Detoxify at Gorman House

About Us
Gorman House is part of the Alcohol and Drug Service of St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst. Gorman House prides itself in keeping the values of the Sisters of Charity. Pre-eminent within these values is respect for all, irrespective of class, sexual identity, and drug of choice, colour or religious belief. This applies to present, past and potential residents and staff. It serves a severely disadvantaged population dependent on alcohol and other drugs.

A non-judgmental environmentImage
Gorman House provides a non-judgmental, non-discriminatory environment for residents to detoxify from substances of dependence. It is accepted that those who do access the service are at different stages within their alcohol and/or other drug use. It is also acknowledged that for some clients abstinence is not feasible. The staff at Gorman House work with the residents and their individual needs to attempt to minimise the harm drug and alcohol misuse may have to themselves and the larger community.

Gorman House accepts residents using a variety of substances as their primary drug e.g. alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines as well as heroin and other short acting opioids.

Break the cycle

Gorman House provides shelter, food, beds, laundry, and socialising without drug use. Being at Gorman House can also break the cycle of crime for those who participate in crime. Some of the residents like to help with baking and other domestic activities and there are a variety of groups available each day.

The resident is an individual
Residents are encouraged to make their own decisions regarding their drug use and lifestyle within a supportive environment. The resident is acknowledged as an individual and as having special needs. Other agencies available within the Alcohol and Other Drug Service are utilised to provide specialised treatment and the best possible outcome for each resident.

The increase in transmission of blood borne diseases, particularly Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS has been noted particularly within the intravenous drug using community. A supply of sterile intravenous drug using equipment is kept in a locked cupboard on the premises and is offered to all intravenous drug users on discharge. Safe sex products (condoms and lubricant) are also available.

  • Gorman House is a non medical detoxification centre and does not employ on site doctors or nurses. Medication cannot be prescribed or dispensed by the staff.
  • Residents are able to bring certain withdrawal medication to ease the discomfort of their withdrawal. This is discussed at the time of the initial assessment and medications brought to the unit must follow Gorman House guidelines.
  • Other medication prescribed for medical/mental health issues may also be brought to the unit.
  • All prescription medications brought to the unit must be clearly labeled, in their dispensing package, and have clearly marked dosage directions.
  • Some ‘over the counter’ medications are available to residents at Gorman House.
  • Thiamine is recommended for all people undergoing alcohol withdrawal. This helps treat or prevent Wernicke’s encephalopathy which is a form of brain injury resulting from Thiamine deficiency.
  • Oral thiamine is available to all residents at Gorman House.
  • If you have any queries regarding medication do not hesitate to speak to a Gorman House staff member.

Selective detoxification
Sometimes people who are on methadone/buprenorphine maintenance programmes may develop the problematic use of another drug and need to detoxify from that drug while remaining on their methadone/buprenorphine maintenance programme.

  • People on methadone/buprenorphine maintenance programmes may detoxify from other short acting drugs at Gorman House.
  • They are required to organise a temporary transfer of their methadone/buprenorphine dosing to the Rankin Court Treatment Centre prior to admission.
  • Staff will discuss the process for organising a temporary transfer at the time of the initial assessment.

Gorman House Staff
Generally staff at Gorman House are not medical officers or nurses. Public Health awards covering staff include:

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs workers – graduate and non-graduate.
  • Psychologist graduates
  • Social welfare officers
  • Health workers

We are open and available for admissions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Gorman House