Department of Health

Key messages

  • Residential rehabilitation treatment is usually offered to people who have not had success with other types of drug or alcohol programs.
  • Residential rehabilitation programs are typically for three to four months but may be shorter or longer duration depending on the needs of the client.
  • Residential rehabilitation programs aim to create lasting change and to assist reintegration into community living.
  • Residential withdrawal services support people to safely withdraw from alcohol and other drug dependence in a supervised residential or hospital facility, usually in a short-term stay.

Residential treatment services in the Victorian alcohol and other drug treatment system include adult and youth residential rehabilitation services, residential withdrawal services for adults and young people, and post-treatment youth supported accommodation.

People are referred to residential treatment services through catchment-based intake services and other alcohol and other drug treatment providers.

New residential rehabilitation beds

The Victorian Government is providing 100 additional adult residential rehabilitation beds to help meet urgent demand for drug treatment support and relieve pressures on drug and alcohol and other health services.

The 100 bed expansion includes establishing a new service for people with co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health needs (dual diagnosis).

The government is also delivering a range of other initiatives, including: a new integrated withdrawal and rehabilitation model for complex clients who present at hospital, a new advisory service for those needing to urgently locate a suitable service, and work to tackle poor quality or unsafe service provision by private rehabilitation providers.

New facilities are now operational in the Grampians, Gippsland, Barwon and Hume regions.

Learn more about the Mildura statewide alcohol and drug residential treatment service, which is currently being established.

Further information about the expansion, including the new dual diagnosis service, is available from the Downloads section below.

About residential rehabilitation services

Residential rehabilitation provides a safe and supported environment in a community-based setting. Services offer 24-hour staffed residential therapeutic treatment programs of an average of three months’ duration. A range of interventions are offered, such as individual and group counselling with an emphasis on mutual self-help and peer community, and supported reintegration into the community.

Further information about residential rehabilitation is available from the Downloads section below.

Eligibility for services

Residential rehabilitation programs are offered to people who have not successfully reduced or overcome their substance use issues through other alcohol and other drug treatment programs and who are not suited to attend an outpatient program.

Clients include those who suffer more severe consequences of harm associated with alcohol and other drug use, such as criminal involvement or social disadvantage, and whose home setting or social circumstances are not supportive of non-residential treatment options.

About adult residential withdrawal services

Residential withdrawal services for adults support people to safely withdraw from alcohol and other drug dependence in a supervised residential or hospital facility, usually in a short-term stay.

Eligibility for services

Residential withdrawal services meet the needs of people with complex needs or those whose family and accommodation circumstances that are less stable and consequently unsuited to non-residential withdrawal. This includes people who:

  • require 24-hour supportive care to withdraw and who have inadequate supports at home or
  • are experiencing a psychological or social crisis that requires a high level of support.

About youth residential withdrawal services

Youth residential withdrawal services provide short-term intensive support, time out and drug withdrawal services to young people in a residential setting.

Eligibility for services

The youth residential withdrawal service is for young people, aged between 12 and 21 years, whose use of drugs causes significant physical, psychological and social harm.Clinical judgement and client choice will define whether young people up to age 25 years are considered appropriate for the youth residential withdrawal service, or would be more suited to a general adult residential withdrawal service.

These young people may also be experiencing concurrent issues such as family breakdown, homelessness, serious health or psychiatric problems, psychological issues, serious behavioural issues including offending, and physical safety issues.

Reviewed 06 July 2023


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