals they have in mind in their own home.”

Connecting people with the most suitable services is integral for helping people reach their goals. Sometimes, people are best suited to a program that is more closely linked to a hospital due to their medical complications. When this is the case, Goldie helps clients understand how a medical withdrawal is different and why it’s being suggested – a challenging conversation for people who may have their hearts set on Windana.

Some clients can also come to Windana’s Adult Residential Withdrawal unit as a ‘step down’ from a medical withdrawal service, to continue their withdrawal.

Goldie also works alongside Windana’s Youth Withdrawal and Therapeutic Community Admissions teams by sharing insight and planning suitable services for people referred to Windana. Working out how Windana – and other services in sector – can support each person needs is our objective.

Goldie says the Admissions process is the first step in helping clients experience how Windana can positively impact their lives, through our holistic approach and “one-stop-shop” of services.

“We give clients the opportunity to feel heard.”

Accessing drug and alcohol services:

DirectLine provides drug and alcohol counselling, support and referrals (including to Windana) 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Call 1800 888 236 or visit

If you’re a family member or friend needing support for a loved one’s drug or alcohol use, you can contact Family Drug Support’s 24-hour support line on 1300 368 186 or visit for more information.