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Treatments


Our Approach

At Damascus Health Services we provide detoxification and therapeutic treatment for patients with alcohol and / or prescribed and over-the-counter drug problems. Services are provided in a private hospital setting.

Treatment goals

Short-term goals include:

  • successful withdrawal,
  • stabilization of physical and psychological status,
  • increased self efficacy to cope with high risk situations,
  • improved communication skills and
  • the management of mood fluctuations, anxiety and depression.

Longer-term goals include decreased risk of relapse and fewer negative consequences associated with alcohol or drug use and positive life-style change.


It is usually not difficult to remain abstinent or substance free whilst in Damascus Health Services as this is a safe environment.

However, when people return to their 'reality' it is often much more difficult to remain abstinent.

For this reason, on-going support after discharge is strongly encouraged and highly recommended.

Our Follow Up Program has been developed to offer support to stay abstinent, as patients face their 'real' world and those people who are part of their ongoing life.

Day Patient attendance needs to be approved by each patient's doctor.

Whilst here for the Day Patient Follow-Up Program, patients will also have an opportunity for a one on one session with the day nurse if required.

Groups are offered each weekday starting at 8:30am.

The involvement of a family member, or of a significant other, can make a huge difference to the recovery process.

Therefore an adult family member or significant other can be invited to our "Family and significant others morning".

This is held once every two weeks on a Thursday from 9:00am to Midday at Damascus Health Services, 4th Floor of the Brisbane Private Hospital Specialist Centre.

The format of this morning allows for patients to attend a group while the significant other attends another group.

The agenda for the Family and significant other group includes, education about both the Damascus Programme and Substance Dependence and how to support their family member without "over-monitoring" as well as how to have realistic expectations about the future.

It also provides an opportunity to ventilate feelings, thoughts and fears.

After a combined morning tea, there is a group that is used to help plan what is going to occur after discharge from a Damascus Programme.

Issues such as rebuilding trust, necessary behaviour and routine changes etc, will be discussed.

Together, patients and their family member / significant other begin working on a practical plan to promote abstinence after discharge.

This is a process that will provide some clarity for those involved in relation to "Where do we go from here?"

Although at times this process might be confronting for both parties, it is a beneficial part of looking towards the future in a positive way.

Successful relapse prevention and management is essentially about gaining knowledge and skills to help one recognise and effectively cope with issues and triggers that contribute to relapse.

The Damascus Health Services 'Weekend Relapse Prevention Programme' began so as to allow patients living away from Brisbane and 'vulnerable' patients to access support and maintain treatment gains outside normal business hours.

Participants address barriers to progress and develop knowledge, skills and confidence in addressing potential triggers of relapse and high risk factors.

As a part of the recovery process we encourage patients to look at how their family is functioning.

Dependence can affect family members, this tends to show itself through the loss of mutual positive feelings for each other and an increase in conflict. Unfortunately many couples find it difficult to communicate to resolve these problems.

The Damascus Health Services 'Couple's Programme' has been developed in recognition of this and has been developed to enable relationship recovery to occur in tandem with substance dependence recovery.

The approach taken is designed to assist couples stabilise abstinence and their marital and family relationships.

This programme is only available to patients after discharge from a Damascus Programme.

Patients must be substance-free before participating.

All patients are breathalysed on entry to the clinic.

Patients of Damascus Health Services are strongly encouraged to invite their partners to attend the Couples Programme.

Damascus provides a programme using several treatment models*.

It provides helpful information as well as support and advice about how to address problems with alcohol or prescription drug misuse, for the rest of a patient’s life.

The programme helps patients manage their emotions and thoughts, make healthy choices, improve their relationships and find meaning in their lives.

Patients discuss their values and learn how to live using these values on a daily basis*.

*This programme has several treatment modalities including Cognitive Behaviour therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Social / Coping Skills training, solution focused problem solving, transactional analysis.

During the programme patients:

Explore the link between thoughts and behaviours and develop a range of strategies for overcoming psychological dependence on alcohol, or other substances.

Identify core values and are taught how to use these as the basis for decision making and life choices.

Are encouraged to re-establish old useful skills, or develop new coping skills, under clinical supervision, to manage all aspects of their life without alcohol or drugs being an integral part of that activity or event.

This approach to therapy is relatively brief, structured and goal orientated with homework tasks designed to encourage patients to develop and practise coping skills. The emphasis is on encouraging patients to replace old unhealthy habits with new effective alternatives.

A significant part of treatment occurs in a group setting.

Patients whose problem is mainly associated with alcohol are also encouraged to attend the local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings after an introduction to the fellowship by an AA member.

Even during their stay inpatients with their doctor’s permission, may attend.

  • 24 hour telephone hotline for any patients who are struggling
  • Brief intervention in smoking cessation
  • Celebration day
  • Dietician
  • Full medical/surgical backup
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pre-planned telephone follow up by nursing staff for six months following discharge
  • Social worker.

Our Assistance

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