Elective alcohol detoxification - A resource and efficacy evaluation

Darren Quelch, Mark Pucci, Alexander Marsh, Jamie Coleman, Sally Bradberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An evaluation was performed to assess efficacy and resource utilisation of an elective inpatient alcohol detoxification service at a large inner-city teaching hospital. Abstinence rates at 3, 6 and 12 months post-detoxification were 68.1, 44.7 and 36.2%, respectively. Relapse was associated with referrals from acute hospital services, previous detoxifications, longer time between referral and admission for detoxification, presence of alcohol in the blood on the day of admission and requirement for benzodiazepines during withdrawal. The service operates within the national 18-week referral target and runs at a cost substantially lower than that of residential alcohol detoxification facilities but with similar sobriety rates. We demonstrate that elective detoxification with specialist follow-up provides an effective service both in terms of patient outcomes and resource use. Further investment in these services at both local and national level should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalFuture Healthcare Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Alcohol detoxification
  • Clinical toxicology
  • Withdrawal
  • diazepam
  • adult
  • alcoholism
  • article
  • clinical effectiveness
  • clinical evaluation
  • detoxification
  • female
  • follow up
  • hospital utilization
  • human
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • middle aged
  • outpatient care
  • patient referral
  • priority journal
  • retrospective study


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